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Wealth of bedding intros keeps showrooms hopping

Jamie PiperJamie Piper, left, and Jodi Allen, both of Sealy, wear shirts that tout the cooling properties of new Sealy beds.
LAS VEGAS — Bedding producers, who came here loaded with new lines and promotions, said they enjoyed a robust market with brisk traffic.

The positive reaction to the abundance of big new mattress lines introduced here suggests the bedding category could be in store for a stronger-than-expected year, bedding observers said.

Sales leader Sealy was thrilled with its market showing.
"Our strategy to showcase something from each brand proved to be a success, and I'm confident to say we experienced the busiest market to date," said Jodi Allen, chief marketing officer. "We received a great deal of positive feedback for our entire gel portfolio, which includes Optimum by Sealy Posturepedic and the Posturepedic Gel Series. Interest in our new Sealy brand collection has never been more positive, and Stearns & Foster continues to be a hit. The excitement around our new marketing campaign is substantial."

Serta, which has sparked considerable excitement in the industry with its iComfort line, enjoyed strong traffic and results, the company said.

"There is no slowing this (iComfort) bus down," said Bob Sherman, president. Interest was intense in a new $3,999 iComfort pillowtop model; before Serta officials arrived at market they already had orders for 1,000 of the beds in hand.

Therapedic President Gerry Borreggine was pleased with his company's showing. "This is the best market we've had in five years," he said. "It is the best for attendance, the best for excitement we generated, and the best for the reaction to our new products."

Rick Robinson, president of Spring Air, said his brand had an excellent market, with good response to its new asthma and allergy-friendly Breathe line. "This is just the beginning of what we are going to do with this product," he said.

Kingsdown CEO Eric Hinshaw said retailers came to his showroom looking to expand their offerings in Kingsdown's diagnostic portfolio, which added foam beds. "It's been a diagnostics market," he said.

Comfort Solutions benefited from the launch of new lines and a revamped showroom, according to Owen Shoemaker, senior vice president. He declared the market "fabulous."
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Tony Smith of SimmonsTony Smith of Simmons holds a board that displays the old Simmons logos, at left, and new logos.
c., owned by bedding entrepreneur Carroll Moran, did well in its first showing in Las Vegas, said Doug Guffey, president. Interest was high in the new Body Cool line of gel-infused beds, retailing from $799 to $1,199, he said.

Restonic's TempaGel line was a hit, said Ron Passaglia, president. "This is, literally, a cool product," he said. "Our use of Outlast in the product provides coolness and comfort at the closest touch point for the consumer."

Englander did well with its new gel-cushioned bedding lines, said Kevin Toman, president, while Symbol Vice President Mike McQuiston said traffic in his space was "as good as I've seen it in some time."

Paul Sullivan, vice president at Five Star, said his company received an "awesome response" to its new models.

Kurt Ling, CEO of Pure LatexBliss, raved about "phenomenal traffic" in his showroom. Also pleased with traffic were Ralph Rossdeutscher, president of Natura, who cited the "phenomenal" quality of buyers, and Denny Boyd, president of Boyd Specialty Sleep, who noted: "It's been great. We've been slammed."

Sean Bergman, vice president of Fabrictech International, which introduced a new line of pillows, said his company enjoyed "an amazing market." Also doing well was Klaussner's Enso Sleep unit. "We probably increased our placements by 25%," said Mark Akerman, vice president of sales and merchandising.

E.S. Kluft & Co. also fared well. "Consumers are asking for our Aireloom brand," said Earl Kluft, CEO. "Retailers we haven't even seen before are asking for programs."

Also reporting strong markets were Hickory at Home, Paramount Sleep, Protect-ABed, FXI, Magniflex, Reverie, Comfort Revolution, Dormeo Octaspring, Vivon and Carolina Mattress Guild, among others.

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