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Jim Green's blog

For New Buyers #9

May 2, 2012

Thirty years ago, I learned a little lesson from the most savvy merchant of mattresses I have ever known. The little nugget is as valid today as it was then. The lesson...bedding is like a box of chocolates. First, a consumer often doesn't know what he/she's going to get because it's often a mystery as to what's inside. Second, and more importantly, when you want one...well... you want one.

Bedding is an Impulse Item

One usually thinks of ‘impulse items' as something like candy bars in the check-out line at the grocery store; not mattresses. But, on looking more closely you may realize that it is indeed often purchased on impulse. People generally don't wake up in the morning to proclaim the need to go out and buy a new living room or dining room set. They do however, frequently, awake with the aches and exhaustion of a poor night sleep, determine that they can't take it anymore, and decide to buy a new mattress before the week is over. They have the impulse and act upon it.

Savvy bedding merchants understand this. For this reason, their efforts to sell mattresses often result in two things. One, consistent sales promotion is paramount. The best merchants realize that when the consumer gets the impulse to buy a new mattress, he/she will commonly act upon it quickly. It is the smart and successful merchant that puts the message out there on a consistent basis to capture the customer's attention whenever it arises; strike when the fire is hot, so to speak. Two, in many full line furniture showrooms the bedding department is very visible; sometimes, very close to the office. This is no accident. Customers will sometimes look around, see the bedding department and on impulse decide to take a look, since they are in the store anyway. Just, like they might pick up a Hershey Bar in the check-out line.

If your company employs new buyers or buyers that you would like to see become more effective, I can help. Email me at or call me at 727 347-1201.

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