As the appetite for American brands continues to increase across the globe, independent mattress producer Southerland is launching an international licensing program to drive further growth for the company’s stable of brands. The new program – the first licensing effort in Southerland’s 126-year history – will make its debut at the upcoming Las Vegas Market, Jan. 27-31.
“Like U.S. retailers, international companies are looking for brands that can deliver higher margins, so we’re offering internationally the expertise we’ve gained from making quality bedding for more than 125 years,” said Bryan Smith, president and chief executive officer of Southerland. “American brands are very desirable in many international markets, especially in Asia, South America, Mexico and Canada.”
In addition to manufacturing and merchandising expertise, Smith said Southerland’s licensing partners will gain access to its proprietary products and technology. Partners may choose to be licensees for any or all the company’s seven brands – Southerland, Evolution, Scandinavian, Thermobalance, Signature, American Sleep and Heritage, he explained.
The licensing program will be headed by Jim Nation, Southerland’s executive vice president of national accounts and international licensing. His more than 40 years of mattress industry experience includes long history of running successful companies with domestic and international licensing programs.
“As the demand for American brands continues to grow, this is a tremendous opportunity for Southerland to leverage its domestic expertise throughout the world,” said Nation. “We offer an alternative to the many low-margin brands out there now.”
Southerland has no domestic licensees, and Smith said the company plans to maintain that strategy at home. The company recently acquired Oregon-based Tualatin Sleep Products, giving it seven production and distribution facilities servicing retailers in 43 states.
About Southerland: Southerland has been making quality mattresses in the U.S. since 1893. Using only best-in-class materials and components, Southerland currently sells its line of mattresses and adjustable bases throughout 43 states. By implementing its stringent quality assurance program, Southerland manufactures mattresses that are backed by the company’s “making it right” philosophy that stands behind every product delivered. Each of its products is delivered to retailers via its wholly-owned transportation company. The company’s seven production and distribution facilities in Nashville, Tennessee; Cleveland, Ohio; Phoenix, Arizona; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Tualatin, Oregon, total more than 480,000 square feet.