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David Perry

Traffic mixed at bedding showrooms

HIGH POINT - Traffic has been spotty in mattress showrooms, but bedding producers are reporting some market successes.
"This market is so busy," said Gary Fazio, CEO of Simmons. "This is my fifth High Point Market at Simmons and my visual perspective is that it is two or three times busier (in the Simmons space) than before."
The company's launch of a new ComforPedic line with gel foam and phase change technology is driving traffic to the Simmons space, Fazio said. The line is backed with a comprehensive retail merchandising program that includes new headboard and footboard displays.
Serta President Bob Sherman said his company has added new customers and has noticed some dealers writing orders here, a departure from the norm. And "quite a few retailers" are adding Serta's new iSeries line, which combines a new coil unit with Serta's gel memory foam, Sherman said.
"We are having a great market," declared Jim Nation, president of Five Star Mattress. "This is the High Point launch of our Gel-Active line, which is doing well. Our new TLC line, which includes wrapped coils with gel, is also doing well."
Gold Bond is attracting interest with a number of new latex beds, including one-sided and two-sided versions. "Latex is experiencing a renaissance," said Bob Naboicheck, president.
Enso Sleep Systems got off to a strong start, seeing many major players at the outset of the market, said Len Burke, vice president of marketing for Enso's parent, Klaussner. "The quality of our customers has been high," he said. "We've seen several big hitters."
Jamison, which is making a big push here with its new TLC latex line, is doing well. "We've been busy," said Ken Hinman, senior vice president.
A number of bedding producers said retailers are already planning for good business next year.
"Despite - or perhaps because of - the tenuousness of the economy in the next few months, retailers already have 2013 on their minds," said Kurt Ling, president of Pure LatexBliss.
"There is anticipation about the new year," agreed Gerry Borreggine, president of Therapedic. "There is a feeling that the next president, even if it is the same president or a new one, will give the economy a shot in the arm in the new year. When January arrives, it's a new season."
Magniflex is sparking interest with its Linen Natursoft Deluxe, featuring a layer of foam infused with mallow plant extract, known for its soothing and healing qualities. Often found in beauty products, mallow has been used to reduce inflammation and soften skin. The layer of mallow extract foam provides an extremely soft and comfortable support surface for the body while calming the mind and promoting an overall sense of well being, according to the company.
"Women appreciate the concept of ‘beauty bedding' and are willing to invest in their well being," said Marco Magni, global sales director at Magniflex.

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