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David Perry

Tempur-Pedic launches airbeds

This is one of two newThis is one of two new models in the new Tempur-Choice line of high-end airbeds offering adjustable comfort.
LAS VEGAS - Memory foam leader Tempur-Pedic aims to pump up its sales this year with two high-end airbeds topped with its trademark Tempur memory foam, which it introduced at last week's Las Vegas Market.
     The Tempur-Choice Collection, featuring the Supreme at $3,499 and the Luxe at $3,999, is part of an ongoing push by the company to drive retail profitability at the premium end of the bedding market. "Your bed. Your way" is the tag line for the new airbed offerings.
     The six-chamber airbeds, offering head, lumbar and foot adjustments, give each sleeper the opportunity to choose from more than 100 settings, far more than a well-known competitor's beds, which feature single air chambers on each side of the bed, Tempur-Pedic officials said. Each Tempur-Pedic airbed has three adjustable chambers on each sleeper's side.
     "We didn't invent the airbed," said Rick Anderson, president of Tempur-Pedic North America, "but we have reinvented it. We have a better product at all touch points, from the consumer to the retailer."
     Anderson said airbeds are "a new category for our retailers. This is a great way to bring more consumers into the premium segment and to grow that segment through innovation."
     Company officials said interest in the new beds at market was high.
     The airbeds will be distributed through Tempur-Pedic's regular supply chain. The beds will be shipped assembled in a single box and will require minimal assembly time by retail delivery teams in the consumer's home, officials said.
     The remotes offer 11 settings each for the head, lumbar and foot sections. Illuminated bars will indicate settings ranging from firm to medium to soft.
     Anderson said the airbed category represents about $1 billion in business at retail. Tempur-Pedic retailers can readily tap into that market with the new Tempur-Choice collection, he said.
     Working with its retailers, Tempur-Pedic has designed a two- to three-minute selling strategy for the airbeds that will help couples easily find their optimal sleep settings, Anderson said.
     Minneapolis-based Select Comfort currently dominates the airbed category with its Sleep Number line of adjustable airbeds, sold at the company's national network of stores. The Sleep Number, each sleeper's favored setting, has become an iconic marketing tool for the airbed manufacturer and retailer.
     Select Comfort previously distributed some of its products through bedding specialty stores, but is now focusing on its own stores, which are among the most productive in the industry.
     Over the years, a number of bedding producers have experimented in the airbed category, seeking to emulate Select Comfort's success, but later dropped their airbed models.
     Tempur-Pedic's entry into the category could launch another wave of airbed introductions, bedding observers suggested.

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