Q&A: Strategic Tips From Industry Insiders

In today’s evolving marketplace, bedding and furniture retailers are increasingly looking for innovative ways to improve their bottom line. Whether the goal is to increase incremental sales, connect with new consumers or build greater relationships with existing customers, there are a number of different retail strategies that can help boost overall profits. This could include everything from mixing up their product assortment to adopting an omnichannel approach to sales and marketing to simply updating their RSA training. In a media landscape full of business retail advice, we wanted to cut some of the noise and offer actionable tips that apply directly to selling sleep products. So we’ve turned to a diverse group of mattress manufacturers, each one a long-time industry player with a unique value proposition, to see what advice they had for retailers looking to grow their business in 2017.

What is one new strategy retailers could implement to improve their bottom line?

Serta Andrew Gross"The competition among bedding innovators is becoming more and more fierce. Because there are so many mattresses to choose from, consumers are confused and can become overwhelmed when it comes down to what to purchase. Today mattress buyers are turning to brands they can relate to and retailers who can help make it an easy experience. To do this, we’ve armed our retailers with Serta’s simplified brand and product story so that the benefits are easily communicated and resonate with consumers so they can choose what’s best for them based on their needs. For example, our iComfort mattress is designed with cooling technology that responds to the body’s individual needs for comfort, support and temperature regulation. The Perfect Sleeper on the other hand is designed with input from the National Sleep Foundation and engineered to help address five common sleep problems. Our overall goal is to simplify the process and make mattress buying a better experience." —Andrew Gross, Executive Vice President of Marketing, Serta

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Classic Brands Michael Zippelli"Differentiation is the key to success in today’s mattress marketplace. In many markets, retailers continue to compete with each other in a race to the bottom selling the same beds from the same brands. The more strategic, more successful retailers are turning their sights to mattresses that are unique, different and better than those being sold by the masses. Our line of two-sided beds with edge-to-edge steel gives retail sales associates a better alternative to sell, and allows retailers to operate on higher margins for better profitability."—Bob Naboicheck, President of Gold Bond

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Gold Bond Bob Naboicheck"Retailers should invest in internet marketing and advertising designed to drive consumers through the front door and into their online shopping carts. Consumers of all demographics spend a great deal of time researching purchases and buying online. Expanding their digital footprint with a thoughtful and impactful strategy is the key to a retailer surviving the industry’s rapidly evolving marketplace. The biggest challenge retailers have faced coming out of the Great Recession is getting foot traffic into the store. Consumers are becoming less inclined to going into brick-and-mortar stores and turning more and more to the internet. Retailers who ignore the digital age are at risk of losing market share."—Michael Zippelli, CEO of Classic Brands

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Shifman Bill Hammer“Differentiate your store by providing a more unique product offering. Consider mattresses of higher quality and lasting value, such as Shifman handmade, two-sided, cotton mattresses with real working boxsprings. Featuring the finest quality mattresses, which often offer lasting comfort, justifies higher price. This also raises average unit selling prices leading to increased sales and profits for your store.” —Bill Hammer, President of Shifman Mattress Company

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