Members of the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) are extremely pleased with record activity in the SSA’s multi-exhibitor showroom during the recent Las Vegas Market. Featuring 35 SSA members, the 20,000-square-foot showroom posted a 25 percent increase in attendance in buyer organizations.
SSA President Dale T. Read said 675 unique retail buyer groups and designers visited the organization’s showroom during the event, compared with 500 and 540 at the past summer and winter markets, respectively. He said buyers are attracted by manufacturers showing a range of innovative bedding and related products, including “cool” sleep items, adjustable beds, certified organic mattresses, and more.
“It’s an amazing record, and several new exhibitors will be joining us for the next Las Vegas Market,” Read said. “We've worked hard to promote the space among a growing list of interested and prospective buyers. Product- and profit-differentiation are in demand by the bedding retailer and our exhibitors deliver that. The SSA member exhibitors can also meet demand for products that address a host of consumer end-benefits, many associated with better sleep, and that's invaluable to dealers and their RSAs."
California based Supracor, which has a worldwide patent for a fusion-bonded honeycomb foam technology, will be among the new exhibitors in the SSA showroom in July after showing in a different area of the World Market Center earlier this month, said Steve Landi, director of business development.
“The level of foot traffic in the SSA showroom was significant and the staff is so welcoming and helpful,” Landi said. “You could feel the energy in the space. The SSA showroom will be best for us to exhibit in the future.”
Dreampur, a Spain based distributor of viscoelastic and memory foam pillows with offices in Florida, also committed to membership in the SSA and plans to exhibit in the association's space at the next winter Vegas market. The company's goal is to promote awareness of their brand to prospective North American customers. "It was our first market and so we did not realize the showroom existed for our industry," said Lissette Villamor, national accounts manager, based in Miami.” We were impressed with the quality of the meetings we witnessed [among SSA exhibitors].We wanted to join immediately."
Among current SSA exhibitors, reactions to the February event have been positive:
Mike Echevarria, national director of sales and marketing, Forever Foundations, Orange, CA. (bed foundations and frames): "We wrote new business with good-sized customers and are busy following up on leads. There's a big awareness about the SSA for a lot of retailers now, and they know to look there for the specialty items like ours."
Angela Owens, owner, Suite Sleep, Boulder, CO. (organic mattresses and bedding for the whole family): “I think it is a great opportunity for small to mid-sized businesses to show in the SSA showroom, because retailers are looking for unique products to differentiate themselves in the market and the SSA showroom offers buyers a one-stop shopping experience for all things Specialty Sleep.”
Mark Miller, president, InnoMax, Denver, CO. (adjustable beds and bedding products): “When you think of air flotation, fluid suspension, gel elements, his and her adjustability, and a host of wellness benefits for an aging population, you realize that until all sleep is suspended animation, we’re not done yet. There will always be opportunities for innovation and new products. ”Miller additionally serves on the SSA Board of Directors.
Barry Cik, founder, Naturepedic, Chagrin Falls, OH. (organic youth bedding and mattresses) “At Vegas Market, you have to have contacts for people to visit your booth. The SSA has done the job for you. It’s as good a matchmaker with retailers as any other organization we’ve tried, and membership is a bargain.”
Tony Joseph, national sales manager, LMP Worldwide, Wixom, MI (maker of I Love My Pillow products): “There’s a lot of traffic and potential repeat business. For specialty bedding, that’s just the space to be at. You have to be there to get orders.”
About SSA: Founded in 1995, the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) is a national, not-for-profit organization created to facilitate the growth and positive awareness of the specialty sleep category. Its members develop or sell specialty sleep products including natural/bio-based and organic bedding, latex, memory foam, air, gel, water, adjustable, new spring technologies and related products. SSA membership includes more than 100 manufacturers and retailers ranging from small, family-owned businesses to large corporations. SSA has showrooms in Las Vegas and High Point.