Sleep Retailer eNews | June 14, 2018

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Case Study: The Raymour & Flanigan Pizza Promotion

Mattresses and pizza seem like a pretty unlikely combination – and that’s exactly what Raymour and Flanigan is capitalizing on with a clever new promotion. The premise is simple but unexpected: the furniture and mattress retailer teamed up with Papa John’s to offer “a year of pizza” to anyone who bought a mattress costing $500 or more from its brick-and-mortar stores. Though their “year of pizza” actually includes just one large cheese pie per month (toppings at an additional cost), the roughly $180 in savings was not really the point of the campaign. By promoting this deal with the tagline, “Mattresses shouldn’t come in a box. Pizzas do,” Raymour and Flanigan is ultimately taking a cheeky jab at its boxed-bed rivals. With a marketing push that included a TV spot and social media posts, the campaign has generated a bit of buzz amongst industry and consumer publications alike. So while the final ROI for this campaign hasn’t been revealed, it definitely succeeded in drawing attention to the retail store chain. So what is it that made the offer so compelling? And what can retailers looking to make a similar splash learn from this campaign?

An Unanticipated Cross-Segment Marketing Partnership

First of all, R&F chose a slightly nonsensical cross-segment partnership to pursue as a way to get consumers to chew on the differences between mattresses and pizzas. Pizza is generally a food that people enjoy paying attention to (there are whole Instagram accounts devoted to photos of its cheesy goodness) and, because the two products don’t typically appear in the same sentence, the combination is unexpected and outside of the box.

Since mattresses and pizzas ARE very different products, why would they both come in a box? The goal of this concept is to help consumers decide that mattresses probably shouldn’t come in boxes and that the best way to buy a mattress is to head on over to R&F to try its unboxed beds. The pizza makes the offer unique and advertising clever while incentivizing the purchase of a new mattress.

When contemplating a cross-segment partnership, it can be challenging to predict how a particularly unexpected one will be received. It’s important to think hard about what a pairing will say to consumers. It has to make some sense, but every now and then a pairing that is kind of a stretch, like this one, can have a major appeal.

Clear(ish) Emphasis On The Importance Of Trying Before Buying

Part of what makes this campaign and offer work is its mix of clarity and ambiguity. The copy and concept conveys two specific messages:

  1. Mattresses shouldn’t come in a box because you should experience them first.
  2. If you come and give unboxed beds a try, you can get pizza in a box as part of the deal.

While the emphasis here is on the importance of visiting the store to try the mattress, the promotion leaves just enough mystery to pique consumer interest and draw them in to learn more.

Raymour and Flanigan campaign 1

Going Negative On The Competition

As the popularity of roll-pack mattresses grows, this approach may have arguably been a risky move. But the promotion seems to be working, in part because it still feels light-hearted and ultimately serves the consumer. While the R&F jab at boxed bedding is pointed, it doesn’t call out specific competitors. In comparison to the recent twitter silliness among fast food brands, the campaign cleverly offers gentle criticism of the ecommerce mattress market—without getting too petty.

Even more crucially, it adds value for the customer while drawing attention to what the brand specifically does well in comparison to the online alternatives.

Raymour and Flanigan campaign 2

Strong marketing campaigns grab attention with opening humor, thought-provoking commentary or, in this case, an unexpected marketing partnership, just long enough to turn consumer attention to what sets the brand apart from its competitors. In order for outlandish campaigns to be effective, they must be grounded in real value that resonates with consumers.

Read more here, here, here & here.

Looking for more bedding retail industry news? Check out this week's Snooze News here.

The Future Of Retail Security

shopping credit card reader

Retail “shrink” may be shrinking – but there are new security risks for retailers to contend with. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual National Retail Security Survey, the retail industry’s instances of theft, fraud and other losses are on the decline - with total shrink dropping 4.3% from 2016 to 2017. But even as the instances of traditional theft have declined, there are new kinds of issues looming on the horizon. The report’s authors cited the growing risk of cybersecurity threats creating additional concerns for retailers. While the cumbersome nature of mattresses has historically safeguarded the industry against some of the more common types of theft, digital crime could potentially have a more potent impact on the market as it is not limited to what can be surreptitiously carried out of a store. This kind of theft is of greater concern for consumers as well. Thanks to a handful of widespread and highly publicized retail data breaches, cybersecurity has become a major purchasing consideration for many consumers. As the threat of digital crimes becomes more prevalent, it is important for mattress retailers to get serious about protecting themselves against online risk.

Published in partnership with the University of Florida, NRF’s new report surveyed 63 “loss prevention and asset protection professionals from a variety of retail sectors.” The research found that the total number of losses due to theft or fraud dropped from $48.9 billion in 2016 to $46.8 billion in 2017. Overall retail shrink averaged 1.33% of sales in 2017, which was down from 1.44% in 2016. The most common example of retail theft continues to be shoplifting; the report found “organized retail crime” to be one of the main causes of retail shrink last year. But the physical stealing of goods is not the only kind of theft that retailers have to protect themselves against. The report found that "internal employee theft" (33%), "administrative paperwork errors" (19%), and "vendor fraud or mistake" (6%) also contributed to retail shrink.

In addition to exploring the traditional sources of retail shrink, this year the survey also explored how loss prevention professionals are working to fight cybercrime. More than 85% of respondents said their companies had a cyber-security incident response plan in place — and roughly two-thirds of loss prevention professionals said they meet at least quarterly with their IT and cyber-security departments. But more than 14% of respondents said they never meet with their IT teams on cybersecurity, a statistic that is concerning to the reports lead authors.

“Cybersecurity concerns are top-of-mind for retailers today as criminals continue to become more sophisticated in this area," said Richard Hollinger, a University of Florida criminology professor and the lead author of the report. "This is a growing threat that will require more resources going forward. Retail executives need to invest more in loss prevention to reduce these losses to their bottom line."

Shoppers are already ahead of the curve when it comes to worrying about data protection. According to the IBM Cybersecurity and Privacy Research survey, cybersecurity is now a top priority for consumers. This survey, which was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of IBM in March of this year, found that consumers now see cybersecurity as a “crucial consideration when making purchasing decisions” - and 75% of consumers will not buy products from companies that they don’t trust to properly secure their data.

And this trend is expected to continue to grow. In a new report released at the WPP Global Retail Forum, two global marketing executives set out to define what the future of digital retail will look like. According to report author Jon Bird, the Executive Director, Global Retail & Shopper Marketing for VML, one of the key findings of the research was that “shoppers’ biggest concern about technology will be protection of personal information from data hackers.”

Of course, cybersecurity concerns are not particular to e-commerce stores, especially as more and more brick-and-mortar retailers turn to cloud-based POS systems. Just as some stores have invested in security tags and cameras to minimize in-store theft, it is now necessary for retailers to update and expand their loss prevention strategy to safeguard against digital crime as well. Retailers that do not are risking more than just monetary losses; they risk losing the trust of their customers.

Does your retail store have a cyber-security incident response plan in place?

Read more here, here, here & here.

Top 7 Bedroom Challenges Couples FaceAnd How To Snooze Happily Ever After

Man sleeping in bed while woman is using laptop

by Amy Dimond, Director, Brand Communications, Brooklyn Bedding

According to a 2015 National Sleep Foundation survey, an estimated 23% of American couples are now sleeping apart. Dr. Neil Stanley, a sleep expert at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, says that’s largely because couples who share a bed suffer from 50% more sleep disturbances than those who sleep alone. Though bed sharing was once viewed as a litmus test for healthy marriages, couples are increasingly working to find a balance between their needs for closeness and a good night’s rest. While creating separate bedrooms is an obvious solution, many couples find their desire for intimacy and sheer proximity outweigh the drawbacks of sleep disturbances.

If you’re one of those couples willing to stick it out in the bedroom, here are a few coping mechanisms for the top 7 contributors to sleep loss.

1. Snoring

Snoring and sleep apnea can be nothing short of a nightmare for lighter sleep partners—but taking stock of the current situation is essential says Suzan E. Jaffe, Ph.D., a board certified psychiatrist and expert in behavioral sleep disorders.

What to do about it:

Mask the noise: Earplugs, noise cancelling earbuds or headbands and white noise sound machines or apps are all straightforward fixes if your partner is a light snorer. Turning a fan or AC unit on high can have the same effect. If the cause of snoring is nasal congestion, then nasal strips are a safe way to open air passages and reduce heavier breathing.

Change sleep positions (or get a new bed): Most sleepers who are prone to snoring do so more heavily when sleeping on their backs, but training a partner to sleep on their side is tricky. Your best bet is to ensure your bed is not too hard. To sleep on your side, you need adequate pressure point relief for your hips, neck and shoulders. Mattresses featuring latex or a latex alternative foam that provides just enough support with the right amount of bounce is optimal.

Rule out sleep apnea: More drastic measures should be taken if your sleep partner snores heavily or suffers from a sleep disorder. Anti-snoring devices like mouthpieces are often the treatment of choice for patients who suffer from mild to moderate sleep disorders. CPAP machines are not only helpful but a medical necessity for people who snore severely or have sleep apnea.

2. Insomnia

Some cases of insomnia are acute, while others develop into a longer-term problem due to factors like sleep disorders, anxiety and depression. Whatever the underlying cause, researchers at the National Sleep Foundation attribute most insomnia to one of two issues in the sleep cycle: too much “awake drive” or too little “sleep drive.”

What to do about it:

Stick to a sleep schedule: A consistent sleep schedule trains your body for bedtime and encourages that coveted “sleep drive” at the right time. Sending your brain relaxing signals can also help, like soaking in a warm bath, using essential oils like lavender, sipping herbal tea with chamomile or trying breathing exercises, which mimic your body’s natural sleep response.

Find a bed with enhanced notion isolation: If your ill-timed “awake drive” is causing sleep deprivation for both you and your sleep partner, consider investing in a hybrid mattress that limits the transfer of motion. A quality hybrid mattress consists of multiple layers of foam combined with individually pocketed springs that are designed to respond independently to compression, limiting the impact of any movement across the surface of the mattress.

3. Temperature Differences

Perhaps you experience night sweats while your companion’s feet are ice cold. There are numerous reasons why one of you might be sleeping too hot. Figuring out a happy medium for both of you may come down to sleep science: human skin temperature can hover above or below the average of 91 degrees, but the ideal sleep temperature is 88 degrees.

What to do about it:

Invest in a specialized cooling mattress: Elite mattresses with advanced cooling technology often offer phase change molecule (PCM) surface infusion. If your skin temperature is above 88 degrees, the micro-encapsulated PCM will liquify, disseminating a cooling effect. If your skin temperature goes below 88 degrees, the PCM will solidify, ensuring you’re cool but not cold.

Upgrade your sleep accessories: Sleep accessories like bamboo sheets and latex pillows, derived from natural sources that are inherently more breathable, also contribute to a cooler night’s sleep. Another simple solution may be purchasing two different blankets—one for each sleep partner.

4. Sleep-Related Movement Disorders

Medical professionals have identified approximately 80 different sleep disorders—the top three most prevalent conditions being insomnia, sleep apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Along the broad spectrum of sleep disorders are conditions that involve movement disorders, causing sleep disturbance for both the sleeper and the sleep partner. Among the most common of these types of conditions is Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, which is exhibited when you move, jerk or flail your limbs while sleeping. Bruxism (clenching or grinding teeth throughout the night) causes a host of issues, including dental problems and headaches, and affects nearly 1 in 10 sleepers.

What to do about it:

Get a bigger mattress (or two): Choosing a larger size mattress that reduces motion transfer can help put distance between you and a spouse that flails. A split California King can be the ultimate divide between you and a bumpy night with your partner, truly isolating you from restlessness and outward activity.

Visit a dentist: If your spouse suffers from teeth grinding, consulting a dentist is important. A properly fitted mouth guard can minimize the damage for your partner while providing you a quieter night’s sleep.

5. Frequent Trips to the Bathroom

Many researchers believe getting up once in the night to go to the bathroom is normal, particularly as we age (as we get older we produce less of an anti-diuretic hormone that helps us retain fluid). Nocturia is defined as the need to get up to go to the bathroom frequently and it is one of the most common causes of sleep loss. If you or your spouse needs to get up to go to the bathroom more than twice a night, it’s a good idea to visit a urologist to first identify the root cause.

What to do about it:

Take strategic bathroom breaks: You can avoid more frequent trips to the bathroom by emptying your bladder as much as possible before bedtime. That means decreasing your fluid intake 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed and abstaining from drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol at least 6 hours before you turn in.

Double check your mattress: If your partner’s nocturia is depriving you of sleep, identify the specifics. If it’s the noise your spouse makes when he or she gets up, use earplugs or other noise cancelling solutions. If it’s the movement, ensure your mattress isn’t contributing to the problem.

6. Conflicting Sleep Schedules

Maybe she’s a night owl and you’re an early riser. Maybe he works the late shift and you like to get a quiet moment to yourself before the kids get up. Either way, both of you can suffer from not only sleep deprivation but a lower quality relationship when your schedules are so radically incompatible.

What to do about it:

Designate a “Get Ready” room: Your partner is neither wrong nor right when it comes to sleep preferences. You each simply have different needs and biology. Commit to being considerate if your spouse is trying to sleep—and be aware that both noise and light sensitivity play a key role in sleep disturbance. Therapists like Toronto based Kimberly Moffit suggest changing in another room if you have to get up early to go to work.

Get cozy outside of the bedroom: If you like to catch up on your reading in bed, ask yourself why you prefer that spot. Is it because the bed is more comfortable than any other spot outside the bedroom, or because you actually want to maintain a physical connection to your spouse? Creating a cozy place in the family room or home office might be the best solution.

7. Two Love Languages

Part of our bedtime compatibility has to do with emotional intimacy, which can take on many forms in the bedroom, from cuddling to heart-to-heart conversations in the dark. But what if, after all that bonding, you’d like to spoon and your spouse just wants to put a fork in it and go to sleep?

What to do about it:

Schedule cuddle time: Practically speaking, try to set aside enough time to cuddle before both of you are ready to nod off. Most partners who are spooning-averse simply can’t fall asleep with someone touching them. Allowing enough time for meaningful, physical contact while you’re awake gives the spooner some much needed intimacy and the anti-snuggler the gift of space later, when it really counts.

Snuggle on your side: If you’re one of the lucky ones who can fall asleep snuggling but unlucky enough to have a partner who snores, you can actually delay the inevitable by spooning. That’s because spooning requires a side position, which is the least likely posture to cause snoring. Even if your partner does eventually roll into lumberjack territory, you’ll be fast asleep.


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