It All Began with Waterbeds and Sheets
David Perry -- Furniture Today, August 3, 2011
ST. LOUIS - Denny Boyd started his mattress journey with a waterbed store.
That led him to begin making his own waterbed sheets, domestically first and then overseas. Then he began making waterbeds. And that led to his entry into the bedroom furniture category. And that led to more stores.
As that summary illustrates, Boyd has a strong entrepreneurial streak, one that makes him a player on both the retail and wholesale sides of the bedding business. He runs The Boyd Group, which consists of four business entities:
Boyd Specialty Sleep is the flagship business, one that is well known in its category. Products are manufactured in St. Louis and in Los Angeles, where Boyd has a 320,000- square-foot factory. There waterbeds, airbeds, memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses are produced, as is the Blue Magic line of waterbed accessories, a name that goes back to the glory days of waterbeds. He acquired the Blue Magic line in 2003.
Boyd also has mattress manufacturing in China, where adjustable bases, airbed pumps, latex beds and memory foam beds are produced. He was a pioneer in looking to China for manufacturing, making his first trip there in the early 1980s, long before others saw the potential for Far East production. And he still travels to China and other countries in the Far East today.
Boyd's customer base is a who's who of major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target, Sam's Club and Sears, to name just a few of the company's 850 dealers.
The Bedroom Store, which launched Denny Boyd into the bedding arena in 1977. He started as Royal Waterbeds, rode the waterbed wave to a high-water mark of 33 stores, and then retrenched to become a more mainstream retailer in 1998 under the current name. Today he operates six stores in the St. Louis market, selling bedroom furniture and a full line of mattresses. His major vendors include his own Boyd lines; Accent Furniture, his bedroom line; Serta, Tempur- Pedic, Corsicana, Ashley and Broyhill.
Boyd says The Bedroom Store, which helps him keep his finger on the pulse of retail, will remain focused on the St. Louis market.
Accent Furniture. This business started in 1992 as a domestic wood furniture manufacturer, but now operates out of the Far East, making bedroom groups in Malaysia and Vietnam. Major customers include Costco, Sam's Club and traditional furniture stores.
Boyd Properties, the company's real estate arm. Boyd created the business to handle property purchases for Boyd, Accent Furniture and The Bedroom Store. The real estate portfolio consists of the Los Angeles factory and five buildings in the St. Louis market (his headquarters/ factory facility and four of his retail stores), together comprising 500,000 square feet. Two of his stores in St. Louis are leased.
Boyd admits that in this real estate-friendly climate he's searching for additional properties in the St. Louis area. "We are looking," he said. "We need to fill out this market."