The fall High Point Market is a notoriously slow one for the bedding industry, as many manufacturers are already well on their way preparing for the winter Las Vegas show. This year was no exception. In a way, the fall market served as a pretty accurate representation of the bedding retail industry right now: the struggle to attract bedding buyers to High Point is not dissimilar to the struggle it is to get consumers into retail stores. Despite limited traffic, the manufacturers we met with were in good spirits, reporting positive conversations with the buyers in attendance. There was a clear anticipatory energy throughout the show, as everyone agreed that the marketplace is on track to look wildly different in five years time. Rather than lament the past, they are looking confidently into the future, excited about the possibilities.There is no doubt that the bedding industry is at a crossroads, but manufacturers and retailers alike are forging ahead.
Here are the top trends we saw at the Fall 2017 High Point Market.
New Ways To Reach Younger Consumers
For many traditional retailers, figuring out how to connect with millennial shoppers remains an ongoing challenge. Unfortunately, there’s no one easy answer when it comes to effectively engaging with younger consumers. There are a number of different factors that people of all ages take into account when buying new sleep products – which means there are a lot of different ways to connect with consumers and expand your customer base. Whether through promotional price points, creative marketing activations or strategic product design, these companies are helping retailers reach new and younger consumers.
Touting the same attention to detail and quality for which Kingsdown is known, the company’s promotionally priced Prime collection targets younger consumers who may be shopping on more of a budget. Available in firm, plush and pillow top designs and priced to retail at $599, $799 and $999 respectively, all of the Prime models boast a high coil count, lumbar support, cooling gel and Kingsdown’s Serene Comfort Foam - a non-temperature responsive foam that provides support, reduces pressure and dissipates body heat. With classic styling and an on-trend color scheme, the Prime collection offers retailers a sophisticated line at aggressive price points.
Building on the success of its popular Aveline memory foam boxed-bed, Modway has added an innerspring version: Kate. Providing firm yet cushioned support, Kate is available in either a six-inch bonnell spring model or an eight-inch wrapped-coil model and, like Aveline, is compressed and rollpacked for easy transport. With both options priced under $80 at wholesale, Modway continues to bring retailers affordable options for consumers on a budget with the added bonus of being able to take their newly purchased bed home with them.
Partnering with Backstage Creations, Beautyrest recently contributed items to the celebrity gift bags handed out at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. The company donated 110 Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitors and certificates for two BlackICE Memory Foam pillows as well as ran an integrated social media campaign that encouraged participants to comment with the name of the artist they were most looking forward to seeing at the Awards. By getting its products into the hands of celebrities who could then act as brand influencers, Beautyrest brought its name front and center, effectively marketing to a younger audience.
Designed to meet the meet the needs of the expanding market for fashion-forward youth décor, Hallmart recently rolled out its all-new Sophisticated Teens line. Value priced from $50 in twin and $65 in full, the trendy new assortment offers bedding and pillows across several design categories, all of which embrace a teen-centered aesthetic. By developing products for this younger demographic, Hallmart provides retailers an opportunity to market to a larger audience.
The Return Of The Hybrid Mattress
All-foam mattresses have been all the rage in recent years—but we’re beginning to see a shift towards hybrid beds looming on the horizon. First introduced at higher price points, specialty foam beds have become increasingly popular thanks to lower prices, the growth of the online sales and boxed bed market. This type of popularity can be a double-edged sword. As the demand for all-foam mattresses has increased, so too has the cost of foam components—all the while, ecommerce has been steadily driving down the price of these mattresses. As the supply and demand for foam beds continues along this trend, savvy manufacturers are starting to shift their attention toward the hybrid construction. By swapping out a foam support core with an innerspring system, these manufacturers can incorporate more innovative and sumptuous foam materials into the bed’s comfort layers—all without increasing the price. More than just offering a different feel or construction, today’s hybrids are an increasingly valuable opportunity for retailers to maintain higher margins.
Classic Brands has expanded its popular Urban Loft brand with a new hybrid mattress option. The Urban Loft Thermic Collection, which was unveiled at the fall market, is a four-bed line-up that is priced to retail from $799 to $1,199. With mattresses available in 11.5-inch, 13-inch and 14-inch models, this new collection features a hybrid design that includes a pocketed-coil support system and layers of specialty foams that include Talalay latex. At the top of the line, the mattresses also feature high-performance and gel-infused memory foams. To further enhance the sleep environment, Classic Brands opted for mattress covers made with Cool Gel Thermic fabric. This innovative technology delivers advanced temperature regulation benefits that provide added comfort throughout the night. By combining the support of a wrapped coil system with the buoyancy of latex foam and the cooling properties of Cool Gel Thermic fabric, Classic Brands delivers a wide range of meaningful sleep benefits at an approachable price point.
Sleepwell unveiled a new showroom at the fall High Point Market, where it showcased a comprehensive portfolio of traditional and specialty mattress options. The company introduced two new line-ups at market, including a new hybrid mattress collection that will retail at the $799 price point. Made with a sturdy innerspring system and layers of Talalay latex and luxury foams, the new line provides added differentiation in the hybrid market with a unique two-sided construction. Rounding out Sleepwell’s full bedding portfolio of quilted Latex Foam, Gel Memory Foam and traditional innerspring options, the new hybrid line creates a clear step-up story in terms of comfort feels and price points.
After the celebrated initial release in 2015, Therapedic has continued to improve and refine its popular Tommy Bahama Collection. At the fall market, the company spotlighted the collection’s four smooth-top hybrid models, which range in retail price from $1,199 to $1,799. With a traditional innerspring system serving as the support layer, each hybrid mattress delivers added comfort with layers of innovative foam components including Memory Touch cool foam, Energex foam and copper-infused memory foam. Certain models in the line-up also feature Therapedic’s patent-pending iFlex Hybrid Quilt. Bringing the hybrid concept into the top layer of the mattress, this exclusive technology integrates 2,000 micro coils directly into the quilt for unparalleled support, durability and breathability. Like all of the mattresses in the collection, these new hybrids are dressed in eye-catching looks that reflect the iconic Tommy Bahama branding—providing retailers with an attractive opportunity to complement its eight promotionally priced innerspring models.
Long-known as a leader in the performance bedding market, SHEEX recently expanded its extensive portfolio to include its first foray into mattresses. The company’s new five-bed line-up includes one bed-in-a-box option and four hybrid mattress models, all of which tout performance-based foam components and exclusive cooling benefits. In addition to the innerspring support system, the SHEEX Performance Cooling Mattress features an array of advanced temperature regulating technologies. The aerated copper-infused Talalay latex delivers conforming comfort and increased airflow, while the proprietary Ice-Cool performance material is made with CoolX phase-change technology that absorbs excessive body heat and releases it as needed to better regulate body temperature. When presented alongside the company’s comprehensive collection of sheets, pillows and protectors, SHEEX’s new hybrid mattresses offer retailers a chance to sell a full performance-based sleep system.
With the cultural shift towards sleep as a status symbol, luxury products have become a real growth market. By combining innovative technologies and advanced fabrications with high-end construction, manufacturers tell a compelling story, encouraging consumers to aspire to a lifestyle where sleep is both comfortable as well as beautiful.
Targeting the upscale consumer, Malouf’s newest addition to its luxury Woven line delivers elegance and quality. The 600-thread-count sateen Woven Supima linens are constructed from 100 percent American-grown Supima cotton, whose extra-long fibers create a more breathable, silky-smooth sleeping surface with a luxurious hand feel. Malouf’s Universal Fit Technology guarantees clean, fitted corners – even for deep pocket and pillow-top mattresses. Supima’s trademark ensures consumers receive exclusive, top-quality product that resists tearing, breaking and pilling, promising long-lasting, comfortable sleep.
With its traditional artisan craftsmanship and attention to detail, Vispring’s newest offering speaks to the truly discerning customer. The Palladium adjustable base is the company’s first foray into the adjustable category and just like Vispring’s opulent mattresses, this adjustable bed lacks for nothing. Beyond heralding a stylish upholstered look and a host of functions (including dual massage, zero-gravity setting, head-up/foot-up options, among others), the Palladium also features a unique pocket coil system that is incorporated within the base itself—making it the first of its kind. This logical extension of Vispring’s expansive portfolio along with the company’s other bespoke creations allows retailers to offer the ultra-premium consumer a complete sleep system that is as stunning as it is comfortable.
Delivering elegant simplicity, DownTown Company’s newest Paula and Sophia linen collections marry sophistication with quality textiles. Woven from a 100 percent 400 thread-count sateen, the Paula collection is made in Portugal and available in white and ivory. Understated and refined, Paula features a single row of hemstitching that presents a timeless look on its own or easily coordinates with any other print or solid. Crafted from 100 percent long-staple cotton percale and also made in Portugal, the Sophia Collection touts an old world design with embroidered, scalloped edges, available in classic white/white and white/black color ways.
The apex of luxury, Shifman’s Masters Collection has recently received an update befitting a customer favorite. Keeping the traditional craftsmanship that has made Shifman famous, the Masters Collection features only the finest quality natural materials and retains the company’s popular two-sided, hand-tufted design and eight-way hand-tied boxsprings. But to give this classic a modern update, Shifman used vivid covers, complimentary borders, coordinating specialty tape, gunmetal-colored corner guards and increased border height. With this sophisticated new look and nine different models, the Masters Collection is refreshed and ready to deliver sumptuous sleep.
With the recent ruling by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that Hologenix’s Celliant fibers are regulated as both “medical devices” and “general wellness products,” PureCare’s line of Celliant products is sure to see increased demand. From bedlinens to pillows to protectors, PureCare has carefully curated a robust suite of Celliant-rich items designed to promote localized blood flow that leads to increased energy and faster muscle recovery. Combining this clinically tested performance fiber with the highest quality construction and premium textiles, PureCare’s Celliant collections not only deliver exceptional sleep, but also provide a cleaner, healthier and more healthful sleeping environment.
One of the biggest current issues plaguing the mattress retail industry is foot traffic. Retailers are struggling to get consumers in the door, which in turn is diminishing their opportunities for both mattress and add-on sales. Rather than accept defeat, it’s more important than ever to create a physical retail environment that is inviting and enjoyable. When faced with a sea of white rectangles, the mattress shopping experience can feel both confusing and underwhelming. Whether through creative styling choices or innovative point-of-sale tools, there are a number of different ways for retailers to break through the “white noise” of a traditional mattress showroom. By incorporating more eye-catching mattress options and helpful in-store diagnostic tools, retailers can create an environment that is not only more appealing to the consumer—but one that will ultimately help them increase sales.
Kingsdown has been leading the charge on technological innovation in the mattress market for decades. First introduced in 2011, the company’s bedMATCH diagnostic system is a fully brand agnostic technology designed to help consumers find the type of support that is best suited for their needs, sleep habits and body type. The system uses 18 statistical measurements and more than 1,000 calculations to gather measurements on pain criteria, flexibility of lumbar curve, distribution of weight in various anatomical zones and more. Using this data, bedMATCH is able to determine the correct level of postural support and pressure relief for each specific consumer—and point them to the right mattress for their needs. When compared to traditional sales strategies, bedMATCH increases retailers’ chances of closing their sales – and decreases likelihood of comfort returns. It also provides retailers with a unique value proposition, setting them apart from their competition and driving more traffic to their brick-and-mortar locations.
The Vispring name has long been synonymous with “the finer things in life.” The company continues to elevate this high-end positioning to stylish new levels through a new partnership with Missoni. Vispring teamed up with the iconic Italian fashion brand to offer its handcrafted mattresses, headboards and divans in limited-edition Missoni Home fabrics. Known for its distinct use of color and pattern, Missoni Home’s fabrics evoke positive energy and vitality—creating an eye-catching product that is sure to stand out on any retail floor. Vispring’s customizable sleep products are now available in a variety of fashion-forward designs, including Missoni’s classic black and white “Tobago” and the bright and playful “Sienna” fabrics. Beyond simply brightening up its offerings, this new partnership gives retailers the chance to tap into Missoni’s widespread brand recognition.
With a wide range of available materials and technologies, today’s pillow market is more advanced—and varied—than ever before. As new pillow options continue to deliver more meaningful sleep benefits, retailers can reap the benefits of higher price points. But with added choice can come added confusion, especially for the average consumer. Thankfully, Protect-A-Bed’s new Sleep Tailor can help retailers simplify the pillow shopping experience. This interactive sales tool uses proprietary algorithms and biomechanics model to measure and analyze multiple data points, ultimately delivering top suggestions for which pillows will provide the proper amount of comfort and support. When promoted by a retailer, Sleep Tailor can serve as a compelling reason for consumers to actually go to a brick-and-mortar location—and ultimately creates a more enjoyable shopping experience once they arrive.