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  • David Perry

Innerspring Achieves Rare Win In 2013

Alexandria, Va. - If current trends hold true to form, the innerspring category will outperform the specialty sleep segment in 2013. That would be a rare victory for innerspring bedding.
     Since the International Sleep Products Assn. began providing comparative data on the performance of the innerspring and specialty bedding segments in 2004, the specialty sleep category has usually come out on top.
     The much-smaller specialty sleep segment has posted several double-digit unit and dollar gains over the years, while the innerspring segment has managed that feat just once - way back in 2005, when innerspring mattress dollars jumped ahead by 13.3%. But specialty mattress dollars that year leaped ahead by 29.2%, one of the strongest performances the specialty segment has ever recorded.
     A look back at the ISPA unit and dollar figures for the innerspring mattress and non-innerspring mattress (or specialty sleep) segments shows widely diverging performance lines.
     The great recession of 2008 and 2009 harmed both segments, but innerspring's declines were usually less pronounced. That's not a big surprise, given that specialty sleep mattresses typically sell at much higher prices than innerspring mattresses.
     Innerspring mattress units dipped 9.1% in 2008, when specialty mattress units slumped 17.7%. Innerspring mattress dollars that year were down 6.3%, compared with a 17.8% decline for specialty mattress dollars.
     In 2009, innerspring mattress dollars were off 8.2%, but that was a smaller decline than the 11.7% decrease recorded for specialty mattress dollars. That year, innerspring mattress units were off 7.5%, a slightly worse performance than the 6.8% decline for specialty mattress units. In 2012, the last full year for which ISPA has figures, innerspring mattress units grew by just 1.9%, compared with 18.5% growth for specialty mattress units. And innerspring mattress dollars grew that year by 7.8%, compared with 17.5% growth for specialty mattress dollars.
     But 2013 was shaping up as a different story, with hybrid sleep sets, which combine innersprings and specialty foams and are classified as innerspring bedding by ISPA, leading a resurgence of the innerspring segment, bedding observers say.
     ISPA's latest specialty sleep breakdown was provided with the September Bedding Barometer report, which showed innerspring mattress units up 2.2% for the first nine months of the year, a period in which specialty mattress units were down 6.0%.
     And innerspring mattress dollars were up 7.7% in the first nine months of 2013, compared to a 4.2% decline in specialty mattress dollars.
     The average unit price of innerspring mattresses was $264.73 for the first nine months of the year, far below the average unit price of specialty mattresses in that same time period of $755.39. The innerspring mattress average unit price is up 5.4% so far this year, while it is up just 1.9% for specialty mattresses.
     Final figures on 2013 performance will not be available until later this year.

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