Sleep Retailer eNews | May 23, 2019

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Our Thoughts On 2018 Mattress Sales Data

financial spreadsheet report

Delivering comprehensive shipment and sales data on the mattress industry’s current and historical trends, ISPA releases an annual report each year to keep industry participants informed. The organization recently published its 2018 Report, revealing interesting insights on the state of the mattress marketplace in the US - and where it may be heading in the future. 

In reviewing ISPA’s recent 2018 report, two key pieces of data stood out to us:

  • “The report estimates that U.S. sales of mattresses and stationary foundations from all sources (including imports) grew modestly in 2018, but that the unit shipments and value of just U.S.-produced products fell below 2016 levels. Compared to 2017, U.S. mattress producers shipped 2.4% fewer million units in 2018, valued at $8.3 billion.”
  • “Overall, the Average Unit Price (AUP) for all U.S.-produced mattresses and stationary foundations increased modestly in 2018 compared to 2017, with mattress prices decreasing while stationary foundation prices posted an increase.”

Let’s start with the first piece of data regarding overall sales in the U.S. and sales of U.S. produced items. What’s interesting about this data is that while there’s been a little bit of growth in U.S. sales of sleep products, U.S. produced product sales did not increase—in fact, they decreased below levels seen in 2016.

While it’s hard to say exactly what is contributing to this decrease, the shift here does show that less people are spending money on U.S. made products and are perhaps focusing their money on imported goods instead. While we are in a trade war with China, that hasn’t entirely slowed the sale of imported mattresses and stationary foundations at this stage. That said, just last week Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods ranging from appliances and mattresses to raw materials like wool and silk were ratcheted up from 10% to 25% as originally planned. Although the initial round of tariffs first took effect in June 2018, retailers and manufacturers are still experiencing the impact of them— and we have yet to see what effect the recent 15% increase will have on the cost of components and finished products.

Now let’s turn to the second piece of data from ISPA’s report. It’s hard to say exactly why mattress prices decreased while stationary foundation prices increased. While the growing number of low-cost mattress options likely has had a ripple effect on overall AUP, there has been a growing push to educate consumers about the impact that mattress foundations have on sleep quality—and that may be driving more people to invest in good quality options. But at this point, there remains uncertainty in pricing with factors like the tariffs impacting material sourcing and costs across the industry.

It will be interesting to see the outcome in 2019. Will U.S. produced product sales increase as more manufacturers and retailers seek to make products in the U.S. and sell products made in the U.S.? Will U.S. consumers make that switch if imported products cost more than items made in the U.S.? Or will manufacturers simply continue to re-route their sourcing, choosing components and products from other countries besides China to combat the rising material costs? Or will the ever-growing interest in sleep hygiene simply counteract any pricing considerations? Retailers and manufacturers alike are holding their breath to see how it will all play out and we are right there with them!

Read more here, here, here and here.

The Power Of Wellness: Why You Should Be Tapping Into This Growing Market

Close up of meditation in park at sunrise.

The mattress industry has always been intrinsically linked to health and wellness. Above all else, the true purpose of a mattress is to facilitate quality sleep—and quality sleep is an essential part of maintaining physical, mental and emotional health. But that essential purpose has too often been obscured by a number of other sales factors. The bedding market exists at the cross-section of the furniture category, which means craftsmanship and style weigh heavily into purchasing decisions. More recently, we’ve also seen the category veer into a more “fast-fashion” angle; where low prices and convenience take priority above all else. While all of these selling points still connect with specific audiences, there is evidence that a health and wellness focused approach is increasingly more valuable among today’s consumers.

While the concept of wellness may seem a little flimsy to some people, it actually carries quite a lot of purchasing power behind it. According to the Global Wellness Institute, the “Global Wellness Economy” hit $4.2 trillion in 2017. From 2015-2017, it grew 6.4% annually—which was nearly twice as fast as global economic growth (3.6%). But that’s not all. In Q1 of 2019 alone, there are already nearly 45,000 “mobile health apps” available on Apple’s App Store—and that market is expected to grow to almost $60 billion by 2020.

But what is wellness? It encompasses a wide variety of different ideologies, lifestyles, goals and product types—many of which are related to sleep. According to the Global Wellness Institute, one of the most popular wellness categories is “Personal Care, Beauty & Anti-Aging,” which saw $1,083 billion in sales in 2017. Other top categories included: Healthy Eating, Nutrition & Weight Loss ($702 billion), Fitness & Mind-Body ($595 billion) and Preventative & Personalized Medicine and Public Health ($575 billion).

This increase in wellness spending is meaningful in that it reflects what today’s consumers are really looking for on an emotional level. When a shopper can truly see how a product can positively impact their life, it doesn’t feel quite as irrational to spend a little bit more, to try something new or invest in a higher quality option. It’s not a radical idea, of course, that people are willing to spend their money on products that promise to make them look, feel and perform better. But the particular kind of “wellness” angle is still relatively novel—and, today, carries with it a certain kind of aspirational quality.

In recent years, many wellness-promoting practices have gone from being the bizarro habits of crunch-granola hippies—to becoming synonymous with the luxurious lifestyles of the rich and famous. Wealthy tech tycoons like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey has recently been very vocal about his newfound love of fasting and meditation. Beyonce is doing her part by promoting her switch to a vegan diet. And of course, Gwyneth Paltrow is still making headlines selling thousands of dollars worth of crystals and CBD oils and yoga mats through her Goop empire. And those are just some of the big names! A quick perusal of Instagram will reveal a whole eco-system of micro-influencers touting their own personal wellness journeys.

Though it may be aspirational, there is no need for basic wellness to be seen as complicated or financially unattainable. In fact, that is where sleep comes in. Sleep is the essential backdrop for most wellness goals. It can help protect against health problems, promote mental clarity—and deliver that indelible glow most often spotted on someone who has just back from a rejuvenating weekend retreat. Now a new mattress won’t guarantee such benefits over night—nor will it be the magical cure-all to things like brain fog, anxiety, stomach bloat or any other pesky ailments—but it can be one major piece of the overall wellness puzzle. When you invest in a good quality mattress, you are creating a solid baseline from which you can more easily foster greater healing and happiness.

As the wellness trend continues to grow, mattress and bedding companies definitely have a leg up. While many popular brands are now scrambling to figure out how to get in on the action by integrating wellness-oriented messaging into seemingly unrelated positioning (beer companies sponsoring exercise festivals, anyone?)—the sleep industry has been selling a wellness product all along. Now all you have to do is make sure your customers understand that.

Different ways bedding retailers can promote their wellness connection:

> Make sure your RSAs are equipped with information about sleep health and all its diverse benefits. If they’re comfortable with this knowledge, they can more easily share it with prospective buyers.

> Share wellness-oriented messaging and content with your customers on social media and in traditional marketing pieces. Don’t abandon product details or pricing entirely, but simply couple it with some additional info they can return to even after the sale is made.

> Explore new products and categories that you can integrate into your showrooms. Wellness is holistic, so try to examine your assortment from all different angles and don’t be afraid to think outside the box with aromatherapy products, meditation apps, herbal teas, yoga equipment, etc.

> Team up with other wellness-oriented brands or stores. This is a good way to dip a toe into the wellness market, without fully overhauling your approach. Look into different athletic events or health-based conventions for sponsorship opportunities. Or start smaller: open up your retail space as a place where local experts can host classes. Aligning yourself with certain types of people, organizations and practices can have a big impact on how your customers perceive your brand.

Interested in learning more about health and wellness? Check out the newest episode of the Sleep Retailer Podcast! We sit down with Shaun Pennington, president of Diamond Mattress, to discuss how his company is bringing this health and wellness message to the retail level. Listen now.

Read more here and here.

How To Create A Bedtime Routine

Sleep Shopper bed

Did you know? In addition to bringing you up-to-date info on new sleep products and industry updates, Sleep Retailer also covers the latest sleep science news - including helpful tips for how to get the quality rest we all need to perform our best. Check out this step-by-step guide to creating a bedtime routine that really works, then head over to our Sleep Shopper vertical to find more handy sleep content that you can share with your customers!

You know the statistics. More than a third of all adults in the US are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You know the facts. Lack of sleep contributes to heart disease, weight gain, weakened immunity and even memory and mood issues. But knowing the facts doesn’t make it any easier to get the sleep you want and need—and trying to wade through the myriad life hacks and miracle products can sometimes feel impossible.

The truth is, when it comes to forming better sleep habits, there really is no such thing as a quick fix. The most effective solution is to build a better sleep routine—and then really stick to it. “Most of us cannot sleep on command, but routine helps the brain know that it’s preparing for sleep,” says Rebecca Scott, research assistant professor of neurology at the NYU Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center—Sleep Center. “Our sleep system, along with most other neurophysiological systems, likes predictability and consistency.”

We’ve gathered some of the best, most practical sleep advice and used it to craft a detailed, daily practice that will set you on the right path towards better sleep.

Make a plan to go to bed at the same time every night

Our bodies are regulated by our circadian rhythm, a 24-hour cycle that operates as a sort of internal clock for our waking and sleeping hours. When our lifestyle is properly in sync with this rhythm, not only is the quality of our sleep higher—but all of the body’s functions work better as well.

Sleep experts agree that the key to maintaining the proper circadian rhythm is going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day—no matter what. While it can be tempting to try to make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping in on the weekends, this can actually further disrupt our natural circadian rhythm.

Determining the best bedtime for your lifestyle depends on when you want to get up in the morning. Conventional wisdom says that we should be aiming for eight hours of sleep every night—though newer research has posited that this might not be a hard and fast rule for everyone: anywhere between seven and nine hours is fine (and it’s ok to have more or less every once in a while).

When developing your own sleep schedule, be sure to budget time to get tired. Even at our most exhausted, it is unrealistic to expect to conk out the second your head hits the pillow. Sleep scientist Daniel Gartenberg suggests padding your targeted amount of sleep by half an hour. So if you want to wake up at 7am, that means going to sleep at 10:30pm.

Once you have your target bedtime set, you can start to reverse-engineer a healthy sleep routine—and that begins long before the sun even sets.

2:30 PM : Start Avoiding Caffeine

8 hours before bed

Does this sound familiar to you? You spend the night tossing and turning, and find yourself hitting the wall around 3pm the next day. So you pour yourself another cup of coffee for a quick pick me up. Fast-forward a few hours, and you’re once again tossing and turning.

According to sleep scientist Dr. Michael Breus, caffeine is a stimulant with a “halflife” of roughly eight hours. So even though its effect dwindles over time, it is still in your system long after you’ve taken your last sip. While skipping your afternoon caffeine fix may be arduous at first, the reward is more quality sleep—which will, over time, lessen your reliance on caffeine entirely.

Read the full guide here

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