Trends From Market: Summer 2017 Las Vegas
There was a decidedly upbeat feel to the Las Vegas Market this summer. Even as temperatures hit nearly 110 degrees outside, inside the bedding showrooms were nothing if not cool and collected. While uncertainty may have cast a dark cloud on the first half of the year, as the market waited to see how today’s political climate would affect consumer spending habits, the predictions we heard for the rest of 2017 were overwhelmingly positive. As the industry continues to recalibrate following the break-up of two of its biggest players, we’re just now starting to see some of the effects of that shake-up—and it looks like they’re coming in the form of some exciting new opportunities for both manufacturers and retailers alike. A number of bedding brands are now stepping up to the plate, filling in the gaps in the marketplace with strategic product introductions designed to help protect retailer margins and marketing campaigns that better engage with consumers. Overall, we saw an increased focus on health and wellness as well. It turns out that the key to sales success might not be selling mattresses—but selling sleep itself. By prioritizing the physical and emotional benefits of getting a good night’s rest, manufacturers are providing retailers with new programs that are truly resonating with their customers.
Here are the top trends we saw at the Summer Las Vegas Market.
Just as boxed beds have taken the sleep industry by storm, boxed-bases are quickly rocketing into the spotlight. Easily assembled and easily shipped, these UPS-able bases maximize attachment rates, incentivizing consumers to purchase complete sleep systems while offering retailers an attractively small inventory footprint. From popularly priced frames to higher-end adjustables, manufacturers are capitalizing on the public’s growing enthusiasm for easily shipped items.
Opting for a truly accessible and understandable product name, Reverie identified its newest base with the simple, slightly tongue-in-cheek moniker Base in a Box. But despite its simple name, Base in a Box is anything but basic. Compatible with Reverie’s full line up of innovative mattresses, Base in a Box manages to pack a number of features like massage, head-up, foot-up and zero-gravity positioning into a single box. Compactly packaged for easy maneuverability, Base in a Box offers retailers the opportunity to ship directly from distribution warehouses, in turn saving on delivery and setup costs.
In an effort to bring the game-changing popularity of adjustable bases to the online market, Customatic Adjustable Bedz recently unveiled several new easy-ship bases that overcome the weight and size constraints of parcel carriers like UPS and FedEx. The four-base collection ranges from promotional to premium price points, offering e-tailers well-made products from a trusted brand. Carrying Customatic’s distinguished aesthetics and construction, the new lineup affords ecommerce consumers with a variety of sought-after features that include dual power massage, zero-gravity, head and leg lift capabilities, USB ports and more.
Diamond Mattress is expanding on its tremendous boxed-bed success with a new series of boxed bed bases, all of which are shippable via UPS. Delivering 44 cubic feet of storage beneath the unit, Diamond’s Deluxe Storage foundation boasts heavy-duty steel-bar construction with a $199 price tag in queen. Also being released are two new adjustable bases ranging from $799 to $99 in queen, with the upper tier model sporting massage, five memory positions, under-bed lighting and adjustable legs that can be set to heights of 12, nine, six or three inches. The goal, according to Diamond President Shaun Pennington is to “give our retailers multiple options in how they want to sell sleep products and to ensure a seamless shopping experience for consumers, whether online or in-store.”
For retailers looking to take advantage of the increased attachment rate among adjustable bed bases, Boyd Sleep’s two new, adjustable base options offer easy-ship convenience and adjustable comfort at approachable price points. Like all of the company’s products, the two new bases are UPS-able and provide simple, quick setup. The promotionally priced $299 model is an all-metal power version with a wired hand control that offers head and foot settings. The $699 power base is Boyd’s first foray into a zero-clearance design, engineered to be used on a platform bed with a deck on it. With these introductions, Boyd gives retailers an opportunity to familiarize their customers with the adjustable concept without breaking the bank.
Shipped in a single, large box, Knickerbocker’s emBrace bed frame really shines in its heavy duty construction and easy assembly. Constructed from US steel from the Jersey Shore Steel Company – certified as one of the greenest steel mills in the world – the emBrace has an astounding weight limit, capable of supporting more than 5,000 pounds! Touting an outer layer of resin that is available in four colors and comprised of just five pieces that fit together without the need for a single tool, emBrace is engineered to be completely silent while offering a sophisticated, understated finish to any sleep system.
HIGH-END MATTRESS COLLECTIONS
According to a recent report from the International Sleep Products Association, the average unit selling price (AUSP) for mattresses jumped by more than 4% in the second quarter of this year. This comes as good news for many retailers. While low-cost direct-to-consumer mattresses may be making a lot of buzz, a sizeable number of today’s consumers are still investing in higher-quality options. For retailers looking to take advantage of this uptick in AUSP, there was a wide range of high-end mattress collections making their debut at the summer market. Ranging in retail price points from $1,300 to $5,000, these strategically priced line-ups include all-foam, latex, innerspring and hybrid options—each one touting quality components, meaningful features and eye-catching styling. With such a variety of comfort and construction options at this increasingly valuable price point, retailers have the chance to protect their margins without sacrificing quality or minimizing customer choice.
Therapedic has reintroduced its Buoyancy collection with a brand new line-up of ultra-premium specialty foam mattresses. Intended as a limited distribution product, the new collection features a three-model step-up story that delivers a luxurious look and feel across all price points. Each model in the line-up is made with an array of unique, high-density foams, including a layer of CoolFlow to promote heat dissipation and a top layer of copper gel foam for added antimicrobial benefits. For the top model in the Bouyancy collection, Therapedic has also included an additional layer of Energex foam. Touted for its latex-like feel, this advanced foam not only equips the mattress with an additional cooling solution but also eliminates the sinking feeling of most traditional memory foam mattresses. With suggested retail prices that range from $1,399 all the way to $2,700, this collection will provide a select group of retailers an appealing high-end mattress option—and a new opportunity to compete within the ultra-premium market.
Leveraging the ongoing consumer interest in all-foam mattresses, Kingsdown introduced its new premium SleepHaven collection at the summer market. The first fully latex line-up in its portfolio, the new three-bed collection is made with 100% Dunlop latex. In addition to delivering more contouring comfort, the springy material is made using a continuous process, which allows the company to utilize a single-piece construction no matter the mattress size. This helps maintain consistency of feel across the sleep surface and ensures added durability. This latex construction gives the mattress a more uplifting feel than traditional foam beds, while also delivering a more natural story. Priced to retail from $3,499 to $4,299, the new SleepHaven line offers a distinct feel and a range of comfort levels—all backed by the high-end quality for which Kingsdown is known.
Building upon its extensive suite of all-foam pillows, Blu Sleep is bringing the same quality and comfort to the mattress segment with its popular Nubia and Loft models. Following an overwhelmingly positive response at the Winter Market, the company incorporated the feedback it received from retailers in order to fine-tune the final products. Made from multiple layers of high-density, water-expanded memory foam, the 10-inch Loft and 11-inch Nubia are more breathable than traditional all-foam options—while the foams’ single-piece construction enhances the overall durability. Additionally, both mattresses feature Blu Sleep’s exclusive Air Pod technology. Found within the support layers, these individually zoned foam “pods” better adapt to the contours of the body, eliminate pressure points and minimize motion transfer. Beyond delivering advanced ergonomic support, this zoned construction is also perfectly suited for adjustable bases. Ranging from $1,299 to $2,299 in queen, Blu Sleep’s Nubia and Loft mattresses are a valuable alternative to the popular all-foam bed—delivering a unique, luxurious feel at a more approachable price point.
As a 117-year-old brand best known as the inventor of the pocket coil spring mattress system, Marshall Mattress is now reentering the American luxury market with a valuable new alternative to today’s all-foam beds. Eschewing any foam encasements or gels, the Canadian company handcrafts all of its products using the best of natural and pure manmade materials. Ranging in retail price from $2,999 to $4,499, Marshall’s Portfolio Collection offers a new take on the traditional luxury mattress. This five-bed line-up is made with New Zealand wool, soy foams and Aer-Fōm—a breathable, fully contouring foam that ensures a more luxurious, temperature-neutral sleep surface. With retail price points starting at $5,000, Marshall’s three-bed Luxury Collection boasts an inimitably sumptuous feel made from variety of comfort materials including eucalyptus, wool fiber, cotton and latex. Both line-ups are supported by the company’s patented pocket coil system, which features individual pocket coils wrapped and sewn in unbleached natural cotton muslin fabric. Touting true quality and craftsmanship, Marshall is carving a distinct niche for itself in today’s high-end marketplace. Sporting elegant cover styling and a wealth of natural materials, the company aims to connect with luxury consumers who are looking for a new take on the traditional mattress model.
iD2 is an innovative new all-foam mattress line-up that delivers a new level of customized comfort. With multiple layers of sculpted foam in a variety of densities, the mattress offers contouring comfort and advanced ergonomic support. Each foam layer is laser cut to maximize airflow and ventilation, enhancing the comfort with added cooling and breathability. What truly sets iD2 apart from the rest though is its unique comfort customization system. The base layer of the mattress is equipped with high-density foam “Comfort Wands” that can be inserted or removed to adjust the comfort and support of the sleep system. With multiple placements along the side of the mattress, consumers can customize the support to their exact liking—while the zip-off, removable cover allows for quick and easy adjustment. Ranging in retail price from $2,799 to $3,799, this three-bed collection provides retailers with a clear step-up story. Each model is available in plush or firm options, with the higher price points offering more precise adjustability—starting with four Comfort Wands in the entry-level model then moving up to 14 in the top-of-the-line mattress. By combining lavish comfort with easy-to-understand customization capabilities, iD2 provides retailers with a new, more demonstrable sales opportunity within the high-end market.
Eastman House is paying its respect to its founders with a new high-end mattress collection under the Chittenden & Eastman brand name. Founded in 1866, Chittenden & Eastman was once a leading brand for high-quality mattresses with a focus on sleep health. The new Founders Collection picks back up on that legacy by combining all-natural components with a more modern construction and of-the-moment styling. This seven-bed line-up touts a unique hybrid construction that combines natural materials with high-quality pocketed coils to deliver an unmistakably luxurious feel. In lieu of polyurethane foam, the Founders Collection is made with layers of all-natural Talalay latex. In addition to providing a more eco-conscious story, this creates a more buoyant comfort feel—while an exclusive tri-zone latex offers additional support in the center third of the mattress where the body is heavier. The ticking is made from a heavy-blistered knit that features all-natural wool, which provides a natural cooling effect. Retailing for $2,499, the top-of-the-line Masterpiece model also includes an additional two-inch topper made from natural latex. Dressed in a beautiful cover ticking designed in egg shell, taupe and brown hues, the Founders Collection provides retailers with a luxurious mattress option at a more approachable price point.
DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY FOR THE BRICK-AND-MORTAR STORE
As the bedding industry continues to grapple with the increasing popularity of e-commerce shopping and online-only brands, the biggest challenge facing today’s retailers is how to keep up with the pace of technological innovation. For many retailers, digital technology remains an unchartered territory – but, thankfully, a number of today’s manufacturers have developed new resources that are uniquely designed to help their retail partners plug into the digital world. While it may be difficult for brick-and-mortar retailers to adopt a competitive e-commerce strategy on their own, there is a wide variety of high-tech resources that can help improve their business. Whether in the form of in-store marketing tools, logistics and ordering support or even incorporated into the products themselves, these new assets bridge the gap between digital and physical retail spaces.
Reverie continues to raise the bar as a “sleep technology company” with a unique marketing strategy designed to help retailers succeed within today’s data-driven world. Building upon a new consumer-focused campaign promoting the power of selling sleep as a health and wellness tool, Reverie unveiled a host of exciting new digitally-driven marketing assets at market. The four-part “Sleep is the New” campaign was designed to give RSAs a new approach to engaging with their customers. As part of this program, Reverie introduced a full suite of digital assets that can be easily and affordably installed into brick-and-mortar retail spaces. Traditional signage has been replaced with digital screens, which provide a host of valuable product information in a more engaging way. The company also teased a new “Reverie VR Experience” program that harnesses the power of virtual reality technology. By simply looking through the VR headset, users are immediately placed within a fully decorated bedroom—and also them to seamlessly peek inside the mattress itself to learn more about all of the different layers and materials. While this could allow retailers the chance to deliver a more immersive sales experience, it could also serve as a dynamic RSA training solution as well. Reverie is also leveraging the power of digital media to inform its own marketing efforts. The company recently launched a Social Listening Study that taps into conversations happening on social media to collect useful data on customer needs and habits. Whether exploring what makes the adjustable base consumer tick or seeing where the conversations around insomnia are happening in real-time, this data helps drive the Reverie’s consumer marketing strategy and gives them greater opportunities to segment their campaign targeting. All of the company’s marketing efforts are further supported by the Reverie Partner Network, a password-protected digital hub that serves as a one-stop resource for product information, training materials and downloadable marketing and sales promotions materials. Comprehensive and easy-to-navigate, this is an invaluable resource for retailers looking to expand their digital efforts, but are not sure where to start.
A long-time pioneer in the mattress protection category, Protect-A-Bed has expanded its quest for innovation to include a variety of new in-store marketing resources. The company introduced the new Sleep Tailor system at market, unveiling an interactive in-store tool design to match customers with their optimal pillow. After prompting users to input a selection of personal comfort and sleep preferences, the system utilizes advanced photo-based technology to properly measure multiple physical data points – including head and shoulder dimensions. Using a proprietary algorithm and biomechanics model, Sleep Tailor is then able to provide more accurate recommendations for pillows that are specifically tailored to the customer’s proper head and neck alignment. The company has limited the recommendations to just four pillow suggestions, providing consumers with just the right amount of helpful guidance without limiting their personal preferences or overwhelming them with too many options. By helping consumers find their truly perfect pillow, this high-tech resource can benefit retailers’ bottom line by minimizing comfort returns. Additionally, Protect-A-Bed also designed Sleep Tailor to help drive more traffic to brick-and-mortar stores. As the quest for a good night sleep becomes more popular, more consumers now understand that the correct pillow is an essential part to getting a good night sleep—but many of them still aren’t quite sure what pillow height, density and position is best for their needs. When promoted at the retail level, Sleep Tailor gives those consumers a reason to actually come into a retail store—then provides them with a science-based sales story so they can be confident they are getting their money’s worth. In addition to Sleep Tailor, Protect-A-Bed has also been fine-tuning its REM-Fit Brand Store concept. This comprehensive merchandising program provides retailers with eye-catching point-of-sale materials and informative tech displays that create an engaging sales experience.
Pleasant Mattress understands how valuable digital technology can be to the bedding industry—and not only for consumer-focused strategies. The company is leveraging two unique digital tools that will help better support its retail partners by offering increased access and more up-to-date information on their orders and deliveries. The company is working to implement ShopZio, a new turnkey app that brings the ease of online shopping to the retailer themselves. This online ordering platform allows retailers to browse Pleasant’s full product portfolio, submit orders, review previous order and access special promotions—all from one digital hub. The company also has plans to implement a sister app called RepZio, which will give sales representatives the chance to visually display each product and place orders with retailers directly from their iPad Pros. Additionally, Pleasant has also invested in a new logistics planning and global positioning system tracking tool called DR Track. This powerful system provides a web portal where retailers can access more detail shipping information, giving them the chance to track their orders in real-time. Because both ShopZio and DR Track seamlessly sync to one another, retailers are able to access their order data immediately – giving Pleasant the chance to adjust production schedules to better meet increases in demand. With these new technologies, Pleasant aims to further improve efficiencies across the board—and provide more responsive support to its retail partners.
Aireloom is bringing more advanced technology directly into the mattress itself with the launch of its new NG Matt. Using a sophisticated adaptive technology, to which the company has exclusive rights in the United States market, this self-adjusting mattress delivers more personalized comfort that adapts to the consumers’ needs. With eight air chambers on each side of the mattress, the consumer can easily customize the comfort and support based on their specific needs using a corresponding app. While manual adjustments can be made, the system also offers an ergonomic setting as well. The consumer simply makes a profile on the app and the advanced diagnostic technology automatically monitors the body’s pressure and adjusts to provide proper support. Over the course of three nights, the system will take readings of the user’s sleep quality, movements and support and generates a specialized report that determines the ideal comfort and support profile for their needs. With two models priced to retail for $6,500, the NG Matt boasts the same high-quality look and feel as every Aireloom mattress—with the added bonus of high-tech customization capabilities.
NEXT-LEVEL TEMPERATURE REGULATION
Cooling can no longer be considered a fad or trend within the sleep industry, but rather a staple. Where once the concept gave manufacturers an edge over competitors who didn’t have it, these days those same companies have to go beyond simple cooling to stay on top of the game. Savvy manufacturers are now offering retailers state-of-the-art thermoregulation technology that doesn’t wash out, is visibly detectable and incorporates the ability to heat as well as cool.
An old staple from its mattress portfolio, Spring Air reintroduced the Four Seasons Collection at the summer market – unveiling a number of key updates. Built for sumptuous support with encased coils and Talalay latex, this hybrid line-up also offers advanced comfort management with a variety of new cooling, heating and thermoregulating technologies. Touted as a “superior alternative to memory foam,” NU-Temp Foam delivers pressure relieving comfort in addition to key thermo-regulation benefits as well. Made with billions of microscopic air capsules inside the foam, NU-Temp is non-reactive to temperature—making it an ideal comfort layer for consumers who like the feel of memory foam but struggle with sleeping hot. But the temperature control benefits don’t stop there. Spring Air further enhanced the mattress with an innovative, removable cover that offers two different temperature-regulating technologies on either side. This zippered cover can be easily removed by the consumer, giving them the opportunity to select either cooling or warming feel. With advanced cooling technology embedded directly into the thread, this side provides maximum comfort during the hot summer months—while the warming side ensures a temperature neutral sleep surface for the winter. By combining temperature-neutral comfort layers with a reversible cover, Spring Air has developed a high-quality mattress option that provides advanced temperature control throughout the year.
Engineered as part of the actual thread used to create the fabric, Boyd Sleep’s Ice Fiber keeps its cooling abilities for the life of any product in which it is used. Thanks to this durable construction, consumers can easily launder protectors and covers that use Ice Fiber technology without the fear of it washing out, allowing for a consistently cleaner and cooler sleep surface. Easy-care cooling accessories benefit retailers as ideal sleep solutions for the hot-sleeping allergy sufferer, while stand-alone items like mattresses that use Ice Fiber provide an immediate, tangible cooling experience that promises long-lasting temperature regulation.
At the center of its business philosophy, BEDGEAR has always promoted the twin objectives of performance and recovery. Within its comprehensive assortment of innovative, patented technologies, BEDGEAR takes a lifestyle brand approach by bringing restorative sleep to every layer of the sleep experience: mattress, protectors, pillows and linens. An intrinsic component of the company’s strategy is temperature management, a crucial element for achieving true recovery. BEDGEAR’s Ver-Tex technology provides instant heat deflection while remaining cool to the touch, allowing the body’s natural temperature to drop to its ideal sleeping temperature. By incorporating Ver-Tex into a variety of its products, BEDGEAR ensures that consumers have a number of choices with which to beat sleep-heat.
At the recent market, Classic Brands rolled out a suite of innovative fabric technologies, chief among them the company’s newest cooling technology: Cool Gel Thermic. Integrated into the very fibers of the fabric, Cool Gel Thermic won’t wash or wear out, continuing to thermoregulate for the life of the product. Not only does this technical textile absorb body heat while remaining cool to the touch, but Classic Brands smartly added phase change properties to Cool Gel Thermic for a very visual representation of the fabric’s cooling capabilities. By taking this “seeing is believing” approach, Classic Brands offers retailers a demonstrably striking way to engage consumers in conversations around temperature regulation.
A longtime player in the high-tech bedding game, PureCare scored big with its popular Frío cooling technology. Now the company is taking its Frío fibers to new heights with its ReversaTemp protectors. The reversible pillow and mattress protectors feature the mineral-based Frío rapid chill cooling fibers on one side for a soothing, cool sleep surface, while the other side touts the company’s new, exclusive Heatstar insulating technology that employs a series of air cavities in each fiber to harness the body’s heat and actively warm the sleeper. In addition to ReversaTemp, the company is also debuting its new line of TempSync pillows, powered by paraffin wax-infused pockets that help the body maintain a consistent and comfortable temperature throughout the night. The paraffin liquefies as the body warms up, absorbing the heat, but as the body cools down, the paraffin solidifies to reflect heat back to the sleeper. With this smart combination of ingenuity and quality, PureCare continues to be a trailblazer in the performance textile market.
Making a dedicated commitment to providing every sleeper with the perfect, personalized sleeping temperature, Symbol officially launched its SleepFresh brand at the beginning of this year. In addition to utilizing more conventional temperature regulating materials like heat-dissipating gel, breathable ventilated foam and Graphene-infused memory foam for better heat management, SleepFresh goes above and beyond with the inclusion of its exclusive Master Control Unit (MCU) integrated into every model. Powered by Genthern, a global leader in thermal technologies, the MCU is the power center for each SleepFresh bed, enabling sleepers to precisely tune each side of the bed to the temperature that is right for them. The active cooling from the integrated Thermoelectric Heat Pump creates a microclimate of comfort by pushing thermally conditioned air through the mattress layers to achieve the ideal sleeping temperature. Upper-tier models offer an upgrade of four climate zones, providing each sleeper with two zones of temperature regulation. This revolutionary system marries the best of electronic thermal technology with the best of performance cooling materials, resulting in a truly customized and optimally thermoregulated sleeping experience.
INNOVATIVE COIL UNITS
While foam-based sleep products have been all the rage the past decade, we are now starting to see a resurgence of innerspring mattresses as well. In fact, we got a look at a number of unique spring-based sleep products and innovative coil technologies at the summer market. Much more than just a standard spring unit, these new support systems offered both patented (or patent-pending) features and one-of-a-kind designs. By incorporating pocket coils within more unexpected elements of the sleep system, whether the mattress ticking or adjustable base, these products are sure to stand out from other more traditional offerings.
All of the new Tommy Bahama mattresses feature the innovative iFlex Hybrid Quilt. This patent-pending coil system includes 2,000 three-quarter-inch micro-coils, which are integrated directly into the mattress quilt. The first of its kind, the iFlex not only increases the overall coil count of the mattress but creates a new, more substantial feel to the sleep surface. By eliminating foam from the surface-level, this new system lessens the potential for body impressions and creates a more breathable comfort layer. The mini-coil structure also makes it more accommodating for adjustable bases as well. In addition to the iFlex, the new Tommy Bahama collection also features New Zealand wool—for added moisture control, temperature regulation and anti-microbial benefits—along with a selection of specialty foams. With models ranging from $799 to $1,499 in queen, the Therapedic is offering this innovative new coil technology at a price point that’s designed to move—all within a stylish collection touting a well-known brand name.
While there are a number of different heavy-duty mattress options on the market today, King Koil’s new World Extended Life Collection provides retailers with more than just added durability. The new line-up features high-density foam core, layers of specialty latex and memory foams and the Perfect Contour Reaction coil system. This proprietary support unit, which is exclusive to King Koil, combines more than 1,000 active-conforming coils with shorter supportive reactive coils in between. By blending two different coil heights and styles, this system works to improve postural alignment and support a variety of physiques. Additionally, it helps reduce motion transfer and disturbance among partners. Paired with rapid response iNergex3 foam and temperature regulating graphite Talalay Latex, each mattress in the line-up is designed to deliver the proper comfort and support to people of all body types—making it an ideal option for couples of diverse shapes and sizes. In fact, each model is endorsed by the International Chiropractor Association (ICA) to deliver proper posture for a healthier sleep. Available nation-wide as part of King Koil’s “core program,” the World Extended Life includes three different mattress models—Athens Firm, Athens Plush and Athens Reversible Topper—that range at retail from $1,299 to $1,999.
Vispring has long been known for its hand-crafted luxury mattresses – and at the summer market, it further expanded that high-quality approach with the official launch of the Palladium adjustable base. 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. Like all of Vispring’s sleep products, the Palladium is handcrafted by expert artisans—and the pocket coils are the same as those found in its mattress offerings as well. As such, the new base becomes a logical extension of the company’s wider product portfolio, which creates an effective sales opportunity for retailers looking to increase their attachment rates among the ultra-premium consumer. Retailing in the U.S. for $6,250 in queen, the Palladium combines substantive support, popular comfort features and sleek styling to deliver a truly luxurious night sleep.
Learn more about these trends and all of the latest bedding products and technologies in the summer issue of Sleep Retailer!