• David Perry

Serta, Simmons moving to shorter warranties in 2015

Changes aimed at making policies simpler for consumers

ATLANTA — Bedding majors Serta and Simmons are moving to shorter mattress warranties next year, Furniture/Today has learned.

Gary Fazio, CEO of Serta Simmons Bedding, the parent company of those brands, said the companies will implement three tiers of warranties starting Jan. 1, 2015. Flagship products like Serta Perfect Sleeper and Simmons Beautyrest Recharge will move to 10-year warranties, while luxury products like Beautyrest Recharge World Class, Beautyrest Black, ComforPedic and Serta's iComfort and iSeries lines will move to 15-year warranties. Current warranties on those lines are as high as 25 years.

Promotional lines will continue with current warranties ranging from one to 10 years in length, based on price point and construction.

Both Serta and Simmons will eliminate all pro-rated warranties to simplify the warranty message to consumers, the companies announced.

The Serta and Simmons moves are not as aggressive as the warranty changes announced earlier this year by Tempur Sealy International, which standardized its warranties at 10 years and eliminated the non-pro-rated portions of its warranties.

Fazio told Furniture/Today that the leadership teams at Serta and Simmons independently reviewed the issue of mattress warranties through a careful analysis of new consumer research, historical research and feedback from retailers.

"Both companies found that their consumer research confirms warranty length is a signal of product quality, particularly at higher price points, and that today's consumer prefers simpler warranty policies," he said. "The research also showed a minimal impact of warranty length on mattress replacement cycles. Most importantly, our retailers have told both companies that they want more sensible warranty lengths."

Fazio said the warranty changes "will send the right message and set the right expectations with consumers and retailers alike about the performance, quality and service standards for all product lines across our two brands."

He said that while implementation of the new warranties begins Jan. 1, 2015, "substantial completion" of the changes is targeted for the end of the first quarter next year.

The warranty research conducted by Simmons and Serta "did not yield any evidence that (warranty length) lengthened or shortened purchase cycles," the companies said. "We believe that to truly shorten purchase cycles, we as manufacturers must give consumers a reason to trade in their old mattress. This requires innovative products with the potential to change consumers' lives through better sleep - backed by marketing campaigns that help tell that story. This has been the focus of both Serta and Simmons, which can be seen through our recent product launches and significant marketing efforts."

Fazio announced the warranty changes in letters to key Serta and Simmons retailers and licensees earlier this week.

The announcements by Serta and Simmons are the first detailed responses by those companies since Tempur Sealy International announced its move to 10-year warranties earlier this year. A number of other bedding producers have announced their support for 10-year warranties.

David PerryDavid Perry | Executive Editor, Furniture Today

Hi, online readers. I'm David Perry, executive editor of Furniture/Today, and the writer on the mattress beat. Get my musings on mattresses on our web site and on my Twitter feed. And let me know what you would like me to write about in the wonderful world of mattresses.

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