From the Publisher: Summer 2016

Though the air is warm and the sun is shining, the start of summer has been anything but lazy here at Sleep Retailer. We’ve been busy keeping up with all the latest bedding news and updates—and getting ready to launch an exciting new introduction of our own! As the retail marketplace continues to evolve, we’ve seen the benefits of “big picture” thinking. This issue takes a closer look at many different aspects of the industry: from the science behind it to the trends that are influencing it to the people that are driving it.

At the center of this approach is our cover story on Kingsdown’s Sleep To Live Institute. This state-of-the-art research facility aims to support the greater good of the industry through unparalleled testing, training and diagnostics. Rather than simply marketing a product to fill a need, the Sleep To Live Institute is invested in solving core sleep problems—equipping retailers with the confidence, quality and transparency that today’s consumers are looking for. As the interest in sleep health continues to grow, the Sleep To Live Institute stands at the forefront—establishing a level of commitment that will serve as the standard moving forward.

As we look towards the summer Las Vegas Market, this focus on health and wellness is becoming more and more prevalent. From Therapedic’s new copper-infused mattress line-up to Ergo Sleep Systems’ innovative Ergo Majestic collection to Eclipse’s full portfolio of advanced, clinically-proven sleep systems, the delivery of specific health benefits is taking center stage for many manufacturers.

In fact, this focus on quality components and innovative technologies abounds throughout the entire mattress category. From Kingsdown’s luxury Crown Imperial line-up to Blu Sleep’s European-engineered Nubia specialty foam collection, retailers can feel confident in stocking well-crafted, high margin products that resonate with consumers.

But of course the mattress is only one part of the sleep equation. Retailers looking to further expand their offerings will be wowed by a number of exciting new accessories—from Protect-A-Bed’s first-of-its-kind hybrid pillow to Levitation Laboratories hovercraft-inspired weightless mattress system. To underscore the importance of the full sleep system, we spotlighted a variety of mattress support options for this issue’s Product Focus—highlighting advanced technologies and creative solutions. From feature-filled bed frames to adjustable power bases at every price point, mattress foundations have become an increasingly valuable way to increase sales tickets.

For the Q&A, we turned to veteran bedding executives for insight on the biggest trend facing the industry today: the bed-in-a-box. In their own words, the presidents and CEOs from Naturepedic, Gold Bond and the Bedding Industries of America outline the benefits, issues and opportunities that this new segment can afford retailers. For this issue’s Special Feature, we spotlighted the major contributions women have made to the bedding industry—shedding light not only on the gender imbalance within the workforce, but the ways in which we can all help solve it.

When it comes to progress, we believe it’s not enough just to say there’s a problem— we must point to practical solutions. Which is why we’re proud to announce the launch of Sleep Source, our new consumer-facing website! With key information about bedding features and terminology alongside up-to-date information on the latest sleep products, tips and research, we hope to help empower consumers to make more informed mattress purchases. We’re excited to embark on this new endeavor and we look forward to working with you all to continue to support industry growth and progress. Check out the new site at thesleepsource.com!