Serta, Simmons moving to 10-year warranties in 2015
David Perry -- Furniture Today, June 10, 2014
ATLANTA — Bedding majors Serta and Simmons said they are moving to five-year and 10-year warranties next year, a move that will bring uniformity in maximum warranty lengths to the top bedding brands.
Last month the two companies announced a three-tier warranty program that included 15-year, 10-year and one- to 10-year warranties, a move that was met with some sharp criticism from major bedding retailers.
Serta and Simmons officials said they listened to their retailers and came up with a simplified two-tier system as a result. The five-year and 10-year warranties will go into effect Jan. 1, 2015.
The five-year warranties will be for non-flagship bedding lines, while the 10-year warranties will be for flagship lines, officials at the two companies said.
“The further simplification of our warranty policies is a direct result of productive, open dialogue with our retailers,” said Gary Fazio, CEO of Serta Simmons Bedding, the parent of Serta and Simmons. “Both Serta and Simmons participated in this dialogue and have independently come to this conclusion, which I fully support. The new two-tiered policies streamline the selling strategy and step-up story on the sales floor, while still defining clear standards of performance, quality and service for consumers."
Serta and Simmons officials notified retailers and licensees of their new warranty plans late last week.
Those new plans will bring the maximum warranty length of major bedding producers’ flagship lines to 10 years. Tempur Sealy International announced a switch to 10-year warranties earlier this year for its flagship lines, which include Sealy Optimum, Sealy Posturepedic, Stearns & Foster and Tempur-Pedic.
Both the new Tempur Sealy and Simmons and Serta warranties end the practice of offering pro-rated warranties that can dramatically extend the warranty length.
Simmons and Serta officials said their initial warranty proposals were based on an extensive review of both consumer and retailer feedback. The intent of the original change was to simplify both companies’ warranties by reducing the number of warranty tiers and eliminating the proration period. That resulted in a three-tier warranty system with no proration period, officials noted.
While many dealers applauded those efforts to simplify warranties and maintain a step-up story across product lines, Serta and Simmons officials said, they acknowledged that they also received feedback about the expectations that a 15-year warranty may set and the additional complexity it could create on the dealers’ floors for the consumer. As a result, both Serta and Simmons decided to make an additional change to further simplify their warranty policies, officials of those companies said.
The five-year warranty tier will include non-flagship products, while the 10-year tier will include flagship products such as Perfect Sleeper, Beautyrest Recharge, Beautyrest Recharge World Class, Beautyrest Black, ComforPedic From Beautyrest, iComfort and iSeries.
The new warranty plans were discussed in retail letters sent by Andrew Gross, senior vice president of marketing at Serta, and Tony Smith, president of Simmons. In their respective letters, Gross and Smith presented the policy change as a solution stemming directly from retail feedback on ways to better communicate the warranty step-up story to consumers.
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