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Michael Knell

Spring Air Sommex to show at Las Vegas Market

TORONTO — Canadian mattress maker Spring Air Sommex will bring its Obusforme brand to the U.S. market for the first time when it opens its new showroom in the World Market Center just in time for the summer 2012 edition of the Las Vegas Market.

The 4,200-square-foot showroom will be in WMC A-948. In addition to Obusforme, the showroom will also feature the company's recently acquired Natura World and NexGel brands as well as an assortment of accessories including pillows, protectors and top of bed. A total of between 25 and 30 mattresses from all three brands will be shown.

SAS has owned the North American rights to the Obusforme mattress line since 2010.

"This is an important step and investment for the company to support its mandate to better serve its customers," Valerie Stranix, SAS chief marketing officer said in a statement. "This will be a first for SAS and will allow it to re-introduce its recently purchased Natura brand as well as introduce ergonomically designed Obusforme sleep products to the U.S. market. This permanent space in Las Vegas will serve as the U.S. showroom during markets and will also support the sales team during off market times for customer presentations."

SAS acquired Natura World in late April, some five months after it sought bankruptcy protection. The Cambridge, Ontario-based specialty bedding producer now operates as a division of SAS.

"Natura is back and better than ever, ready to serve customers with great products and special offers at the show," Stranix said.

"We're better, we're faster, we're stronger and this shows our commitment to the market," Stranix said in an interview. "We're taking everyone on our senior team to the show. It's going to energize everyone."

This will also be the first time that Stranix and her executive committee - which includes Chris French, chief operating officer, and Ed Farquharson, executive vice president of sales - will meet the entire U.S. sales team, which came on board with the acquisition of Natura.

She admitted that while most of the product being shown will be new to U.S. retailers, it won't be new to the line. However, she promises the January market will be a different story. "We're going to show our new look and a wealth of new product," she said.

For the past several years, Natura has shown in both Las Vegas and at the High Point Market. Because of its financial difficulties, it didn't show this past April and Stranix confirmed SAS probably won't show in High Point this October. But she hasn't closed the door on that market permanently, saying SAS's executive group will re-examine the issue next year.

For now, Stranix is eagerly anticipating Las Vegas, which opens for its semi-annual five-day run on July 30. "This is very exciting for us," she said.

SAS is the second Canadian producer to announce it has signed a multi-lease with WMC in as many weeks - upholstery house Palliser Furniture also has confirmed it has signed to show in Building B for the next few years.

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