Protect-A-Bed Reinvigorates Brick-And-Mortar Retail

When it comes to retail support, Protect-A-Bed is a triple threat. With a comprehensive product portfolio, strategic RSA training and a proven approach to in-store displays, the company has the resources to help its retail partners boost profits.

According to John Rachid, president of Protect-A-Bed, many sleep shops and bedding departments are leaving significant sales opportunities on the table by not devoting enough of their energy to top-of-bed. Simply increasing accessories sales from two percent to ten percent—without increasing the number of customers, tickets or mattress units—can help furniture retailers grow their top-line sales by nine percent.

“That’s how powerful the top-of-bed business can be for them,” he explained. “Retailers don’t have to bring in another customer to make more money. It’s really about taking that same customer and trying to sell top-of-bed products to them.”

This approach is especially valuable as many retailers have seen in-store traffic slow. While the increase in e-commerce sales has led many retailers to shift their attention to online, that shift has only created new obstacles.

“Over the last five years everybody has focused on making sure they have the omni experience and they’ve been spending a lot of money on the website,” Rachid said. “But the challenge that we’ve seen when we do retailer visits nationwide is that they’re spending so much on that online experience that they’re forgetting about the brick-and-mortar experience.”

While there is no doubt that online sales will continue to grow in the coming years, the bulk of the volume is still coming from brick-and-mortar—and it is expected to continue that way for the time being. That is why Protect-A-Bed has been investing heavily in physical retail. Whether working with furniture and department stores, sleep shops or big box chains, the company is focused on helping retail partners develop and implement new strategies that will bring excitement back into the brick-and-mortar shopping experience.

“It all starts with having the right products,” Rachid explained. “And the right partner that’s going to help train your staff, set targeted goals, have the right display units—and can deliver on time complete when you need them so you’re not bogged down and have to carry six months of supply of accessories. We pride ourselves on being a vendor that makes sure you’re in stock and not overstocked.”

Protect-A-Bed offers a comprehensive portfolio of top-of-bed products, including mattress and pillow protectors, pillows, sheets, encasements and more. The company expects to further expand the breadth of its program following its recent acquisition by SureFit Home Textiles.

“The marriage of SureFit and Protect-A-Bed brings a lot of synergies,” he said. “The one thing the recent acquisition does immediately is that it makes our brand stronger across the board. Immediately, we become a bigger and larger organization with a lot more diversity than just in the mattress protection category.

Protect-A-Bed continues to find new ways to support its brick-and-mortar retail partners. According to Rachid, the key to recapturing the “wealth of profit” that top-of-bed sales can afford is to create a shopping environment that clearly communicates the value of these products. And when that education is coupled with a fun and engaging sales process, consumers will feel more confident investing in full bedding programs.

Retail sales associates play a major role in fostering that kind of positive environment. Protect-A-Bed works to reinforce the importance of top-of-bed through its renowned RSA training program. Offering more than just product information, PAB U provides valuable insights on how to build enthusiasm around accessories programs and clear directives on how RSAs can add accessories products to each mattress sale.

To really maximize top-of-bed sales, though, quality RSA training must be supported by the right point-of-purchase assets. While many stores have relied on standard display strategies, simply stocking products on standard wire racks or even in stacks on the floor often reinforces the idea that accessories are an afterthought.

To counter this assumption, Protect-A-Bed developed a new racking and display system that more effectively facilitates the conversation around sleep accessories. Introduced in 2018, the company’s modular system enhances a traditional package-based approach with more interactive touch and texture experiences. Not only does the system make for a more eye-catching display, “it also takes the complexity out of buying a protector, an encasement, a pillow,” Rachid explained.

Beyond just showcasing the products, the system also features informative demos that walk the customers through the benefits of each offering. Whether spotlighting the breathability of a sheet set or the protection capabilities of an encasement, these demos clearly spell out for the consumer why they should invest in these accessories.

“Last year, we launched over 400 new racking bays and they’ve been home-runs,” Rachid explained. “We want to do the same in 2019 and further enhance that experience. Our main focus will be about in-store excitement and display, making it user-friendly and easy to sell top-of-bed across the board.”