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BedTimes |

The Business Journal for the Sleep Products Industry August 2011

It’s what’s

Inside that


Uncovering innovations in foams & springs

What separates successful companies from struggling ones Presentation Prep 101

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BedTimes Editor in Chief Julie A. Palm 571-482-5442 Associate Editor Barbara Nelles 336-856-8973 Ar t Director Stephanie Belcher 336-201-7475 Vice President of Adver tising Sales Kerri Bellias 336-945-0265 Ad Production & Circulation Manager Debbie Robbins 571-482-5443 Copy Editor Margaret Talley-Seijn Volume 139, Number 8 BedTimes (ISSN 0893-5556; Permit 047-620) is published monthly by the International Sleep Products Association. Periodicals postage paid in Philadelphia, PA. Administrative and ISPA offices 501 Wythe St. Alexandria, VA 22314-1917 Phone 703-683-8371 Fax 703-683-4503 Postmaster: Send address changes to BedTimes 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1917 Contents © 2011 by the International Sleep Products Association. Reprint permission obtainable through BedTimes.

Contributors | Patricia Fripp Patricia Fripp is a certified speaking professional, executive speech coach and sales presentation skills trainer. She’s earned the Council of Peers Award for Excellence and been named to the Speaker Hall of Fame by the National Speakers Association. She is a past-president of the association. Fripp works with companies large and small and individuals from the C-suite to the work floor. She builds leaders, transforms sales teams and delights audiences. She is the author of Get What You Want! and Make It, So You Don’t Have to Fake It! To learn more about Fripp, check, call 415-753-6556 or email pfripp@ | Stuart Morley Stuart Morley is founder and master strategist of Jump, a division of Morley & Associates Inc. He has worked with more than 300 mid-market clients to facilitate companies transitioning for growth and profitability. Morley is author of Weather the Storm: A Survival Guide for MidMarket Organizations. For more information, email stuart@, check or call 705-646-7722.

| Rhonda R. Savage Dentist Rhonda R. Savage is an internationally acclaimed speaker and chief executive officer of a well-known practice management and consulting business. Savage also is a noted motivational speaker on leadership, women’s issues and communication. For more information on her speaking, check www.dentalmanage or email rhonda@milesand

| Dorothy Whitcomb Dorothy Whitcomb is a freelance journalist and editor whose work has appeared in a wide range of business and general interest publications. Her primary focus for the past 25 years has been the home furnishings industry. She writes about businesses, trends, products and design, specializing in profiles of companies and industry leaders. She wrote about Tietex International Ltd. in the July issue of BedTimes. She can be reached at 410-820-0456 or


Coming up

In December BedTimes Supplies Guide If you are an industry supplier who wants to be included in the annual print edition of the Supplies Guide, you need to make sure your information is correct in the online guide at www.bedtimes The information we have online on Sept. 23 is what will be published in the December BedTimes. To update or upgrade your listing, contact MultiView, our Supplies Guide partner, at or 972-402-7000. Editorial deadlines Editorial deadlines for the News and Newsmakers sections of the October issue are Thursday, Sept. 1. Email news releases and photos to Julie Palm, BedTimes editor in chief, at Questions? Call 571-482-5442. Corrections BedTimes strives to present accurate information and we take mistakes seriously. When an inaccuracy is brought to our attention, we will correct the error in the online edition in which the error occurred ( We also will run a correction—typically on this page of the magazine or in the News section—in the next print edition. To report an error, email Julie Palm, BedTimes editor in chief, at

August 2011 BedTimes


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Inside ■


9 | Brief Sheet

■ Consumers like ‘Made in America’ ■ Poet takes on ‘hell’ of mattress shopping ■ Cost of flying soars & more…

13 | Profile

Niles Cornelius After years with mattress manufacturers, the industry veteran finds he enjoys selling other sleep products, too.

17 | Skills

Taking the stage Run through this checklist before giving any presentation.

21 | Family Biz

At work & at home How to ease the difficulties of working with relatives.

24 ■

47 | News


■ Culp posts gain in mattress fabric sales ■ Mattress Firm plans IPO ■ Dutch Craft inks licensing deal & more…


| 24 Core competencies

63 | Newsmakers

■ FXI has new leadership ■ Hickory Springs promotes three

Foams are increasingly feature-filled while innersprings seek to solve problems. BedTimes examines trends in the components that are at the center of virtually every mattress.

company & more…

A consultant lays out 10 differences between companies that thrive and those that don’t. Which side of the line is your business on?


07 | Note 68 | Calendar

67 | ISPA

■ BSC to aid teenage ‘zombies’ ■U  se Cost Survey to evaluate your

| 40 Success & failure

execs & more…

70 | Advertisers 71 | Classifieds


72 | On Sleep

■ Should mattresses rock? ■ Hotel quiets sounds of snoring & more…


August 2011 BedTimes




Defining success in a new economy What does it mean for you?


Julie A. Palm Editor in chief

t’s almost become common wisdom that any company that’s still in business after the Great Recession is, by its mere existence, a success. There’s something to that. The bedding industry was already in a period of not just consolidation, but contraction, when the recession began in 2007. The sharp downturn only accelerated those trends. Dozens of small—often family-owned— mattress makers have shuttered their doors after decades in business. Some well-positioned large enterprises have found opportunities to expand by buying up competitors. Lots of longtime names in the bedding business are gone. So, to those still standing, congratulations are certainly in order. The recession is officially over. And, according to the Bedding Barometer, the monthly U.S. sales report from the International Sleep Products Association, the U.S. mattress industry is experiencing slow, if sometimes unsteady, growth. Unit sales (mattresses and foundations) are up 2.2% for the first five months of 2011 when compared to the same period in 2010. The wholesale dollar value of those units is up 6.7% and the average unit selling price has increased 4.4%. If, for the past few years, success has meant merely survival, what does it mean now? In our feature story, “Winners & Losers: Is Your Company Flourishing or Foundering?”, strategist Stuart Morley looks at 10 traits that determine which side of the line a particular company likely falls on. (See story on Page 40.) In short, he says, successful companies: n Cross boundaries into other industries n Focus on customers n Emphasize value

Listen to their employees Prepare for the best and worst of times Focus on forward-thinking projects Find things they can stop doing Live comfortably at the edge of chaos Share financial and other important information with workers n Encourage time off. n n n n n n

Companies that want to thrive, now more than ever, need to be flexible and ready to change course quickly. To me, there are two items, in particular, that stand out on that list: That successful companies “prepare for the best and worst of times” and that they “live comfortably at the edge of chaos.” I’m tired of the tough times. And after the upheaval of the past few years, the last thing any of us wants is more chaos. Security. Stability. Certainty. Good times. That’s what I’d like. Unfortunately, I think Morley is right. The “new normal” is unpredictable and unsteady, with rapid cycles of good times and not-so-good times. Companies that want to thrive, now more than ever, need to be flexible and ready to change course quickly. Better times are ahead—but they may feel so different from the past that we don’t recognize them. n August 2011 BedTimes


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Brief Sheet

Poll: ‘Made in America’ is a real money maker


Cost of air travel adding up fast


f you’re flying often for business, you’ve likely found your expenses rising sky high. It’s not just pricey air fares hurting business travelers. A June 13 Time magazine article, “Skyway Robbery! Add-on Charges Take Over the Airlines,” tallied up all the “extras” airlines now charge for and found they could equal as much as 50% of the ticket price. We’ve quickly gotten used to baggage fees ($25-$45) and tabs for meals ($5-$10). Some newer charges: getting to put your bags in the overhead bins first ($10-$35), Wi-Fi access ($5-$15) and seats in the exit row or elsewhere with extra legroom ($9-$35). Your company may want to revise its travel policies to specify which extras are justifiable business expenses.

Mattress shopping: The 10th circle?


he process of mattress shopping has made its way into plenty of movies and television programs but this may be the first time a poem on the subject has been penned. BedTimes wishes only that former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins had enjoyed his experience a bit more.

he majority of Americans (60%) say seeing a “Made in the U.S.A.” claim while shopping influences their purchasing decisions across a wide range of product categories, including home furnishings/appliances and “home domestics.” Why does a “Made in the U.S.A.” label or signage spur shoppers’ interest in a product? Consumers want to “help the economy,” according to Perception Research Services International, which polled 1,500 shoppers age 18 and older. “Marketers of products made in America would do well to prominently highlight that fact, especially during these challenging economic times,” says Jonathan Asher, PRS senior vice president of the consumer research firm in Fort Lee, N.J. “In addition to the overt indication of helping the economy, our research also revealed a subtle sense that ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ provides a reassurance of quality and safety. This suggests a benefit that could resonate even in a rosier economy.”

Hell By Billy Collins I have a feeling that it is much worse than shopping for a mattress at a mall, of greater duration without question, and there is no random pitch forking here, no licking flames to fear, only this cavernous store with its maze of bedding. Yet wandering past the jovial kings, the more sensible queens, and the cheerless singles no scarlet sheet will ever cover, I am thinking of a passage from the Inferno which I could fully bring to mind and recite in English or even Italian

if the salesman who has been following us—a crumpled pack of Newports visible in the pocket of his short sleeve shirt—would stop insisting for a moment that we test this one, then this softer one, which we do by lying down side by side, arms rigid, figures on a tomb, powerless to imagine what it would be like to sleep or love this way under the punishing rows of fluorescent lights, which Dante might have included had he been able to lie on his back between us here today. “Hell” from Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems by Billy Collins. © 2011 by Billy Collins. Used by permission of Random House Inc., New York.

August 2011 BedTimes


Brief Sheet Mattress sales up

Anything but tuned in If you’re advertising your mattress brand on TV, you’ve got more to worry about than DVR systems that let people fast-forward past your commercials. Only 14% of TV watchers say they give a program their undivided attention, according to a new Adweek/Harris Poll.


nit sales of mattresses (mattresses and foundations) rose 0.6% in May when compared to the same month in 2010, according to the Bedding Barometer, a monthly snapshot of the U.S. mattress industry. The wholesale dollar value of those units increased a more robust 5% over May 2010. The average unit selling price also was up—4.3% in May 2011 compared to the same period a year earlier.

■ The real competition

McRoskey beds go to the fair as exhibit


f they looked among the cotton candy vendors and livestock displays, fairgoers at the San Mateo County Fair could check out handmade mattresses produced by San Francisco-based McRoskey Mattress Co. The company showcased its high-end mattresses as part of the “Make It in America” exhibition held June 11-12 during the fair. “As a local manufacturer, we create jobs and fuel the growth of the local economy. What we do is essential to our country’s economic recovery,” says Robin Azevedo, McRoskey president. (McRoskey is smart to tout “Made in America.” See story on Page 9.)



BedTimes August 2011


rug and energy drink companies sell short-term solutions for a problem consumers have. They’re not sleeping well so they’re taking sleep aids at night and pumping themselves up with energy drinks during the day. We need to spend time as an industry, not competing against ourselves, but getting consumers to realize that if they have the right bed/sleep system, they will get a good night’s sleep and not need to medicate themselves for rest.” Lee Hinshaw, senior vice president of global brand management for Kingsdown, a mattress maker based in Mebane, N.C., being interviewed June 20 on “Fox News Live” on the Fox News Digital Network.

Consumers to companies: Be nice or else!


early half of Americans say they encounter incivility when dealing with companies— and they are increasingly likely to take their business elsewhere because of it. More than two-thirds (69%) of those say they have chosen not to buy from a company again because someone from the business treated them rudely. That’s up from 56% just a year ago, according to a new poll. The same number (69%) say they’ve re-evaluated their opinion of a company because its tone or conduct was uncivil, up from 55% in a similar 2010 survey. And more than half (58%) have “advised friends, family or co-workers not to buy certain products or services” because they felt a company representative was uncivil, an increase from 49% last year.

The online survey was conducted among 1,000 U.S. adults to assess attitudes on civility in business, the work force, classroom and politics. It was done by Washington, D.C.-based KRC Research on behalf of Powell Tate, a strategic communications and public affairs firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., and Weber Shandwick, a global public relations agency with offices in 74 countries. “The risk of companies losing business because of incivility is startling and growing,” says Micho Spring, Weber Shandwick chairman of global corporate practice.



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Cornelius enjoying new side of sleep ‘I’m always thinking about how I’m going to create the next best thing in sleep.’


Longtime mattress maker marketing everything else you need for a bedroom


By Dorothy Whitcomb iles Cornelius knows he’s a lucky man. He has a challenging job in an industry that he’s enjoyed for 40 years. He’s a devoted family man who has developed the ability to shift his attention away from work when he’s home. And, when the time comes to retire, he has no end of interesting plans for the future. Cornelius began his career as a furniture and bedding salesman in a Cincinnati department store. In 1980, he joined Ohio-Sealy Mattress Mfg. Co. and spent nine years selling on the road. When Ohio-Sealy acquired Stearns & Foster, Cornelius became sales manager and then regional manager for the brand. In 1988, Cornelius went to work for International



Niles Cornelius


General manager of Hickory Springs Home division

Company Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. Location

Hickory, N.C.



Education Cornelius attended Temple Baptist College in Cincinnati. Family Cornelius and his wife, Jane, have been married for 40 years and have four adult children.

At home with Hickory Springs Home Niles Cornelius took over as general manager of Hickory Springs Mfg. Co.’s direct-to-retail division in 2008. It produces and markets everything from bed frames to bed linens.

Bedding Corp. At the time, the company was the largest Therapedic licensee and, as national sales manager, he ran that segment of the business. In 1997, he became president of the Therapedic International licensing group, stepping down from the role a few years later when he had the opportunity to become a minority partner and chief operating officer for another licensee, Therapedic of Virginia. When Therapedic of Virginia closed in 2008, Cornelius made the shift from the manufacturing side of the bedding business to the supplier side of the bedding business, joining Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. as general manager of Hickory Springs Home, the Hickory, N.C.based company’s direct-to-retail division. Hickory Springs Home produces solid wood headboards, bed and futon frames, rollaway beds, bunk beds and a wide range of top-of-bed items for furniture stores and sleep shops, as well as national chains and catalogs. “We produce everything that makes up a bedroom, except the mattress,” Cornelius says. “For the first time in my career, I’m out of the ‘mattress’ business and it still seems strange.” Cornelius took the helm of the 10-year-old division at a difficult time. “We’re heavily vested in independent retailers,” Cornelius says. “Because our customer base is primarily composed of small- to medium-size furniture retailers on August 2011 BedTimes

13 |

Profile the East Coast, it has been challenging. The smaller customers have taken a real hit in the past two years because of the recession and that’s affected our business.” Cornelius’ response to the challenge has been to reshape Hickory Springs Home into four product categories, separating out commodity items like bedrails into their own group and revamping marketing efforts for the rest. “We’ve built a three-legged stool for marketing purposes. We’ve rebranded futons and now call them convertibles,” he says. “Panama Jack has entered the home furnishings industry and we’ve become its official licensee for convertibles.” Adjustable beds are receiving similar treatment. “Most adjustable beds have a sameness about them,” Cornelius says. “We will have a major rollout of many new concepts for Family man During the week, Niles Cornelius lives and works in Hickory, N.C., but on the weekends, he heads home to Bluefield, W. Va., and devotes himself to spending time with his wife, Jane, and other family.


power bases at the October High Point Market. It’s very cool.” Top-of-bed is a separate category—and the third leg of the marketing stool. Cornelius is developing a store-within-astore concept called Final Touch to present the company’s linens, pillows and related products. “It’s meant to be fully stocked and sit next to the mattress department,” he says. “We’re testing prototypes in major chains and smaller retailers and are excited about the prospects.” Although he misses day-today involvement with mattress making, Cornelius has lost no enthusiasm for the larger industry. “I love the sleep business, specifically mattresses, and I’m always thinking about how I’m going to create the next best thing in sleep,” he says. “I’m just as motivated now as I was when I was 20.” n

Another SIDE

Making it work During the workweek, Cornelius lives in an RV on a lake outside Hickory, N.C. On Friday afternoons, he heads 150 miles north to Bluefield, W. Va., where his family lives. “I live for my family and I don’t take those relationships for granted,” he says. “Everyone lives within blocks of my house and nothing else matters when I pull into the driveway but them.” A song in his heart A tenor, Cornelius has sung in amateur musical productions and with Good News for Modern Man, a traveling Christian choral group. A book & Nook fanatic “I made a New Year’s resolution once that I would read a book a week,” Cornelius says. “It was exhausting and now I don’t put myself under that pressure.” Still, he is a voracious reader who can have four books going at a time. A history buff, he’ll read “anything on the Civil War” and is currently studying the Fort Sumter battle at Andersonville, Ga. “I bounce around among genres but I always try to include a biography and I read a lot of political books,” he says. “I absolutely love my Nook. It’s saved me from lugging all those books on airplanes.” Fantasy land “I would really love to drive the RV down to Orlando, Fla., and work part time at Disney World,” he says. “I love to talk to people.” The next stage “Because I don’t wear it on my sleeve, people might be surprised to know that I’m a person of deep faith,” Cornelius says. His two brothers are pastors, as was his father. His younger brother, Paul, founded Days of Noah Ministries and Cornelius hopes to go on the road with him to evangelize when he retires. “My father and brothers have been such a calming, assuring influence on me,” he says.



BedTimes August 2011



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Preparing a presentation Follow this

checklist before you face an audience / By Patricia Fripp comfortable on stage, the more you can relax and focus on the audience during your presentation. Actors call this “making friends with the stage.” Take a clock Make sure you have a clock you ✓ can see clearly from a distance. To keep me on track and on time, I travel with a large kitchen clock. Very few people know how long they’ve been speaking. If you’re including a question-and-answer session, give your speech a “must end by” time and a dramatic close. Scheduling this adds to your professionalism. Test the microphone Do you have a preferred ✓ microphone style— handheld, lavaliere, lectern? Request it in advance. Regardless of which you are us-

When the room is empty, walk the stage and ‘block’ your presentation.


he day of your big speech or presentation is nearing. You’re an expert on your subject, you have your presentation ready and know your content cold. You’re feeling confident about your message and delivery. What could go wrong? Unfortunately, plenty. It’s easy to overlook details that could derail your talk and wreck your confidence. Before you take the stage and face an audience, run through this checklist:

ing, practice talking into it. (If you’re using a handheld microphone, keep it at chin level.) Ask someone to walk around and make sure that you can be heard from all parts of the room. Make friends with the audio technicians. Be on time for your microphone check and thank the techs for their help when you’ve finished. Practice using other equipment If you’re ✓ making a PowerPoint or multimedia presentation, check that the equipment is working well. Are your slides in the right sequence? Do you have a remote to control what’s showing on the screen? Can your slides or video be seen from the back of the room? If you’re showing video, can it be heard clearly? Are your talking points presented as a “build” or “reveal”? Remember, your visual aids are a tool, not a crutch.

Arrive early Give yourself plenty of time to Connect with the organizer Be clear about ✓ check the logistics of the room. Is there a platform ✓who will introduce you and or stage? Where will you be standing or sitting when where you will be during his you are introduced? How many steps will you take to reach the lectern or microphone? Is the audience close enough for you to build intimacy? Is the light on you? Get comfortable on stage When the room is ✓ empty, walk the stage and “block” your presentation, planning where you’re going to stand and when you’re going to move during your speech. You don’t want to distract from your message with unnecessary movement but don’t want to be too stiff either. Go through the outline of your talk. Imagine an enthusiastic response. The more time you spend feeling

comments. Will you walk on from the wings or up from the floor? Will you shake hands with him or will he exit when you hit the stage and before the applause dies down? I recommend you nod and mouth, “thank you” to the person who introduces you. If you’re speaking at August 2011 BedTimes

17 |

Skills a banquet, check that you’ll have a clear path without tripping over wires, chairs or diners. Write your own introduction Send your written introduction to the person delivering it in advance. Carry two additional copies with you, just in case. Print it in a bulleted list in a large font; it’s easier to read. Be sure your introducer knows how to pronounce your name. Confirm that she has the introduction and is comfortable with what it says.

Be your own warm-up ✓ act Connect with as many audience members as possible before you speak. When they see you are extending yourself, they will return the favor by giving you their attention.

Learn from the ✓ experience Follow any presentation with an analysis. Always record your presentation and listen to what you said. Start by asking yourself what you did well. What could be improved? There are three speeches for every one speech that you deliver: The one you planned to give, the one you actually delivered and the improved next presentation based on what you did right and would like to do better. Any speaking engagement can be intimidating. Remember, your goal is to present valuable information to the audience. Preparing and paying attention to these details will help you deliver the best speech possible. n

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BedTimes August 2011

get ready the bedding landscape is changing Once-dominant innerspring designs are giving up floor space to specialty sleep products. Technology is changing the way people shop. Today it’s more important than ever to look at what you sell and how you sell it in order to succeed. The the old formulas for retail success no longer apply. Are you on it?

S h ow r o o m B - 9 3 0/ L a S V e g a S wo r L d m a r k e t/au g u S t 1 - 5 , 2 0 1 1


Navigating relationships when it’s both personal and business / By Rhonda R. Savage


f you’ve ever been part of a family business or worked with a family member, you know there are advantages to the arrangement, but it also can create plenty of tension, stress and conflict. Can you really shelve your family history and emotions to create a great working relationship? Many families manage to successfully work together. If you’re in business with or thinking about working with family members, being aware of the following issues can prevent problems.

Traits of a great family team member


f you work as an employee in a family member’s business, there are several things you can do to create a successful company and happy family life: 8. Take an active role in 1. Be early learning about the 2. Be dependable business and be excited 3. Be accountable about your industry 4. Follow through 9. Speak positively about the 5. Be friendly and owner and the business— have fun both in and out of the office 6. Be encouraging 10. Offer advice when asked 7. Be a mentor to other workers

and ask first before discussing a concern

Separating work & family life Family members often are more dedicated to the success of the business than other staff, yet the wrong kind of concern can cause conflict. Consider a business owner who employed his mother. The owner had established his vision and goals for the company, but he had trouble developing a consistent, fair management style. His mother, in her eagerness to help him succeed, openly voiced her concerns and opinions—both during business hours and outside the office. She felt other employees weren’t diligent enough, weren’t doing a good job and needed more attention to detail. The boss had difficulty enforcing his policies because of the conflicting views of his mother and the other staff. His mother became a micromanager, telling everyone—in detail—how they should do their jobs. She meant well, but her interference drove morale down. Another business owner brought his wife into the company and generally enjoyed working with her. The wife was concerned that other employees weren’t being held accountable for their work. Because the owner was sensitive to conflict, he generally avoided team meetings, coaching and performance reviews. At home, his wife was quite open about her feelings, which caused him discomfort and created tension in their marriage. Business owners can be hesitant to talk to a family member about a problem within the company because of how it might impact them on the home front. They may walk on eggshells at work, worried about how the family member might respond if she were treated the same as other employees. It’s important for families to find ways to separate their work life and personal life. Bringing personal issues into the workplace and vice versa creates tension and an uncomfortable environment for everyone. August 2011 BedTimes

21 |

Family Biz

Family members need to know their role in the business.

Keeping things equitable To be successful as a team member, family members need to know their role in the business. Being a family member and an employee can put anyone in a difficult position. Other employees may

look at them differently—no matter how hard the family members work. Because of this, family members need to hold themselves to the same or even a higher standard of accountability than other employees. Some business owners try to help their family by paying family members higher wages than they do other employees in the same category, which impacts the total payroll. It’s unfair to low-ball other employees’ pay because you want to give special treatment to a family member. If you do so, you’ll see resentment and unhappiness build among other workers. Remember, when morale goes down, productivity follows. In addition to pay, gender or age differences that impact your relationship with your team may be intensified with your family employees. Recognize that some conflict can develop due to these differences and work at learning better communication and leadership skills. Refereeing problems If family members and employees just can’t seem to get along, you must step in. If you don’t,

tension will build and the business will suffer. Most people don’t like to deal with these issues—it’s easier to brush them under the carpet. If you’re reluctant to get involved, ask yourself two questions that will help take emotions out of the equation: 1. Is “whatever is happening” in the best interest of customers? 2. Is “whatever is happening” in the best interest of the business overall? If the answer to either is no, step in and resolve the problem. Talking about issues is exactly what you’ll need to do in order for your business to have a harmonious atmosphere. Summing up The key to a successful employee/family relationship is for everyone in the business to be treated the same. You need the same level of accountability, timeliness and dedication from all of your employees—regardless of your personal relationship—to thrive. Specifically outlining each employee’s role and keeping personal issues out of the workplace will ensure a positive work environment for you and your family. n


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BedTimes August 2011

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BedTimes August 2011

It’s what’s

Inside that


Trends in springs & foams— the core components By Barbara Nelles


arents tell their children, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” In the mattress industry, that adage only exacerbates the sibling rivalry between suppliers of innersprings and their counterparts offering foams. Each wants to be at the center—the center of attention in the industry and the actual center of the mattress. With the popularity of all-foam bedding growing, the competition between the two segments is heating up, as BedTimes discovered when speaking with a number of foam and springs suppliers around the world. Yet the relationship isn’t all adversarial. In recent years, the two components have demonstrated an ability to get along quite well when paired in hybrid mattresses. “It’s important that you find a balance between the importance of the innerspring unit and the need for ‘sexier’ components like visco and latex,” says Rick Anthony, director of sales for bedding products for Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. in Hickory, N.C. Perhaps innerspring supplier Subiñas has struck the perfect balance. “We have learned to work with foams,” says Javier Subiñas, president of the Vizcaya, Spain-based company. As an example, the company ships preassembled and glued foam-encased Bonnell and Marshall coil units complete with foam upholstery layers. Regardless of rivalries or accords, there is no question that each is vital to mattress construction. On the following pages, BedTimes looks at significant trends and innovations in both categories, as well as what’s happening with a new component sibling—gel.

August 2011 BedTimes

25 |

Top left Airy offerings Carpenter Co. in Richmond, Va., offers Active Air hole-punch technology to dissipate heat and improve breathability in visco-elastic foam comfort layers (shown in the blue) and cores. Far right ‘Greening’ up Orsa Foam has rolled out bio-based BB Foam. The company, headquartered in Gorla Minore, Italy, says the foams have 34% to 41% total plant-based content. Bottom left Hybrids are hot To create this core, Paris-based Sapsa Latex pours latex around horizontal rods of polyurethane foam of differing densities.



BedTimes August 2011

Focused on feature-filled foams


oam suppliers BedTimes spoke with expressed delight at the continued growth of the specialty sleep mattress category around the world. Several latex and polyurethane foam producers said their primary focus has shifted from sales of upholstery layer components to promoting all-foam constructions. “The European concept of what we call ‘engineered’ foam cores—multilayered with comfort foams on top and support foams on the bottom, in different cutouts, convolutions and profiles— is growing in popularity in the U.S.,” says Ed Malechek, president of Carpenter Co., based in Richmond, Va. “Foam is the sleep of the future,” says Bob Steelman, vice president of sales and marketing at Carpenter. “In our bedding lab in Richmond, we

worked with Sealy to design the engineered cores in the Embody bed. It’s a testament to ‘foam sleep’ that Sealy chose to get involved with it.” “We offer an entire catalog of special foams for mattresses,” says Rita Kollbrunner, head of marketing and communications for FoamPartner Group, a division of Fritz Nauer AG in Wolfhausen, Switzerland. “But we also design and propose specific mattress constructions for customers. It’s a service we provide to manufacturers of all sizes.” Flexible Foam completely preassembles foam cores and comfort layers for customers but also creates “foam pockets” that are ready to accept encased coils or other components and upholstery layers—and ships them all to customers, ready for use, says Michael Crowell, vice president of marketing for the company, which has headquarters in Spencerville, Ohio.


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Top left Layered looks Gommagomma, based in Caronno Pertusella, Italy, topped this engineered foam mattress with its new WaterGel, a breathable, high-density polyurethane foam. Top right New phases Radium Foam, a division of the Vita Group in Maastricht, Holland, unveiled Intuition latex at Interzum Cologne. Vita General Manager Cees Zielman shows off a block of the product, which contains phase change materials.



BedTimes August 2011

“The flexibility and versatility of foam allows us to address all sorts of issues,” Steelman says. “We have 20 types of visco-elastic foam. Our Active Air hole-punch technology for cores and comfort layers was developed in response to the heat and breathability issues with foam. All of our plants now have the computerized cutting equipment to produce engineered cores and Active Air technology.” Special blends, cuts & colors rowing trends in foams include custom blends made to customer specifications and new ingredients mixed into the foam, as well as topical coatings applied after the foam is poured and set. There are new polyurethane and latex foam offerings that include anti-bacterial silver, gels, active carbon for odor control, FR coatings and essential oils. Sometimes the extra ingredient in a foam is color. “Adding color to foams can add drama and an identity to the different foams, making them easier to market,” Kollbrunner says. Retailers and consumers may not be able to see color-differentiated foams in the finished mattress, but the variety of hues can be highlighted in point-of-purchase materials—from posters to cutaways—to better explain the properties and functions of various foams. Ticking producers have been adding scents to fabrics for years and fragrances are now making their way into foams, sometimes coordinated with color. One FoamPartner customer requested a lavender-colored core that was embedded with lavender-scented “pearls.” Polyurethane and memory foams have been


around for a long time, Crowell says: “Nextgeneration foams are all about what you are combining with them. In our lab, we are experimenting with many things.” For now, Crowell is mum about the details of what those many things might be, but says mattress makers should look for new developments later this year. Some European foamers speak of moving beyond memory foam, which, as Kollbrunner says, has become a commodity product in many ways. FoamPartner has introduced EvoPoreHRC, which it markets as “a material for modern people.” The company says the product is a lighter weight, high-resiliency foam that offers “stability, support, moisture wicking, elasticity and climate regulation.” In rolling out innovations, foam suppliers are trying to keep up with mattress manufacturers who are looking for new features and novelties, says Isabella Mariani, director of sales for Gommagomma. The foam producer, which is based in Caronno Pertusella, Italy, touts a highly breathable, highdensity polyurethane foam called WaterGel, which “gives manufacturers a new story to tell.” “It’s not about the same old latex or memory foam. It’s a very breathable, extreme open-cell foam,” Mariani says. Creating exclusive foams for customers is an important focus for Hickory Springs. “We entered the bedding foam category about nine years ago and our home runs have been driven by specific innovation for specific customers and we continue to work in that direction,” says David Duncan, vice president of the Western Foam Division at Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. in Hickory, N.C. “Scientists from our wet lab consult with customers’ R&D

‘Nextgeneration foams are all about what you are combining with them.’

departments, which are often looking for unique foams with specific conforming qualities, breathability, air flow, heat dissipation and other properties. We’re constantly developing new products for customers, much as we developed NxG Advanced Memory Foam for Simmons.” ‘Green’ talk n recent years, foamers have introduced polyurethane foams that replace a portion of the petroleum-based content with bio-based ingredients such as soy. Other foam suppliers make it a priority to be “green” in different ways—reducing their carbon footprints by re-engineering their products and operational processes. “When we talk about being ‘green,’ it’s about manufacturing processes that produce less carbon dioxide emissions and reducing the amount of raw materials needed to make our foams,” Kollbrunner says. FoamPartner has reformulated its foams to use 20% less petroleum products than in the past, while retaining the same characteristics of previous generations of products. “These foams are lighter weight, but just as durable and comfortable,” she says. Orsa Foam, which has headquarters in Gorla Minore, Italy, has placed a focus on its new line of foams with renewable content. BB Foam with bio-based


content from soy was introduced at Interzum Cologne in Cologne, Germany, in May. Included in product marketing materials are copies of test results from carbon-14 dating of the new foams that was conducted by an accredited lab in Miami. (Carbon-14 dating distinguishes between carbon found in new plant-based materials and ancient carbon found in fossil-based materials.) Results show the foams contain a relatively high 34% to 41% total plant-based content, according to the company. Growing numbers of U.S.-based polyurethane foam suppliers emphasize their CertiPUR-US certification. The CertiPUR-US seal validates that flexible polyurethanes for use in mattresses and upholstered furniture meet certain environmental, health, safety and performance guidelines. The certification process involves foam assessment, including VOC testing and chemical breakdown analysis. The seal was first introduced in early 2009 and, since then, foams from every major foam supplier to the mattress industry have been certified, according to CertiPUR-US officials. The certification is an extension of the European CertiPUR standard, which was developed in 2002. “There has been broad acceptance among mattress manufacturers of the seal and its hangtags,” Duncan says. “It’s a story that manufacturers want to tell their retailers and the consumer.”

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August 2011 BedTimes

29 |

Right Color coding FoamPartner Group, with headquarters in Wolfhausen, Switzerland, adds color to its foams to differentiate their properties.

Growing numbers of U.S.-based polyurethane foam suppliers emphasize their CertiPUR-US certification.



BedTimes August 2011

Leading with latex nterest in latex cores and comfort layers continues to grow, latex suppliers say. In some respects, product trends in the category mirror those in polyurethane foams. Sales of solid latex cores are increasing and latex with extra ingredients and new treatments are being brought to market. According to Latex International’s Tom Eisenberg, the all-latex mattress is a significant trend in the industry. Sales of latex rolls for layering into hybrid mattresses continue to be strong, but a growing number of manufacturers are interested in building solid latex beds. “The all-latex bed provides a way for a regional manufacturer to improve margins and compete for space on the retail sales floor with all those memory foam beds,” says Eisenberg, vice president of strategic marketing for the Shelton, Conn.-based company. “We are providing a finished product for some customers in 7-, 9- and 11-inch heights. We bond the cores and provide the FR layer and zipper cover.” “Typically, you achieve different feels by layering a few inches of three different comfort levels together, with the plushest latex on top,” Eisenberg explains. Latex International offers latex in eight firmnesses. When it comes to working with customers,


Sapsa Latex, a Dunlop latex producer based in Paris, prides itself on being flexible and having the ability to meet diverse customer needs, says Grégoire Moll, director of sales and marketing. “We make the à la carte possible and can do whatever you want, especially with our breakthrough multifoaming technology, which allows us to pour different foams at once without the use of glues,” he says. Sapsa showcased a new construction at Interzum. It has engineered a hybrid latex and polyurethane core in which latex is poured around “rods” of polyurethane foam of differing densities. The result is a zoned core with a unique support system. Sapsa formulates everything from 100% natural latex to 100% synthetic latex. Its latex blends are either 85% natural and 15% synthetic or 80% synthetic and 20% natural. Worldwide demand for foam marketed as 100% pure latex made entirely from the sap of the Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree continues to grow each year, latex suppliers say. But the product remains a niche used primarily in high-end “organic” mattresses. Most of the latex sold around the world is a blend of synthetic and natural rubber. Latex International received a U.S. patent in September 2010 for its Celsion latex, which incorporates phase change material during the foam vulcanization process to provide temperature regulation for sleepers. (Phase change materials are organic and inorganic compounds that store and release heat as they melt and solidify at certain temperatures.) Celsion is currently available in pillows, finished toppers and comfort layers. Latexco, based in Tielt, Belgium, recently introduced Theta Comfort latex. And Radium Foam, the latex foam division of the Vita Group in Maastricht, Holland, now offers Intuition latex. Both products contain phase change materials. Latexco’s Theta Comfort is a topical coating of “phase change microcapsules” and is available to manufacturers worldwide. Radium Foam’s Intuition has phase change material incorporated during the vulcanization process and is available to non-U.S. manufacturers. Latexco, Sapsa and Radium Foam all have brought out products that incorporate fireretardant technology. They are said to meet a range of mattress component ignition tests enacted by the European Union and its member countries. In the United States, these products would assist in complying with current open-flame standards, but wouldn’t take the place of the required fire barrier on a finished mattress set. For instance, Latexco’s product, called simply “Fire Retardant,” is said to meet the European Standard EN597-1 smoldering cigarette; EN597-2 match flame equivalent; U.K. Standard BS 5852 source 2, match flame; and Italian Standard UN19175 for fire retardant products. ■

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Top left Anything you need Mattress makers can find springs in almost any height. Starsprings, based in Herrljunga, Sweden, showed off its selection during Interzum Cologne in Cologne, Germany, in May. Top right New heights Agro, which has headquarters in Bad Essen, Germany, offers double-decker coils encased with nonwoven fabric.

Innersprings reach new highs—and lows


he majority of innerspring innovations are coming in Marshall coils, as more and more mattress makers turn to the spring to solve problems and add panache to beds at a broader range of price points. Spring suppliers are offering more affordable coil units that use less wire and have fewer coils with wider diameters. There are wrapped coils that rise to dizzying heights, as well as those that reach new lows at barely an inch tall. Marshall coils, a type of encased coil, were once a component saved for high-end mattresses, says Martin Wolfson, president of Texas Pocket Springs in Cleburne, Texas. “In 2010, we rolled out a unit with a 660-coil count in queen—instead of the standard 884 coils,” he says. “The product has gotten a great reception because it allows wrapped coils to go into midpriced beds.” “The news in innersprings is definitely in wrapped coils,” says Erol Boydak, general manager of Boyçelik, a springs supplier based in Kayseri, Turkey. “They are our biggest growth area in every market. In the last two years, we have experienced about a 25% increase in production of these coils.” Can you take me higher? coil in a traditional LFK or Bonnell unit will top out at about 7 inches, suppliers say, but encased coils are growing taller by the year. Some suppliers push them higher by bonding springs together in taller and taller units. In addition to offering its high-end LFK Cosiflex unit, which has no knots and can be zoned with different wire gauges and alternating-turn coils, springs supplier Subiñas is accelerating production




BedTimes August 2011

of taller, improved Marshall coils in a variety of wire gauges. The taller coils help manufacturers save money on expensive upholstery layers, says Javier Subiñas, president of the Vizcaya, Spain-based company. “This product could become the main unit in bedding usage in the future,” he says. “Individually wrapped coils prevent partner disturbance from tossing and turning and give the mattress a consistent feel and comfort.” Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. in Hickory, N.C., is ramping up production on a manufacturing line for 10-inch coils. Texas Pocket Springs, which already offers 8- and 9-inch springs also is working on a 10inch tall unit. “A couple of years ago, most units were 4 to 6 inches,” Wolfson says. “Then we went to 7 and 8 inches. Now we’re going to 10. Our patented QuadCoil module technology keeps those springs upright and prevents leaning or swaying.” Agro, a spring producer based in Bad Essen, Germany, achieves height by layering. It offers Marshall coils bonded with adhesive to nonwoven fabric that is sandwiched between the layers and again on the top and bottom of the unit. The result is height with dimensional stability. The company also recently updated its spring-within-a-spring “nested” coils. The new Body2Sense Marshall coils are re-engineered to be completely silent. Early this year, Leggett & Platt in Carthage, Mo., rebranded its entire collection of Marshall coils under the Comfort Core umbrella as part of a new focus on the coil, says Mark Quinn, L&P segment vice president of marketing. “We’re investing significant time and resources in R&D for the Comfort Core lines and are looking

to innovate even more configurations and constructions,” Quinn says. “We want to continue to be a leader in giving manufacturers more options for creating the ultimate comfort in a sleep system.”

Under wraps Subiñas, a springs supplier in Vizcaya, Spain, is among the many companies accelerating production of encased coils to meet mattress makers’ demand for the product.

How low can you go? icrocoils were introduced into mattresses about five years ago, suppliers say. Made with finer wire, they are designed to replace or enhance high-end foams in the mattress’ comfort layers. They typically range from 2∂ inches to 4∂ inches tall.



L&P offers the 2.4-inch Marshall coil Softech. Marketing materials promote it as an alternative to foams, saying it’s less expensive and 28% cooler to sleep on. The company cites Rollator tests that found the Softech coil maintained its support longer than visco-elastic and polyurethane foams that were tested. “Our microcoils are 2∂, 3∂ and 4∂ inches high and made from fine wire that never takes a set,” Wolfson says. “There are 1,344 coils in a queen size and we try to replicate the feel of visco and latex. It’s less expensive than a slab of foam and it’s cooler. These allow the air to move through the underlay.” Then there are “ultra microcoils”—fine and delicate enough to replace high-end foams in a bed’s top upholstery layer. Starsprings, which is based in Herrljunga, Sweden, has patented Stretch Pocket, which stretches in both directions and is just under 1∂ inches tall. It’s designed for pillow-top mattresses and toppers. Hickory Springs now stocks and sells ultra microcoils manufactured by the company’s U.K. partner, Spinks Springs. Posturfil is 1∂ inches tall and has more than 1,000 coils in queen size. HD is a three-quarter inch spring unit with more than 2,000 coils in a queen. “You can find them in beds priced at $1,000 and up,” says Rick Anthony, Hickory Springs director


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BedTimes August 2011

of sales for bedding products. “When you bring an innerspring closer to the sleep surface, it performs like an innerspring yet doesn’t sacrifice comfort.” Starsprings’ new Unipocket is marketed as “a unique product with unique properties.” The fabric cover on each coil has carefully situated slits that add to the stretch, flexibility and ventilation of the mattress. Unipocket is engineered to be quieter than other coils and is available with zoning, according to the company. Low-profile innersprings are helping mattress makers battle the ubiquitous body impression problem and springs suppliers proudly extol the virtues of their product in preventing this cause of so many mattress returns. “We are all charged with making sure our mattress products don’t come back due to body impressions,” Quinn says. “We say fill the space in your comfort layer with Softech. Use the coil as an upholstery material. The great thing about innersprings is that you build the comfort into the bed— you don’t need to build big, thick 17-inch mattresses to do that.” “I do believe we’ve reached our limit on mattress heights and am wondering when the more European profile will return to the United States, with mattress heights being 12 to 14 inches, maximum,” Anthony says.

New fabric features uppliers also are innovating when it comes to the fabrics wrapping all of these coils. Starsprings offers Enviro, a nonwoven fabric available on all of its wrapped coils that is derived from a renewable resource, cornstarch. Enviro, which contains no petrochemical products, is recyclable and biodegradable. Hickory Springs is working on a fabric for its Marshall coils that’s made from organic cotton. It hopes to offer it by year-end.


Other news on the wire here is news in traditional, unwrapped innersprings, too. Last year, L&P launched VertiCoil Edge, a traditional innerspring with 20% more coils than the typical unit. At Interzum Cologne in Cologne, Germany, in May, Agro rolled out the Coilstar unit designed for adjustable bases. From a distance, it looks like a traditional innerspring, but when placed on a motion base, the hinged unit is able to bend either up or down at every coil row. Hickory Springs recently unveiled new InCheX technology in its ultra-high coil count InnerACT innerspring. The patented process can be applied to any Hickory Springs innerspring. The process increases

‘The news in innersprings is definitely in wrapped coils.’


August 2011 BedTimes

35 |

Main types of mattress innersprings Bonnell A knotted, round-top, hourglassshaped steel wire coil. When laced together with cross wire helicals, these coils form the simplest innerspring unit. LFK An unknotted offset coil with a cylindrical or columnar shape. Marshall A type of innerspring construction in which thin gauge, barrel-shaped, knotless coils are encased in fabric pockets. Also known as “pocketed” or encased coils.

Source: International Sleep Products Association glossary

Tiny Softech Leggett & Platt in Carthage, Mo., offers the 2.4-inch Marshall coil Softech, which it promotes as an alternative to foams.

sleep-surface stability by allowing alternating left- and right-turn coils to be placed in a checkerboard pattern. Innerspring producers are increasingly “in the zone.” “In the last four years, we’ve seen the use of zoned coils rise from about 10% of our production to 60%,” Wolfson says. Several spring producers noted a resurgence in wire foundations in place of the ubiquitous all-wood buildups. “There were noise and quality issues in all-wood foundations,” Anthony says. “We are seeing a return to wire-stack ‘working’ foundations since about last year.” Sorting it all out for mattress makers n fact, there is so much new technology and product lines have become so complex that some suppliers have stepped up the level of design assistance they offer mattress makers. In the design center at its headquarters, Starsprings guides customers through the process of creating multilayered innerspring beds.


“We are not the largest innerspring company in the world, but we try to be the most flexible, creative and helpful,” says Johan Dahling, Starsprings sales and marketing manager. “Our automotive industry R&D has helped us to develop new technology for beds. And we try to inspire our customers to think in new ways.” Agro has an enormous selection of spring units and coil types. Its new “Construction Kit” for customers helps reduce the complexity by narrowing choices and guiding new customers through the mattress design process. n n


To locate suppliers for foams, springs or gels, check the online BedTimes Supplies Guide at It’s the industry’s most comprehensive directory of machinery, equipment, components, supplies and services. A print version of the guide is published every December in BedTimes.

Check outBedTimes BedTimes online! Check out Online ➩ Complete issues— all articles and advertisements— posted every month ➩ Read BedTimes anytime, anywhere you have Web access

➩ No special software to download ➩ Easy, intuitive navigation ➩ ‘Live’ email and Web links provide access to more information ➩

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BedTimes August 2011

Left Making a statement Latexco is offering latex pillows and upholstery layers for mattresses topped with green Oxygel. Its ‘pinhole perforations allow for perfect ventilation,’ the Tielt, Belgium-based company says.

Below Pressure relief Like other gel products, Technogel’s Dr. Scholl’sbranded version is touted for its pressure relief properties. In mattresses, Technogel’s raised-grid product is combined with engineered foam cores manufactured by Carpenter Co. in Richmond, Va.



BedTimes August 2011

Gel easing its way into sleep products


ny way you cut, contour or mix it, gels are garnering attention in the mattress industry. At Interzum Cologne in Cologne, Germany, in May, Latexco unveiled latex pillows and upholstery layers for mattresses topped with green Oxygel. The gel creates “the perfect natural microclimate and optimal pressure relief” while “pinhole perforations allow for perfect ventilation,” according to the latex foam supplier, which has headquarters in Tielt, Belgium. In 2009, Natura World, a mattress and accessories maker in Cambridge, Ontario, licensed the rights to manufacture and market NexGel, the honeycomb-like, “buckling” gel developed by EdiZONE in Salt Lake City. A year ago, Natura formed GelSolutions, based in Wichita Falls, Texas, to manufacture and market NexGel to the mattress industry. “Gel is the future of where bedding is going,” says David Malpas, GelSolutions executive vice president of sales. “We introduced the product to Australia, where it has gained tremendous acceptance, and interest among U.S. manufacturers is growing.” GelSolutions has introduced new profiles, configurations and formulations of NexGel.

“We continue to innovate,” Malpas says. Most of the gels available for use in mattresses today originally were developed for medical settings to prevent or alleviate decubitus ulcers (or pressure sores) among bedridden patients. In consumer applications, they are touted for those same comfort and pressure-relieving properties. While NexGel is a honeycomb, other mattresses contain a more liquid-like gel. Akton visco-elastic polymer, a gel developed by Actions Products Inc. in Hagerstown, Md., has made its way into some commercial mattresses. A new gel product, available as finished mattresses and pillows to U.S. retailers, is from Technogel GmbH, an Italian and German company with U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh. Technogel’s Dr. Scholl’s-branded gel is in a raised grid and combined with engineered foam cores manufactured by Carpenter Co., says Bob Steelman, vice president of sales and marketing for the Richmond, Va.-based foam supplier. “There has been a lot of talk in the industry about gel lately. We offer an enhanced memory foam blended with gel beads,” he says. Perhaps the most significant gel introduction to date has been Serta’s iComfort all-foam bed that has a top comfort layer of foam with gel beads mixed into the foam before it’s poured. Serta calls it “gel-infused memory foam.” The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based mattress maker introduced it in January. Such new beds have stimulated interest among other bedding manufacturers in offering mattresses with a gel component in the comfort layer of the bed, foam suppliers told BedTimes. They expect to see new foam-and-gel formulas to come to market by year-end. n



Winners Losers

Is your company flourishing or foundering?

10 differences make the determination /



BedTimes August 2011

By Stuart Morley


hy is it that companies that have been around for more than 100 years failed in the economic downturn while other, younger companies like Apple, Facebook, Wal-Mart and the Huffington Post continue to grow? You see a similar picture when you look at many lesser-known, mid-size companies. Some have struggled while others have thrived—regardless of their industry or location. To paraphrase Charles Dickens, it is the best of times and the worst of times to be in business. But whether it’s the best of times or worst of times for your business depends largely on how you react to tough economic times.

August 2011 BedTimes

41 |

In this economy, there are 10 key differences between a thriving company and a foundering one. Ask yourself, are you:

their pricing. They avoid competition because they are better at articulating the value of their products and services and use different ways to price their offerings.

1. S  ticking to your industry or crossing boundaries?

4. Talking to industry leaders or to employees?

truggling businesses spend a lot of time trying to copy the “big guys” in their industry and then wondering why this approach doesn’t work for them. Successful businesses seem to ignore the large players and focus on their own current and prospective customers. Many of the most successful businesses are finding opportunities at the overlap of two or more industries. These businesses try to follow the example of companies like Cirque du Soleil, which combines elements of both the circus and the theater to create an entirely new, upscale form of entertainment.

ome business leaders devote a significant portion of their time to their industry, sitting on committees, attending conferences, etc. (The International Sleep Products Association certainly encourages this.) A lot of valuable information can be gained from industry colleagues. But it’s important to spend just as much time talking to your own employees. They know more about your business than anyone and are in daily contact with your customers. Successful executives are in regular contact with employees and really listen to what they have to say.


2. F  ocusing on economists or customers?


mbattled business leaders seem to be consumed by watching and reading about bad economic news, trying to understand financial explanations and predictions. Executives at successful businesses seldom have time to watch TV and don’t obsess over the newspaper or financial websites. It doesn’t mean they don’t hear bad news—they can’t ignore something that’s everywhere—they just don’t dwell on it. Thriving companies are busy studying their customers—not economists. They are reading about their customers, attending trade shows where they can meet with customers and doing all they can to better understand the minds of their customers.

S Successful businesses tend to avoid large, complicated systems.

3. Focusing on price or value?


e’ve all heard stories of airline passengers paying 10 times the ticket price of passengers sitting across the aisle or right next to them. This variable pricing approach works in many industries. Some costs can be escalated based on value and delivered to customers who will pay 10 times as much for the added value. Struggling businesses are stuck in a commodity mind-set that gives them very little pricing flexibility. Successful businesses find ways to gain control over


5. Preparing for the best of times or the worst of times?


truggling businesses are clinging to their existing products and services, while cutting costs in all areas to protect cash in the short term. These companies assume things are only going to get worse. Successful businesses say they are seeing increased market volatility and acknowledge that, like struggling businesses, they are having some of their worst months ever. But they also are having some of their best months—all in the same year. Thriving businesses are focused on finding strategies that will help them in the good months and the bad months. They are experimenting with more new product and service ideas than ever before. Much of their revenues today come from products and services they didn’t even offer a few years ago.

6. Focusing on jobs or projects?


he most dynamic companies make sure their employees spend 80% of their time on forwardthinking, innovative projects and only 20% of their time doing routine work. Struggling businesses are caught up in traditional management hierarchies, routine job descriptions and “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mind-sets. Managers at failing companies want employees to do

Quick questions

5. H  ow much of your revenues and profits come from products and services you didn’t even provide until recently?

1. Is your company looking for opportunities at the boundaries of your industry?

6. H  ow much of your work force is project-focused versus routine-focused?

2. W  hen was the last time you went to an event solely to interact with your customers?

7. W  hen is the last time your company looked for tasks that employees could stop doing?

3. How much control do you have over your pricing?

8. Is your business complex or just complicated?

4. H  ave you recently asked employees what customers are saying that could spark ideas for new products and services?

9. How much do you share and celebrate with employees?


BedTimes August 2011

10. W  hen was the last time you called it quits a little earlier than usual or took a three-day weekend?


the routine work faster, rather than finding the next breakthrough opportunity. Successful businesses organize and manage projects carefully. They know this is where they generate most of their new ideas and breakthroughs.


7. Doing more or doing less?

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e tend to stick with existing ways of doing things because we don’t think we have enough time to stop, reflect, research and implement better methods. Struggling businesses add new work to employees’ to-do lists and rarely take anything away. Successful businesses have regular exercises to find things they can stop doing, thereby freeing up employees to do new, more productive projects.

8. Standardizing systems or living at the edge of chaos?


truggling businesses love to install complicated—often computer-based—accounting, purchasing, manufacturing or supply chain management systems because that is what the big companies in the industry have done. They hope this will solve all of their problems. Successful businesses tend to avoid large, complicated systems because they know they’re not in control of all the variables that impact their business. Complicated systems can’t function in complex environments where many variables are unknown or shift regularly. Instead, successful companies use a wide range of smaller, flexible systems focused on tracking customers and trends.

9. Keeping your financials secret or sharing with employees?


any successful businesses have learned that sharing news— good and bad—with all employees at all levels is best. This empowers employees to act with confidence: They know the whole story. In fact, this one step can do wonders to turn a struggling business into a successful one. Thriving companies encourage their work forces to perform less like employees and more like entrepreneurialminded, strategic partners. They also take time to celebrate successes, both big and small.

Thriving companies are busy studying their customers— not economists.

10. Working long hours or taking more holidays?


usiness owners and managers in struggling businesses tend to work longer hours in the hope that putting their heads down and doing more of the same is the solution. Successful companies focus on doing things differently. Owners and managers of these companies work fewer hours and take more holidays. They know that when times are tough, they need to do some clear thinking to solve problems and come up with innovative solutions. Successful executives do their best thinking away from the office and in situations that are less stressful. Do you have what it takes to thrive—and not just survive— in this “new normal” economy? Think about your business and see how many of these 10 questions you’ve addressed. It may tell you how well you are turning these worst of times into the best of times. ■

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Culp fourth-quarter sales rise 5.5%


abric supplier Culp Inc., headquartered in High Point, N.C., reports that net sales for its fiscal fourth quarter ended May 1, were $60.4 million, up 5.5% over the same quarter in 2010. The mattress fabric segment was up 5.3% and upholstery fabrics were up 5.7%. It is the highest quarterly sales gain in three years, the company said. Culp reported pretax income of $4.7 million, or 7.7% of sales in the fiscal fourth quarter, compared with $5 million, or 8.7% of sales in the prior-year period. Net income was $6 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, compared with net income of $5.4 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. Net income for the quarter included a $1.3 million income tax benefit; net income for the

prior-year period included an income tax benefit of $436,000. Mattress fabric sales for the fourth quarter were $35.2 million. For fiscal 2011, mattress fabric sales were $122.4 million, up 6.6% compared to fiscal 2010. “Our mattress fabrics business had a solid fourth-quarter performance, with the highest quarterly sales of fiscal 2011,” said Frank Saxon, Culp chief executive officer. “Notably, sales were higher compared with a strong fourth-quarter period in fiscal 2010.” He continued: “We are continuing to benefit from our capital investments and recent operating initiatives to further build upon our efficient and scalable manufacturing platform, especially in our knitted fabrics area. Our operating margins for the year were slightly lower due to significantly higher raw

Mattress Firm plans IPO


ouston-based retailer Mattress Firm has filed for an initial public offering and seeks to raise as much as $115 million, according to a preliminary filing made June 10 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates LP, the majority partner in Mattress Firm, would maintain a controlling interest in the company after the IPO. J.W. Childs bought the retailer from Sun Capital Partners in 2006. Barclays Capital Inc., UBS Securities LLC and William Blair & Co. LLC are underwriting the IPO. Price per share has not been determined. The company intends to use the symbol MFRM. Mattress Firm reported net sales of $494.1 million and a profit of $885,000 for its most recent fiscal year, ended Jan. 30. It reported total debt of $398.7 million. The retailer has more than 680 stores in 23 states.



Mattress fabric sales 4th Q 2011 $35.2 million Fiscal 2011 $122.4 million Year-over-year Up 6.6%

materials costs and selling price pressures. We are pleased with our operating performance in mattress fabrics and look forward to additional opportunities to leverage our success in the year ahead.” Net sales for fiscal 2011 totaled $216.8 million, up 5% over fiscal 2010. Mattress fabric sales were up 6.6% over fiscal 2010 while upholstery fabric sales were up 3.1%. Pretax income for fiscal 2011 was $15.1 million, compared with a pretax income of $14.3 million in fiscal 2010—6.9% of

sales for both periods. Net income for the fiscal year was $16.2 million, or $1.22 per diluted share, compared with $13.2 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, in the prior year. Net income for fiscal 2011 included a $1.1 million income tax benefit; net income for fiscal 2010 included an income tax expense of $1.1 million. The company said its financial position strengthened “considerably” during fiscal 2011 with cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaling $30.9 million at year-end and exceeding total debt of $11.5 million. The company increased its total cash and short-term investment position by $9.6 million during the year, while investing significantly in capital expenditures of $6.4 million and building working capital of $3.6 million to support higher sales.

Verlo unveils airbed collection


erlo Mattress Factory Stores, a factory direct franchise chain with 40 stores, is offering VerloAire, a new line of adjustable airbeds. Verlo’s airbeds use urethane air chambers in the upper comfort areas of the mattress and a patented system allows the air chambers to fully extend to the edge of the bed, according to the company. The entry-level VerloAire200 model has a suggested retail price of $1,499 for a queen size. “The exciting part about the growth of airbeds is that it allows customers to customize the comfort of their beds, just like Verlo’s been doing for over 50 years,” said Kurt Schusterman, president of Verlo, which has headquarters in Fort Atkinson, Wis. “With a controller for each


side of the bed, people can adjust the firmness levels to suit their individual preferences. What makes Verlo’s airbeds unique is our ability to add more comfort layers, such as latex or memory foam, if the customer wants.” To promote the new collection, Verlo sponsored a contest on its Facebook page in June. The winner received a VerloAire bed set. August 2011 BedTimes

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News Eclipse/Eastman House add Dutch Craft as licensee


utch Craft Mattress Co. has signed a licensing agreement to manufacture mattresses under the Eclipse International and Eastman House brands. Dutch Craft, based in Celina, Tennessee, will serve Alabama, northern Georgia, southern Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. “The opportunity to add Eclipse and Eastman House to our current lineup was something we couldn’t pass up,” said Eli Schmucker, Dutch Craft owner. Schmucker started in the bedding industry at age 17. In 2003, he established Dutch Craft. The company manufacturers 80 different mattress models in a 45,000-square-foot plant and is in the process of opening a



BedTimes August 2011

second facility. Eclipse International and Eastman House are brands of the Mattress Development Co., based in North Brunswick, N.J. “The Eclipse and Eastman House brands will take us to the next level and we already have retailers waiting for them,” Schmucker said. “I strongly believe Dutch Craft, Eclipse and Eastman House will give our existing retailers, as well as new retailers, opportunities they never had before.”

Simmons expands lic


Eli Schmucker

‘The Eclipse and Eastman House brands will take us to the next level and we already have retailers waiting for them.’

reamwell Ltd., a subsidiary of Atlanta-based mattress major Simmons Bedding Co., has signed a new licensing agreement with the Shamie family, owners of Delta Enterprise Corp. Since 2004, Delta has manufactured Simmonsbranded cribs and juvenile furniture. Now—under a new company name, Children’s Products LLC— it has been licensed to manufacture Simmonsbranded crib mattresses, changing pads and


censing deal with children’s producer related children’s products, as well. Under the agreement, Children’s Products acquired certain Simmons assets and began operating from the mattress maker’s facility in Neenah, Wis. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “This arrangement is a demonstration of our strong confidence in Delta and the Shamie family to further develop our brands in the juvenile category,” the company said. “Our existing partnership provides a seamless transition to Children’s Products, giving customers the same level of quality that has always been associated with the Simmons brand.” “We are proud to have extended our relationship with Simmons, the world’s premier mattress brand. The addition of the Simmons Kids crib mattress line rounds out our portfolio of children’s products that have served parents since 1968,” said Joe Shamie, Delta president.

Wright to serve as concierge for Vegas market showrooms


right of Thomasville, a provider of pointof-purchase materials and marketing services based in Thomasville, N.C., is offering Wright Assist, a concierge service to help customers outfit showrooms with POP at furniture markets. Wright is debuting the service at the summer Las Vegas Market, aiding exhibitors from July 28 (four days before the show starts on Aug. 1) through Aug. 5 (when the market closes). In addition to an on-site de-

signer who can assist exhibitors with creative campaigns, Wright staffers can help exhibitors install signs and POP, as well as receive deliveries, provide extra pillows or shams and press or clean fabrics. “Our clients go to market to put their best foot forward to their clients and we felt we needed to be there, at their side, to make sure they have the very best presentation they can,” said Greg Wright, president and chief executive officer.

August 2011 BedTimes

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Glideaway collection earns CertiPUR-US seal


he Sleepharmony line of memory foam mattresses from Glideaway Sleep Products has earned the CertiPUR-US certification seal. The Sleepharmony Bliss, Classic, Renew, Serenity and Tranquility mattress models all feature CertiPUR-USapproved polyurethane foams. “As more and more consumers become environmentally conscious, the materials used in the products they buy become equally as important,” said Ron Fredman, executive vice president of sales for the company, which has headquarters in St. Louis. “By seeing the CertiPUR-US seal on Glideaway mattresses, environmentally conscious consumers can feel confident knowing that some of the components used to make the Sleepharmony collections are not only comfortable but have also passed strict environmental, health and safety standards.” The CertiPUR-US program is a voluntary testing, analysis and certification program. Items that carry the CertiPUR-US seal contain flexible polyurethane foam products that have been tested and certified by an independent laboratory to be sure they meet the strict standards of the CertiPUR-US program for physical performance, indoor emissions and environmental stewardship.

Serta urges consumers to ‘heart’ sleep


attress major Serta, with headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill., launched an “i heart sleep” campaign to market its redesigned Perfect Sleeper brand, which was unveiled at the January Las Vegas Market. The bed was designed with input from the National Sleep Foundation. A Serta news release about the campaign proclaims that “it’s time to start loving to sleep again.” Serta and the NSF are using social media to market the Perfect Sleeper and spark conversations about the importance of sleep and how mattress selection can help with common sleep concerns. Serta added an “i heart sleep” section to its website,, which features content aimed at educating consumers about sleep health. A Facebook contest asked consumers to share what they love about sleep and gave them a chance to win a Serta Perfect Sleeper. Mom blogger Melissa Mitchell (the “Sippy Cup Mom”) has been enlisted to sleep on a Perfect Sleeper mattress and share her experiences with readers of her blog at Other bloggers are invited to support the campaign by posting the “i heart sleep” badge on their Web pages. One of those bloggers will be chosen to receive a new mattress set.

Fabrictech launches consumer-friendly website


attress protection supplier Fabrictech International, which has headquarters in Cedar Grove, N.J., has redesigned its website at, making it more user-friendly for retailers and consumers. The website emphasizes the connection between sleep and wellness in advising consumers to “take back their bedrooms” by choosing the correct protection products and encasements for mattresses, foundations and pillows, according to the company. The site is e-commerce enabled and also provides a store locator, giving consumers a choice of shopping in-store or online. If shopping online, consumers can mix and match their selections or choose from prepackaged sets—Total



BedTimes August 2011

Allergy Protection, Total Bedbug Protection and Total Health and Wellness. A “virtual protection assistant” helps online consumers— and retailers—find Fabrictech products by asking shoppers a series of questions. Based on the answers, the virtual assistant will recommend appropriate items. “Our goal with this website is not only to offer the most innovative and clinically tested ‘people protection’ products to our customers but to make the shopping process simple and easy. We want our customers to have a sense of confidence and to know they have chosen the right product. We also want to help our retail partners so they can better serve their customers and increase sales and margins,” said Sean Bergman, Fabrictech vice president of sales and marketing.

News Diamond Mattress revamps website


anufacturer Diamond Mattress, which has headquarters in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., has launched a multifaceted, interactive website for both retailers and consumers at “We believe our new presentation accurately represents us as both a fourth-generation, familyowned company still making mattresses in the U.S.—and as a modern, forward-thinking enterprise that’s impacting people’s lives by improving their sleep,” said Shaun Pennington, Diamond Mattress vice president. Among other features, the website includes a 10-minute video that shows retailers and industry suppliers discussing Diamond Mattress’ “longstand-



BedTimes August 2011

ing commitment to handmade, handcrafted quality, comfort and customer satisfaction.” Diamond Mattress dealers can use a utility to post their store locations. They also can develop and update their own page within the site with profile information, logos, photos, special promotions and news. “These microsites enable our retailers to present themselves to shoppers and to offer an impetus for visiting their stores both in person and online,” Pennington said. Consumers can order information kits about the company’s mattresses—including the recently introduced Ethos and Cool Touch specialty lines—and receive samples of components

such as Eco-Flex foam, Cool Touch pressure-relieving material and natural Talalay latex. Consumers also can get mat-

tress recommendations by taking a survey and learn more about sleep issues, mattress life cycles and product care.

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Hospitality group devising ‘green’ purchasing standards


ed by Los Angeles-based sustainability consulting company MindClick SGM, a number of hospitality industry members have launched the Hospitality Sustainable Purchasing Consortium. The consortium’s primary goal is to “work collaboratively for the ‘greening’ of the furniture, fixture and equipment supply chain for hotels,” according to a news release. The group says its first goal is to devise

a Hospitality Sustainable Purchasing Index, which will assess the sustainability of hospitality industry suppliers, setting the standard for sustainable purchasing and creating a database of supplier performance in areas such as corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability. In addition to MindClick, founding members of the consortium include Audit Logistics, Benjamin West, Delta Faucet Co.,

Innvision, InterfaceFLOR, Marriott International, PE International Inc., RTKL, SERA Architects and Valley Forge Fabrics. “Marriott has a 20-year commitment to environmental sustainability,” said Dave Lippert, vice president of architecture and construction procurement for Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott. “Our membership in this group will help us meet our aggressive goals to continue to reduce our global footprint.”


Pratrivero rolls out new lines Fabric supplier Pratrivero S.p.A., which has headquarters in Trivero, Italy, introduced a range of new offerings at Interzum Cologne in Cologne, Germany, in May. Rollouts included a “good, better, best” collection of circular knits; a damask collection for panels and borders at moderate price points; and a selection of printed, stitchbonded fabrics, liner fabrics and nonskid filler cloth that meet several international FR standards. “We had more quality customers attend this show than the past several shows,” said Larry Starky, vice president of sales for Pratrivero USA.

Verlo promotes buying locally Verlo Mattress Factory Stores, a chain of franchised factory directs based in Fort Atkinson, Wis., is encouraging consumers to buy locally. “Verlo Mattress Factory Stores give customers in more than 40 communities the ability to buy local and receive a locally built mattress that uses local craftsmen and mostly local components,” the company said in a news release. Kurt Schusterman, Verlo president, added: “Our franchise owners and their families are a true part of the communities. They pride themselves on providing top-notch customer service and an affordable, locally made mattress.” Verlo Mattress Factory Stores has locations in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Georgia, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.



BedTimes August 2011



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News L&P creates online resource for RSAs SHORTS

Sealy selects MSL Group as PR firm


eggett & Platt’s Bedding Group has created Sleep Geek, an online community for retail sales associates at The site is designed to provide an entertaining place for RSAs to socialize while learning how to improve their sales and become industry ambassadors, according to the Carthage, Mo.-based company. The site asks users to weigh in on important industry issues, as well as share best practices and experiences. It features games, contests, forums, polls and news. “If we’re going to grow as an industry, it is absolutely essential that we come together and give RSAs a voice. We have so much to learn from each other,” said Mark Quinn, L&P segment vice president of marketing. Mattress Firm, Mattress Giant, Sit ‘n Sleep and other retailers are participating in the Sleep Geek project, according to L&P.

Mattress major Sealy, which has headquarters in Trinity, N.C., has chosen MSL Group in Chicago as its new public relations agency. The firm is part of the Publicis Groupe. “Our partnership with MSL Group underscores our commitment to communicating the strength of the Sealy brand through several different channels,” said Jamie Piper, Sealy director of marketing and communications. “Consumers are connecting with products more and more through a variety of mediums, most notably, digitally in blogs, Twitter and online forums. MSL Group is bringing our marketing to life by leveraging a holistic, 360-degree approach to public relations.”

Protect-A-Bed honors dads with contest Protect-A-Bed, a sleep accessories provider based in Northbrook, Ill., sponsored a Father’s Day contest on its Facebook page that recognized exceptional dads across the United States. First and second prizes for the two winning dads were a $750 Apple gift card and a $250 Apple gift card. The winning nominators won Bedding Protection Kits that included a mattress protector, an encasement and two pillow protectors.

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BedTimes August 2011

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News Carolina Mattress Guild featured on CNN Family-owned bedding producer Carolina Mattress Guild was featured in May on CNN as part of the news network’s series, “Building Up America.” In the report, CNN’s Tom Foreman interviews company owners Neal and Kathy Grigg about Carolina Mattress Guild’s history in Thomasville, N.C., as well as its survival strategies and plans for growth in the future. You can view the report at the mattress maker’s website,

CKI’s mattress lifter part of safety program Mattress accessories and solutions provider Cadence Keen Innovations has been chosen to participate in HEI Hotels & Resorts’ 2011 “ABC’s of Safety” program. The hotelier’s goal is to improve workplace safety at all of its properties and reduce costs related to workers’ compensation claims. CKI, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is providing its Bed MadeEZ Mattress Lifter to all 700 housekeeping employees at HEI’s 36 properties. Bed MadeEZ is a wedge-shaped ergonomic device that slips between the mattress and foundation, allowing for easy changing of bed linens.


Sleepy’s promises Bedder Days for needy


attress retail chain Sleepy’s has created Bedder Days, a new community relations and cause marketing program that will partner with organizations serving those in need, particularly after a natural disaster or other life-changing event displaces people from their homes. The aim is to provide basic comfort to individuals who are facing a difficult time and are dreaming of “bedder” days to come, according to the company, which has headquarters in Bethpage, N.Y. “At Sleepy’s, we have a history of providing our customers with a comfortable and restful night’s sleep, regardless of the day’s events. That’s why we are committed to helping our neighbors in need by offering beds and other contributions to the organizations on the front lines providing assistance through catastrophic events and hard times,” said Adam Blank, Sleepy’s chief operating officer. Recently, Sleepy’s provided 30 complete sets of bedding (sheets, comforters, pillows and pillow protectors) to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Conn., that serves young campers with serious illnesses. Sleepy’s has more than 700 retail locations in 13 states.



August 2011 BedTimes

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Iditarod winner promoting Paramount mattresses


eff King, a four-time Iditarod champion, is endorsing the Back Performance mattress from Norfolk, Va.-based Paramount Sleep. King recently came out of retirement to enter the 40th Iditarod, a 1,049-mile dog sled race across Alaska. He won the race in 1993, 1996, 1998 and 2006. During the past 20 years, he’s logged more than 100,000 miles on a dog sled. For this year’s race, King said, he was

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well rested, having taken a year off from the competition—and sleeping on a Paramount mattress. “I had no idea what a great night’s sleep on a Back Performance FE Alaskan king model could do for me,” King said. Paramount’s four-model Back Performance line includes advanced coil technologies to provide proper posture alignment and premium zoned foams and memory foams to provide pressure-relieving comfort. “We developed the Back Performance collection specifically for people like Jeff who lead an active lifestyle. They shouldn’t have to choose between comfort and support,” said Richard Fleck, Paramount Sleep chief marketing officer. Paramount also offers Nature’s Spa, Quilt o Pedic, Boutique Hotel, Sleep for Success and A.H. Beard brands.

Devon Duvets, a top-of-bed supplier headquartered in Dartmoor, England, has unveiled a range of hand-crafted, patented folding pillows, duvets and mattress toppers. Products in the Classic Natural collection have 100% cotton covers and 100% British wool fill, sourced and cleaned locally without the use of chemicals or bleaches. All products are designed, produced and packaged in the United Kingdom.

DUX adds U.S. store SWEDEN



BedTimes August 2011



Luxury mattress manufacturer and retailer DUX North America, headquartered in New York, has opened an affiliate store at upscale bed-and-bath retailer Opulence of Southern Pines in Southern Pines, N.C. The storewithin-a-store, Duxiana at the Mews, sells the complete line of hand-crafted DUX beds sold at 30 other Duxiana stores in the United States.

News United Feather adds Dr. Maas-endorsed lines leep accessories supplier United Feather & Down, with headquarters in Des Plaines, Ill., has expanded its partnership with sleep expert Dr. James B. Maas, introducing two new lines. The Remmy Good Night collection for children is named for the title character in Maas’ children’s book Remmy and the Brain Train. The Sleep for Success collection targets college students. James B. Maas “Lack of sleep is truly detrimental to growing kids and young adults,” Maas said. “My new collections with United Feather & Down are built to help kids achieve longer and better sleep, helping their performance and overall well-being.” The Remmy collection includes a pillow that unzips to reveal a storage pocket. Items feature moisture-wicking fabrics, as well as SilverFill anti-microbial fiber. A “Sleep Tips for Your Child” booklet is packaged with each product. The Sleep for Success collection includes pillows, comforters and mattress pads. A separate “allergy protection” group features SilverFill down-alternative fiber to provide a natural defense against bacteria, odor and fungus. Products are packaged with the sleep tips booklet “How to Get Eight Great Hours of Sleep,” excerpted from Maas’ book, Sleep for Success! Everything You Must Know About Sleep, But Are Too Tired to Ask.



Vi-Spring creates mammoth bed

Luxury bedding maker Vi-Spring has created its largest bed—8 feet by 8 feet—for the Horn of Plenty Country House Hotel in Dartmoor, England. The aptly named Plentiful is handmade in Devon, England, using British fleece wool, cotton and long-strand horsehair. Its tailored headboard is covered with harlequin boutique velvet and the divan is dressed in faux suede. Pillows and linens from Devon Duvets complete the ensemble.

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BedTimes August 2011

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Thank You. Interzum 2011 was a great experience for us. Thank you for being a part of it. Ingenuity was truly on display in the Global Systems Group space... • New Nahtec zipper systems • New handle and border equipment • New Porter PFM series flanger • New Porter binder • New multi-head single-needle quilter from Teknomac • World’s newest, fastest wrapper from Merello • Gribetz International® introduced the newest, leanest, fastest quilter in the world – the V16.™ Our Interzum guests were very excited about this new equipment and you will be, too. Contact your local GSG representative to see all this new mattress equipment!

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Cowles assumes presidency at FXI as Johnson retires


oam supplier FXI, which has headquarters in Media, Pa., has named John Cowles president and chief executive officer. He also has been named to the company’s board. Cowles replaces Jack Johnson, who is retiring after six years with the company. Johnson will stay on the board as chairman. “I would like to recognize and thank Jack Johnson, who led FXI through a restructuring and helped position the company for short- and long-term success,” said Greg Ethridge, a partner at MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC, a majority owner of FXI. “We wish Jack well in retirement and look forward to having him remain on the board of directors.” Cowles is the former CEO of Touchstone Wireless. Prior to

that, he was president of George Weston Bakeries. He also served as executive vice president and general manager for Kraft Foods’ beverage, cookies, confections and condiments business units. His background also includes nine years with Campbell Soup Co.  “On behalf of the board, I would like to welcome John to FXI,” Johnson said. “He is a proven leader who brings to FXI an ideal combination of skills and experience. We are confident that FXI will greatly benefit from his supply chain, innovation and general industry experience as we continue to focus on driving enterprise value through growth and new business development.” Cowles said: “FXI is an established leader in the polyurethane foam manufacturing industry and I am very pleased to be joining the company. …I am extremely excited by this opportunity and look forward to working with the entire FXI team to realize the enormous potential that exists at FXI.”

Hickory Springs promotes three


ndustry supplier Hickory Springs Mfg. Co., with headquarters in Hickory, N.C., has elevated three top executives. Bobby Bush Jr. was named senior vice president of foam and environmental technology. His previous title was vice president of foam and environmental technology. He is responsible for the development and advancement of new foam products and technologies and for overseeing environmental compliance at all company facilities. Bobby Bush has been with Hickory Springs since 1976 and previously served as West Coast manager and area sales manager for the company. “I look forward to continuing to bring new innovations to the marketplace, particularly in areas such as environmentally friendly and sustainable products like our Preserve line of biobased foams,” Bobby Bush said. Jimmy Bush has been promoted to senior executive vice president of Hickory Springs’ Wire Products Group. His responsibilities include overseeing the production of all springrelated products at the com-

pany’s wire drawing and spring plants, as well as its three mattress innerspring facilities. Jimmy Bush joined the company in 1978. He previously was executive vice president of bedding. During his tenure, he’s also been division vice president of sales and marketing, national product manager of bedding, innerspring product manager and assistant sales manager. “Hickory Springs was founded as a producer of furniture springs in 1944 and springs remain one of the most important areas of growth for our company,” he said. “I am excited to see how we can continue to draw upon the expertise of our spring and wire drawing operations to develop new, customdesigned spring products and constructions to open up new growth markets for our clients and our company.” Buster Mann was promoted to senior vice president of foam operations. He previously was vice president. He is responsible for operations at all of Hickory Springs’ U.S. foam facilities, including synchronizing operational

Bobby Bush Jr.

Buster Mann

efficiencies at the company’s six foam manufacturing plants and coordinating best practices at more than 25 other foam operations. Mann has been with the company since 1975 and has held a range of posts, including division vice president, regional vice president, area

Jimmy Bush

manager of operations and plant manager. “Foam production is one of the foundations on which Hickory Springs was built,” Mann said. “In this new role, I hope to continue to explore new and more efficient ways to help our foam manufacturing operations drive the growth, diversification and profitability of Hickory Springs and our clients in the global marketplace.” “Bobby, Buster and Jimmy are most deserving of these newly appointed positions,” said Don Coleman, Hickory Springs president. “Their tenure with the company and their expertise in their respective divisions make each of these leaders a valuable asset to the company.” August 2011 BedTimes

63 |



obert J. Kichler, retired vice president of White Dove Mattress, died June 6. He was 81. Kichler spent 55 years with the Cleveland-based mattress manufacturer, joining the company after marrying his first wife, Laura Goodman, who was the daughter of then-owner Eugene Goodman. Prior to that, Kichler ran a family lighting business. “Bob was known throughout the industry as a sales superstar because of his wit, competitive spirit, creative approach to sales, tenacity and the genuine and lasting friendships he built over the years,” said Bruce Goodman, White Dove president. Survivors include his wife, Gail; five children, Leonard, James, Thomas, Susan and Maryn; and six grandchildren. Notes of sympathy may be sent to bgoodman@ and will be forwarded to the family.

Read takes helm of marketing company


ale Read, the former publisher of Bedroom magazine, has concluded a gradual phase-out of his participation in the publication and now serves as president of the Marketing Arm Group Inc. Read founded Bedroom and was its publisher for 16 years. After selling the magazine to marketing company Blue House in 2010, he continued to serve as the magazine’s senior writer.

The Marketing Arm Group, which is based in Charlotte, N.C., is a marketing, public relations and advertising consultancy that Read formed with Melanie Burk-Read in 2003. In his new full-time role at the company, Read will handle writing duties, as well as other PR, advertising and strategic marketing services for manufacturers and retailers in the mattress and home

furnishings industries. Read also serves as president of the Specialty Sleep Association, a nonprofit organization that seeks to raise awareness of and grow the specialty sleep category. Earlier in his career, Read founded Read, Tatulli and Purdy Inc., a full-service advertising agency. Prior to that, he ran RTD/Read Inc., a business-to-business advertising and PR agency.

Spring Air South hires sales manager


Former White Dove exec Kichler dies

Spring Air South has named Seth Atkinson eastern regional sales manager. He reports to the Price family, owners of the Atlanta-based licensee of Spring Air International. In his new post, Atkinson, who lives in Greenville, S.C., oversees five Spring Air sales representatives who cover Georgia, South Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Previously, Atkinson was a territory manager for Tempur-Pedic. Prior to that, he worked for Kingsdown, both in manufacturing and in sales.

Knopf joins SSA board Karrie Knopf, a market specialist for Winfield, W. Va.-based Innovative Mattress Solutions, has been elected to the board of directors of the Specialty Sleep Association. Innovative Mattress Solutions owns more than 100 Mattress Warehouse and Sleep Outfitters stores in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. “On behalf of the entire SSA board, we look forward to Karrie’s contributions to our organization,” said Dale Read, SSA president. “She brings new energy, as well as the retailer’s point of view—and with her business focus on the in-store shopping experience, that of the consumer, as well.” SSA is a nonprofit organization that promotes the specialty sleep category.

is a must-read for mattress manufacturers Why? Our readers say BedTimes is their source for ■ New & innovative equipment ■ The latest research on consumers’ needs & wants ■ Classified & product advertising ■ Up-to-date news about the industry

■ FR & regulatory information ■ Coverage of suppliers & new products ■ Mattress disposal & recycling ■ Ideas & industry trends

Our readers are your customers. Advertise in BedTimes. Contact Kerri Bellias, 336-945-0265 or |


BedTimes August 2011

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For information, contact Kerri Bellias, sales director • 336-945-0265

ISPA Certificate in Product Safety Analysis The International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), in partnership with the Center for Supply Chain Management Studies at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University and ADK Information Services, LLC, presents the first ever university level Certificate in Product Safety Analysis program. The program is intended for product safety managers and will be held at Saint Louis University's John Cook School of Business in St. Louis, MO on December 5-6, 2011 This course features industry experts in the areas of product risk assessment, compliance and regulation, and supply chain management. It allows a unique networking opportunity for product safety managers to meet their colleagues and discuss issues and current trends in the product safety field. Students will receive general course materials, as well as access to the 160-page ADK Risk Assessment Manual©, a self-audit tool that provides safety personnel with a validation process for each step in the product safety system of their company. Course elements include: Risk management Product hazard analysis Regulation and compliance Making effective presentations on hazard analysis topics Supply chain management Product safety issues and trends The workshop concludes with group presentations, examination and the presentation of a Certificate in Product Safety Analysis from the Center of Supply Chain Management Studies at Saint Louis University and ISPA.

Tuition for the 2-day program is $1650 for ISPA Members and $2200 for Non-ISPA Members (overnight accommodations and travel excluded)

For discounts on registering multiple employees from the same company, call 703-683-8371 for details.

ENROLL TODAY space is limited

For more information, contact ISPA at or ADK Information Services, LLC at 314-361-4464 or The Certificate in Product Safety Analysis is offered by the Center for Supply Chain Management Studies at Saint Louis University and the International Sleep Products Association, and is made possible through the support of ADK Information Services, LLC.

ISPA BSC to target teenage ‘zombies’ this fall


o doubt you’ve seen them—roaming the streets, hanging out in the malls, perhaps even hiding in your home. They’re teenagers suffering from acute “zombieitis.” Key symptoms including shuffling, mumbling, being distracted and appearing uncommunicative. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens are sleeping about two hours less than they should. They’re spending too many nighttime hours texting, tweeting and otherwise electronically

engaged. Early school start times, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs also may be robbing them of needed sleep. No wonder it’s so hard for them to get up in the morning. Pioneering sleep researcher Dr. Mary Carskadon found that adolescents’ brains undergo a chemical reshaping process during sleep. Notably, key connections are made in areas of the brain that deal with decision-making skills. This requires teens to sleep even more than previously thought. A little

more than nine hours a night is optimal. Carskadon is director of chronobiology at Emma P. Bradley Hospital and adjunct professor of psychology at Brown University, both in East Providence, R.I. As part of its fall “Stop Zombieitis!” program, the Better Sleep Council, the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association, is conducting a survey of teen sleep habits and will be sounding the alarm among at-risk teens and their parents.

The cure for teen zombieitis? Nine full hours of sleep on a supportive, comfortable new mattress. To learn more about the BSC’s “Stop Zombie-

itis!” campaign, which began in May during Better Sleep Month, visit www. and www.bedtimes


OSHA focuses on mattress industry

How do you measure up? Cost Survey shows you


ow does your company’s operating and financial performance compare with mattress industry averages? How can you control costs, increase efficiency and improve profitability? You’ll find answers in the annual Cost Survey from the International Sleep Products Association. ISPA members who participated in the annual Cost Survey should already have received their copy of the report. If you weren’t able to participate in the survey but are an ISPA member, you still can

purchase a copy. Contact Jane Oseth, ISPA member services manager, at or 703-683-8371. Highlights of the 2011 Cost Survey include: ■ A composite analysis that provides comparative performance data for all mattress industry participants and high-profit firms, as well as breakdowns by sales volume and geographic regions of the United States and Canada. ■ A “for-your-eyes-only” customized performance report—prepared only for survey participants—that

compares your company’s performance to both similar and high-profit firms. This can help you identify areas for improvement. “Thank you to all those who participated in the valuable 2011 Cost Survey,” said Mary Helen Uusimaki, ISPA vice president of membership and communications. “We are confident you will benefit from this valuable member benefit and financial management tool when you put it to work using the specific measurements provided for your company.”

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently took enforcement action against a mattress manufacturer as part of its broader effort to target industries with higher-than-average injury reports. The International Sleep Products Association reminds its members to familiarize themselves with their obligations under federal workplace safety laws. OSHA offers free, confidential on-site consultations to assist small- and mediumsize businesses in complying with safety laws. For more information, check dcsp/smallbusiness/consult.html.

Help ISPA lobby for changes to CPSIA The International Sleep Products Association continues to lobby Congress to reduce what the association says are costly regulatory burdens created by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Currently, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is considering whether to advance legislation that would prevent the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission from requiring additional testing of mattresses, which the CPSC has proposed in draft regulations. ISPA asks its members to send a letter to their representatives, expressing support for reducing regulatory costs for mattress manufacturers. Check ISPA’s Legislative Action Center at to send a prewritten letter electronically.

August 2011 BedTimes

67 |

Calendar | AUGUST Aug. 1-5 Las Vegas Market World Market Center Las Vegas, U.S. Phone 888-416-8600 |


Sept. 6-10 International Furniture Market Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Phone 603-8024-7736

Sept. 14-17 Furniture China Shanghai New International Expo Centre Shanghai, China Phone 86-21-64371178 Sept. 14-18 Habitare Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre Helsinki, Finland Phone 358-9-150-91

| OCTOBER Oct. 22-27 High Point Market International Home Furnishings Center & other locations High Point, N.C., U.S. Phone 336-869-1000

Left: Furniture China Sept. 14-17 in Shanghai, China Righ: Las Vegas Market Aug. 1-5 in Las Vegas, U.S.



BedTimes August 2011

to the

Mattress Industry!

MARCH 14-17, 2012 INDIANA CONVENTION CENTER Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

WWW.ISPAEXPO.COM The only trade show in the world devoted exclusively to the mattress industry.

a d v e r t i s e r s A. Lava & Son Co. Steve Appelbaum 800-777-5282 (800-777-LAVA)


AFT Corp. Rick Brumfield 800-631-1930


Agro International GmbH & Co. KG Martin Mannel 49-5472-94200


American Law 22 Label Inc. Rocco Bruno Jr. 773-523-2222 Atlanta Attachment C2-1, 45 Co. Inc. Hank Little 770-963-7369 Albrecht Bäumer 18 GmbH & Co. KG Phillipp Schuster - Germany 49-2734-289-211 Terry Borchard – U.S. 973-263-1569 Bloomingburg Spring 68 & Wire Form Vickie Schwarm 740-437-7614 BLR Martin Leroux 819-877-2092


Boyçelik Erol Boydak 90-532-274-3193


Boyteks Tekstil AS Deniz Boydak 90-352-322-0588



BedTimes August 2011


CT Nassau Taber Wood 800-397-0090


Innofa USA Todd Hilliard 336-687-1006


Diamond Needle Corp. 68 Abe Silberstein 800-221-5818

Integrity Software Solutions 44 Bill Seres 604-574-7900, Ext. 101

Duroflex International George Mathew 415-990-4343

John Marshall & Co. Ltd. Peter Crone 64-3-341-2004


Eclipse International/ 11 Eastman House Stuart Carlitz 800-634-8434 www.eastmanhouse Enriquez Materials 37 & Quilting Inc. Silvia Enriquez 323-725-4955 Flexible Foam Products Inc. Michael Crowell 419-647-4191


Kenn Spinrad Inc. Randy Weinstock 800-373-0944


Latexco U.S. LLC Kevin Callinan 866-528-3926


Latex International Tom Eisenberg 203-924-0700, Ext. 341



Pacific Spring Inc. Victor Nguyen 626-272-8882


Quilting Inc. Dave Pritchett 614-873-6667


P.T. RubberFoam Indonesia 52 Andreas Janssen 62-21-53662190 SABA North America LLC 4 Jim Turner 810-824-4964 Sapsa Latex Grégoire Moll 33-153-45-50-41


Simalfa Darren Gilmore 973-423-9266


Latex Systems 43 Kitti Charoenpornpanichkul 66-2-326-0886, Ext. 204

Springs Creative Products 46 Group George Booth 803-324-6505

Global Systems Group 61, C3 Russ Bowman 954-846-0300

Lava Textiles Ann Weaver 864-998-4892


Starsprings International Kai Christensen 46-513-17800


Gommagomma 19 Isabella Mariani 39-02-965100

Leigh Fibers Inc. Parris Hicks-Chernez 864-949-5615


Subiñas Confort S.L. Javier Subiñas 34-94-416-04-40


Hengchang Machinery Factory Ren Ying 86-769-83307931

Middleburg Yarn Processing Co. Inc. Howard Reece 570-374-1284, Ext. 210


Therapedic International Gerry Borreggine 800-314-4433

Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. Rick Anthony 828-328-2201




New England Needles Inc. 15 Thomas Lees 800-243-3158

Tietex International Ltd. Wade Wallace 800-843-8390


Orsa Foam Monica Rossi 33-160-9111

Wright of Thomasville Area Account Executive 800-678-9019



C l a s s i f i e d s For Sale

For Sale


n Lost Contract. For Sale: Spuhl Anderson BK-6 bale

NEEDLE QUILTERS, long-arm label machines, sergers, etc. Contact Victor LeBron, American Plant and Equipment. Phone 864-574-0404; Fax 864-576-7204; Cell 864-590-1700; Email; Web

opener. Only 24 hours running time. Like new. $12,500. Call 731-285-2991 or 731-676-3266.


MACHINES. Specializing in PATHE precision parts and service. Technical consultants. SEDCO. Phone 201-567-7141; Fax 201-567-5515. n TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, QUILTERS AND MISCELLANEOUS

SEWING MACHINES. Contact Frank Carlino, U.S. Mattress Machinery. Phone 815-795-6942; Fax 815-795-2178; Email

Place your classified ad today! Reach mattress industry professionals around the world with your advertising message through the BedTimes Classifieds. Rates: $3 per word for the first 100 words and $2.50 thereafter; minimum charge of $75. “Blind” box number: $50 per insertion. Ad copy and payment must be received by the first of the month preceding publication. Send ads and payment to BedTimes Classifieds, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1917. Contact Debbie Robbins, advertising production manager, for additional information. Phone 571-482-5443; Fax 703-683-4503; Email

August 2011 BedTimes


On Sleep Hotel tries to silence sound of snoring

Study: Swaying aids sleep


new study shows that swaying— like people do in a hammock— helps people fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply than when lying on a stationary surface. Swiss researchers studied the brain activity of 12 men who took a 45-minute nap on a traditional-type bed and then another nap while that same bed gently rocked. While swaying, the men fell asleep one minute faster, on average, and entered a stage of deep sleep three minutes faster, researchers found. “This research could be helpful in terms of patients who typically suffer from sleep-onset difficulty and sleep-maintenance difficulty,” says Sophie Schwartz, one of the study’s authors and a professor of neuroscience at the University of Geneva, told The research was published in the journal Current Biology in June. Researchers aren’t sure why the rocking aids in sleep. One theory is that it induces relaxation. Another is that it may “synchronize” brain waves. Does this mean it’s time for manufacturers to put more swing into mattress sets?

What’s on your mind?


ontrary to popular myth— and recent high-profile political scandals—men don’t think about sex all the time. In fact, men think more about




BedTimes August 2011


o provide its guests a quieter—and better—night’s sleep, the Crowne Plaza hotel chain is testing its first “snore absorption” rooms at properties in Europe and the Middle East. Hotel officials point to research that shows half of couples in the United Kingdom lose between one and five hours of sleep each night because of the “snoring and snuffling” of their partners. “We’ve all been there—lying wide awake at three o’clock in the morning, burying our head under a pillow to drown out our partner’s snoring,” says Tom Rowntree, Crowne Plaza spokesman. “There’s nothing worse than being kept up all night.” The rooms include a number of special features: ■ Egg crate-style foam soundproofing on walls to absorb loud frequencies, deflect sound waves and minimize the impact of snoring ■ A sound-absorbing headboard ■ An anti-snoring bed wedge that acts as a body pillow, encouraging snorers to sleep on their sides instead of flat on their backs ■ An anti-snoring pillow that uses neodymium magnets to create a magnetic field, said to open airways and stiffen the upper palate, which vibrates during snoring ■ A white noise machine to help drown out the sound of snoring and promote relaxation.

food and sleep, according to a new study. Researchers at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, gave 283 college students—163 women and 120 men—a golf tally counter and asked them to record their thoughts


on sex, food and sleep for a week. Men did report thinking about sex roughly twice as often as women, but they also thought more about food and sleep than sex. The research was published in the Journal of Sex Research on April 28.


Da Vinci, Rembrandt...Gribetz? Let’s just say the Gribetz V16™ is not your ordinary quilter. The Gribetz V16™, the world’s fastest quilter, was unveiled at Interzum and it’s already getting great reviews from customers. If you appreciate the finer things high-speed quilting can provide, you’ll want the V16 in your equipment collection. Only sixteen needles; simplified set-up and maintenance; nearly twice as fast as the average quilter; dramatically increased productivity gains – this could be a masterpiece! To get a clear picture how the V16 can improve your productivity, contact your local GSG representative.

Gribetz International® would like to thank all who visited and made Interzum 2011 one of our best shows.



Introducing Clings.

Say bye-bye to the slipping, sliding, bed-making blues.

Now you can sing a happier tune. with Clings, mattresses finally behave themselves. No more shifting and shuffling. No more wobbling and wiggling. Simply apply our proprietary fabric to the mattress bottom or to decking – either way, the mattress snuggles neatly to the foundation. Bed linens and dust ruffles stay tucked. and bed makers everywhere thank you.









Tietex International Ltd., 3010 North Blackstock Road, Spartanburg, SC 29301, 864.574.0500


BedTimes Aug 11  

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