Protect-A-Bed started with a mission to make sleep healthy and ended up creating an entirely new product category. Now, more than 18 years later, the company that developed comfortable mattress protection has expanded its portfolio to offer a wide array of unique sleep accessories—and is recognized as a category leader. While many brands across the bedding industry have been hit by slowed sales due to new online competition, alternative brands and compressed retail tickets, Protect-A-Bed has positioned itself to perform well into the future.
“What makes our business different is that we’re 100% focused on the customer,” explained John Rachid, president of Protect-A-Bed. “While other brands are consolidating, we’re reinvesting, training and reinforcing what we can provide through programs like Grow the Retail Basket, our Partnership Promise, exciting new displays and the REMFit brand stores.”
Over the years, Protect-A-Bed has maintained its commitment to maximizing its retail partners’ sales by customizing each top-of-bed program to align with their unique business goals.
With that promise in mind, Protect-A-Bed’s Grow the Retail Basket program delivers multi-level support across six key areas: Marketing, Product, Display, Training, Service and Trust. As a whole, this program allows retailers to maintain their own resources devoted to core areas of their business (such as mattress sales)—while Protect-A-Bed works to improve their incremental, top-of-bed sales. On average, the company is able to help retailers increase their retail tickets by $200 through the addition of pillows, encasements, protectors and other sleep technology products.
All of Protect-A-Bed’s products are supported by traditional and digital marketing campaigns that are designed to drive traffic to retail stores. The company also helps promote education and conversion through award-winning in-store displays, signage and videos that are tailored to the retailer’s target audience.
Protect-A-Bed offers this same level of personalization through its training team, the largest in the top-of-bed category. More than just providing key product information, the training department customizes their approach to align with the retailer’s goals, developing and delivering materials that support the growth of sales for the entire bedding system. From strategic planning sessions and product launches to one-on-one store support and customized e-learning programs, the training team is dedicated to delivering results. Renowned for its customer service, Protect-A-Bed also maintains a 200,000 square foot warehouse with rapid drop-ship capabilities to provide greater efficiency to its retail partners.
Of course, these benefits are only as successful as the products they support. Protect-A-Bed is recognized as a worldwide leader in mattress protection innovation—with accolades and certifications from the Food and Drug Administration, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Good Housekeeping and a number of international design awards. Longtime pioneers of the accessories category, Protect-A-Bed continues to push the envelope of innovation. While initially focused on protection products, the company has steadily expanded its product offerings to include a full assortment of top-of-bed necessities. With patented technologies and third-party testing endorsements, the Protect-A-Bed portfolio delivers valuable benefits and compelling sales stories.
In 2014, the company introduced REM-Fit: a new sleep and healthy lifestyle brand. With a greater focus on the benefits of sleep, REM-Fit delivers advanced sleep technology across all of its pillow, mattress and bedding offerings. The hallmark of the REM-Fit brand is ZEEQ, a first-of-its-kind pillow that integrates state-of-the-art technology to go above and beyond traditional expectations. In addition to offering wireless speakers, ZEEQ is able to track sleep metrics like motion and snoring volume—and deliver key features like a sleep timer, smart alarm and snore-alert vibration. And all of these benefits are packaged inside a supremely comfortable pillow.
The company introduced the high-tech pillow in 2016 on Kickstarter—and quickly raised $400K. ZEEQ was a featured product at the following Consumer Electronics Show, where it won a CES Award. Instead of resting on these laurels, the company has continued to optimize and improve the ZEEQ to better meet consumer expectations. Today, ZEEQ integrates with smart home devices through IFTTT and Alexa, which allows users to automate many of their pre- and post-sleep activities—delivering an exciting sleep solution to the increasingly connected consumer base.
“One of the areas that we see tremendous opportunity is in technology and sleep,” said Warrick Bell, VP of Product Development and Marketing. “As technology continues to become more a part of everyday life, it is essential for bedding brands to take part in this development and to offer products that integrate into an ever-evolving lifestyle. Bringing technology into retail gives shoppers a reason to be excited and surprised during their visit.”
Last summer, Protect-A-Build unveiled a new kind of interactive point-of-sale tool called SleepTailor. This in-store display system not only simplifies the pillow selection process, it provides retailers with an engaging new device that drives traffic into the store. Customers simply walk up to a kiosk and answer a few short questions about their sleep habits and preferences. Using a proprietary algorithm and biomechanics model, SleepTailor is able to analyze this information along with image data and recommend the pillows that will provide the user with the proper support and alignment. With this advanced technology, SleepTailor helps boost consumers’ confidence in the selection process—and ultimately increases their post-purchase satisfaction.
“What is essential to a healthy brand is continued evolution,” explained James Bell, CEO of Protect-A-Bed. “We began as a mattress protection brand, then evolved to offer best-in-class service, incredible technology, a suite of service essentials and over 40 pillows. Our next step is to help our customers live better than ever. We have done that through the creation of the REM-Fit brand store.”
With the REM-Fit brand store, the company helps its retail partners transform a small portion of their showroom into a complete, end-to-end sleep system sales driver. This in-store build-out is eye-catching and informative, creating a valuable incentive for consumers to come in to brick-and-mortar retail spaces. Covering everything from store design and build-out to marketing, sales support and no-management web sales, this popular program has generated valuable incremental growth for retailers across the country.
“With online competition, new alternative brands and other factors, many sleep retailers are feeling embattled,” noted Kevin Houston, Brand Manager of REM-Fit. “The REM-Fit brand store levels the playing field, by providing the tools and product that retailers need to compete.”
With a keen eye for product innovation and consumer trends, Protect-A-Bed has not only weathered the challenges of today’s marketplace—but remains poised for continued growth. At the heart of this success is the company’s enduring dedication to putting their retail customers first. The company consistently works to ensure that its operational bandwidth is able to meet the growing demand. In recent months, Protect-A-Bed has expanded its national and regional sales team to better accommodate the needs of its partners.
“At the end of the day, everything we do is to better serve our customers, and that’s the importance of maintaining our Partnership Promise,” said Rachid. “No matter how we evolve and grow, putting our customers at the center of everything we do, will keep us moving in the right direction.”