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  • David Perry

New bedding product draws buyers

LAS VEGAS - Mattress majors said this bedding-rich market generally met their expectations.
     Retailers showed interest in the wide variety of new mattresses and sleep accessories introduced here this summer and made plans for strong promotions in the fall, producers said.
     Some said overall traffic appeared to be down compared to last summer, but noted that traffic was strong enough in key stretches to keep their showrooms busy. Their overall assessments of the market varied from OK to excellent.
     "The response we saw at market for our new gel latex line for Optimum was incredibly positive," said Jodi Allen, chief marketing officer for the Sealy brand. "It was a testament to the success we've experienced over the last year for our Optimum gel memory foam and we believe this new gel latex line gives our customers a new option to satisfy consumers who may want a different feel than traditional memory foam."
     Allen also said dealers visiting the Sealy showroom reported "great success" with the company's Posturepedic Hybrid line, which is exceeding the company's original projections.
     Simmons CEO Gary Fazio said he "has heard very good things" from retailers about his company's new CURV line, a value-priced line aimed at Millennials. "Going after younger consumers is a good thing for us," he said. "They are the future. And they are buying a lot of product."
     The CURV line, retailing at $699, $799 and $999, is designed for consumers who want a memory foam bed but can't afford to spend more than $1,000 for it, Simmons officials said.
     Serta officials, meanwhile, reported that they were happy with their traffic, which they said was on par with last summer's market. They were also excited about what they said was the "continued momentum" of the beds Serta introduced in Las Vegas in January.
     King Koil, which brought a broad assortment of new products to market, got a "very strong reaction" to those new lines, reported Dave Roberts, president.

Jeff Willard of Simmons sits on the top model in the new CURV line launched by Simmons, which targets Millennials.
Jeff Willard of Simmons
Rick Anderson of Tempur
Rick Anderson of Tempur Sealy International displays the benefits of the new Tempur-Up Foundation introduced by the Tempur-Pedic brand.
Susan Mathes of Therapedic gets comfortable on the new gel latex Buoyancy line the company introduced.
Susan Mathes

     Tempur-Pedic brand officials were talking about the money under the mattress with their introductions, two new foundations and a new adjustable base. "What's underneath the bed is an area for growth and profitability," said Rick Anderson, an executive with Tempur Sealy International.
     The introductions included the Tempur-Up Foundation retailing for $799 that lets the consumer sit up in bed for reading, watching TV or working on a laptop. It comes to a 60-degree upright angle.
     Therapedic got off to a fast start with its new Buoyancy line of gel latex beds, which feature an ergonomic application of gel directly on the latex, said Gerry Borreggine, CEO.
     Englander President Kevin Toman said retail traffic in his company's space was steady.
     Englander's new value priced line, which starts at $399, and the new Posture Support Plus line for plus sized sleepers were both being well received, Toman said.
     Boyd Specialty Sleep saw new retailers, thanks to its introduction of broad new bedding lines for Broyhill and Thomasville, introduced under a license with Furniture Brands International.
     "The retailers appreciate the point-of-purchase materials we are providing, the updated features in the mattress lines, and the co-op program we've put together for them," said Denny Boyd, president of Boyd Specialty Sleep.
     Ashley Sleep did well with its new gel, memory foam and innerspring lines, said Ben Thorud, an Ashley executive. "We are excited about what retailers are telling us about Ashley Sleep and we are excited that they are placing orders," he said.
     Restonic did well with value-priced bedding models at the $299 and $399 price points, and with mid-priced beds reduced to $499 and $599, said Ron Passaglia, president. "These customized programs enabled customers to choose entry-level price points or strong offerings in mid-level price points," he said.
     Spring Air's new Sleep Sense hybrid line, retailing from $899 to $1,899, did "extremely well," said Rick Robinson, president.
     Symbol, showing its new line of personalized comfort beds, was pleased with the quality of retailers it saw but reported that traffic overall was down.
     Five Star had an "excellent" market, said Jim Nation, president. "We were up 50% over last summer," he said. "We added a new line in January and we are a pretty hot line right now. We've opened 246 accounts this year and our business is up 30% year to date and 50% in the second quarter."

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