Bedtimes April 2009

Page 1

BedTimes APRIL 2009


Shopping isn’t dead

But recession is changing habits for the long term

Research: New mattress reduces stress Best strategies for price setting Dealing with creditors in tough times

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APRIL 2009

InSide Features

16 The shifting shape of consumerism

In the face of today’s global recession, shoppers are rethinking what and how they buy. Are they making permanent changes to their habits? Or will they return to stores with wallets wide open when the economy stabilizes?

24 Sleep in America

The economy is interfering with sleep and that leads to unhealthy habits. We look at that finding and more results from a new National Sleep Foundation poll.


7 Front Matter

New research from Oklahoma State University shows a link between sleeping on a new mattress and reductions in stress.

11 Marketing Report

There are 10 mistakes that companies are likely to make when setting prices for their products and services. Are you guilty of these errors?

54 ISPA News 56 Classifieds 57 Advertisers Index 58 Calendar 60 The Last Word

13 Cost Management

Steep economic downturns can strain relationships between companies and their creditors. A financial industry expert gives advice on maintaining those critical partnerships.

5 Editor’s Note 31 Industry News 49 Newsmakers 50 Up Close 53 ISPA Advocacy

BedTimes | April 2009 |


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EDITOR IN CHIEF Julie A. Palm 336-727-1889 SENIOR WRITER Barbara T. Nelles 336-856-8973 CONTRIBUTORS J. Tol Broome Jr. Per Sjofors Dorothy Whitcomb ART DIRECTOR Stephanie Belcher 336-201-7475 Vice President of Sales Kerri Bellias 336-945-0265 Ad Production & CIRCULATION manager Debbie Robbins 336-342-4217 COPY EDITOR Margaret Talley-Seijn

BedTimes deadlines Editorial deadlines for the Industry News and Newsmakers sections of the June issue of BedTimes are Friday, May 1. Volume 137 Number 4 BedTimes (ISSN 0893-5556) is published monthly by the International Sleep Products Association. Periodicals postage paid at Alexandria, Va., and additional mailing offices. Editorial and advertising offices 5603-B W. Friendly Ave. #286 Greensboro, NC 27410 Phone 703-683-8371; Fax 703-683-4503 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 © 2009 by the International Sleep Products Association. Reprint permission obtainable through BedTimes.


BedTimes enters the digital world W e want you to be able to get the most out of every issue of BedTimes. So, starting this month, we’re posting the entire magazine online at No matter where you are, if you have access to the Internet, you’ll have access to BedTimes. Navigating the digital version is quick and intuitive, allowing you to flip through the pages to read stories and advertisements just like you do with the print version. You don’t need to download any special software to be able to read the entire contents. A full-screen mode and high-quality display make reading enjoyable. And live links allow you to click on Web addresses and emails within stories to quickly access the further information you need. We’ll post the magazine on the Web site at the beginning of each month and archive past issues. Check it out. Tell us what you think. (Our sister publication, Sleep Savvy, also is posting entire issues online. You can find those at Product showcase coming We know BedTimes is a primary resource for mattress manufacturers seeking information about new products and services so we include that kind of information in every issue. But a few times a year we run a special showcase of new offerings. Our next will be in the June issue. We encourage all suppliers to participate in this free, editorial section. The deadline is Wednesday, April 22. Send the following information to me at

Company name, new product or service name and description (100-word maximum), company Web address, company phone number, company email address and contact person’s name. You also may send photos to the same email address. Questions? Email or call 336-727-1889.

Subscription issues We are pleased to announce that Debbie Robbins, who has served as BedTimes’ advertising production manager for six years, is now managing our subscriptions, as well. If you have questions about your subscription, contact her at or 336-342-4217. Now is a good time to remind you that BedTimes is available free to any employee of ISPA member companies. Manufacturers of mattresses and topof-bed products who aren’t members of the International Sleep Products Association qualify for one free subscription to each facility. All others pay low subscription rates: $50 a year inside the United States and $65 a year elsewhere. If you have colleagues who aren’t getting their own copy of BedTimes, have them fill out the subscription card in the back of this issue. BT

Julie A. Palm BedTimes | April 2009 |


FrontMatter Study: New mattress reduces stress

Both physical & emotional reactions show improvement


new study shows that people sleep better, suffer less back pain and experience fewer symptoms of stress when sleeping on new beds. The study findings from Oklahoma State University—“Back Pain, Sleep Quality and Perceived Stress Following Introduction of New Bedding Systems”—are published in the Winter 2009 Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. Bert Jacobson, lead researcher and head of the university’s School of Educational Studies, conducted earlier research on the relationship between new mattresses, back pain, sleep quality and sleep efficiency. That first study was published in the Winter 2006 Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. In the studies, 59 healthy subjects recorded back discomfort and sleep quality upon waking in their own beds for 28 consecutive days and then upon waking on a new mattress set for 28 consecutive days. The earlier study found that the comfort and support of the sleep surface is related to problems of sleep quality and efficiency. Specifically, Jacobson and associates found that replacing old mattresses with new, medium-firm mattresses reduced clinically diagnosed back pain, shoulder pain and spine stiffness and positively affected sleep quality. The new study—funded by the Better Sleep Council, the International Sleep Products Association’s consumer education arm—went a step further and examined a set of stress-related factors, revealing that the improvements in sleep and back discomfort associated with sleeping on new mattresses were paralleled by a significant decrease in stress.

Study specifics The study included 30 women and 29 men with minor musculoskeletal sleeprelated pain and compromised sleep, but with no clinical history of disturbed sleep. They owned and slept on commercially made innerspring mattresses that were at least 5 years old. The average mattress age was 9.5 years. During the first 28-day period, participants slept in their own beds and rated their sleep each morning to establish a baseline. The next 28-day phase began with the delivery of new bed sets, which were unlabeled and made exclusively for the study. The mattresses were described as “medium-firm” with a “foam-encased Bonnell spring unit, densified fiber pad, super-soft foam, damask cover, semiflex foundation and slick fiber.” The new beds were the same

size as the participants’ original beds. To provide the most natural environment during both phases, participants slept in their own bedrooms and used their own linen and pillows. Visual analog scales, completed every morning, were used to assess the participants’ perception of sleep quality and lower back pain. Stress was assessed at the end of each 28-day period using a questionnaire containing 32 stress-related symptoms and behaviors. It included physical reactions such as trembling/ticks, dry mouth, cold hands, stomachache, grinding teeth, tightness in the chest, and psychological/perceptual feelings such as tension, forgetfulness, irritability, mind going blank, nervousness and worrying. Responses ranged from “never” to “nearly every day.”

Sleep quality Excellent 0

5 10 15

On new mattresses

20 25 30 35 40

On old/ original mattresses

45 Poor 50


Week 1 Post

Week 2 Post

Week 3 Post

Week 4 Post

Figure 1

BedTimes | April 2009 |



Lower back pain Extreme 50

45 40

On old/original mattresses

35 30 25

On new mattresses

20 15 10 5 0



Week 1 Post

Week 2 Post

Week 3 Post

Week 4 Post

Figure 2

Overall improvements on new mattresses High 90

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 Low


Figure 3

8 | BedTimes | April 2009

Back Pain Sleep Quality Stress Factor 1 Stress Factor 2

The findings Analysis revealed that sleep quality and lower back pain improved significantly and consistently over each of the four weeks that participants slept on the new beds. In addition, the stress analysis of both behavioral reactions (grouped as Factor 1 in the study) and physical symptoms (Factor 2) yielded significant improvements after sleeping on the new beds. During the second 28-day period, sleep on the new beds reduced back pain approximately 48% and improved sleep quality by 55%. The researchers noted that even greater improvement would have resulted if only the final week were used for the analysis because participants reported additional improvement each week. For example, improvement in sleep quality increased 24.2% from week 1 to week 4. Most importantly for the purposes of this study, the significant improvements in sleep quality and reduction in pain that participants experienced on the new beds were paralleled by a marked decrease in stress. Behavioral reactions (Factor 1) decreased by 21.5% and physical symptoms (Factor 2) abated by 19.5% after four weeks on the new beds. The subjects were told that they could keep the new beds. Not surprisingly, all of them decided to do so. Jacobson advises caution in generalizing the results. Stress stems from many sources and reducing it can be difficult. Additionally, while the results agree with other researchers who have concluded that sleep quality is associated with stress, it would be an oversimplification to suggest that a new bed is a panacea for stress. Jacobson points to the wide range of variables in mattress firmness and support, together with the variations in the human body. All that being said, Jacobson concludes, “The life of the support, structure and comfort of the mattress as it relates to sleep quality may be considerably less (in years) than commonly assumed.� BT


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MarketingReport 10 pricing mistakes companies make Do you find any of your business practices on the list? By Per Sjofors


n tough economic times, reevaluating product pricing is a necessity to keep your dealers satisfied and end-consumers buying. Determining what to cut and what to keep doesn’t always come easily when you’re personally involved with your products. Here we highlight the 10 most common mistakes companies make when pricing their products.


Basing prices on costs, not customers’ perceptions of value Pricing based solely on costs invariably leads to prices that are too high or too low.


Basing prices on “the marketplace” Management teams must find ways to differentiate their products or services to create additional value for specific market segments.

and customers’ preferences. Most companies fear the uproar of a price change and put it off too long. Savvy companies acclimate their customers and their sales forces to frequent price changes.





Attempting to achieve the same profit margin across different product lines For any single product, profit is optimized when the price reflects the customer’s willingness to pay for it. Failing to segment customers The value proposition for any product or service varies in different market segments. Your price strategy should reflect that difference.


Holding prices at the same level for too long When setting prices, companies tend to absorb changes in raw materials costs, while ignoring changes in the competitive environment

Compensating salespeople based on the revenue they generate rather than on profits Volume-based sales incentives create a drain on profits when salespeople are compensated to push volume at the lowest possible price. Changing prices without forecasting competitors’ reactions Smart companies know enough about their competitors to predict their reactions—and prepare for them.


Using insufficient resources to manage pricing practices Cost, sales volume and price are the three basic variables that drive profit. You should track and manage all three carefully.


Failing to establish internal procedures to optimize prices The hastily called “pricing meeting” has become an all-too-frequent occurrence. A lastminute meeting to set the final price for a new product or service is not an acceptable part of a price strategy.


Spending a disproportionate amount of time serving your least profitable customers Know your customers. Generally, 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers. The failure to identify and focus on this 20% leaves companies vulnerable to competitors. BT

Per Sjofors is a managing partner with Atenga Inc., based in Newport Beach, Calif. Atenga is a strategic pricing consulting company. It develops pricing strategies based on hard data, delivering results to clients by monetizing the value perceptions of the marketplace. For more information, check

BedTimes | April 2009 |


CostManagement Surviving recession may require juggling Tips for dealing with your creditors By J. Tol Broome Jr.


any economists have called the current recession the worst since the Great Depression. And while history will ultimately judge the comparative severity of this downturn, the mattress industry is certainly feeling the pinch. One of the most difficult aspects of surviving an economic crunch is keeping your creditors at bay. It is tough enough to deal with declining sales, compressed profit margins and the need to cut expenses. But the interaction with your creditors will often make the difference as you try to avoid tipping the financial scales of your business. I have been in commercial lending for more 25 years and this is the fourth recession I have seen. While this is certainly the most challenging business environment I have experienced during the past three decades, there is still plenty of hope. My experience in dealing with business owners during difficult times has taught me that the ones who make it through are the ones with a plan. And that plan must include a considered and wellbalanced approach to dealing with key creditors.

Handling trade creditors For the purposes of this article, I am defining trade credit as any purchase of goods or services you make from a supplier with payment due in the future. Based on the rule of thumb that “cash is king” during a recession, here are several survival tips:

Keep your suppliers informed and keep your promises Many companies make the mistake of withholding information from creditors, but when you start paying late, your suppliers know something is amiss. If you have a bill or invoice due in five days and you know you can’t pay it, call the supplier to say it will be 10 days late. And then do everything you can to pay in nine days. If you get to the 10th day and still can’t pay, call again. Most suppliers will react positively to a proactive call from a late account, particularly when you are able to under-promise and over-deliver. A word of caution: While you should be forthcoming with your plans for payment, don’t divulge

too much. It will make your trade creditors nervous if you tell them you barely made payroll the past two Fridays or that another supplier has put you on c.o.d. Don’t pay early Many companies pride themselves on paying bills before their due date. And while this might be an acceptable practice when times are good, it is ill-advised during an economic downturn. Paying accounts early can lead to trouble meeting other obligations, such as rent, loan payments and payroll. Ask for longer terms For many businesses facing a financial crisis, the cash flow simply isn’t there to pay bills on time. At some point this year, you may find yourself stretched to meet trade obligations within existing terms. One way to alleviate this is to ask your existing trade creditors for longer terms. While you may not be able to negotiate longer terms from all your suppliers, each one you can negotiate will help. Start by contacting all your suppliers and ask for longer terms. You might be surprised by how many will agree to keep your business. If you have fallen so far behind that you have “stale” balances owed (60+ days), you might be able to extend your terms to pay the old balances. For instance, if your past-due balance is $6,000, ask to pay back $1,000 per month over the next six months. Rotate late payments You likely have dozens or even hundreds of trade creditors. Some sell you material goods others provide services. If you find your cash flow strapped,

BedTimes | April 2009 |


CostManagement Consolidate and extend terms Most businesses have several loans with a bank or multiple banks. A recession is a good time to find out if your bank will consolidate your debts and extend terms. Consolidation is good for the bank because it creates a comprehensive collateral package with all of your business assets. Extending terms is good for you because it enhances cash flow. Even if you are unable to consolidate your various loans, go see your banker and ask for longer repayment terms on each individual note.

you may have to rotate late payments. For instance, if you have 50 different suppliers of inventory, pay 25 of them on time one month and the other 25 the next month. This can be particularly effective if you follow my first tip and keep them informed of your payment progress. Obtain competitive bids A recession can be an excellent time to get competitive bids for goods and services. You know firsthand that everyone is hungry for new business, providing you an opportunity to lower your costs. If you have been buying the same product or service from the same supplier for several years, obtain at least one bid from a competitor and let them both know that you are looking to save money. Your existing supplier is likely to lower its price or the new bidder could offer an even lower price. Either way, you win. This is another instance where you should consider extending terms. If you currently purchase inventory on 20-day terms but another supplier will sell you the same items on 40-day terms, it might be worth a switch to preserve your cash flow. Protect long-term relationships Of course, there are some suppliers that are essential to your business and you will want to protect these longstanding relationships to avoid interruptions in product availability or service. Sit down and prioritize your trade creditors, putting a star beside the ones you consider critical. Do everything possible to pay them on time and call them a day or two in advance if timely payment is in question. Control purchases Limit the number of people who can make purchases. This will minimize wasteful purchases, which will lower your payables. And lower payables mean better cash flow,

14 | BedTimes | April 2009

fewer past-due trade bills and more sleep at night for you.

Working with the bank Bankers hate recessions as much as you do. The primary goal of most bankers during an economic downturn is to help customers stay in business. Follow these suggestions for dealing with the bank: Make a plan and stick to it Before you go see your banker, write out a plan. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy, complicated business plan—just something that outlines your proposal to stay in business. Your banker will want to know what you will do differently to preserve cash flow. You should include plans to reduce the number of employees, cut other operating costs, decrease inventory and generate revenue from new sources. As with your trade creditors, you should seek to under-promise and over-deliver. After you share the plan with your banker, be prepared to use it as a benchmark of performance. If you make changes to your plan, let your banker know.

Offer more collateral for more money If you find yourself struggling to meet monthly obligations and you have excess collateral, you could be able to borrow much needed working capital to keep your business afloat. This could include unpledged business assets (real estate, vehicles, inventory) that are paid off or personal assets (your house, stocks) in which you have sufficient equity. A word of caution: While the working capital will help in the short term, you will have to repay the new debt eventually. Don’t overextend yourself and be prudent in how you spend the working capital funds. Avoid any surprises Bankers don’t like surprises. Keep yours informed. Do let your banker know ahead of time if you 1) decide to lay off employees, 2) anticipate difficulty making a loan payment on time or 3) have other creditors, such as your landlord or tax authorities, breathing down your neck. Don’t cancel meetings or avoid your banker’s calls. Don’t call at 3 p.m. on Friday to let your banker know that you are going to bounce checks in your payroll account that weekend. And don’t hide the fact that two major suppliers have put you on c.o.d. terms.

Check out cash-management services If you haven’t already signed up for cash-management services offered by your bank, now might be an excellent time to do so. It may sound nonsensical to consider paying more fees to your bank right now, but cash-management services can significantly improve your cash flow. A popular service for small businesses—particularly if you receive a lot of checks—is a lockbox. A lockbox provides your business with faster credit for cash received. Other cash-flow enhancing services include computer-based balance reporting and funds transfer, automated clearinghouse services and controlled disbursement. Consider changing banks Some banks are more client-centric than

others and take a “hospital” approach when times get tough; others become rigid, employing a “morgue” strategy with borrowers. If you find that your bank is unresponsive and inflexible, even as you try to keep it informed about your circumstances, start shopping for another bank. Seek alternative capital If the business survival plan that you put together reveals that your business is over-leveraged and unlikely to weather the storm with its current debt load, you should consider seeking alternative capital. Equity is generally a much more patient source of capital than debt and patience is a virtue during a recession. Where can you find additional equity? Start with your own personal assets. While a down stock market is not a great

time to divest deflated investments, you might be better off in the long term selling stocks at a loss and putting the proceeds into your business. Other possible sources include angel investors or a private equity group. While no one knows just how long this recession will last, these are things you can do right now to keep your creditors on your side until things turn around. Follow these tips and you will greatly improve the chances that your company will be in business when more prosperous times return. BT J. Tol Broome Jr. has spent 25 years working in commercial lending at various financial institutions and currently is an executive vice president and manager of the Specialized Lending Group at BB&T.

BedTimes | April 2009 |


Consumerism But recessions reshape how we think about shopping


ttention shoppers: We no longer have the following items—“a sense of entitlement,” “conspicuous consumption” and “a golden period of luxury.” At least that’s the word from faculty at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and other experts who point to a new logic that is defining not just what U.S. consumers buy, but how they view the shopping experience. While shoppers typically pull back during the downward phase of any economic cycle, the severity and uncertainty of today’s crisis is likely to have longer lasting effects on their attitudes than most slumps, these experts note. Consumers, they suggest, will eventually start spending again, but without the vigor enabled by easy credit in the Roaring 2000s. “The Great Depression certainly changed consumer behavior and attitudes for a generation,” says Wharton marketing professor Wesley Hutchinson. “It’s not obvious that we will have that psychological scar, but there is precedent for a very large shift.” Over the next 18 months, Hutchinson predicts, consumers will learn to become more frugal and are likely to carry those skills over once the economy recovers. “At some level, everybody has now been schooled about financial markets and overextending one’s credit—something American consumers have been notoriously bad at,” he says. “We had a habit of not paying a lot of attention to the cost of using borrowed money.” Wharton marketing professor Stephen Hoch sees consumers embracing a new logic. “Until recently, there has been a theme of entitlement that people really latched onto,” he says. It was built on the belief that consumers worked hard and were entitled to splurge on rewards to compensate for the time and energy devoted to making money. Marketers of luxury goods promoted the “entitlement” theme heavily, although they have now backed away almost entirely from this pitch. Consumers who had learned to trade up when times were flush are now learning to trade down, Hoch adds. They realize they were wasting money on higher priced goods and services when less expensive alternatives were available with little real trade-off in quality or satisfaction. Indeed, many consumers regret what they used to spend; they are finding a new sense of wellbeing in becoming more discerning shoppers. “There will be more of a premium placed on seeking value,” Hoch says. “People will realize that’s being smart.”

2 | BedTimes 16 | BedTimes| April | April2009 2009

isn’t dead

BedTimes | April 2009 |3 BedTimes | April 2009 | 17

$1,200 shoes Erin Armendinger, managing director of Wharton’s Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative, suggests that people “are definitely changed by what has happened. I don’t think they will go back to spending like they did, at least not anytime soon.” Consumers, she notes, have cut back sharply, not by choice, but because credit card companies and other lenders pulled their support for the consumption binge that fed into the current financial collapse. The halt in credit expansion is a “hard stop” for consumers who have been forced to retrench and re-evaluate their attitudes toward spending. In the future, shoppers will learn to focus on the value of goods and services, she predicts, citing designer shoes as an example of the new consumer economics. Five years ago, shoes with high-end names sold for $300 to $500. Leading into the economic meltdown, shoe-minded shoppers—buoyed by easy credit and a sense of newfound wealth based on elevated stock and real estate values— were paying $800 to $1,200 for shoes. “Was there a 100% increase in the value proposition? The answer is probably ‘no,’ ” says Armendinger. “Everybody got caught in a cycle of conspicuous consumption. Everybody had to have the newest, the latest, the best.” Now, she says, that “crazy mindset” is over and shoppers are willing to pay only for what they absolutely need or items that present extraordinary value.

“We are back to simpler times, but the pendulum will settle somewhere in the middle,” Armendinger says. “We are a country that historically has bought more than we need and we will swing back at some point to buying more than we are now.” As for the premeltdown go-go times, Armendinger says, “We will never go back to that, at least not anytime soon.” According to consumer consultant Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, the psychological reaction to the financial meltdown is segmented somewhat by age and

Bad economy spawns 3 consumer types According to Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, the recession is creating three new types of consumers: ➤ Consumers who are suffering financial trauma. They have lost their jobs or had other reductions in their incomes or benefits. They are making significant cuts to their spending and lifestyles. ➤ Consumers who are fearful. These people haven’t lost their jobs but fear they might and know friends and family who already have. They are spending less, looking for deals and sales as a precaution. ➤ Consumers who are unscathed. They may have seen the value of their investments fall sharply, but their incomes are secure and they still have a financial cushion. But even they are cutting back because it’s unseemly to spend lavishly when others are struggling.

18 | BedTimes | April 2009

income, although overall, the mood of consumers is clearly downbeat. “The level of depression is pervasive. This is a very dark period,” he says. “I hope it provokes some serious introspection.” Underhill describes what he says are three consumer segments now, divided not by income levels, but by income security. One group is made up of those who have lost their jobs and are downwardly mobile. For the wife of a Wall Street banker that could result in the elimination of weekly hair and nail appointments, while a General Motors worker whose benefits have been cut may struggle to pay the mortgage. “For them, this is traumatic and it cuts across economic classes,” Underhill says. Those in the second group are not at immediate risk of losing their jobs, but they have friends or family who are out of work. These consumers, he says, are cutting back as a cautionary measure. They are still spending, but find a new sense of pride in comparison shopping for the best deals. A third group is relatively untouched by the downturn. The individuals in this group have paid off their mortgages and, while their investment portfolios may be down sharply, they still have an adequate cushion. Nonetheless this group also is cutting back because engaging in conspicuous consumption seems like bad manners when so many other people are suffering. However, Underhill says, people in this group are still traveling to places where they can be reasonably confident no one they know will see what they are spending. The changing consumer psychology also cuts across age cohorts, Underhill suggests. “For Generation Y (those born after 1978), the crisis has hit harder than











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Luxury market takes a hit By Julie A. Palm

While they may not be worrying about buying groceries or paying the mortgage, affluent consumers are feeling the effects of the recession, too, a survey shows. “Once considered immune to the economic woes that plague middle and lower income consumers, the affluents are taking a direct hit in this recession and so are changing their lifestyles to conserve cash,” according to a Unity Marketing quarterly survey. Affluent consumers spent 6.4% less on luxury items in fourth-quarter 2008 than they did in the third quarter, cutting back most on fashion accessories, kitchenware, electronics and home furnishings. “Affluent shoppers are showing a new frugality that may well become a habit once this recession ends,” says Pam Danziger, president of the Stevens, Pa.based consumer research and marketing firm. Unity Marketing’s Luxury Consumption Index has remained steady—but at historically low levels—in recent months. At the end of the fourth quarter, the index stood at 41.7 points, up slightly from the 40.3 points recorded at the close of third-quarter 2008. The findings are based on a survey of 1,166 consumers with an average income of $199,200. “While affluents feel slightly more confident about the economy at large and their personal financial situation, they continue to decline in their expectations of future luxury spending,” Danziger says. “Further, the affluent expect to save/invest more in the coming 12 months.” Danziger says she expects the luxury sector to continue to struggle throughout 2009 and face a slower recovery than the mid-market. A number of factors are dampening luxury consumers’ enthusiasm, says Thomas Bodenberg, Unity Marketing chief consumer economist. Among them: ➤ The overall credit crisis has made less credit available for major purchases. ➤ Restructuring in the finance industry has led to the loss of high-paying jobs and big bonuses. ➤ Shifting priorities mean even luxury consumers are focusing spending on housing, food and health care and are limiting discretionary purchases. Changes in luxury consumers’ attitudes and the continuing recession may “fundamentally change the trajectory of the luxury market in the future,” Danziger says. “We have reached a tipping point where the luxury market that went into this period of economic instability is going to be very different from the luxury market that comes out of it.”

The luxury sector is expected to continue to struggle throughout 2009 and face a slower recovery than the mid-market.

20 | BedTimes | April 2009

September 11. This is the first financial trauma of their lives, and they have been led to believe that access to capital and spending is limitless. Many of them are just completely over their heads. They have no idea of budgeting.” It will be interesting to see how this generation responds, Underhill says, noting that Generation Y could remain in denial for some time—or they could face the crisis with a rich new set of consumer options, such as so-called “disposable fashion” available at Zara and other retailers. In addition, he says, this generation’s parents seem willing to take them back home to regroup if they stumble financially. For Generation X—those born between 1965 and 1977—the decline in housing values is the challenge. Those who bought homes around 1995 with a long-term mortgage probably still have equity in their homes. “But if you bought a house in 2005 or traded up, you are in bad shape,” Underhill says. Baby boomers, too, are caught off guard by the collapse in housing values. “They forgot to save and thought their houses were doing the saving for them,” he says. For this generation, the idea of retirement will be downscaled from a golden period of luxury to a more modest lifestyle similar to that of their working years. The way to cope psychologically with these changes is with better education and financial literacy, Underhill says. “It’s important that people know there is no acquisition in life that is transformative—not a lipstick, not an iPhone, not a new Chevy,” he says. “Nothing changes you into somebody you weren’t before that purchase happened.” Wharton marketing professor Leonard Lodish says Americans may have a reputation for materialistic

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values, but are probably not any more inherently consumer-driven than human beings around the world. The French, he notes, coined the term “prestige” while the Japanese—and now the Chinese—have both exhibited explosive levels of post-industrial consumerism. Marketers, he says, do not ignite consumerism, but respond to the urge that comes from within. “It’s very hard to create an innate need,” he says. “That comes from the interplay of society and the values and norms of the culture.” Loading up on ketchup Armendinger points to another impact on shopping patterns— having enough space to store all one’s purchases. U.S. shoppers do seem to lead the world in consumerism, in part because they have enough land to build huge homes and storage units to house all their belongings. “In a nutshell, we have too much stuff,” she says. In Europe and emerg-

which began in December 2007, will start to abate by the end of this year and is not likely to have as great a long-term impact on consumers as the Great Depression. He also suggests that the most lasting impact of the current downturn may be on homeowners who are severely stressed by mortgage debt. Going forward, he expects more of a “renter mentality” in the housing market, with less emphasis on homeownership as an investment vehicle. Still, don’t expect to see modern-day nomads piling Pottery Barn furnishings into their SUVs as they abandon their McMansions. “In every recession, there’s the hypothesis that the consumer is chastened and that we will come out living the simple life of monks,” Steidtmann says. “It hasn’t happened yet.” He recalls a Time magazine cover story that ran in June 2001 as the economy was slowing, titled “The simple life: Goodbye to having it all.” The article read, in part: “After a

‘The Great Depression certainly changed consumer behavior and attitudes for a generation. It’s not obvious that we will have that psychological scar, but there is precedent for a very large shift.’ ing economies such as India, the desire to consume is there, but falls short of American-style hoarding. “You don’t see the Costco mentality of stockpiling toilet paper or huge vats of ketchup, simply because (people) physically don’t have the space,” Armendinger says. Carl Steidtmann, chief economist and director of Deloitte Research’s consumer business segment, emphasizes that the Great Depression, combined with World War II, amounted to a 15-year period of consumer constraint, first because of the economic contraction and then because of rationing for the war effort. He predicts that the current downturn,

22 | BedTimes | April 2009

10-year bender of gaudy dreams and godless consumerism, Americans are starting to trade down. They want to reduce their attachments to status symbols, fast-track careers and great expectations of Having It All. Upscale is out; downscale is in. Yuppies are an ancient civilization. Flaunting money is considered gauche: If you’ve got it, please keep it to yourself—or give some away!” Sound familiar? Wharton marketing professor David Reibstein says the current angst about consumer spending reminds him of the periods of recession in 2001 and 1991. At both extremes of any economic cycle—the highs and the lows—conventional wisdom holds that during the highs, everyone feels the status quo will continue, while during the lows, everyone feels that life as we know it has forever changed. “While we’re in the midst of it, there’s always that concern,” he says. “What’s amazing to me is how resilient we are.” Reibstein points to the weeks and months following the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, when it seemed no one would ever have the courage to board an aircraft again. By the time the current financial crisis reduced demand, air travel volume had recovered. “It’s going to take a long time for us to get through this because of the severity and depth of this cycle,” Reibstein says. “But once we do, it will be amazing how quickly people do rebound.” As the recent shocks to the economy are absorbed, people will begin to reinvest and cautiously step up purchases. Confidence will improve even more as job losses stabilize and hiring begins again. “It’s only going to take time,” he says. BT Reprinted with permission from Knowledge@Wharton (, the online research and business analysis journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Poll: Economy keeping people up 24 24 || BedTimes BedTimes || April April 2009 2009

‘Sacrificing sleep is the wrong solution’ By Julie A. Palm


early one-third of Americans are losing sleep over the state of the U.S. economy and other personal financial concerns, according to a new poll by the National Sleep Foundation. And that lack of sleep is associated with unhealthy lifestyles. The annual “Sleep in America” poll shows significant differences in the sleep patterns, health habits and quality of life between healthy and unhealthy Americans. Those who are not getting adequate sleep are far less likely to engage in productive, healthy behaviors. The number of people reporting sleep problems has increased 13% since 2001. In the past eight years, the number of Americans who sleep less than six hours a night jumped from 13% to 20% and those who reported sleeping eight hours or more dropped from 38% to 28%. “It’s easy to understand why so many people are

cerned over the economy and jobs, but sacrificing sleep is the wrong solution,” says David Cloud, National Sleep Foundation chief executive officer. “Sleep is essential for productivity and alertness and is a vital sign for one’s overall health.” According to the survey, 27% of Americans say their sleep has been disturbed at least a few nights a week in the past month due to personal financial concerns (16%), the U.S. economy (15%) and/or employment concerns (10%). Other national and global issues are worrying people less—health care costs (8%), the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (6%), global warming/environment (3%) and/or the threat of terrorism (3%). The survey was conducted in September and October— at the start of the global economic crisis, before the stock market hit its lowest levels in a decade and prior to unemployment rates skyrocketing. It’s likely that Americans’ worries and sleep disruptions have only increased since then.

BedTimes | April April 2009 2009 |


In the past eight years, the number of Americans who sleep less than six hours a night jumped from 13% to 20%.

Harm to health Two out of every 10 Americans sleep less than six hours a night. People sleeping too few hours report being too tired to work efficiently, exercise or eat healthy. And nearly 90% report symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights a week in the past month. Although 40% of Americans agree that sleep is as or more important than diet and exercise to overall health, they are not making sleep a priority. The average adult still is not getting the amount of sleep they say they need to function at their best (7 hours and 24 minutes), reporting that they get only 6 hours and 40 minutes of sleep on a typical workday or weekday. And those who are not sleeping well report more difficulty maintaining healthy behaviors than their well-rested counterparts. Specifically, they report being unable to do the following because they are too sleepy (numbers compared to those who are sleeping more than six hours a night): ➤ Work well and efficiently (25% vs. 9%)

26 | BedTimes | April 2009

➤ Exercise (30% vs. 10%) ➤ Eat healthy (22% vs. 6%) ➤ Have sex (16% vs. 7%) ➤ Engage in leisure activities (28%

vs. 10%) In addition, those sleeping less are more than twice as likely to miss family events, leisure activities or work functions because of sleepiness or a sleep problem (24% one or more times in the past three months vs. 11%). And they are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors to

➤ About the poll The National Sleep Foundation releases the “Sleep in America” poll annually. This year’s survey was conducted by WB&A Market Research using a random sample of 1,000 adults who were interviewed by telephone between Sept. 22 and Oct. 30. For more information, check

help them get through the day when sleepy: ➤ Eat foods high in sugar or carbohydrates (21% very likely vs. 11%) ➤ Smoke a cigarette or use tobacco (18% very likely vs. 10%) Not seeking help Even when not getting adequate sleep, Americans are reluctant to discuss the matter with their physician. While 64% report experiencing sleep problems at least a few nights a week within the past month, only 32% of all adults have ever discussed sleep with a health care professional. “Getting enough sleep every day is as important to your health as eating healthy and being physically active. Physicians should regularly ask all patients about sleep, diet and physical activity habits,” says Dr. Woodie Kessel, a member of the poll task force and retired assistant surgeon general with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. “Sleep is as vital to our health as eating right and exercising.” Dr. Meir Kryger, director of research and education at Gaylord Sleep Medicine Centers in Connecticut, says that even those people who know they have sleep disorders may be cutting back on or forgoing treatment because of financial concerns. “With the economy worsening, we are seeing patients in our clinic who have told us that they would not be returning for treatment because they or a family member have lost their jobs and they are concerned about costs,” Kryger says. “These patients may wind up far sicker. Sleep disorders are often associated with other chronic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, and they can add complexity and even accelerate each other if untreated.” With the U.S. economic situation expected to worsen before it improves, the National Sleep Foundation encourages Americans to maintain good sleep, exercise and diet routines to help combat anxiety and improve health and productivity. For more information about the poll, check BT

Tips for healthy sleep The Better Sleep Council, the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association, offer ideas for ensuring a good night’s sleep. ➤M ake sleep a priority by going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day, including weekends. ➤C reate a bedtime routine that is relaxing. Read a book, listen to soothing music or soak in a hot bath. ➤T ransform your bedroom into a sanctuary. Create a room that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. ➤ E valuate your mattress and pillow to ensure proper comfort and support. If your mattress is 5 to 7 years old, it may be time for a new one. In general, pillows should be replaced every year. ➤ I f you sleep with a partner, your mattress should allow each of you enough space to move easily. A queen or king size is most comfortable for couples. ➤K eep work, computers and televisions out of the bedroom; it should be used for sleep and sex only. ➤ E xercise regularly, but complete workouts two to three hours before bedtime. ➤ Avoid foods and drinks high in caffeine for at least eight hours prior to bedtime. Avoid alcohol and nicotine for a few hours before bedtime. All three disturb sleep.

➤ Finish eating at least two to three hours before bedtime.

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attress licensing group Restonic has unveiled a fresh and friendly new brand image and logo with the tagline “Supporting dreams.” The tag is meant to reach through to both mattress dealers and endconsumers, the company said. The updated logo uses Restonic’s traditional burgundy—to pay homage to the brand’s 70-year history— in combination with contemporary lettering and a quarter moon silhouette. The new strategy also assigns a unique color to each of Restonic’s product lines. “It’s been gratifying to see that

people are ‘getting it’—that we are changing from a mattress company into a recognized consumer brand,” said Ron Passaglia, Restonic president and chief executive officer. “We wanted to differentiate ourselves and express our brand personality. Our heritage is there in a way that appeals to the contemporary marketplace, today’s lifestyles and younger consumers.”

Foamex files for Chapter 11 protection Polyurethane foam producer Foamex filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 18 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. This is the company’s second bankruptcy filing. It re-emerged after a financial restructuring in early 2007, after filing in the fall of 2005. In conjunction with the current filing, the company is seeking court approval of up to $95 million in debtor-in-possession financing provided by MatlinPatterson Global Opportunities Partners III LP and Bank of America. Foamex, headquartered in Media, Pa., said the amount “represents significant incremental cash availability at the outset of the proceedings.” In combination with its customary earnings flow, the financing will permit the company to continue normal day-to-day operations during the bankruptcy process, Foamex said. “The Chapter 11 process will allow Foamex to gain immediate liquidity and continue operating without interruption, while giving us the opportunity we need to restructure our balance sheet, strengthen our business performance and create long-term value,” said Jack Johnson, Foamex president and chief executive officer. “Like many companies around the world, Foamex has been hit hard by the economic downturn in the markets we serve. Although we have reduced debt by approximately $240 million to $380 million over the past two years, we cannot support the existing heavy debt load in the current operating environment.” The company expects the Chapter 11 process to last about six months and, despite difficult market conditions, said it plans to continue investing in technology, product and market development. Except for Foamex Canada, the filing does not affect the company’s international business, which includes operations in Mexico and a joint venture in China.

Much of the new look was introduced in the company’s showroom during the Las Vegas Market in February. The rebranding is being reinforced by a complete revamp of the company’s Web site—expected to go live this quarter—as well as a variety of lifestyle-themed pointof-sale banners, wall boards and other marketing materials available to dealers. To spearhead the effort, Restonic hired branding and creative agency The Martin Group of Buffalo, N.Y., which began the process with indepth interviews of retailers and internal stakeholders.

Shorts Bedding sales fall Continuing a months-long slide, unit sales of bed sets dropped 18.5% in the first quarter of 2009 and dollar values fell 16.4%, according to the Bedding Barometer, a monthly tracking of the U.S. sales activity of 18 major mattress manufacturers. On a brighter note, the average unit selling price increased 2.6%.

Vi-Spring launches new line High-end British bed maker ViSpring has created an exclusive 10-bed collection for major U.K. department store and e-tailer John Lewis. The company, based in Devon, England, also has enlarged its selection of headboards from six to 16 designs.

BedTimes | April 2009 |



Select Comfort revamps line, postpones results


elect Comfort, a Minneapolis-based airbed producer and retailer, has redesigned its entire line of Sleep Number beds and introduced new price points to meet the needs of today’s thriftier consumers. The new opening price point for a queen set is $699. It is one of three new models priced below $1,500. The redesigned line includes enhanced fabrics and added comfort layers. The core technology of the airbeds remains the same, the company said. “For today’s consumer, an unbeatable value is the right combination of product benefit, quality, durability and price,” said Kathy Roedel, Select Comfort executive vice president of operations and new product development. “The relaunch of the entire line of Sleep Number beds gives us the platform to increase overall value by enhancing quality and durability while actually maintaining or lowering the cost of our already affordable products.” To help consumers choose the bed that is the best value for them, the Sleep Number models are grouped into three new series: Classic, Performance and Innovation. In other news, Select Comfort announced on March 2 that it was postponing the release of its fourthquarter and year-end results. The company’s fiscal year ended Jan. 3. The company also said it had amended its credit agreement, delaying until March 31 a reduction in its credit line from $90 million to $85 million that was scheduled to take effect March 1. Select Comfort said it “has been exploring a range of strategic and financing alternatives to enhance its financial flexibility.”

Short Foamers earn certification NCFI Polyurethanes in Mount Airy, N.C., and Prestige Fabricators Inc. in Asheboro, N.C., are now offering flexible polyurethane foams that are CertiPUR-US compliant. The CertiPUR-US seal validates that flexible polyurethanes meet stringent environmental, health and safety guidelines for foam used in upholstered furniture and bedding. The certification process involves foam assessment, including VOC testing and chemical breakdown analysis. The certification, managed by the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam, is open to all foam manufacturers. The first companies to earn the certification were Future Foam in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Hickory Springs Mfg. Co., in Hickory, N.C.

32 | BedTimes | April 2009


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Kingsdown expanding Sleep to Live concept

Bedding manufacturer Kingsdown is rolling out innovative Sleep to Live in-store galleries built on lessons learned from its own Sleep to Live shops. Mebane, N.C.-based Kingsdown, which is transitioning to Sleep to Live as its new corporate identity during the next 18 months, currently operates six Sleep to Live retail stores. They serve as “innovation incubators to analyze consumer behavior and reactions,” said Frank Hood, Kingsdown senior vice president and chief information officer. The stores are located in areas where they do not compete with existing Kingsdown dealers. The Sleep to Live in-store galleries come in four versions—from full scale to small scale—depending on a dealer’s needs and space. In the full-scale gallery, shoppers encounter an immersive, high-tech retail space dressed in a clean, white palette similar to that found in an Apple store. A virtual concierge named Chrissy appears on a large

34 | BedTimes | April 2009

Virtual concierge Kingsdown’s full-scale Sleep to Live in-store gallery features Chrissy, who greets and guides shoppers through the first steps of the mattress selection process.

screen to greet shoppers and then invites them to use a touch-screen sleep education kiosk to answer questions

about their sleep quality and habits. Shoppers then move to a test bed nestled in a circular, semiprivate chamber where they recline and watch Chrissy overhead on a ceiling monitor. While Chrissy talks about sleep and the importance of sleeping on the right mattress for your body, the bed’s built-in sensors—the newest generation of Kingsdown’s BodyDiagnostic system—gather and store information about the shopper’s body shape and structure. Following the analysis, a retail sales associate appears with a personalized printout showing recommended beds and pillows. After selecting the right pillow, the customer tries out beds in the suggested category, all marked with colorcoded signage for easy identification. Point-of-sale signage, displays and a full complement of sleep accessories round out the retail gallery offerings. Kingsdown’s overall rebranding is supported by a new advertising program from Dallas-based The Richards Group.

GSG unveiling new machinery


achinery supplier Global Systems Group will exhibit a range of new and updated mattress manufacturing equipment under various brand names at Interzum Cologne, May 13-16 in Cologne, Germany. GSG is a division of Carthage, Mo.-based Leggett & Platt. Gribetz International is introducing its newest multineedle, chain-stitch quilt machine, the Paragon M+, which the company says is “the world’s fastest” three-bar multineedle quilter. Gribetz also is offering the new Posi-Trim thread control system. Among other things, it eliminates tack-and-jump tails from the topside of quilt panels, according to the company. Porter International, Gateway Systems and Nähtec will display new sewing systems. Gateway also will offer the GS-15 flat goods cutter. The machine is capable of automatically cutting stretch fabric materials. Nähtec will demonstrate new specialty equipment that the company says improves the finished quality and makes production of borders, handles and zipper applications easier. Attendees will find machines for packaging, handle systems, automated glue line systems and other equipment from Merello, Teknomac, KSM and KSL. Vertex Fasteners will display staples, guns and related fastening equipment.

BedTimes | April 2009 |



L&P: 2008 shareholder losses held to minimum

Components supplier Leggett & Platt in Carthage, Mo., has announced its 2008 results, saying it generated $436 million of cash from operations during 2008 and realized after-tax proceeds of more than $400 million from divestitures. “The weakened economy has resulted in dreadful market demand,” said David Haffner, L&P president and chief executive officer. “Accordingly, during the fourth quarter we reduced continuing operations’ head count by 9%— from 22,600 to 20,600 employees—closed certain facilities and worked short shifts. Importantly, we are not sacrificing long-term opportunities; we remain committed to innovation and new product development and have not reduced our spending in these critical areas.” The company said its plan to adopt total shareholder return as a strategic objective paid off in that L&P’s 2008 total shareholder return was held to a minimum at negative 7%, compared with the collective total shareholder return of the S&P 500, which was negative 37%. L&P posted a fourth-quarter loss of $.11 per share. Earnings were $.03 per share, adjusted to exclude restructuring-related costs and unusual items. Fourth-quarter unit volumes were down more than 20%. Significant unit volume declines were partially offset by inflation-related price increases, the company said. Full year earnings were $.62 per share. Sales were $4.08 billion, 4% lower than in the prior year. Total sales from continuing operations in the residential furnishings division, which includes domestic bedding products, decreased $134 million or 6% in 2008. Total sales from continuing operations in the specialized products division, which includes the Global Systems Group, decreased $33 million or 5%. Earnings per share for 2009 are expected to be between $.60 to $1.00. Earnings improvements, versus the earnings of 2008, should come from improved capacity utilization, closure of poorly performing operations, reduced overhead spending and lower commodity costs, the company said. Sales are projected to be approximately $3.2 billion to $3.6 billion, or 12% to 22% lower than in 2008. “Despite the economy’s woes, we made noticeable progress on our strategic initiatives and efforts to position the company for the long-term,” Haffner said. “A little over one year ago we committed to divest some operations, restrain spending, raise the dividend and buy back our stock. We accomplished those objectives and more.”

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BedTimes | April 2009 |



Carpe Diem expands into U.S. market


arpe Diem Beds of Sweden, a manufacturer of premium flat and adjustable beds based in Lysekil, Sweden, is now offering its beds to dealers in the United States through Carpe Diem USA. The line includes six hand-

assembled models, each with sleek, upholstered European styling. They are available in adjustable and flat versions, with suggested retail prices for a queen size from about $6,000 to $23,000. “High-end Swedish beds are a

new concept to this market,” said Jeffrey Klein, president of Carpe Diem USA, which is based in North Billerica, Mass. “We’re looking for about 30 to 40 U.S. retailers. And, unlike Hastens, we prefer that the bed be on the floor with other brands.” Carpe Diem was founded in 1995 and touts mattress features such as triple coil coil-on-coil construction and Talalay latex to alleviate pressure points. Other components include a wood frame made of sustainably forested Swedish pine and a mattress topper that can be flipped to cotton in summer and wool in winter. The company offers two profiles: a Scandinavian frame bed with integrated box spring, mattress and mattress topper, and a Continental bed with a separate box spring, mattress and mattress topper.

Short Calif. waste bill considered The California Product Stewardship Act of 2010 has been introduced in the California Legislature. It would require certain industries and product manufacturers identified by the California Integrated Waste Management Board that sell products in the state to establish and finance a system for collecting and disposing of their products at the end of the products’ useful lives. Unlike other extended producer responsibility legislation, which has tended to focus on specific industries or products (such as recycling programs for tires), this bill is more broadly based.

38 | BedTimes | April 2009

Sleep Innovations emerges from Chapter 11 S

leep Innovations, a manufacturer of memory foam mattresses, pillows and toppers based in West Long Branch, N.J., has emerged from voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. “Today marks the start of an exciting new chapter for Sleep In-

novations,” said Rick Heller, Sleep Innovations chief executive officer. “I am particularly pleased that in the face of the current economic environment we were able to complete our restructuring in five months. This is a testament to the hard work of the entire Sleep Innovations team,

our lenders and legal and financial advisers.” The company’s reorganization plan was confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on Feb. 4. As part of its emergence, the company has obtained $33 million in exit financing from existing lenders.

Sanitized AG offers silver fabric finish

Sanitized AG is offering Sanitized Silver, an anti-microbial finish for textiles and other surfaces that can be applied without a binder, during both the exhaust and padding processes. “This is good news for textile manufacturers because this means delicate and stretchable fabrics now can be protected against bacteria and odor by using Sanitized Silver,” said Darrell Burnette, new business development manager for North America. Sanitized AG is based in Burgdorf, Switzerland. Sanitized said its new product is based on “silver salt”— not metallic silver—“which is scientifically recognized to have natural anti-microbial properties that hinder bacterial reproduction.” Sanitized Silver is not nanotechnology. Testing has verified that its particle size and distribution measurements lie outside the nano-particle range, the company said. The new finish has Oeko-Tex 100 registration for all testproduct classes and has earned Bluesign approval. According to the company, the anti-microbial finish is suited for all fabric constructions and does not alter fabric hand. It can be applied in combination with other textile finishes.


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BedTimes | April 2009 |



Spring Air opening Okla. plant



edding brand and licensing group Spring Air will open a manufacturing facility in Durant, Okla., that is expected to employ as many as 300 people and be operational by summer. At 351,000 square feet, the plant will be the Tampa, Fla.-based company’s largest U.S. facility. Spring Air is converting an existing building and site to service its growing Midwest customer base, the company said. The site in rural Oklahoma was chosen after extensive research and gives the manufacturer access to the region’s extensive interstate highway system. The facility represents a $30 million investment in the rural community and will be the area’s first bedding manufacturer. Spring Air acknowledged the assistance of the regional economic development partnership, called Team Durant, during the site selection process. “We could not be more grateful to Team Durant, the City of Durant and the Durant Industrial Authority, who have been wonderful partners in this process,” said Steve Cumbow, Spring Air chief executive officer. “As our company continues to grow, we needed a state-of-the-art facility that would bring us closer to our customers in this region of the country.”

40 | BedTimes | April 2009

Therapedic International, headquartered in Princeton, N.J., recently honored sales reps working with its Canadian licensee. Pictured from left: Jerry Vasser, owner, Therapedic Toronto; Gerry Borreggine, president and chief executive officer, Therapedic International; George Khouri, sales rep, Therapedic Toronto; and Paolo Macchione, sales manager, Therapedic Toronto. Bill Exton, also a Therapedic Toronto sales rep, is not pictured.

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Your bed is watching you H

igh-tech functions continue to make their way into “intelligent” beds. The Fashion Bed Group, part of Carthage, Mo.-based Leggett & Platt, recently introduced the Prodigy adjustable bed, a more affordable version of the Starry Night bed introduced in 2008. Prodigy, which was unveiled during the winter Las Vegas market, has a suggested retail price of $2,000 in a queen base and can accommodate any adjustable innerspring or foam mattress. It has a Wi-Fi remote control, sleep timer, anti-snore feature, gentle alarm and much more. iPhone and iPod Touch owners can download an application

42 | BedTimes | April 2009

that will act as a universal remote, integrating the bed’s controls and other electronics. “This is not your ‘granny bed’—but a cool, exciting interactive experience,” said Della Emory, sales director for marketing and alternative channels at Adjustables by Leggett & Platt. The Sensor, also available from L&P, has a host of functions to address everything from snoring to pressure points. The memory foam bed adjusts itself to the sleeper’s position changes and has a “comfort recess” to cradle the arm of a side sleeper. The entire sleep system, including foundation, mattress, pillows and sheets, retails for $7,000 in twin XL.

Reverie shifts its strategy Boston-based Reverie, a distributor and manufacturer of promotional mattresses, adjustable beds, latex foam and pillows, has changed its sales strategy. The company has increased its product assortment of adjustable bed bases and promotional mattresses and is shipping orders of any size—not just container loads—from factories in China, Taiwan and North America. The enlarged product lineup expands the company’s price points and includes a collection of innerspring and latex mattresses designed to work with

Green Idea adjustable bed bases, some of which will be manufactured domestically, the company said. “We are making a big commitment in 2009 to make a majority of our adjustable beds in the United States,” said Patti Ark, Reverie sales and marketing manager. “We have factories in Toronto and Silver Creek, N.Y., that make mattresses and bed frames, as well.” The company added four new models to its adjustable bed offerings at the winter Las Vegas Market. The top-of-the-line Reverie Position ID bed has a handheld remote with liquid crystal display. It has a suggested retail price of $1,599 in twin XL.

Sealy saves big through sustainability project Bedding producer Sealy has saved more than $16.4 million in operating costs, reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 25,000 tons, cut paper use by 3,000 tons and decreased solid waste by 650 tons as part of a sustainability initiative. Archdale, N.C.-based Sealy was one of three Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. holdings selected to participate in the Green Portfolio Project—an initiative launched by KKR in May 2008 in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, a national nonprofit focused on sustainability issues and the environment. “The Green Portfolio Project further demonstrates Sealy’s commitment to cost efficiency, as well as being environmentally responsible,” said Larry Rogers, Sealy president and chief executive officer. Improved driver policies and truck technologies saved the company $1.2 million in fuel costs and avoided the release of more than 3,000 metric tons of CO2. In 2009, the company plans to further reduce transportation impacts by routing deliveries more efficiently, governing truck speed, reducing idle time and offering drivers incentives to improve fuel economy. On the manufacturing side, Sealy saved more than $4 million in material costs and avoided 650 tons of solid waste by reducing scrap per bed by 16%. The company plans to continue reducing its solid waste by improving material recycling rates and manufacturing processes.

BedTimes | April 2009 |


IndustryNews Green Idea

Tietex sells Interiors division

Bedding industry supplier Tietex has sold its residential and contract upholstery division, Tietex Interiors, which merged with Burlington, N.C.-based Burlington Mfg. Services. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. “Over the years, we came to know BMS as a valued, as well as technically capable, supplier to our company; so we had firsthand knowledge that these two businesses could be highly productive and successful together,” said Reed Cunningham, president and chief operating officer of Tietex, which is based in Spartanburg, S.C. Martin Wildeman, Tietex chairman and chief executive officer, added: “For years, the Interiors division was instrumental in helping broaden our reach. ...Recently, however, we’ve seen a long-term need to focus our attention to areas that more closely and effectively fit our core manufacturing capabilities.” The new entity acquired the intellectual property and inventory associated with Tietex’s residential woven upholstery products. The transaction also included the company’s weaving plant in Williamsburg, S.C., and capital equipment in Matkins, N.C.

Mattress maker earns organic certification Organic Mattresses Inc., headquartered in Yuba City, Calif., has been certified as meeting the Global Organic Textile Standard. The standard was created in 2002 by the International Working Group on a Global Organic Textile Standard to unify and clarify several existing textile standards that created confusion in the marketplace and left consumers without a clear guide for organic validity, according to the International Working Group. The standard applies to fiber products, yarns, fabrics and clothing and covers the production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, exportation, importation and distribution of natural fiber products. To secure certification, all phases of production and the entire supply chain are scrutinized for traceability and compliance with the standard, as well as adherence to a set of social principles. Organic Mattresses manufactures bed sets, pillows and other sleep products in a chemical-free, smoke-free and fragrance-free factory, according to Walt Bader, Organic Mattresses Inc. chief executive officer.

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NewsMakers Outlast promotes four O

utlast Technologies in Boulder, Colo. has created two new positions and promoted four employees within its Heather Listoe North American sales and marketing department. “I’m really proud of the team we’re building,” said Greg Roda, Heidi Allen president and chief executive officer of the company, which supplies temperature-regulating technology used in mattresses, mattress pads, blankets, comforters, pillows and other products. Heather Listoe has been named North American marketing director for apparel, a newly created position. She is in charge of generating new business in emerging specialty sports markets. She also maintains her responsibilities as marketing director for Outlast North America. She reports to Roda. Ashley Tilman, who reports to

Listoe, has been promoted to a newly created Web and inside sales manager post. She handles all aspects of development Ashley Tilman and sales for the company’s e-commerce. In addition, Tilman continues to oversee marketing communications projects for the Jeannie Timberman Outlast marketing department. Also reporting to Listoe is Heidi Allen, who has been promoted to marketing assistant. She handles trade show coordination and partner support, provides legal assistance for ensuring partner trademark compliance and acts as customer service liaison. Jeannie Timberman has been promoted to account manager for North America and also reports to Listoe. She joined Outlast in 2008, performing administrative duties for Outlast Asia and working on customer relations management programs.

Verlo adds to exec team


erlo Mattress Factory developing, implementing Stores, a factory-direct and reinforcing the comfranchise based in Fort pany’s identity and brand, Atkinson, Wis., has hired with a focus on retail execuSean Bergman as director of tion. He also works with sales and retail development, the Verlo corporate team in a newly created position. creating manufacturing and He reports to Keith Mackey, sales training programs that Sean Bergman Verlo vice president. support Verlo franchisees. Bergman’s responsibilities include “We are very pleased to have Sean

L&P names director of creative services Leggett & Platt, a components supplier and manufacturer based in Carthage, Mo., has hired John Walsh as direcJohn Walsh tor of creative services. He oversees design, Internet, printing and exhibit efforts. “John Walsh’s talent, expertise and leadership have already motivated our creative team to achieve higher ground,” said Mark Quinn, executive vice president of marketing for L&P’s bedding group. “L&P is committed to providing our internal networks and our clients with agency-quality marketing services at a fraction of traditional agency costs.” Walsh joins L&P from Sam’s Club, where he was director of creative services. He previously was vice president and creative director at the Northlich agency, where he helped develop directmarketing campaigns for products such as Olay, Swiffer and Febreze. Earlier, he was senior art director for the Atkinson Group.

as a member of the team,” Mackey said. “His earnestness and willingness to jump right in are welcome assets. Verlo craftsmen most certainly will benefit from his knowledge base.” Bergman’s mattress industry background includes 10 years on both the retail and manufacturing sides. Most recently, he was with mattress maker E.S. Kluft and Co., where he was responsible for opening new accounts nationwide.

BedTimes | April 2009 |


UpClose ‘Give me a challenge and I’m happy’ Ron Passaglia relishes new opportunities at Restonic By Dorothy Whitcomb


on Passaglia seems happiest when he’s in motion. As a boy growing up in Kentucky, he rode rodeo and participated in quarter horse events. In college, he followed his dad, who played for the Boston Celtics and Washington Capitols, onto the basketball court. Although he has long since traded his basketball for a BlackBerry, not much else has changed. “My mind goes faster than my mouth sometimes—and that means it’s going pretty fast. Give me a challenge and I’m happy,” says Passaglia, president and chief executive officer of Restonic. Like most everyone in the bedding industry, Passaglia finds no shortage of challenges these days. Some of the more interesting have resulted from the licensing group’s decision last year to do away with its brick-and-mortar headquarters. In Restonic’s new “virtual” world, headquarters is wherever Passaglia and his BlackBerry come to rest—often Atlanta where he makes his home. The company’s financial and legal functions remain in the Chicago area, where the company was long based. Marketing functions are done out of Buffalo, N.Y., where The Martin Group, Restonic’s new ad agency is located. Teleconferencing enables Restonic employees and service providers to meet as needed. “We’re changing from a general, administration-based company to a marketing and service provider. The virtual office structure allows us to do that cost effectively,” says Passaglia, who took the helm in summer 2008. Passaglia says his main role is “to bring value to the company,” specifically by revitalizing the 70-year-old brand and building consensus among licensees about product direction.

50 | BedTimes | April 2009

Water world Ron Passaglia enjoys working on his 1988 Bayliner—and then hitting the lake.

“The best surprise I’ve had is finding that the Restonic family really has an internal direction of where it would like to go,” he says. “It’s fragmented, but our willingness to work together will give us the focus to create a unified vision.” Passaglia is, of course, concerned about the impact of the recession upon the company. But, here too, Restonic has offered some pleasant surprises.

➤ Bio in brief Name Ron Passaglia Company Restonic Title President and chief executive officer Home Atlanta Age 60 Family Passaglia and his wife, Victoria, have been married for 34 years. They have two sons, Scott and Michael.

“The economic conditions that created a downdraft in sales have certainly affected us,” he says. “However, because of distribution that is heavy on furniture stores, we have not been as affected. The bedding departments in furniture stores have taken on added responsibilities in these times, and Restonic has been fortunate enough to play an important role there.” But Passaglia’s optimism is tempered with the realism that comes from 36 years in the bedding business. “Any strategy we put forth needs to change in order to survive,” he says. “Complacency is sure death.” A solid resume Passaglia worked in retail for two years before joining Simmons in 1973. For 27 years, he worked his way up the ranks, ending his time there as executive vice president. In 2000, he became president of Verlo Mattress Factory Stores. Before joining Restonic, he was CEO of Selther USA,

the U.S. marketing arm of Grupo Selther, a producer based in Mexico. Honors In 2000, the International Sleep Products Association presented Passaglia with the Robert MacMorran Memorial Award, which recognizes meritorious service to the industry. Success “I think success is defined by a personal vision and by what you Getaway The Passaglia family makes time for an annual vacation. Here Scott (left), Ron, Victoria and Michael enjoy want to accomplish for your inner a ski trip in Park City, Utah. self. After you’ve made the journey of self-discovery, you can decide dously,” Passaglia says. Favorite books whether you’ve succeeded,” Passaglia thus far include Team of Rivals: The says. “For me it’s all about relationships. Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln Money adds a stamp of acceptance from and No Ordinary Time: Franklin and the outside world and that’s OK, too.” Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, both by Doris Kearns Reading history “I made a pact with myself to read only U.S. history for 18 Goodwin, and John Adams by David months and am enjoying it tremenMcCullough.

Finding balance “I try to continue to grow where I am and fight to keep things simple,” Passaglia says. Personal growth means that he’s had to spend time examining his strengths and weaknesses. Passaglia gives himself high marks for having “a keen eye for spotting opportunities” and for being a good listener and problem solver. But he also knows that he can be impatient: “Sometimes I make decisions based on a gut reaction and can get things wrong that way.” Tinker time Passaglia is an avid tinkerer who enjoys working around the house and refurbishing his 1988, 40-foot Bayliner. The boat is his refuge. “The boat came to me at a stressful time in my life and gives me and my family an opportunity to remain a strong unit,” he explains. BT

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BedTimes | April

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ISPAAdvocacy Stimulus bill aids mattress manufacturers The massive economic stimulus package that President Barack Obama signed into law Feb. 16 includes provisions that can help manufacturers and suppliers claim tax benefits and that encourage the sale of new mattresses. Included in the law—officially the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act—is a first-time home buyer tax credit intended to stimulate the housing market, which should, in turn, encourage consumers to buy new furnishings such as mattresses. Another provision allows small businesses to carry back losses for five years, providing needed tax relief for some companies that posted a loss. The International Sleep Products Association supported both provisions during the legislative process. ISPA joined with home furnishings organizations

to ask lawmakers to include proposals beneficial to their industries, including a more targeted proposal to encourage consumers to buy new mattresses and other home furnishings. Unfortunately, that proposal was not included in the final bill, said Chris Hudgins, ISPA vice president of government relations. “Nevertheless, the strong grassroots efforts of ISPA members did make a significant difference in our outreach, with a number of senators and congressmen stating that they had heard from their constituents on our proposal,” Hudgins said. ISPA will continue to push for inclusion of that and other provisions helpful to the mattress industry in upcoming financial legislation, he said.

Senator from N.C. hears concerns

Shorts ISPA’s new state law tracker

Furniture lobby Mattress industry representatives meeting with Sen. Kay Hagan (D- N.C.) included Jimmy Bush of Hickory Springs; IV Culp and Frank Saxon, both of Culp Inc.; Mike Doherty of Bekaert; Chris Hudgins of the International Sleep Products Association; and Neil Grigg of Carolina Mattress Guild.


embers of the International Sleep Products Association and the American Home Furnishings Alliance recently gathered in High Point, N.C., to discuss industry concerns with Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). Among items on the agenda were mattress and furniture industry concerns about the Employee Free Choice Act, known more commonly as the “card check bill,” which would allow a union to form after enough workers sign cards (or petitions) instead of voting by secret ballot. “Senator Hagan has always understood the importance of the mattress industry in North Carolina,” said Chris Hudgins, ISPA vice president of

government relations, who attended the meeting. “However, by hearing directly from people in the mattress industry, we have created a dialogue to underscore the impact of federal policies on these businesses. As Congress and the new administration work to address the struggling economy, it is crucial that the mattress industry make its voice heard.” Mattress industry representatives attending the Feb. 18 meeting included Jimmy Bush of Hickory Springs; IV Culp and Frank Saxon, both of Culp Inc.; Mike Doherty of Bekaert; and Neil Grigg of Carolina Mattress Guild. Hagan was elected to her first term in the Senate in November.

Numerous states are considering proposals that would affect the mattress industry. To keep members up to date on legislation and its own advocacy efforts, the International Sleep Products Association has developed a new state legislation section of its Web site, Among items under consideration in various states: creating openflame mattress standards, banning certain flame retardants and other chemicals, and restricting renovated mattresses. Look for more details in ISPA’s BedTimes Bulletin and Advocacy Connection e-newsletters.

NYC considers mattress bill The New York City Council is considering a bill to ban the sale of renovated mattresses and two other measures intended to address bed bug problems in the city. The International Sleep Products Association testified in support of the ban on renovated mattresses.

BedTimes | April 2009 |


ISPANews ISPA hosts industry job board K nowing how difficult the economic crisis is for the mattress industry, the International Sleep Products Association has created the ISPA Job Board. The new online tool helps companies with job openings communicate with professionals seeking positions with mattress manufacturers or suppliers. Job openings are posted free of charge to ISPA member companies and are available for anyone to view. Individuals looking for positions within the industry can post their resumes for potential employers to review, also at no charge. “As a result of the economic downturn, we’re seeing more and more talented professionals across the sector

being let go,� said Dick Doyle, ISPA president and chief executive officer. “It’s important that we give members the tools they need in order to regain a position within the industry. � ISPA members can visit to submit job listings. Anyone looking for a position within the mattress industry can see what positions are available. “This is a word-of-mouth industry, but with the constant change and restructuring of businesses, we want to do whatever we can to assist our members in these turbulent times,� said Debi Sutton, ISPA vice president of marketing and member services.

Short Cut transportation costs Estes Air Forwarding is offering members of the International Sleep Products Association up to a 60% discount on qualifying shipments through Estes’ domestic and international transportation services. Estes Air Forwarding offers a wide portfolio of services, including domestic air, domestic ground, international air, international ocean and customs brokerage. To learn more, call Debbie Brown at 888-378-3724, Ext. 2924 and mention that you are an ISPA member or complete an enrollment form at Look in the “Member Resource Center.�

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BedTimes | April 2009 |


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April 22-27 Salone Internazionale del Mobile Milan Fairgrounds Milan, Italy Phone 39-0272-5941 April 25-30 High Point Market International Home Furnishings Center & other locations High Point, N.C., U.S. Phone 336-869-1000


May 5-7 Brazil Furniture Show ITM Expo S達o Paulo, Brazil Phone 55-11-31516444 Fax 55-11-31514861 May 13-16 Interzum Cologne Koelnmesse Cologne, Germany Phone 49-221-821-3387 Fax 49-221-821-3280


June 2-5 ZOW Spain Feria de Zaragoza Zaragoza, Spain Phone 49-521-96533-0 Fax 49-521-96533-99 June 4-8 Furnex Egypt Cairo International Convention Centre Cairo, Egypt Phone 202-2527-1010 Fax 202-2527-1015


Aug. 19-22 Shenzhen International Furniture Exhibition Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center Shenzhen, China Phone 86-755-83786188 Fax 86-755-83785652


Sept. 9-12 Furniture China 2009 Shanghai New International Expo Center Shanghai, China Phone 86-21-64371178 Fax 86-21-64370982 Sept. 9-13 Habitare Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre Helsinki, Finland Phone 358-9-150-9717 Fax 358-9-142-358 Sept. 14-17 Las Vegas Market World Market Center Las Vegas, U.S. Phone 888-416-8600 Fax 702-599-9622


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Spring show The High Point Market will be held April 25-30 at various locations in High Point, N.C., U.S.

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TheLastWord Make meetings matter

The graying of Facebook The social networking site Facebook, which got its start on college campuses, reports its fastest growing demographic is women age 55 and older. Since September 2008, the number of older women using the site has almost tripled to more than 717,000. According to the company, almost a quarter of its U.S. members are age 35 and older; 45% are age 26 and older. Teen-agers make up just 12% of its users, Facebook says.

How can you make your meetings more productive? Here are five tips from Fortune magazine’s “The Three-Minute Manager”:

➤P ick a time frame, say 30 minutes or an hour, and stick to it. Appoint someone to watch the clock and have him speak up when anyone goes off topic or talks too much. ➤ When people are meeting, they aren’t working, so make sure the meeting is necessary. Jan Fields, executive vice president and chief operating officer of McDonald’s, reminds people: “Warren Buffett attends only two board meetings in person a year.” And we think Buffett is pretty effective. ➤ L imit speakers’ presentations to 11 ½ minutes, says Peggy Klaus, executive coach and president of Klaus & Associates. People’s attention spans last only about that long. ➤ Don’t allow PowerPoint presentations. They make meetings drag on. Anyone who needs to share information should be able to condense her thoughts to a one-page handout, Fields says.

Sleep practice


uccess on the soccer field starts with sound sleep, according to Nick Littlehales, a sleep expert who consults with European teams. Littlehales, formerly with mattress maker Slumberland, advises players on everything from creating a proper sleep environment (calming colors, cool rooms) to good sleep habits (limiting caffeine, using iPods to block disturbing noises). What BedTimes really likes is his advice about mattresses. “Players say, ‘We are strong, masculine, dominant so what’s this sleeping-coach version of (celebrity interior designer) Laurence LlewelynBowen coming in for?’ But players are beginning to realize that the mattress should be the most important piece of furniture in their house,” Littlehales tells The Daily Telegraph (


➤ E mail the agenda to all participants beforehand—even if it’s just a one-on-one meeting.

Littlehales designs mattresses and pillows based on a player’s height, weight and injury history—and has gone so far as to switch out the mattresses in players’ hotel rooms before a big match, according to the news outlet.

‘The right people don’t need to be managed. The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve made a hiring mistake.’ —Jim Collins, author of Built to Last and Good to Great

60 | BedTimes | April 2009

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This simple method saves on wasted materials and saves some skin on your employee’s knuckles.

2. Fit border & inner panel assembly to foundation frame 3. Pull drawstrings tight & secure drawstring ends with staple gun.

Call your GSG rep to see how much money you can save with this easy foundation method. 800-326-4742 GRIBETZ INTERNATIONAL




All listed estimated savings projections are based on common industry standards. Actual results may vary. Cinch-Loc is a registered trademark of Matrex®