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David Perry

ISPA: Mattress sales up less than 1% in January

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The bedding industry recorded only marginal gains in January, with unit sales up just 0.1% and the dollar value of wholesale bedding shipments up 0.5%.

But industry observers said the figures represented positive news on two fronts.

First, the January figures did represent gains compared with an extremely robust performance turned in by the industry last January, when units were up 18.5% and dollars soared 29%.

Second, the January gains, while slight, reversed the declines posted by the industry in December, when units were down 5.9% and dollars declined 6.4%.

All of those figures come from monthly Bedding Barometer reports issued by the International Sleep Products Assn. The reports present a snapshot of industry performance by large producers.

The companies in the monthly reports represented about 66% of total units in 2011, the last full year for which data is available, and about 76% of the wholesale revenues of the full market, ISPA says.

It cautions that its monthly reports "may not necessarily reflect the performance of the full mattress industry" because of factors such as market share shifts or distribution changes.

The reports are followed closely in the industry and by analysts who cover the mattress industry.

The January 2013 report showed gains for mattresses but declines for foundations.

Mattress units grew 1.3% in January, while foundation units declined by 1.3% that month. And the dollar value of mattress shipments rose 2.9% in January, but declined 9% for foundations, ISPA reported.

Overall, the average unit price rose 0.4% in January to $221.16. The average unit price for mattresses rose 1.6% to $334.67, but it dropped 7.7% for foundations, to $88.49, ISPA said.

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