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David Perry

Bedding traffic light at High Point Market but retailers find standouts

HIGH POINT - Traffic was light in bedding showrooms at the High Point Market, but retailers found some products that can help them boost sales this spring, producers reported.
There were a few standout new bedding lines introduced here, including three new brands launched by Paramount Sleep, a flowery value-priced line offered by Jamison, and a promotional bedding line introduced by Gold Bond, among others. But most of the mattress lines shown here made their debuts earlier this year at the bedding-rich Las Vegas Market.
Producers said retailers believe the industry can snap out of a sales slowdown in the months to come, and said that key mattress holidays, including Memorial Day and July 4th, should bring a welcome burst of business.
Reports from bedding showrooms for early market activity were mixed.
Shifman Mattress, showing a new two-sided latex bedding line, is off to a strong start and could have its best market ever in High Point, said Mike Hammer, chairman.
Therapedic, showing its hybrid Agility line, now ready for shipment, has had a "decent" market, said Gerry Borreggine, president. A big plus was a meeting with several officials of the company's new Turkish licensee, a key addition to the group, he added.
Gold Bond has gotten a good response to its broad product offering of a dozen new beds. "We have new price points we haven't had in years," said Bob Naboicheck, president. "Customers love that."
Paramount introduced three new brands. The iGravity bed is designed to deliver "weightless sleep," while the Octane line features model numbers that correspond to gasoline octane levels: 87, 89, 93, 98 and 102. And the Nature's Spa Pure Gel line features a layer of gel on a layer of latex.
"We are delivering different consumer experiences," said Jamie Diamonstein, president of Paramount. "It's not really about sleep; it's about how we feel the next day."
Jamison's English Garden Collection retails from $499 to $899, and its upgraded aesthetics, display materials, and feels offer the promise of even higher retails for dealers who want to boost their margins, said Ken Hinman, senior vice president.
"We are showing our dealers how to get new customers," he said. "This line has a power-packed story."
Enso Sleep Systems stepped out with a complete bedding program built around its Solutions Studio gallery. "We've pulled everything together," said Mark Akerman, vice president of merchandising. "Our merchandise is right. Our dealers are telling us we are hitting our stride."
Retailers like FXI's new BIOS line of mattresses and sleep accessories, said Devin Garrity, vice president of sales for bedding. He said the line offers tailored sleep solutions based on extensive consumer research.
Pure LatexBliss continues to add dealers, said Kurt Ling, president. He said the company's new "world's best adjustable" bed base, cushioned with latex, is getting a good response from retailers.
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