From The Publisher: Spring 2018

The beginning of 2018 has seen new product releases, a growing attentiveness to science backed solutions, an emphasis on creating an in-store “experience” and an increased focus on pure, safe and transparent manufacturing. While these trends continue to thrive this year, there’s little certainty about where the latter half of 2018 might take the industry. There were  massive shifts and growing competition from the eCommerce market in 2017, but the last few months have seen a number of eCommerce brands partnering with retailers or opening brick-and-mortar locations of their own. While eCommerce competition has proven fierce, it’s also pushed brands to step up and think critically about what customers really want. This new perspective has brought exciting technologies and updated approaches into the fore.  

 This issue’s cover story features Organic Mattresses, Inc. (OMI), a manufacturer of luxurious, certified organic mattresses. In telling the brand’s story, we’ve had a chance to explore the past, present and future of organic bedding products and their current positioning in the market. As sleep products become wellness products, the brand’s identity upholds the sought-after virtues of integrity, quality, transparency and safety.  A strong partner to retailers, OMI is also a brand continually developing new solutions to provide retailers with winning strategies and valuable products.  

 OMI is not alone in supporting retailers with unique solutions. As the in-store experience becomes ever more important, this issue’s Product Focus explores how manufacturers from iSense Sleep to Kingsdown to BEDGEAR are stepping up to provide tangible tools and resources to help RSA’s engage customers and facilitate more meaningful shopping experiences. These tools and resources cover everything from training and educational tools to virtual reality kits to interactive pillow matching processes.  

 Apart from experiential resources, manufacturers are also working hard to help retailers compete with eCommerce at the $1,000.00 price point through a variety of strategies. Our Q&A features answers from manufacturing all-stars like the President of Gold Bond, EVP of Marketing at Serta and King Koil’s CEO, each with their own approach to supporting their retail partners.  

 This spring’s issue captures how the nature of marketing, selling, buying and consumption is shifting and how manufacturers are working to support retailers through these exciting and sometimes challenging shifts. From post-sale service support, SXSW as a marketing platform, new cooling technologies to virtual reality kits and sleep diagnostic systems, the industry is evolving and it is, as always, fascinating to follow.

- Christopher Schriever