3 saluted at Bedding Conference
David Perry -- Furniture Today, May 30, 2013
Named Retail Giants of Bedding were Jim McIngvale, left, Gallery Furniture, Houston; Kyle and Wayne Johansen, HOM Furniture, Coon Rapids, Minn.; and Steven Stone, BedMart, Wilsonville, Ore.
The award winners were Gallery Furniture of Houston, HOM Furniture of Coon Rapids, Minn., and BedMart of Wilsonville, Ore. The three were saluted for excellence in mattress retailing at a gala awards dinner that was one of the highlights of the Bedding Conference, which had record attendance of more than 350 and once again drew strong reviews from participants.
The awards dinner was sponsored by Comfort Solutions, whose president, Dave Roberts, welcomed conference attendees in a video introduction.
Noting that the conference theme was "Connecting with Consumers," Roberts presented a lighthearted look at how Comfort Solutions does focus group research to connect with mattress consumers. Roberts played the roles of the various consumers, including a young mother, another woman, a biker and an exercise enthusiast. He capped off his virtuoso performance by performing a rap song.
Each of the winning retailers was saluted in a video tribute.
Gallery Furniture's dynamic CEO, Jim McIngvale, was honored for his long commitment to the mattress category, embodied in his persona of Mattress Mack, a retail superhero who touts the importance of mattresses.
McIngvale was inspired to create that character almost 30 years ago after he saw a retailer wearing a tire to pump up his tire business. So he donned a mattress suit and became Mattress Mack, a name that he still answers to these days.
He's built Gallery Furniture into a furniture and bedding powerhouse with a homegrown mix of relentless and clever promotions, charitable events and educational programs. And bedding has been the foundation on which he built the business. "Our mattress sales have fueled the business the whole time," McIngvale said.
Brothers Wayne and Rod Johansen of HOM Furniture were honored for their unwavering commitment to the mattress category, which started decades ago when they operated a waterbed retailer.
When that category encountered choppy seas, the Johansens switched to traditional beds and home furnishings and morphed their business into HOM Furniture, a full-line home furnishings retailer.
And they haven't stopped there. The hard-charging Johansens, with three retail brands in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin, have added Gabberts, a high-end, design-oriented specialist, and Dock 86, a warehouse concept, to their portfolio of stores.
Mattresses remain at the heart of HOM's world. "A vibrant mattress department is key to our total product mix and shopping experience at HOM," said Wayne Johansen, chairman. Rod is CEO and president.
Also honored at the awards dinner was BedMart President Steven Stone, whose family history in furniture prepared him for his career in retail.
He opened his first sleep shop more than two decades ago and has grown the business one mattress at a time, he said. His independent spirit and a thoughtful approach to the mattress business are paying big dividends, bedding observers say.
Today Stone's mattress empire is thriving. Based in Wilsonville, Ore., he operates 28 stores in Oregon and Washington under the BedMart Mattress Superstores and America's Mattress banners. And more growth is coming: Stone expects to open six to eight more stores in the next 12 months.
The awards dinner was preceded by an outdoor cocktail reception, sponsored by Serta.
of Wm. T.
left, and Brittany
Proctor, both of
Alex Macias, Del
|Kevin Castellani, left, Furniture/Today; Bob
Sherman, Serta International; Eric Spitzer, Spring
|Louis Bachicha, left, Sealy; Jennifer Sinha and
Kostas Chronis, both of Sears Holdings, Hoffman
|Todd Miller, left, Tempur-Pedic; Rebecca Sudbeck,
Nebraska Furniture Mart, Omaha, Neb.; Rick
|Bill Koslo, left, and Ron Wanek, Ashley Furniture
Inds.; Dwayne Welch, HSM.|
|Dennis Hoy, left, Furniture Marketing Group, High
Point; Alfredo Lopez, El Dorado Furniture, Miami
Gardens, Fla.; Ron Passaglia, Restonic.|
|Owen Shoemaker, left, Comfort Solutions; Craig
McAndrews and Joe Paviglianti, Mattress Firm,
|Gerry Borreggine, left, Therapedic; Tom Rehwinkel,
Carolina Mattress Guild.|
|David Weinstein, left, Horich Hector Lebow
Advertising; Len Burke, Klaussner.|
|Kristi Griggs, left, of G-Force Marketing, is presented
with a Waylon Jennings gold record plaque after
winning a raffle staged by Roger Magowitz, right, of
the Seena Magowitz Foundation.|
left, and Tia
guests to the
Back To Bed,
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