It’s been a long time since we’ve hit a traffic jam on one of the bedding floors of the World Market Center - but that was exactly how it felt walking around the Winter Las Vegas Market this time around. The hallways were packed with people, the showrooms consistently bustling with scheduled appointments and drop-ins alike. Overall, the sentiment felt uniquely different than any other market in recent years: it felt confident about the future.
While recent markets have been characterized by cautious product updates and one-off introductions, this winter saw a number of truly expansive introductions — with companies like Tempur-Pedic, Sealy, Beautyrest and Restonic all unveiling major collection roll-outs — and bold new showroom renovations. All in all, the industry appears ready and willing to invest in new efforts once again. Some companies attributed this outlook to the strong economy, while others simply cited catching up with the learning curve of a changing marketplace. But no matter the rationale, it was clear that a serious shift has taken place in the bedding industry.
But even amidst the upbeat attitude, the industry continues to face some challenging unknowns. While everyone was quick to throw in their two cents about what the future holds for Mattress Firm, much of the speculation remains wholly unsubstantiated as of now. Overall, the general feeling was that, no matter what happens with the retail heavy-weight, it will open up new opportunities for the industry as a whole. Beyond Mattress Firm, much of the discussion of future challenges centered around pricing and marketing strategy - as bedding brands look for new ways to differentiate themselves from their online counterparts. While bed-in-a-box brands continue to dominate the digital airways, there is a growing consumer demand for higher quality options that deliver on their promises.
As we look back over the past five years, it’s impressive to see just how the pace of innovation has accelerated. What were once stand-out trends have swiftly become industry norms. While temperature regulation continues to be a prevalent feature of both mattresses and accessories, it is no longer a key selling point. Today, cooling is an expectation. The same can be said for hybrid mattresses. While the basic structure of the mattress has never been revolutionary, the introduction of the specific terminology a few years back offered an exciting new opportunity. As raw material prices continue to rise today, many mattress brands are returning to the hybrid model with new, revived collections. No longer a novel concept to many consumers, today’s hybrids need to do more than just combine springs and foam to stand out - they need to deliver tangible physical benefits and enhanced comfort feels.
Across the board, we’re also seeing a greater focus placed on domestic manufacturing capabilities. More than just giving them the chance to apply a “Made In America” tag onto their products, these new facilities allow for better quality control and more flexibility. By bringing at least part of their production stateside, these companies are able to fulfill the needs of their retail partners in a more timely and controlled fashion.
All in all, if the winter market is any indication - the bedding industry is on track to be brighter, bolder and more successful in the years ahead.
Check out the top trends we saw at the Winter Las Vegas Market:
Since the onset of the online bedding phenomenon, veteran retailers and manufacturers have tried to figure out how to compete with the cost and convenience of these direct-to-consumer disrupters. At the winter market, we saw a number of new products designed to bridge the gap between the brick-and-mortar retail store and the online marketplace. Though today’s consumers have become more comfortable with purchasing their mattress sight-unseen online, many are now finding that the promise of “one-size-fits-all” is not necessarily true. As such, many companies are adopting a more omni-channel approach that offers the best of both worlds – combining the assurance of in-store rest-testing and the convenience of easy delivery through roll-packing or drop-shipping. Of course, the mattress is only one piece of the overall sleep system; we also saw a number of new lightweight adjustable bases that can be shipped via UPS or FedEx at lower costs than their more cumbersome counterparts. With approachable price points and easy-to-understand benefits, these new bases are a valuable add-on opportunity – and will surely be a major asset in expanding the consumer awareness of the adjustable category.
As one of the leading bedding suppliers on the Internet, Eclipse International is no stranger to online mattress market. The company is leveraging this know-how with the new Velika mattress. Developed through two years of extensive market research, this new program combines high-quality materials and luxury aesthetics with a blended in-store and online sales strategy. The Velika was designed to better accommodate the 71% of women who sleep on their sides, delivering an extra plush comfort feel made from layers of all-natural Talalay latex, organic Turkish wool and Pima cotton in addition to Eclipse’s two-sided pocketed coil system with LifeEdge perimeter-edge support. This sumptuous construction was designed to reduce pressure points and motion transfer while providing extra cushioning with a top comfort duvet. In addition to its “forgiving” feel, the new beds’ aesthetics were also informed by consumer research, which directed the company to design a look that was simple and clean. Each Velika offers a choice of three colors for the herringbone side paneling and the option of two different leg styles. These luxury styling choices provide added value to its price point, which ranges from $1,499 to $3,199 at retail. To further support this new national program, Eclipse is launching a new dedicated website for the brand as part of a comprehensive “bricks-to-clicks” direct marketing strategy. Combining the benefits of both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retail, Eclipse will offer select retail partners in established licensed territories the exclusive on the collection - giving consumers the opportunity to come in and test the mattress before making the final purchase either in-store or online.
Ergomotion has played an integral role in the growth of the adjustable base category over the course of the past decade – and continues to deliver unique motion technology solutions. In addition to its advanced Active Motion Bases and innovative Seat Extension Deck technology, the company spotlighted its Leaf adjustable base at the winter market. Designed to pack into one small box, the Leaf is 25 pounds lighter than traditional adjustable bases and features a flat-pack system with components fitted inside the frame and platform. This light-weight design allows for easy UPS shipping or quick cash-and-carry transactions. Touting a stylish wooden design, the Leaf can adjust to accommodate any size mattress – and takes less than 30 minutes to set up. As part of Ergomotion’s Sport Motion bases, the Leaf boasts an array of key features: a wireless remote, head and foot controls, programmable presets, USB charging, silent drive motors and gravity release. Priced at $799 for retail, the Leaf adjustable base is an ideal option for big box and ecommerce retailers alike.
After more than 15 years of leading the organic mattress market, OMI is expanding its portfolio with a new brand aimed at delivering all the conveniences of direct-to-consumer boxed beds. Made by hand in the company’s Eco-Factory in Northern California, the new METTA Bed offers valuable differentiation in a category that is quickly becoming oversaturated with copy-cat products. The collection offers all-natural and organic raw materials at a price point that is comparable to other online bedding brands. Each mattress features a comfort and support layer made from premium botanical rubber latex that is free from nearly all the chemical “fillers” that are often used in synthetic products. These latex layers are nestled inside a quilted cover made from the same GOTS-certified organic cotton and wool found in all of OMI’s mattress collections. While traditional latex beds are known to be heavy and cumbersome, the METTA Bed sports a zippered cover that allows consumers to remove each latex layer individually—making assembling and moving the bed easy and allowing for delivery in one single box. While the METTA Bed will ultimately be sold online, it will also be available to select retailers in key markets, who will receive sales commission for each bed sold in their territory. This gives retailers the chance to connect with consumers looking for the standard conveniences of direct-to-consumer brands, including a 120 night trial program. In lieu of a standard mattress return, OMI gives consumers the chance to exchange the top latex layer of the bed for a softer or firmer feel. More than just a simpler way to adjust the comfort of the mattress, this exchange program also minimizes the number of returned mattresses piling up in landfills. For added convenience, OMI has also developed a collection of certified organic bedding accessories to accompany the METTA Bed program – including a quilted wool comforter, spiraled-wool pillow, flannel mattress pad and Pearl organic sheet set. While the mattress itself is priced at $1,299, the full suite of products will retail for just $1,995. Combining a truly all-natural story with an omni-channel sales strategy and easy shipping, OMI’s new METTA Bed is elevating the expectations of the bed-in-a-box market.
Designed to appeal to a younger customer, Customatic’s new FeatherLite features a very different look and feel than most adjustable bases on the market. Eschewing traditional aesthetics for a more eye-catching design, the FeatherLite is made from light-weight supports and customizable dura-mesh fabric. The company offers a wide variety of different color and pattern options, giving customers the option of tailoring the base to specific demographics or incorporating their own branding into the design. Additionally, the mesh material offers functional benefits as well, including antimicrobial properties, enhanced breathability and airflow. Developed with online retail and cash-and-carry opportunities in mind, the FeatherLite weighs less than most traditional adjustable bases. This not only allows for UPS shipping, but also saves money on the shipping costs – without decreasing the overall weight limit. With patented features and advanced functionality, Customatic’s FeatherLite delivers real value at a price point that ranges from $799 to $999 at retail.
With a finger on the pulse of today’s consumer shopping habits, Classic Brands has swiftly become a major player in the online bedding category. As the industry continues to veer more towards direct-to-consumer opportunities, the company has developed a comprehensive portfolio of easy-ship bedding products at competitive price points. In the past year, Classic Brands has introduced a number of roll-pack specialty mattress collections, from the CopperSmart gel memory foam collection to the Urban Loft Hybrid line-up, that deliver popular features and key benefits at velocity price points. At the winter market, the company debuted a selection of new bedding accessories designed to support its easy-ship mattress offerings. A new headboard line features striking designs with a price tag that starts at just $135. The company also introduced a new pillow line that offers three different profiles under six labels, featuring a range of benefit-driven materials like coconut, charcoal and lavender. As the company prepares to open a new facility in Long Beach, CA, Classic Brands is heading into 2018 focused on supporting retailers looking to boost their online sales.
A long-time leader in sleep technology innovation, Reverie continues to push the boundaries of power base capabilities. With feature-filled adjustable bed options all along the price spectrum, the company has created a product portfolio designed to introduce new customers to the category. Affordably priced and easy-to-ship, Reverie’s 1M Power Base is expanding the concept of how a “power base” should function. While this entry-level base does not articulate, it does offer one of the company’s most popular power base features: the 3D-Wave massage. With 10 intensity levels, this advanced system delivers a full body massage that has been proven to improve sleep quality. With an upholstered grey foundation, optional bed legs and a wireless remote control, the 1M is an ideal introductory product for first-time power base consumers who are looking for the convenience of one-box shipping. For consumers interested in stepping up to an adjustable foundation, Reverie’s 3EM base is also available for boxed shipping. Designed with a slim profile, black 3D-mesh spacer fabric and customizable 3-in-1 leg design, this adjustable foundation fits most modern bed frames and headboards. The wireless remote allows users to control the head and foot articulation, while the whisper quiet lift system eliminates any disruption potential. Offering unique power base technology with entry-level price points and easy-shipping, Reverie is giving retailers the opportunity to introduce new customers to the adjustable base market.
With the online segment proving to be a worthy adversary, brick-and-mortar retailers are upping their games with a broad range of accessories that integrate into a whole sleep system, providing sleep solutions and adding value to a shopper’s total purchase. By presenting consumers with products that complement their big-ticket investment, retailers can increase both their attachment rates and bottom lines, while providing customers with everything needed to create the ultimate sleep experience.
Aiming to offer one-stop shopping convenience, Blu Sleep has rolled out another expansion of its successful Italian, water-expanded memory foam pillows. The new Essentials collection taps into the benefits of aromatherapy, featuring pillows infused with chamomile, lavender, citrus or eucalyptus essential oils for soothing, more relaxing sleep. Also new for this market were two designs of pillow and mattress protectors: Silver, providing a hypoallergenic sleeping environment and Arctic, promoting a cooler, fresher sleeping surface. Combined with the company’s recent rebranding – complete with bold, new packaging – Blu Sleep’s products catch the eye and engage the senses.
Expanding its reach in the pillow segment, Malouf has recently added its new ActiveDough pillow collection to its innovative Z Pillow line. Crafted from a proprietary new foam, ActiveDough pillows carry many of Malouf’s pillow benefits into a new feel. Offering the quick-response feel and superior support of latex and the just-right cushion and contouring relief of memory foam, ActiveDough strikes a unique balance between the two while still featuring the company’s Zoned Technology design for ideal neck support. Each pillow comes with a breathable, thermoregulating Tencel cover and is available in five infusion options - lavender, chamomile, peppermint, bamboo charcoal, and gel – with the aromatherapeutic lavender-, chamomile-, and peppermint-infused pillows each coming with an accompanying spritzer bottle for scent refreshing. In addition to the pillow expansion, Malouf has also launched its new Woven Rayon from Bamboo Duvet Set. Made from silky-soft fabric, the Woven Rayon from Bamboo set incorporates Malouf’s patent-pending Duv8t fastening system that helps secure the comforter inside the cover, resulting in a finished, clean look.
When it comes to powerhouse accessories, PureCare is at the front of the pack. Each carefully curated collection has a clear story with specific benefits that are carried across a multitude of products. The company’s popular line of FRíO rapid chill fiber products bring cooler, fresher sleep to the masses while its recently FDA-approved Celliant lineup promotes whole body recovery. Technical textiles continue to be at the forefront of product creation with PureCare’s newest pillows sporting its exclusive paraffin-based TempSync fibers for consistent temperature regulation throughout the night. From pillows to protectors to bed linens, PureCare’s comprehensive suite of products solve problems, increase comfort and promote deep sleep, proving to be the perfect complement to any mattress.
With performance at the axis of its business, BEDGEAR’s focus on function has culminated in a diverse collection of products working in concert to provide enhanced recovery. The company’s many types of proprietary technology – like the heat-dispersing Ver-Tex and moisture wicking Dri-Tec – are represented throughout the assortment, showing up in products ranging from pillows to protectors, bed linens to travel gear. With its expanded children’s line, foray into pet items and newly launched mattress program, BEDGEAR is poised to outfit the whole family with the gear they need to rest up, recover and recharge.
Proclaiming “We’ve got a head for pillows” as its newest campaign at the Winter Market, Protect-A-Bed takes its pillow know-how to the next level. The retail-centric company of “Grow the Retail Basket” fame has done an outstanding job of communicating each of its pillows’ benefits in an easily accessible manner, actually building the branding into the pillows themselves. To further assist both RSAs and consumers, Protect-A-Bed’s diagnostic Sleep Tailor system has been updated to reflect the company’s full line of pillows and improving the user interface, simplifying the process of navigating the many options. Protect-A-Bed’s REM-Fit brand brings a more athletic approach to accessories, with a strong focus on recovery and performance. The brand’s popular ZEEQ smart pillow continues to receive accolades, its revolutionary technology and smart home integration taking it above and beyond “just” a pillow. Clever design combined with innovative textiles and exemplary retail support ensures that Protect-A-Bed will continue to be a leader in the accessories category.
Designed to work in conjunction with its popular mattresses as a total sleep system, Beautyrest’s new Beautyrest Complete accessories line features pillows, mattress covers and pillow covers to help customers transform their sleep from mere rest to renewal. The seven-pillow assortment is set up in a tiered good-better-best-luxury formation, offering a wide array of technologies – like the company’s AllerPur Technology for a cleaner sleep surface and InfiniCool Tehcnology for maintaining the ideal sleep temperature, comfort levels and price points, perfect for retailers that cater to a diverse group of customers. By stocking this expansive collection, retailers can encourage their customers to take a broader view of the shopping experience, driving home that there is more to good sleep than just a new mattress.
Enhanced Retailer Support
Thanks to a crowded marketplace, industry consolidation and new distribution channels, it can be difficult for retailers to cut through all the noise these days. Though quality and value are still essential to sales success, retailers can no longer rely on the power of their product offerings alone. As such, many bedding manufacturers are setting themselves apart from the crowd by providing their retail partners with not only great products – but great service and support as well. Whether through educational programs, digital marketing resources, exclusive membership deals or expanded shipping services, these companies are thinking about all aspects of the consumer buying journey – and ensuring that their retail partners have everything they need to succeed in today’s retail landscape.
While there are plenty of reasons why someone would buy a new bed, many consumers start their search for a new mattress because they are not getting adequate sleep. A new bed can deliver major improvements, but it can only do so much – as there are a number of other factors that can wreak havoc on sleep quality, such as nighttime habits, diet choices and environmental factors. To address the full range of consumer needs, Reverie developed Sleep Coach. The first of its kind, the Sleep Coach program delivers meaningful education post-purchase – equipping consumers with information, advice and coaching they can use to improve their overall sleep hygiene. Available as a stand-alone offering or a sales add-on, Sleep Coach offers retailers a new kind of differentiation. Rather than relying on price-based promotions or freebies, this program shifts the focus back on sleep.
Retailers have the option of two different Sleep Coach programs: a digital-only plan and a premium model. The three-month digital program delivers curated content to the user, based on the sleep profile generated from an online quiz. Personalized and comprehensive, the program offers additional sleep quizzes along the way, tips to improve sleep, downloadable guides and information that will help consumers better understand the daytime impact of healthy sleep. For those looking for more in-depth coaching, the premium plan offers additional one-on-one training via video chat or phone-call with sleep experts. Both programs were developed by Reverie’s sleep advisory board, which includes doctors, scientists and psychologists—ensuring that all of the content is accurate and actionable. By helping customers understand how to make the most of their new mattress, Sleep Coach provides tangible solutions, ensures greater post-purchase satisfaction and minimizes returns.
Ergomotion’s “Club Ergo” is a retailer membership program that offers a wide range of exclusive benefits. In addition to housing a hub of marketing assets that are accessible to all retailers, Club Ergo members gain access to discounted POP packaging and floor samples along with special product pricing. Ideal for smaller retailers, this program can also offer more personalized marketing and social media support – and free POP Sales KickStarter packages. From additional promotion on the Ergo website to select cash back bonuses and co-op funding, Club Ergo further incentivizes the company’s extensive product portfolio. More than simply rewarding sales successes, Ergomotion has developed a comprehensive program to help retailers expand their reach and increase their sales.
When you walk into Protect-A-Bed’s Las Vegas Market showroom, one of the first things you see is a striking display promoting its “Grow The Retail Basket” program. Introduced in 2017, this campaign is designed to help retailers drive revenue growth by increasing their overall sales tickets. The program delivers added support in six core areas: marketing, product, display, training, service and trust. From patented POP displays to in-depth RSA education programs to best-in-class customer service and same-day shipping, Protect-A-Bed ensures that retailers have all of the resources they need to thrive in today’s marketplace. In addition to offering traditional assets, the company recently updated its approach to provide added resources in a segment that many retailers have struggled with: digital marketing. With a cutting-edge website and extensive social media reach, Protect-A-Bed leads by example while also extending that expertise to its retail partners with a robust digital content program. The company’s Marketing Toolkit offers ready-to-use social media posts, web content and professional-grade imagery—all designed and developed by the company’s in-house marketing, video and photography teams—that retailers can integrate into their existing online strategies. This increased focus on digital offerings is geared to complement both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retail strategies. Market research has shown that many consumers now start their buying journey online and those that take this omni-channel approach end up spending upwards of 20% more in brick-and-mortar stores. By delivering greater support across all traditional and digital platforms, Protect-A-Bed helps retailers leverage its wide selection of innovative sleep accessories, attract more customers and increase overall sales.
Fashion Bed Group
The adjustable base market has been growing steadily in recent years – and it appears as if we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface on this unique category. As more retailers look to expand their adjustable offerings, Fashion Bed Group has revamped its fulfillment services to better support their retail partners. The company recently unveiled three custom shipping options from which retailers can choose when ordering from its comprehensive suite of adjustable bases. The Quick Ship program includes a number of the company’s most popular bases—including the Prodigy, S-Cape and Symmetry series—that are all in stock and ready to ship immediately. This shipping option also allows retailers to mix and match their adjustable bases with FBG’s other accessories offerings. The Factory Direct program offers complete customization, with the choice of everything from introductory to high-end products and short lead times on LTL orders. It also offers preferred pricing for pallet quantities that are shipped directly from the company’s domestic factories. Finally, the Container Direct program delivers added value to retailers by making a wide range of innovative base options available in large container quantities - including a full line of foldable adjustable bases. Designed to deliver greater flexibility no matter their product needs or inventory constraints, FBG’s new shipping programs exemplify the company’s commitment to supporting its retail partners.
Above And Beyond The $1,000 Price Point
Thanks to the booming boxed bed business, many retailers are starting to see softer sales at the lower end of the pricing spectrum - especially around the $1,000 mark. With the direct-ship segment impacting foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores, it has become even more imperative to make each sale count. In light of this, retailers are focusing more energy on advertising their higher-tier beds, showcasing collections with numerous benefits and distinctive features that provide clear choice and a compelling story.
Already a big seller for the company, Beautyrest’s top-tier Black collection expanded by four models at the Winter Market. The four Beautyrest Black Special Edition models tout advanced pocket coil technology for durability and pressure relief combined with contouring nanocoils for support and spinal alignment. Dressed in a new HD Performance Knit Cover designed to wick away moisture, each bed also features a variety of advanced foam technologies that maximize airflow and breathability, disperse heat and provide optimal surface contouring. As an added incentive to purchase a higher-end bed, the company is now including a free Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor with every purchase of a Beautyrest Black mattress, allowing consumers to turn their bed into a smart bed and better understand the quality of sleep they’ve been getting.
Leading with its esteemed history, Marshall Mattress embraces tradition merged with quality craftsmanship. Its five-model Bespoke by Marshall collection speaks to the company’s commitment in providing its customers with superior comfort and support. Spanning a diverse pricing range from $7,999–$15,999 in queen, each Bespoke bed blends exceptionally high coil counts with the best naturally sourced materials like New Zealand wool, eucalyptus Tencel fiber and OEKO-TEX certified Belgian damask. Crafted with meticulous care and marketed as the high-end piece of furniture that it is, the Bespoke bed’s clean, classic aesthetic easily distinguishes itself on the showroom floor, encouraging a high-priced sale.
Long a leader in the realm of sleep comfort, Tempur-Pedic is once again raising the bar with its largest product launch to date. Designed to deliver a trifecta of benefits – adaptation + motion separation + pressure relief – Tempur-Pedic’s TEMPUR-Adapt and TEMPUR-ProAdapt series employ unique combinations of innovative materials to adapt and respond to the body’s needs throughout the night. The two-model introductory TEMPUR-Adapt showcases Tempur-Pedic’s legendary, premium TEMPUR material for a thoroughly responsive sleep surface and starts at $1,999. The Tempur-ProAdapt line features the company’s most advanced pressure-relieving material ever, TEMPUR-APR, that works in conjunction with the SmartClimate dual cover system to promote deep, relaxing sleep that rejuvenates the whole body. Available in three models with distinct feels – soft, medium and firm – this step up series is set to retail at $2,799. To further simplify the buying process, Tempur-Pedic is also decreasing its number of price points from 14 down to 5 and highlighting a clearer distinction of benefits and features between models.
Deftly blending science-backed technology with skilled craftsmanship, Kingsdown consistently delivers sound sleep wrapped up in an elegant package. With its timeless aesthetic and luxury comfort components, Kingsdown’s Vintage Collection embodies the company’s commitment to quality construction as well as quality sleep. Each of the collection’s 11 models is handcrafted by master artisans using only the finest natural materials including cotton, New Zealand’s Joma wool, silk and latex and boasts high-end finishes like inverted luxury seams and traditional hand-tufting. The end product is an exquisitely detailed bed that is expertly engineered to both catch the eye and support the body.
Standing behind its high-end branding with the release of its new Karpen Collection, Aireloom continues to push the envelope of luxury price points, expanding retail pricing into the $5,000-$10,000 range. In addition to hitting higher price points, Karpen also incorporates coordinating case goods like divans, headboards and storage chests, all of which help up the average ticket sale and align Aireloom with high-end furniture stores. To support this endeavor Aireloom has developed very visual POP materials that strive to encourage consumers to aspire to such an upscale lifestyle.
Chattam & Wells
Known for incorporating feedback into its products, Spring Air’s high end Chattam & Wells brand has done just that with its most recent styling update. Responding to retailer requests, the Chattam & Wells’ iconic crown design is now being stitched into the cover of the brand’s top-tier beds, an elegant detail that further establishes Chattam & Wells as a prominent presence in the luxury market. To augment the refreshed aesthetic, the company has also revamped its POP materials, employing a high-quality “look book” that contains aspirational lifestyle imagery as well as informational wall art depicting mattress components and construction, all of which reinforce Chattam & Wells a competitive option for retailers looking to serve the over $1,000 shopper.