Delivering comprehensive shipment and sales data on the mattress industry’s current and historical trends, ISPA releases an annual report each year to keep industry participants informed. The organization recently published its 2018 Report, revealing interesting insights on the state of the mattress marketplace in the US - and where it may be heading in the future.
In reviewing ISPA’s recent 2018 report, two key pieces of data stood out to us:
- “The report estimates that U.S. sales of mattresses and stationary foundations from all sources (including imports) grew modestly in 2018, but that the unit shipments and value of just U.S.-produced products fell below 2016 levels. Compared to 2017, U.S. mattress producers shipped 2.4% fewer million units in 2018, valued at $8.3 billion.”
- “Overall, the Average Unit Price (AUP) for all U.S.-produced mattresses and stationary foundations increased modestly in 2018 compared to 2017, with mattress prices decreasing while stationary foundation prices posted an increase.”
Let’s start with the first piece of data regarding overall sales in the U.S. and sales of U.S. produced items. What’s interesting about this data is that while there’s been a little bit of growth in U.S. sales of sleep products, U.S. produced product sales did not increase—in fact, they decreased below levels seen in 2016.
While it’s hard to say exactly what is contributing to this decrease, the shift here does show that less people are spending money on U.S. made products and are perhaps focusing their money on imported goods instead. While we are in a trade war with China, that hasn’t entirely slowed the sale of imported mattresses and stationary foundations at this stage. That said, just last week Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods ranging from appliances and mattresses to raw materials like wool and silk were ratcheted up from 10% to 25% as originally planned. Although the initial round of tariffs first took effect in June 2018, retailers and manufacturers are still experiencing the impact of them— and we have yet to see what effect the recent 15% increase will have on the cost of components and finished products.
Now let’s turn to the second piece of data from ISPA’s report. It’s hard to say exactly why mattress prices decreased while stationary foundation prices increased. While the growing number of low-cost mattress options likely has had a ripple effect on overall AUP, there has been a growing push to educate consumers about the impact that mattress foundations have on sleep quality—and that may be driving more people to invest in good quality options. But at this point, there remains uncertainty in pricing with factors like the tariffs impacting material sourcing and costs across the industry.
It will be interesting to see the outcome in 2019. Will U.S. produced product sales increase as more manufacturers and retailers seek to make products in the U.S. and sell products made in the U.S.? Will U.S. consumers make that switch if imported products cost more than items made in the U.S.? Or will manufacturers simply continue to re-route their sourcing, choosing components and products from other countries besides China to combat the rising material costs? Or will the ever-growing interest in sleep hygiene simply counteract any pricing considerations? Retailers and manufacturers alike are holding their breath to see how it will all play out and we are right there with them!
This article originally appeared in Sleep Retailer eNews on May 23, 2019.
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