By Christopher Schriever
It’s hard to believe that we’re already well into the first month of 2013! As I look at the many new and exciting developments we cover in these pages, I’m filled with familiar pride and gratitude at the opportunity to work in this great industry. Its mix of smaller mattress and bedding entrepreneurs with regional distribution; major companies, whose brands are known around the world; and retailers large and small, keep the innovations and material selections varied and edgy.
In this issue, we report on a variety of innovative bedding materials and products:
*Pure LatexBLISS’s use of bio-latex, produced from the guayule shrub,
*Fabrictech International’s introduction of aromatherapy sachets in its health and wellness protection line,
*Hickory Spring’s partnership to bring the tiny, wrapped Flexcore microcoils to the United States,
*Advances in gel technologies and products from Glideaway® Sleep Products, Magniflex, Englander Sleep Products, Comfort Solutions and Carolina Mattress,
*Technological advances in adjustable bases with the Response™ Sleep System by Sharper Image® and the iPad-friendly 7S power base from Reverie®.
Guayule, pronounced why-OO-lee, is a North American desert shrub that produces a resin similar to natural rubber latex. Although it’s fast becoming a hot commodity, Pure LatexBLISS is the first mattress company to use it in a consumer product; a pioneering move that could greatly influence the availability and price of a key raw material. Commercial use of guayule can reduce the industry’s heavy reliance on the traditional natural rubber tree, Hevea Brasiliensis, whose growth is limited to tropical climates close to the equator. By contrast, guayule is a perennial shrub native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico that could be grown in other desert climates, thus making it suitable for widespread cultivation. The natural rubber this plant produces in its bark and roots is in many ways almost identical to the natural rubber harvested from Hevea trees.
More innovation is evident in Fabrictech’s introduction of scented sachets into its line of PureCare™ products, which allow consumers to indulge in the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy in the bedroom. The hint of relaxing lavender will help many fall asleep more quickly, while those who require a bit of motivation to bound from bed may find the scent of mandarin energizing as they prepare to start their day.
This issue will also help prepare you to meet the increasingly customized needs of today’s shoppers in its coverage of dual comfort bedding options. This new retail craze allows consumers to pick mattress or sleep solutions that are tailored to meet, not only their specific needs, but those of their sleep partners as well. See our products review on pages 18–20 for a quick overview of available brands.
Finally, consider combining with enhanced point of purchase displays by Colonial LLC or Wright of Thomasville, retailer financing solutions from Progressive Finance, or a comprehensive mattress warranty program such as the one offered by Caber Sure Fit to lure customers to your store and increase sales this year!
Thanks to cutting-edge innovation in materials development, consumer-friendly product design and marketing creativity, 2013 is already shaping up to be a year of supreme comfort and healthy profits!