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Simmons extends tour of Showroom on Wheels

Will show more stores the new ComforPedic Loft line
 The Simmons Showroom on Wheels, shown during a visit to the High Point Market in October, will stay on the road until Dec. 18.The Simmons Showroom on Wheels, shown during a visit to the High Point Market in October, will stay on the road until Dec. 18.
ATLANTA — It's "On the Road Again" for the Simmons Showroom on Wheels, which is extending its nationwide retail tour to Dec. 18.

The tour, which is bringing the company's new ComforPedic Loft line of specialty sleep beds to retailers, was scheduled to end last month, but its success has prompted the company to keep the mobile showroom rolling, Simmons officials said.

What had been planned as a 10,000-mile trek across the U.S. and parts of Canada will now be a 22,000-mile odyssey - almost the distance around the world - covering 50 cities.

"We launched the Showroom on Wheels because we thought retailers would appreciate the cost savings and convenience of having the ComforPedic Loft line brought to them," said Scott Smalling, president of Simmons' specialty sleep division, who is leading the tour. "However, I have to admit that the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the road show surpassed even my expectations. The majority of the retailers we visited during the first phase of the tour have picked up the line. Such strong success combined with retailer interest in additional city stops made us realize that a tour extension was needed."

Smalling is joined on the extended tour by Butch Webster, vice president of Simmons' specialty sleep division. The two will continue to oversee the sales presentations at each stop.

The new phase of the tour is focused on the Southwest and includes visits to Dallas, Phoenix and San Diego, with a few repeat visits to key cities. The tour started in Las Vegas in September and will take the showroom to all major regions of the country.

The Showroom on Wheels is a 53-foot, 18-wheeler that has been outfitted as a loft apartment and showcases several ComforPedic Loft beds. That line starts at $999, a new starting price point for the ComforPedic line.

At each stop, the Simmons execs stress three key messages about the NxG memory foam used in the ComforPedic line: It dissipates heat, offers quicker recovery, and maintains consistent comfort. The new Loft line features a new foam technology that was more than a year in the making and enabled the company to reduce the starting price points of the line, officials said.

"The ComforPedic Loft story is easy for retailers and consumers to understand - this is next-generation technology at an attainable price," said Anne Kozel, brand director of specialty sleep at Simmons. "When retailers visit the mobile showroom, they recognize the ComforPedic Loft line's potential to be a major hit with a wide range of value-oriented consumers. The collection looks and feels amazing. It basically sells itself."

Smalling said he's looking forward to more positive meetings on the road.

"We're meeting wonderful people and visiting beautiful cities while building stronger retailer relationships," he said. "I couldn't be happier with the program's results."

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