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Bedding sales slip in November

Unit sales down 2.5% as dollar value dips 1.3%

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The bedding industry's rocky road continued in November, when units dipped 2.5% and the dollar value of bedding shipments declined 1.3%.

The November results, which reflect the performance of 14 U.S. mattress producers accounting for a majority of U.S. bedding shipments, marked a reversal of the positive shipment trends seen in October, when units were up 5.4% and dollars jumped 4.3%.

For the first 11 months of 2013, the bedding industry posted modest gains. Units were up 1.3% through November, while the dollar value of bedding shipments was up 1.7%.

The figures are from the monthly Bedding Barometer reports issued by the International Sleep Products Assn. The participating companies in those reports accounted for 70% of total industry units and about 79% of the wholesale revenue of the full market in 2012, ISPA said.

The industry has been on a rollercoaster ride in 2013. Units and dollars dipped in September, rose in October, and have now dipped again. The ISPA sample also reported declines in February and March of 2013.

Bedding observers say the industry is following in the tracks of a shaky economy in which consumer spending on mattresses is challenged.

In November, the average unit price rose 1.2%, to $220.79. For the first 11 months of the year, the average unit price is up just 0.4%, to $216.73, ISPA said.

ISPA cautions that the monthly Bedding Barometer reports may not necessarily reflect the performance of the entire industry, due to market share or distribution changes, among other factors.

But the monthly reports are closely watched by industry observers and are seen as providing an important indicator of overall industry performance.

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