Bedding Today

David Perry
David Perry Bedding Editor Hi! I'm David Perry, the bedding editor for Furniture/Today. This is an online version of my Bedding Today column, which appears weekly in the pages of Furniture/Today. I invite you to take advantage of this blog format to share your comments on the topics that I tackle each week.
  • Matt Firm leads strong pack of retail bedding standouts

    Mattress Firm continues to lead the pack in bedding, standing high above its competition and continuing to set a sizzling growth pace. But several other bedding retailers are also doing well, a look at Furniture Today’s list of the Top 25 Bedding Retailers reveals. Each year we update that list, and each year Mattress Firm finds new ways to post spectacular sales gains. Last year’s increase, a 27.8% jump in bedding revenues, was fueled largely by the addition of Sleepy’s to the Mattress Firm portfolio. Sleepy’s added about 1,050 stores and more than $1 ... Read More
  • Old issue provides timely look at Len Gaby’s bedding career

    While my old friend Len Gaby was in the final days of his battle with cancer, I was sorting through a big stack of old issues of Furniture Today. That stack, tucked into a corner of our bedroom for years, commanded my attention now that it was time for us to move to a condominium elsewhere in High Point. I flipped through the issues, assigning most to the discard pile, until I came to the issue of July 29, 2002. There on the cover was a picture of Len and Debbie Gaby of Sleep America, who were featured in my ... Read More
  • Labor Day holiday arrives with high hopes for good results

    Labor Day, the Super Bowl of the mattress selling season, arrives with a whimper, not a bang. That is a shame, but it’s not the end of the story — or the column. So don’t lose heart just yet. There’s still a lot of buzz in the industry about the latest report from the International Sleep Products Assn., which says that its sample of leading producers is down 3.5% in dollars and 6.2% in units in the first six months of the year. That’s a sobering view of an industry that regularly boosts its units ... Read More
  • Low brand loyalty scores reveal industry challenges

    Consumers show a surprisingly low level of loyalty to home furnishings brands, a Furniture Today survey reveals. And that seems to be surprisingly bad news for mattress producers and retailers, who are among the heaviest promoters in the home furnishings industry. The online survey gathered almost 1,400 responses, with about the same number in each of the three key demographic groups: Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers. Which of those three groups would you think would be most loyal when it comes to furniture brands? I would think it would be Baby Boomers, because they have had decades to ... Read More
  • ISPA’s latest quarterly figures marred by 3 big asterisks

    There was no big asterisk on the quarterly bedding report issued the other day by the International Sleep Products Assn. But there should have been. That’s what one bedding leader said to me at the recent Las Vegas Market, as we assessed that eye-opening ISPA report, which showed the industry in negative shipment territory. Dollars were down 6.8% in the second quarter and are down 3.5% year to date, while units were down 8% in the second quarter and are down 6.2% year to date. Those bleak results had many bedding leaders shaking their heads in ... Read More
  • Summer Las Vegas Market: Missed opportunity for retailers

    Another Las Vegas summer market is in the books, and, as usual, reports on traffic varied widely. While I got a number of positive reviews in on-the-record conversations with bedding exhibitors, their private assessments were generally not as positive. One even went so far as to say the summer market should be “euthanized.” When I asked one leading bedding exhibitor for his impression of traffic, I received this clever response: “I am amazed at the traffic.” Was he amazed at how good the traffic was, or was he amazed at how light the traffic was? He wasn’t saying, which ... Read More
  • Restonic banner ads spark Vegas market conversations

    Let’s call it Mattress Alley. The parade of banners hanging high on the parking deck on the World Market Center campus presented a high-visibility look at some key mattress themes. Among them: Cooler sleep, the benefits of a great night of sleep, the importance of value, the hassles of hassles, the power of good components and the need to find partners in a tough fight. The six banners, presented by Serta, Beautyrest, Restonic, Talalay Global and Spring Air, once again set the table for market conversations. I had been on the WMC campus for just a few minutes when ... Read More
  • Newcomers, parade of introductions add excitement to July Vegas show

    That notion that there’s not much new in bedding at the summer Las Vegas Market is taking some serious hits at this show. Serta is showing its new boxed bed lineup, while the other major brands are standing pat with the major launches they made in January. Still, there will be a parade of new mattresses and sleep accessories for retailers shopping this market. And there will also be a handful of newcomers to Las Vegas, including a high-end pocket coil producer in Canada and a big latex foam mattress and pillow producer based in Vietnam. Top 10 producer ... Read More
  • Free adjustable base at Matt Firm spotlights fast-growing category

    Mattress Firm put the adjustable bedding category in the spotlight with a dramatic Fourth of July offer: “Free adjustable base.” That deal took me by surprise, I must admit. I’ve seen plenty of free items in bedding ads over the years: Free TVs, free delivery, free pillows, free bed frames, free set-up and removal of old beds, etc. But the free adjustable base offer takes “free-dom” to a whole new level. The print ad noted that this was a “limited time special,” and the small print added that the free adjustable base was offered “with select purchases.” The Mattress ... Read More
  • What happens when online brands face reality of in-store competition?

    Online mattress brands are now making their way into brick-and-mortar stores, a development that seems logical as the mattress industry navigates its way through a rapidly changing landscape where bricks are increasingly meeting clicks, and vice versa. But how will those online brands fare when they emerge from the virtual world, where clever marketing and the power of imagination can create compelling images, and face the harsh reality of competitive models? That’s an issue that bedding veterans have been discussing for a while now, and it’s one we will be following closely in the months to come. There ... Read More
  • What happens when online brands face reality of in-store competition?

    Online mattress brands are now making their way into brick-and-mortar stores, a development that seems logical as the mattress industry navigates its way through a rapidly changing landscape where bricks are increasingly meeting clicks, and vice versa. But how will those online brands fare when they emerge from the virtual world, where clever marketing and the power of imagination can create compelling images, and face the harsh reality of competitive models? That’s an issue that bedding veterans have been discussing for a while now, and it’s one we will be following closely in the months to come. There ... Read More
  • Bedding veterans challenge one-size-bed-fits-all claims

    This week’s column will tell you everything that you need to know about everything in the mattress business. Yes, this one-size-fits-all column neatly covers every key issue in the industry. Wait, you don’t believe one column can do all of that? Well, would you believe this: One mattress can meet every customer’s sleep needs? Many online retailers do assert that the single mattress they offer is the perfect mattress for everyone, and they are growing rapidly by touting that story, among others. But many bedding veterans challenge that line of thinking, noting that comfort is subjective and ... Read More