Following a bustling winter Las Vegas Market, the 2016 Spring High Point Market offered a more selective array of mattress and bedding introductions. With products aimed towards both independent specialty stores and nation-wide retailers, High Point spotlighted niche market segments, strategic sales tools and forward-thinking technologies. What this market lacked in overall flash, it made up for in careful consideration—providing attendees with thoughtful features and unique positioning designed to help them better connect with customers.
While the spring market has become a quieter affair for the mattress segment, the bedding and furniture industry as a whole continues to make up an influential part of the North Carolina economy. We were happy to see that the High Point Market Authority is using that influence to question the controversial HB2 bill—and hope that the local government will reconsider their decision.
Here are the top trends we saw at market:
Made popular by visionary start-ups, the bed-in-a-box movement has proven itself to be here to stay. As the demand for these easy-ship beds continues to grow, retailers are increasingly augmenting their traditional businesses with this attractive e-commerce option, securing their place within the boxed bed segment. And manufacturers are rising to the challenge to deliver standout, innovative products. Leveraging brand recognition, customer loyalty and decades of quality craftsmanship, these companies aren’t merely joining the boxed bed revolution - they are redefining it.
Best known for its mid-century modern furniture with a dash of contemporary flair, Modway is stepping into the bed-in-a-box ring. Focusing on quality at a value price, the company’s memory foam mattresses feature Certi-PUR-US certified foams and a gel-infused surface layer, wholesaling for as little as $76. Arriving vacuum-packed and rolled inside a compact box, Modway’s mattresses are available in 10-, eight- and six-inch thicknesses and are nicely complemented by the company’s stylish selection of headboards and bedframes. / Visit ModwayFurniture.com
Not one to just follow the masses, Therapedic continues to push the limits of what bed-in-a-box means. Initially debuted as a concept mattress at the 2015 Summer Las Vegas Market, Therapedic’s EcoGel Flex collection has been perfected for full release. While similarly made as other leading brands’ bed-in-a-box products, EcoGel Flex goes above and beyond by coming with an adjustable base, all being delivered direct to the customer via white glove delivery. In addition to the EcoGel Flex, Therapedic also recently unveiled its conceptual Agility by Therapedic boxed bed line at the Spring High Point Market. Similar to other products in this category, the Agility features various layers of foam. And again, Therapedic puts its own spin on the idea – instead of relying solely on foam for comfort and support, the Agility prototype incorporates a layer of micro-pocketed springs that offer enhanced support and a more responsive sleeping surface. / Visit Therapedic.com
Raising the bar for roll-packed mattresses, Gold Bond launched its new Westminster and Buckingham Collections at the recent High Point Market. These ultra-premium boxed beds utilize Legett & Platt’s Quantam Edge and Bolsa Spring Unit. The Quantam Edge steel perimeter creates a smoother, more consistent edge-to-edge sleeping surface, while the pre-compressed Bolsa coils form the interior of the bed, absorbing partner motion and responding to body movement. Gold Bond developed these new roll-packed collections with an eye towards capturing more of the Millennial market, which has a demonstrated and growing interest in e-commerce purchases./
A notable, long-time player in the bed-in-a-box realm, Classic Brands offers a mattress assortment that runs the gamut from innerspring hybrids to cool gel memory foam to natural Talalay latex. All of the company’s foams are CertiPUR-US Certified and its mattresses are roll-packed for easy, affordable shipping. Expanding its product offerings, Classic Brands has just introduced a feature-packed, power adjustable base that is – in keeping with the company’s other products – UPS-able. Boasting dual-power massage, zero-gravity and head-up capabilities, the adjustable base is priced to retail at $699. / Visit ClassicMattress.com
With exceptional good looks and tremendous body-contouring comfort, the sterling Black Collection by Dorel Home Products’ Signature Sleep brand has elevated the standard of easy-ship mattresses. The five-mattress, tiered line-up exemplifies the brand’s commitment to comfort, convenience and value, with all models utilizing unique configurations to offer superior weight distribution, adaptive support and pressure relief. Shipped compressed, rolled and vacuum-sealed, each bed is available with an optional steel foundation that works in concert with the mattress to absorb shock and isolate motion. / Visit DHPfurniture.com
As the landscape of the mattress and bedding market continues to shift and expand, consumers have more choices than ever before. With the number of mattress technologies, bedding brands and retail platforms hitting an all-time high, successful manufacturers are introducing new ways to help consumers navigate the ever-growing sea of choice. From innovative in-store tools to comprehensive RSA training programs, these forward-thinking brands are helping retailers better connect their customers to the products they are searching for. For independent furniture and bedding retail owners, these tools allow them to offer their customers more personalized customer service and support—a key benefit that is unmatched by big box stores and online-only brands.
Kingsdown’s innovative bedMATCH system was the focal point of the company’s new High Point Market showroom. With an expanded display in the front end of the space, Kingsdown highlighted the key retail benefits of utilizing the advanced diagnostic tool. Using 18 statistical measurements and thousands of advanced calculations, the system points customers to the best mattress options for their specific body types. In doing so, bedMATCH not only helps customers find the right mattress—but gives them the confidence in knowing that their decision is based on more than a decades worth of comprehensive sleep data from Kingsdown’s Sleep To Live Institute. For retailers, bedMATCH has been proven to be uniquely beneficial in raising their average unit selling prices. / Visit Kingsdown.com
Simmons has declared this April the bedding industry’s inaugural “National Training Month.” With the busy summer selling months just on the horizon, this month-long campaign is designed to prepare retail sales associates for this crucial sales season. Throughout the month, the company will be rolling out unique online and in-store resources that equip RSAs with effective sales tools and best practices. This rigorous program is not exclusively concentrated on selling Beautyrest products, but aims to help retailers more effectively support their customers through the buying process. / Visit Beautyrest.com
Also unveiling a new High Point showroom, Vispring made a point to highlight an innovative new store concept that places a larger emphasis on personalization within the luxury segment. The new space featured a unique workshop area that included a wide range of sales tools that allows for the customization of individual beds. With this increased focus on customizable products, Vispring is helping retailers connect their customers to the specific features, benefits and materials they are looking for. / Visit Vispring.com
Naturepedic understands that it can be difficult for consumers to find the perfect mattress for both themselves and their partner. When a couple has two different comfort preferences and needs, rest testing can become a complicated process—and compromise can often lead to increased returns. Naturepedic provides retailers with a simple solution to this problem by offering customizable organic beds. With swappable comfort layers, consumers are able to create a personalized dual comfort mattress—allowing both partners to enjoy the feel and support they need./ Visit Naturepedic.com
Though the value-oriented segment is a growing part of the mattress market, it is not necessarily the most beneficial for retailers—or consumers. As the “race to the bottom” has shifted the retail environment, many sleep shops are actually finding greater success by focusing on a more affluent customer base. Armed with higher discretionary funds, these consumers are looking to invest in well-made, high-quality products that are built to last. No longer simply “traditional” in look and feel, luxury mattresses are more diverse than ever before, as manufacturers have begun to incorporate a wealth of unique specialty materials and advanced benefits into tried-and-true high-end mattress designs. These inventive premium options create a new opportunity for retailers to connect with a wider-range of consumers—and secure higher margins.
First unveiled at the fall High Point Market, Eastman House’s English Hand-Tufted Collection brings together old-world hand-craftsmanship with forward-thinking technology to create a level of luxury unmatched in today’s marketplace. In addition to high-quality wool and silk materials and advanced patented features, this sumptuous collection is made with handcrafted lace tack tufting—giving each mattress an opulent look as well as superior support and durability. The base and comfort foams not only provide a variety of different feels but are made from specialty foams, which are perceived by consumers as being more premium than traditional materials—thereby elevating the average unit selling price. As Eastman House celebrates its 150th Anniversary this year, the English Hand-Tufted line-up is built upon more than a century’s worth of expertise—giving retailers and consumers true quality assurance. / Visit EastmanHouseMattress.com
As a stalwart manufacturer of luxury mattresses for more than a hundred years, Shifman Mattresses is known for its traditional approach to high-end bedding. But the company is no stranger to innovation. At the spring market, Shifman introduced the new Pure Comfort Collection: an updated line-up made from eco-friendly Talalay latex cores and comfort layers. Natural latex is lauded for its contouring properties and superior durability—and Shifman has enhanced these benefits by incorporating it within its classic two-sided mattress construction. By combining a traditional design with advanced materials (and a compelling eco-friendly selling story), Shifman has developed a truly unique offering within the ultra-premium segment. The company has taken this exclusive value proposition a step further by unveiling the Pure Comfort Collection alongside the new PowerMotion adjustable base program—creating additional sales and profitability opportunities. / Visit ShifmanMattresses.com
Historically, “organic” has not necessarily been synonymous with “luxury” in the bedding industry. But OMI is challenging that idea with its OrganicPedic 81. Touted as the apex of personal luxury, this collection provides a premier level of comfort by combining a certified organic rubber latex core with certified organic wool and cotton. Each sleep zone is made from a high-density organic latex that is covered with the finest organic cotton knit—offering superior pressure-point relief and unparalleled softness—while unique embroidery detailing helps the consumer identify and understand the comfort options each provides. Retailing for $5,495 in queen, this model is aimed at the luxury consumer who is not simply looking for a high-end mattress—but one that is safer and more eco-conscious. Boasting a number of strict organic certifications, OMI is further elevating both the natural and ultra-premium mattress segments. / Visit OMImattress.com
Temperature regulation has been in the spotlight for several years running and this important feature is not likely to disappear any time soon. As one of the most important factors for getting a good night sleep, cooling is clear benefit that is easily communicated to customers. With thermo-regulating and moisture-wicking properties still high up on consumers’ wish lists, there is a wide range of options for retailers looking to expand their product offerings—from mattresses to accessories to top of bed. For those sleep shops already sold on temperature regulation, there are a number of new products and technologies available to keep things fresh.
Well known for manufacturing products with an emphasis on being anti-allergenic and anti-microbial, Protect-A-Bed has recently expanded its assortment with several new programs, one of which has the additional focus of temperature regulation. The comprehensive Therm-A-Sleep collection is comprised of the Therm-A-Sleep Cloud, Cool, Ice and Snow mattress protectors, Crisp temperature-regulating sheets and a selection of Snow pillows. The Snow mattress protector and pillow feature Protect-A-Bed’s new Nordic Chill fabric, a unique material that offers the ultimate cooling sleeping experience. All of the Therm-A-Sleep items were designed for those with sensitive skin that are seeking the perfect sleeping temperature year round. / Visit ProtectABed.com
PureCare has already received acclaim for its well-known FRíO rapid chill cooling fibers, used in the company’s popular FRíO pillow and mattress protectors as well as its Glacies sheets. With a continuing goal of providing cooler sleep, the company developed its SUB-0º collection of hybrid pillows, also using FRíO technology. Initially introduced in two different fills – PureCare’s exclusive designer down alternative, Identically Down (i.d.), with or without a mix of white down – earlier this year, PureCare introduced a third style into the mix: the SUB-0º SoftCell Chill Reversible Hybrid Pillow. Featuring a FRíO rapid chill cooling fiber cover, the SoftCell pillow offers reversible comfort, with one side featuring 12 identical pockets filled with PureCare’s I.D. and plush Tencel fibers, while the flip side provides support and pressure relief with a cooling gel and temperature-neutral memory foam. / Visit PureCare.com
Continuing to expand the performance bedding market, bedgear introduced its newest sheeting program at the Spring High Point Market. Available in four colors – optic white, champagne, navy and sleet grey – the company’s new Hyper-Cotton sheet collection is constructed from soft, breathable fabrics that provide continuous circulation and fast moisture evaporation. Using the company’s exclusive CFM airflow rating system, bedgear measures the rate at which air passes through its sheeting—with a higher CFM rating indicating that this product helps maintain an optimal body temperature throughout the night. The Hyper-Cotton Sheet Collection is made from natural cotton mixed with reactive stretch fibers contours to the body, while offering free range of motion and delivering temperature control for peak recovery. / Visit Bedgear.com
Consumer interest in “local products” has grown steadily over the years and the trend towards eco- and socially-conscious manufacturing has gained serious traction. Though domestically-made bedding has been around for hundreds of years, American-made offerings provide a new kind of value in today’s more globalized marketplace. The mattress industry has been able to connect with these consumers through increased transparency, domestically sourced materials and locally made products. Mattresses and bedding that are “Made In The USA” provide retailers with a clear selling story that truly resonates with a growing number of customers.
Eclipse Mattress has been manufacturing high quality sleep products since 1905, boasting a commitment to premium quality, design and technology that continues to this day. The company offers a comprehensive range of products aimed at improving the lives of its customers through advanced ergonomics and traditional handcraftsmanship. With licensee and sub-licensee factories throughout the United States, all of Eclipse’s products are proudly made in the United States. This adds further value to the company’s exclusive patented features, allowing retailers to connect with consumers looking for both cutting-edge technologies and American-made products. / Visit EclipseMattress.com
Hallmart Collectibles has made a name for itself within the value price top-of-bed market, offering a unique assortment of bedding accessories at approachable price points. With a full program devoted to “Made in the USA” products, Hallmart targets the many consumers that are interested in local manufacturing—but can be turned off by the inflated price tag that often comes with it. This spring, the company introduces a wide range of new American made top-of-bed ensembles, including both adult and juvenile categories. One stand-out of the line-up is an exclusive comforter offering that is uniquely designed to convert into a duvet by simply removing the included polyester or replaces with a down or down-alternative insert. / Visit HallmartCollectibles.com
Naturepedic is committed to providing a safer, more environmentally-friendly night sleep with certified organic finished mattresses for people of all ages. A family owned business, Naturepedic handcrafts nearly all of its products in its Chagrin Falls, Ohio factory using primarily domestic components and suppliers. This not only helps support the company’s mission to support the local and national economies, but it also allows for greater quality control during the manufacturing process—allowing them to guarantee that each component is safe and natural. Naturepedic was one of the first manufacturers to participate in the BEDFAX Mattress Contents Labeling Program and committed to displaying clear consumer disclosure labels on all of its participating mattresses in order to better educate the customer about what exactly goes into each bed. / Visit Naturepedic.com
Learn more about these companies, trends and much more in the Spring 2016 issue of Sleep Retailer!