This article originally appeared in Sleep Retailer eNews on March 22, 2018
Make sleep cool again? While manufacturers continue to enhance their technologies to make sleep temperatures cooler, sleep is also becoming cool - as in trendy and sought-after. A number of consumer behaviors and shifting attitudes are transforming both the industry and our collective perception of how sleep impacts and improves our lives. Here’s a quick overview of what’s turning the tides on sleep, making the tools to enhance sleep hot commodities in the market.
With the growing popularity of organic “superfoods,” natural make-up products, yoga and meditation and an overall focus on self-care in 2017, sleep has naturally become a part of the conversation around being holistically well and happy. As such, products that help people achieve better sleep and, therefore, fuller living have gained traction. In addition, consumers have become more attuned to the behind-the-scenes of how products are made and how they impact the environment. It’s not just yogis concentrating on sleep though, for years studies have shown that a lack of sleep can contribute to serious health issues. According to the New York Times, the CDC even considers the condition of sleeplessness to be a mental health concern. So, while the wellness craze may seem like a passing trend, serious research is being conducted to more deeply understand how sleep works and how we can improve it.
Marketers have latched onto the idea of selling better sleep as a wellness tool rather than simply a new mattress, but these marketing tactics aren’t really gimmicks. Customers are demanding greater transparency and looking for brands in which to put their trust. They want to know how and with what materials products are made and brands like OMI, PureCare, Kingsdown and others are delivering. In response to the desire to remedy the sleeplessness epidemic, brands are bringing in sleep scientists and using safer materials to develop science-based solutions that improve sleep quality and quantity. The dedication to better health and wellness can come with a cost though and as a result, the ability to afford the tools and invest the time to achieve better sleep is evolving into a status symbol. Gwyneth Paltrow’s philosophy of “clean sleep” from GOOP, her modern lifestyle brand, has also contributed to this association between sleep, health and wealth. But really, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to improve your sleep hygiene – though it may feel pretty luxurious anyway.
Cozy Nights In
Another contributing factor to the growing consumer interest in sleep and bedding products comes in part, from millennials. More young people are spending more time at home, bingeing on Netflix, hosting game nights - and in order to create a cozy environment, they are increasingly investing in quality pillows, blankets and better mattresses to create the perfect nest-like sleep environment. While eCommerce brands are seeing an up-tick in orders, large retailers are also investing more time and attention to their bedding selection. Of course, there’s the new Allswell line from Walmart, but Macy’s has also brought Made in Green by Oeko-Tex traceable labels to select private brand textile products in its home collection, helping consumers know exactly what they are outfitting their bedrooms with.
Awareness of these trends in both sales conversations and in stocking decisions will help retailers remain competitive and meet the needs of their consumers. Retailers would do well to mirror manufacturers in being transparent, honest, resourceful and helpful – continually bringing in products that can genuinely improve the lives of their shoppers.
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