Back Page from the Publisher: Spring 2016

Following at the heels of a very busy Las Vegas Market, this past March was a month of interesting talks for us at Sleep Retailer. I started at the ISPA Expo where Keynote Speaker Sam Geist reminded the mattress industry of the importance of differentiation. From there, I headed straight to a CEO leadership event, where Andy Boynton, the dean of Boston College’s Carrol School of Management, delivered a keynote of a different variety. He spoke about the lack of original ideas and how greatness can be achieved by those who are in the habit of looking for great ideas—all around them, all the time. The two speakers created an interesting conversation across industries. My bets for success are with those who find the differences in these messages, encouraging and working within them.

For the past five years, we’ve compiled an annual list of bedding brands that are doing just that—spotlighting manufacturers that truly stand out from the rest. Looking back over the previous Companies to Watch publications, we were reminded of all of the exciting product introductions, collection expansions, innovative technologies and successful marketing campaigns that have made a major impact on the industry. This year, the list featured a number of exciting new brands alongside well-known industry veterans.

Looking ahead to spring, we took an in-depth look at Spring Air for this issue’s cover story. As the company embarks on its 90th Anniversary, we were excited to highlight the longstanding commitment to consumer trust, thoughtful innovation and spirited collaboration that has helped Spring Air succeed over the years. With two innovative new collections hitting showroom floors this year, Spring Air serves as a great example of how an iconic brand can evolve with the times without ever straying from its core philosophies.

Of course, innovation isn’t just relegated to product technology alone. The bedding industry is in the midst of some truly radical thinking, as a number of forward-thinking manufacturers are developing new ways to connect with today’s digital consumer. In this issue’s Product Focus, we’ve highlighted an array of manufacturers that have embraced the growing bed-in-a-box trend—reimagining the concept in ways that benefit their retail partners.

Following this theme of momentum, this entire issue illuminates the many exciting changes that are affecting today’s marketplace. In addition to product and collection updates from companies like Therapedic, Gold Bond, Shifman and Suite Sleep, we turned to thought leaders from Kingsdown, Eastman House and Malouf in this issue’s Q&A to hear their predictions for the future of this industry.

As we get ready to head to the spring High Point Market, we’re excited to see how the burgeoning accessories category will take on an even more prominent position— and how local and regional retail markets continue to drive mattress sales.

As always, we are committed to covering all the latest trends in order to provide our readers with the practical information they need to succeed—and we are proud to celebrate the bedding industry’s continued longevity, ingenuity and success.

It is an interesting time in North Carolina as well. Following the recent passage of North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (HB2), the High Point Market issued an official response to the controversial piece of legislation. “Based on the reaction in just the last few days,” it states, “hundreds and perhaps thousands of our customers will not attend Market this April. We would like to take this opportunity to clearly state that the High Point Market does not discriminate, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. In fact, we embrace all of our attendees and believe that the diversity of the 75,000 people who attend Market is one of our greatest assets and strengths.”

We’re proud to work alongside all of the High Point Market leaders, organizers, exhibitors and attendees and we urge the State of North Carolina to consider the significant economic damage that has resulted from the passing of this unjust law.