BedTimes JULY 2009
THE BUSINESS JOURNAL FOR THE SLEEP PRODUCTS INDUSTRY
The inside story:
Whatâ€™s new in foams & springs Interzum Cologne: Complete wrap-up New realities demand new leadership style
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This equipment is protected by one or more of the following patents: US patents: 4,280,421; 4,432,294; 4,466,367; 4,644,883; 5,134,947; 5,159,889; 5,203,270; 5,522,332; 5,524,563; 5,562,060; 5,634,418; 5,647,293; 5,657,711; 5,743,202; 5,865,135; 5,899,159; 5,915,319; 5,918,560; 5,979,345; 6,035,794; 6,055,921; 6,202,579; 6,279,869; 6,295,481; 6,494,255; 6,802,271; 6,574,815 B2; 6,834,603 B1; 6,968,794 B1 Foreign patents: 9-520,472; 0,537,323; 92,905,522.6; 96,936,922.2; 2,076,379; 2,084,055. Other U.S. and Foreign Patents Pending. Copyright 2009 Atlanta Attachment Co. 09055060809
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he PowerStack is now available in a High Profile unit to meet the demands of todays taller boxspring configurations. T Hickory Springs patented PowerStack zero deflection box spring is engineered for extreme stability. A series of cupshaped internal supports are welded to the box springs’ border wire and cross-support grid, then secured at the base on two axes. This unique construction prevents head-to-foot and side-to-side sway and reduces pocketing as well. Assembly is quick and simple — just staple it in place and move it on down the line.
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• 10 gauge, extra-heavy grid wire for maximum support and durability.
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18 Getting to the core of the matter
BedTimes examines innovations and advancements in two critical mattress components—foams and innersprings. Plus: A look at lumber trends.
28 New ways to lead
The old command-and-control system of leadership has no place in today’s challenging business environment, says an expert on the subject. Instead, leaders must empower—and trust—their employees to help companies succeed.
7 Front Matter
2008 was among the worst years the mattress industry has seen in decades, with both dollar values and unit shipments down dramatically. A new report from the International Sleep Products Association has all the details.
Over the course of 50 years, the Fraenkel Co. has transformed itself into a major regional mattress and upholstery manufacturer. Regardless of how it has changed, the company still is run like a family business with an emphasis on its employees.
13 Market Report
5 Editor’s Note 37 Industry News 55 Newsmakers 59 Trade Show Tips 64 Calendar 65 ISPA Advocacy 66 Classifieds 67 Advertisers Index 68 The Last Word
There was plenty of interest in exhibitors’ new products, particularly those related to foam, at this year’s Interzum Cologne components show May 13-16.
BedTimes | July 2009 |
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EDITOR IN CHIEF Julie A. Palm 336-727-1889 email@example.com SENIOR WRITER Barbara T. Nelles 336-856-8973 firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS Phillip M. Perry Dorothy Whitcomb Larry Wilson ART DIRECTOR Stephanie Belcher 336-201-7475 email@example.com Vice President of Sales Kerri Bellias 336-945-0265 firstname.lastname@example.org Ad Production & CIRCULATION manager Debbie Robbins 336-342-4217 email@example.com COPY EDITOR Margaret Talley-Seijn BedTimes deadlines Editorial deadlines for the Industry News and Newsmakers sections of the September issue of BedTimes are Monday, August 3. Volume 137 Number 7 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.
Mattress industry can take comfort in not being alone
ast year, the mattress industry posted some of the weakest sales numbers in recent history, according to a newly released report from the International Sleep Products Association. (See story on Page 7.) Frankly, it’s a depressing report. But, as the saying goes, misery loves company and the mattress industry certainly isn’t alone. Fortune magazine published its annual list of the 500 largest U.S. corporations in its May 4 issue. Together these giants of the business world saw revenues inch up just 0.8% in 2008 and watched profits plummet a staggering 84.7%—by far the largest drop in the history of the 55-year-old list. In an accompanying article, Fortune found solace in the ups and downs of the business cycle: “This year’s profit implosion isn’t any more durable than the profit bubble of two years ago. … Profits have a way of roaring out of steep slumps. And this one is about as steep as they get.”
Leadership lessons The need for strong, prescient leadership is never more important than during difficult times. Beginning with this issue, BedTimes will run a regular feature on leadership, written by Larry Wilson, a pioneer in change management, leadership development and strategic thinking. Wilson has founded two companies, Wilson Learning Corp. and Pecos River Learning, in addition to his latest project, The Wilson Collaborative. Some of you may be familiar with Wilson, who has worked with major mattress manufacturers and retailers. He also served as a columnist for BedTimes’ sister publication, Sleep Savvy, for several years. We welcome Wilson to BedTimes’ pages. His debut article, which explains
much of his philosophy about leading in the face of change, appears on Page 28. Supplies Guide time Last year, we launched an improved online BedTimes Supplies Guide, the most comprehensive directory of product and service suppliers to the mattress industry. The site, www.bedtimessuppliesguide.com, is more robust and easier to use than the previous version, in large part because of its Google-like search function that gives users the option of a keyword-driven search or a categoryspecific search. The site also has a request-for-information function that allows users to contact participating suppliers with the click of a mouse. We have partnered with MultiView, a publisher of online supplier directories based in Irving, Texas, to produce the online guide. MultiView representatives soon will be contacting suppliers about purchasing, renewing or upgrading their listings. A company listing includes a full-color company logo, corporate description, Web site link and email-generation capacity. Banner ads and listing upgrades also are available. You can contact MultiView directly about purchasing a listing by calling 800-816-6710. And, as always, we will publish a version of the BedTimes Supplies Guide in our December issue. BT
Julie A. Palm BedTimes | July 2009 |
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FrontMatter Report: Mattress sales fell 9.1% in 2008 Both dollar value & unit shipments suffered big declines “
he mattress industry is fortunate to have 2008 behind it.” That first line of the executive summary pretty well sums up the gloomy statistics in the recently released 2008 Mattress Industry Report of Sales and Trends published by the International Sleep Products Association. No matter how you measure the industry’s sales—from dollar value to unit shipments to average unit price— last year was a rough one for the U.S. mattress industry. The dollar value of mattress and foundation shipments fell 9.1% in 2008, significant not just for the size of the decline but because during the past three decades, the dollar value of shipments has dropped only twice—in 1982 and 2001—and those dips were much smaller. For instance, the dollar value was down only 0.3% in 2001. Since reaching a historical peak of 43.7 million units in 2005, unit shipments have fallen for three years in a row. But the double-digit drop in 2008 was far higher than previous declines. Last year, unit shipments fell 11%, compared to a drop of 2.1% in 2007, 1.4% in 2006 and 2% in 2001. A gain of 2.1% in average unit price
was a bright spot for 2008, but that increase is the smallest since 2002 and down significantly from a 20-year high 8.6% increase charted in 2004. Both the innerspring and noninnerspring categories suffered in 2008, but noninnerspring mattresses, which ISPA defines as foam, air, flotation, adjustables and hospital beds, were hardest hit. The dollar value of innerspring mattresses dropped 6.3% in 2008, while the dollar value of noninnerspring mattresses plummeted 17.8%. Drops in unit shipments were similar, with innerspring mattresses falling 9.1% and noninnerspring mattresses plunging 17.7%. Again, the average unit price numbers were less dramatic, increasing 3.1% for innersprings and dipping 0.2% for noninnersprings. The report explains the disparities between the two mattress categories: “The housing bubble that lasted through 2005 had an asymmetrical effect on various mattress products. During the period of high housing turnover and escalating home values, consumers tapped their home equity and paid for or financed purchases of high-priced goods. For the mattress industry, this
behavior was reflected in double-digit increases in sales for noninnerspring mattresses through 2007. When home liquidity dried up and consumer sentiment turned negative, sales of specialty mattresses took a disproportionate hit.” No part of the country was immune from the declining mattress market. Significant decreases in dollar shipments were seen across all regions, with double-digit drops in the West. Unit shipments were universally negative. The annual report is available free to ISPA members, who can access it through ISPA’s Web site, www.sleepproducts.org. As part of the association’s efforts to be environmentally responsible and to reduce costs, the report is being published electronically this year, with a limited number of printed copies available upon request. The report provides comprehensive data on national mattress industry sales for the past 20 years, as well as international mattress industry trends. A new feature allows ISPA members to integrate industry statistics into their own company’s analysis by downloading spreadsheets containing industry data from the ISPA Web site. BT
Annual growth of mattress and foundation shipments 12.1% 8.8%
■ Unit shipments ■ Dollar value of shipments ‘98-99
BedTimes | July 2009 |
MileStone Fraenkel still run like family business
Over 50 years, company has evolved from distributor to manufacturer By Dorothy Whitcomb
hen Albert Fraenkel founded the Fraenkel Co. in Baton Rouge, La., in 1959, his goals were modest. He wanted to build a business of his own and be able to support his family. “I’ve never been one to pursue wealth,” he says. “We started the company solely to improve our own living conditions and educate our children.” With $50,000 in start-up capital cobbled together from his savings, personal loans from friends and a pay-as-you-sell agreement with bedding manufacturer National Rose Co., Fraenkel set out to make his fledgling furniture distribution company indispensable to the rural communities it served. Breaking it down Today, the once-modest enterprise employs 196 people and posts annual sales that approach $42 million. Over time, the company’s focus has shifted. Fraenkel Co. now draws 60% of its annual sales from mattress manufacturing and 25% from upholstery manufacturing. As recently as 10 years ago, furniture distribution accounted for 70% of Fraenkel Co.’s annual sales. Brian Akchin, president and chief executive officer, thinks the current percentages are about right. “I like that mix for us,” he says. “Furniture distribution should always be between 10% and 15%. Our growth is through manufacturing. Distribution is an add-on.” Since October 2008, when the
Mattresses matter Fraenkel Co., with administrative headquarters in Baton Rouge, La., produces mattresses at plants in Carrollton, Texas, and Olive Branch, Miss. About 60% of the company’s annual sales come from mattress production.
company closed its headquarters plant in Baton Rouge, all of Fraenkel Co.’s manufacturing has been concentrated in Carrollton, Texas, and Olive Branch, Miss. About three-quarters of the 110,000-squarefoot Carrollton plant is devoted to mattress manufacturing, with the balance dedicated to furniture distribution. At the 289,000-square-foot Olive Branch facility, 35% of the space is dedicated to mattress manufactur-
ing and 30% to upholstery production. Furniture distribution and the company’s showroom take up the rest of the space. Combined, the two facilities produce an average of 6,000 mattresses a week. The company’s administrative headquarters remain in Baton Rouge.
BedTimes | July 2009 |
MileStone Value of Englander Fraenkel Co.’s board of directors began working toward shutting down manufacturing in Baton Rouge in 2004 when the company decided to focus production of Englander brand mattresses in Carrollton, a suburb of Dallas. The company became an Englander licensee in 1993 and sales of Englander products represent close to 75% of its annual mattress sales. The balance comes from sales of the company’s house brand, USA Sleep Systems, and private-label product. “Dallas is the largest population area in our Englander region,” Akchin explains. “We felt that as the Dallas facility grew, the need for Baton Rouge would continue to shrink and that we could be much more efficient in two operations than three.” Much of Fraenkel Co.’s growth has come from its Englander license. When it first began producing the brand, its territory included four states and parts of three others. Today its reach is much broader, with the company now servicing Englander accounts in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, as well as southern Indiana, southern Illinois, western Kentucky and western Tennessee, according to Susan Pourciau, executive vice president and secretary-treasurer. Tough choices Akchin and Pourciau agree that closing the Baton Rouge facility was one of the most difficult decisions the management team has had to make. “Even though we knew it was the right thing to do, some of the people who worked there had been there since 1976,” Akchin says. “We couldn’t just cast those people away.” To ease the blow, Fraenkel Co. gave Baton Rouge employees early notice of the decision, brought in people from Louisiana state government to facilitate their search for new jobs and supported employee retraining efforts. Of the 59 employees affected by the
10 | BedTimes | July 2009
‘We try to embody the values that Mr. Fraenkel taught us. He truly cared about his employees and cares about them to this day.’ closure, only nine are still collecting unemployment compensation. “Susan and I grew up in this company and we try to embody the values that Mr. Fraenkel taught us. He truly cared about his employees and cares about them to this day,” Akchin says. A commitment to fairness—a central tenet of the Fraenkel Co. culture—also guided the company’s response to Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005. The company maintained its price structure throughout the crisis and refused to compromise on quality. “When the Red Cross came in with vouchers, some producers felt that it didn’t matter what they provided, (while others) took advantage of their customers,” Akchin says. Employee-centered culture The fact that the Fraenkel Co. is 100% employee owned is a reflection of Albert Fraenkel’s concern for his employees’ well-being. In 1968 he initiated a profitsharing plan to help employees save for retirement. When Congress passed legislation in the 1970s creating the Employee Stock Ownership Plan, he was eager to sign on. “Soon after starting the company I realized that the people who worked there were of great help to me and I simply wanted to help them back,” Albert Fraenkel says. “It’s not easy to
save when you’re working from paycheck to paycheck. We wanted to lift people up and give them something to look forward to. By converting to ESOP, all profit-sharing participants became owners. That changed our corporate culture overnight.” Fraenkel, who retired 10 years ago, no longer has a financial stake in the company. But he continues to serve as chairman of the board and, at age 82, still knows the name of every employee, taking a proprietary interest in their well-being. The culture of mutual respect, fair play and wealth sharing continues to shape the way that Fraenkel Co. does business. “We run our business like a family,” Akchin says. “As stockholders, the financials are open to all employees and we meet with supervisory personnel monthly to keep them abreast of progress.” The result, he says, is buy-in from employees who understand the expectations of the company and their role in meeting them. Celebrating success The current management team is well aware of the milestone the company has reached with its 50th anniversary. To commemorate it, the company has launched a year-long celebration, which began with a champagne party at its Tupelo Furniture Market showroom in Tupelo, Miss., in February. The company has developed a special anniversary bed and, throughout the year, the company is offering special “Golden Nugget” promotions. While celebrating the past, the company continues to look toward the future. Ten years from now, Akchin predicts, the company will have moved “180 degrees” from its roots as a distributor. “We see a lot of opportunities for Englander and Fraenkel and expect our mattress business to continue to grow,” he says. “Our future is as a manufacturing company that also distributes some furniture.” BT www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
-All of our boards are cut-to-size, including special cuts to suit your needs.
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MarketReport Intros prove more important than economy Foam, textiles, machinery, springs star at Interzum Cologne By Barbara T. Nelles
dvancements in foam—and ripples created in other product categories by foam’s popularity—were center stage at the Interzum Cologne furniture components fair held May 13-16 in Cologne, Germany. Exhibitors offered engineered foams in new colors, cuts, laminations and convolutions. In addition to fresh looks in latex, polyurethane and visco-elastic, there were innovations in multifunctional textiles and automated foam-cutting equipment. Opinions about show attendance varied, but exhibitors BedTimes spoke with reported having at least one strong day with good foot traffic from new and existing customers. Fair organizers put attendance at more than 100,000, a “slight fall in visitor numbers” from the 2007 show. The ongoing difficult economic climate—though not discussed much in Interzum booths—did reduce the number of casual shoppers in halls. Some exhibitors said they preferred it that way because the customers they did meet were “serious” and “had an agenda.” “We’ve noticed that traffic is lighter this year at the show, but we’ve still been quite busy and have definitely had better-than-expected results,” said Darren Gilmore, president of Hawthorne, N.J.based adhesives supplier Simalfa. Temperature is top-of-mind With the growing use of foam across bedding constructions, regulating temperature has become a, dare we say, “hot” trend. Ticking manufacturers offered fabrics with phase-changing technologies, as well as an array of “spacer” materials. And foam suppliers touted the benefits of breathable engineered foams. Kevin Stein, vice president of marketing, research and development at Latex International, which has U.S. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
headquarters in Shelton, Conn., said his Time for change Gommagomma S.p.A., company’s temperature-regulating Celdebuted Exchange, a line of mattress and sion foam, introduced in 2008, was “a pillow cores that contain a visco-elastic or latex comfort layer. big hit at this show—and not just with Western Europeans, but with visitors from the Far East and elsewhere.” Latexco, based in Tielt, Belgium, demonstrated new ways to ventilate latex cores—with extra-large vertical channels and horizontal side venting and channeling. “The latest and greatest is this cylindrical, pocketedspring look that reduces motion transfer and increases air flow,” said Vincent Gesquiere, Latexco executive vice president. “In Europe they call it ‘yogurt cups.’ In the U.S. it’s ‘Dixie cups’. ” Eurofoam, based in Kremsmünster, Austria, introduced Machinery advancements Randy Metcalf, marketing manager for Cellpur, a “cellulose Leggett & Platt’s Global Systems Group, explains the features of the updated Gribetz Paragon M+ mattress quilter. climatized foam” that incorporates powdered Tencel. It’s a core embedded with a layer of webbing joint venture with Tencel manufacturer that adds firmness and support. It’s for Lenzing AG. The new polyurethane use in medium to extra-firm mattresses. foam is more breathable and absorbs Sapsa’s X-trem Latex also is new and has and releases moisture to create a “more an extra-soft “cocooning and Talalaypleasant sleep environment,” the comlike feel,” said Raluca Loury, who is in pany said in a news release. charge of international marketing and Shown tucked inside the foam core, sales support for the company. Manifattura Maiano S.p.A., based in Gommagomma S.p.A., headquarCapalle, Italy, offered Ondafelt, a wavy, tered in Caronno, Pertusella, Italy, rigid support layer for all-foam beds introduced Exchange, a line of Dunlopmade from kenaf, a plant fiber simiprocess latex mattress and pillow cores, lar to jute. The product adds support or “vessels,” that hold a visco-elastic or and breathability to foam beds, the latex comfort layer. company said. Similarly, Latexco offered cores poured with a surface cutout in its new More innovations Adaptive Range. Manufacturers can Paris-based Sapsa Latex introduced choose their top layer. The company Net-in Latex, a Dunlop-process latex also introduced a number of top-
BedTimes | July 2009 |
with “food-grade, microencapsulated probiotic bacteria” that are a “natural and active bed cleanser and deodorizer,” said Philip Ghekiere, marketing manager of the Waregem, Belgiumbased textile manufacturer. Ticking suppliers said there is a growing trend to merchandise the Pocket spring promotion Ken Hurst, Starsprings U.S. sales mattress and founrepresentative, promoted the durability and pressure relief of springs dation as a colorwhen used in the top comfort layers of the mattress. coordinated upholstery item—a distinctly European look that is spreading to other regions. Several companies are providing fabrics designed to coordinate with contemporary, upholstered bed bases. Innofa introduced four fabric collections, all with a “dressing” theme— from the clothes of the fashion runway to the aesthetics of the natural world. One knit, Airflow—part of a threedimensional grouping designed to offer New dimensions CT Nassau debuted a knit “excellent ventilation”—was as thick as ticking with a puffed surface that’s designed a down-filled comforter. to replace the comfort layer on a mattress. “These are high-volume textiles weighing up to 1,000 grams per square pers and quilting layers, including the meter and are constructed so that the Progressive Resistance Topper, a single topper with three layers of different yarns allow air to circulate,” said Nicole densities. Grottendieck, a designer at the Tilburg, Fiber company Molina, based in Holland-based knit supplier. Cairate, Italy, added silver, not just to its “High-loft knit techniques are very natural and synthetic fill fibers, but to a big for 2009 and 2010,” said Kristel collection of foam silver-flecked pillows Bisschop, sales director for knitting at and toppers, as well. The X-static Silver Monks International, a ticking supplier collection is anti-bacterial, anti-odor headquartered in Wielsbeke, Belgium. and anti-static, the company said. “These fabrics add texture, color and an extra layer of comfort to a bed.” CT Nassau, which is based in AlaMultitalented ticking mance, N.C., showed a knit ticking with Suppliers of mattress fabrics offered a a puffed, “popcorn” surface that replaces range of special finishes, treatments and the comfort layer on a mattress and decorative tapes, as well as new knit and requires no quilting. weave effects. “If you quilt, you lose the stretch,” One of the more unusual introducsaid Laura Allred, design director at the tions was Bekaert’s Purotex, an Intertape and ticking manufacturer. “It’s a zum award winner for intelligent matecircular double-knit with elastic yarns rial and design. The fabric is embedded
14 | BedTimes | July 2009
knitted in and when the tension is released it puckers and gathers.” Both Innofa and DesleeClama showed zoned mattress fabrics—knits with extra elasticity in specific areas to complement zoned mattress cores. Innofa’s Zone Stretch provides extra “give” in the shoulder and knee areas. DesleeClama, which is based in Beselare, Belgium, presented Body Fit. “We work jointly with customers to adapt the ticking to the bed’s core and use different knit effects to produce a customized fabric with varying elasticity,” said Kris Verbeeck, DesleeClama marketing manager. Giving mattress producers the flexibility to customize fabrics in terms of color and design was a popular selling point at exhibitor booths. “When it comes to fabric design, we’re flexible,” said Paolo Stellini, managing director of Stellini, a Magnago, Italy-based ticking producer. “Customers can create their own patterns on software. There is nothing better than designing with customers. In seconds you can go from their design on the screen to the loom. The yarns are loaded and you’re ready to go.” High-loft materials and computeraided design may represent the hightech end of what ticking suppliers are offering, but there also is demand for products perceived as more natural. DesleeClama won a Best of the Best Interzum award for its EcoFair ticking made from organic cotton that is “100% ecologically cultivated and purchased according to fair-trade principles,” Verbeeck said. “EcoFair is available as a knit or woven and has an unusually soft hand—something you don’t always see with organic cotton.” Boyteks Tekstil, based in Kayseri, Turkey, offers 17 natural fiber collections, including organic cotton, Tencel, mohair, bamboo, linen, wool, coconut fiber, cashmere and camel hair, among others, said Önder Honi, Boyteks deputy general director of sales and marketing. “There is much more interest now in bamboo and cotton and viscose—peowww.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
ple are looking for all cellulosic fibers, even some linen fibers in a viscose/linen blend,” said CT Nassau’s Allred. At some fabric suppliers’ booths, it was hard to tell a woven from a knit. By incorporating Lycra yarns, ticking producers are creating high-end jacquards with some of the characteristics of stretch knits. “Everybody adopted knits and now that everyone has them, the only way to be different is to go back to jacquards,” Stellini said. Bekaert’s woven Elastesse has a head-to-toe stretch and provides “the benefits of a knit but with no snagging, easier handling and the interesting visual effects you can only get with wovens,” Ghekiere said. Finally, ticking suppliers say color continues to make a bit of a comeback. “Manufacturers are going from using a dash to the realization that ‘We can do this. We can add more color and make our mattresses stand out in a crowd,’ ” Monks’ Bisschop said. At Anton Cramer & Co., based in Greven, Germany, shades of lilac, rose and gold headlined, as did ornate three-dimensional knits employing two surface yarns. Spacer fabrics: ‘Cool’ look Mattress makers looking for spacer fabrics, which add breathability, could find them almost anywhere at Interzum. Felt, fiber and visco-elastic foam manufacturer Ovattificio Fortunato, headquartered in Bellizzi, Italy, matched a spacer fabric topper with breathable visco-elastic foam cores in its Mistral collection. The company cleverly demonstrated Mistral’s ventilation—with the flip of a switch a bed emitted steam across its top panel, thanks to a steam machine beneath the bed. Latexco showed its new Adaptive Range cores with a number of topper choices, which included a spacer fabric. And mattress cover maker Funcotex in Torrente, Spain, said one of its most popular sellers incorporates spacer fabric into side panels. Pocket springs manufacturer Agro www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
International GmbH & Co. KG, based in Bad Essen, Germany, introduced the Advanced Green Body, a seven-zone, pocketed innerspring unit with a 1-inch spacer fabric affixed to the top. Bodet & Horst, headquartered in Elterlein, Germany, featured a spacer fabric side panel for added ventilation when displaying a mattress with its Ultrasound fabric. Ultrasound was an Interzum award winner for high product quality. The channel-filled and ultrasonically bonded and perforated ticking adds cushioning and breathability to the mattress, the company said. Sewn covers zip up market share Sales of zippered covers “went crazy this year,” said Ekmel Öztoprak of knits maker Evoteks in Istanbul, Turkey. “It started about two years ago and has to do with the nature of working with knits. Mattress manufacturers find them less stable and harder to tailor. This way you use fewer plant workers and less machinery. It’s more convenient and affordable.” Funcotex made a bold fashion statement with its zippered mattress covers that combined contrasting colors, patterns and textures with color-blocked, dual-zippered side panels. The manufacturer says the zippered covers work with both foam and innerspring beds.
patented Octaspring. Each Octaspring has eight columns of support and is available in a range of foam densities and three heights. A typical all-Octaspring mattress might have three layers of Octasprings in varying densities. Starsprings, headquartered in Herrjunga, Sweden, supplies both high-end Hästens and value merchant Ikea. It promoted the durability and pressure relief of springs when used in the top comfort layers of the mattress. Showing that temperature regulation is not just a concern when it comes to foam, Starsprings also showcased its new ClimaBed Topper. “ClimaBed is a ventilated topper that controls temperature and moisture through an exhaust system that also filters the air and removes dust mites,” said Ken Hurst, Starsprings’ U.S. sales representative. “It reads and adjusts your bed temperature.”
In the zone Anne Hollaar, Innofa international Springs news sales manager, and Job Droge, chief Agro cited a recent study of its products executive officer, demonstrate the Zone showing that pocketed springs alone— Stretch fabric, which has extra elasticity in the without added comfort layers—can shoulder area. achieve optimum pressure relief. Show attendees could test several mattresses constructed from a zoned, pocketed innerspring core covered only with a zippered stretch knit. Diamond Spring, based in Zele, Belgium, introduced Rolling along Andreas Georgallis, Amelco Industries Inc. financial the latest version director, shows off the updated RL 2000A Rollpack machine for of its all-foam innersprings. The company says the unit offers improves productivity. “innerspring”—the
BedTimes | July 2009 |
MarketReport Machinery makers sell speed coming years.” Machinery introductions Matsushita unveiled the focused on speed, automation TECMIC PKTA-3R-UC, a highand better material flow. But, as speed pocketed spring assembling was perhaps expected with the machine with touch-screen challenging economy, exhibitors programming. reported that order taking for “The machine is twice as machinery was slow. fast as our older model and will A bright spot for suppliproduce all the springs for a ers is the growing interest in twin assembly in 1.86 minutes,” mattress recycling, said Yosuke Takeuchi said. New ‘spring’ looks Diamond Spring introduced the latest version of its Takeuchi, general manager of Spühl AG in Wittenbach, Osaka, Japan-based Matsushita patented Octaspring. Each Octaspring has eight columns of support Switzerland, a wire-forming maIndustrial Co. Ltd., a machinery and is available in three heights and a range of foam densities. chinery company owned by L&P, manufacturer. pany. Features include programmable, introduced the CS-525 Dual, “Everyone is so aware of the environautomatic blade adjustments and builtan electronically controlled transfer ment that efforts at mattress recycling in sharpening stones. machine that boasts a performance inare escalating, especially in Europe and Sotexi, a Paris-based maker of concrease of as much as 20%. The machine, Japan, where trash disposal costs are so veyor, packaging, springs, quilting and which won an Interzum award for intelhigh,” Takeuchi said. “I predict the next border equipment, highlighted an upligent material and design, fabricates generation of mattress machinery will dated L2000-2R multineedle, lock-stitch zoned spring units with two different not be about making coils, but about quilting machine, which now takes three wire gauges. taking them apart and recycling them.” times the thread. Rick Hungerford Jr., president of “The L2000-2R is very fast at up to New foam cutters plentiful Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Edge2,000 stitches per minute and machine Italian Cutting Systems Srl in Gravina, Sweets Co. (ESCO), which specializes in settings are flexible and simple to Italy, introduced the Giotto Super polyurethane foam processing equipadjust,” said Georges Campin, Sotexi Cutting System, which is capable of ment, pointed to another trend. president. “It allows for sideways needle cutting a perfect circle. Fecken-Kirfel “Automation is the big news in the adjustment easily and at will, as well as GmbH, based in Aachen, Germany, industry,” he said. “It allows customeasy adjustment between needle rows.” offered the updated CF 67, combining ers to remain competitive by reducing Masias, a maker of fiber processhorizontal and vertical contour cutoperating costs.” ing and quilting machines that has ting centers. Machinery and components supplier headquarters in Girona, Spain, offered “We’ve been focused on putting Amelco Industries Ltd., with headquarautomated wadding handling with its machines in combination and automatters in Nicosia, Cyprus, showcased its new direct-feed system. ing them,” said Michael Anders, vice updated RL 2000A Rollpack machine “The unit is compatible with president of Fecken-Kirfel America. for innersprings. The company said various kinds of quilting machines and “You reduce your need for a series of the unit offers improved productivity saves time, reduces storage needs and operators and have better material flow because of its automatic feeding and improves product quality,” said Sonia control. This trend is about helping strapping features and a roller vacuum Ortiz, Masias area sales manager. customers compete with China’s low system that holds packing paper in labor costs.” place. Pocketed springs production Albrecht Baumer, a maker of foam Randy Metcalf, marketing manager With demand building for pocketed and fiber cutting machinery based in for Carthage, Mo.-based Leggett & springs around the globe, competition Freudenberg, Germany, said it also Platt’s Global Systems Group, said the among pocketed spring machinery focuses on assisting customers with line improved multineedle, chain-stitch makers is heating up and prices are customization and automation. It offers Gribetz Paragon M+ mattress quilter is dropping, some in the industry said. a choice between its customizable, au“faster than previous models, easier to “In the Middle East, mattress makers tomated Blue Line and its standardized, operate and maintain, handles extraare heavily advertising pocket springs,” less costly Red Line. thick quilts up to 155 centimeters and said Andreas Georgallis, Amelco finanNew to the Blue Line was the OFS-H faster tack and jump with no tails.” cial director. “I won’t be surprised to see Twincut, a CNC-controlled, high-speed The new ProSlit is a highly autopocket springs grow from 13% of the machine that cuts foam on three axes, mated, faster version of Gribetz’s BSAP market—they were less than 5% five performing the work of two foam cutBorder Slitter, according to the comyears ago—to as much as 50% in the ting machines. BT
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The Inside Story By Barbara T. Nelles
hen it comes to three main interior components of a bed, lumber quietly plays a supporting role in the foundation, while springs and foam battle for position in the bed’s core and comfort layers. The modern innerspring is being re-engineered to play a much more nuanced and varied role in the mattress. And foams are grabbing attention with their dizzying array of convolutions, contours, colors and functions. All three components have their own sustainability story, with research and development at foam suppliers leading the pack in a quest for new ways to be “green.” And component makers say their products carry meaningful messages that consumers need to hear—now more than ever. “We need to do a slight correction. As an industry we simplified the consumer conversation, concentrating on comfort and turning away from what’s inside the bed,” says Mark Quinn, executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Bedding Group at Carthage, Mo.-based Leggett & Platt. “That was right at the time, but we’ve come too far. Without going all the way back, let’s build more value—in a way that doesn’t confuse the consumer—by discussing what’s on the inside. There are great stories in there and they help justify higher price points.”
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Foam’s ever-expanding mattress role
opular latex, polyurethane and visco-elastic foams are inspiring new partnerships, innovations and creativity in the mattress industry. “I’m very excited about foam’s potential, particularly when I look at the U.S. market,” says Ed Malechek, executive vice president of foam supplier Carpenter Co., which has headquarters in Richmond, Va. “There is so much room for growth here. Noninnerspring beds are only about 10% of the beds sold in the U.S. In Europe, it’s about 40% urethane, 10% latex and 50% innerspring.” A peek inside some mattresses reveals a “wedding cake” of colors and convolutions of foam. The core of the bed may be innerspring or polyurethane foam, “but mattress manufacturers often add 3 to 5 inches of various advanced foams—latex being one of them—to the bed’s top comfort layers,” says Kevin Stein, vice president of marketing, research and development at Latex International, based in Shelton, Conn. “It produces a great feel at a price point that today’s consumer can afford.” For example, Tielt, Belgium-based Latexco has a new topper that combines three different foam densities and a dimensional feeling into a single comfort layer. Some foam suppliers say the increased use of premium foams—as cores, in the quilt and as comfort layers—is solving body impression problems and generally helping shrink super-thick mattresses back down to their former size. Polyurethane foam suppliers see enormous potential for all-foam beds in North America that tell a distinctive comfort story. see page 20
The eternal innerspring gets new twists
t first glance, it may seem there’s not much new in innersprings. Bonnell units, LFK, pocketed coils—they’ve been around for decades. But if you look more closely, innersprings have gotten a lot more interesting. Spurred by increased competition from foam and air mattresses, innerspring research and development has yielded a number of advancements: new coil configurations, next-generation Bonnell units, increased zoning, comfort-layer coil systems, pocketed coil improvements and even one-sided spring units for single-sided beds. And spring suppliers have become more vocal in defending and promoting their products. “Innersprings have been marketed against to propel air and foam sales—and it was done quite well,” says Ken Hurst, U.S. sales representative for Starsprings, an innerspring manufacturer headquartered in Herrljunga, Sweden. “But no one was countering those claims—until now.” “Show me a $1,500 innerspring bed where you ‘feel like you’re sleeping on top of coils,’ ” says Mark Quinn, executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Bedding Group at Leggett & Platt, a components supplier based in Carthage, Mo. “Attacking the innerspring category as the reason a consumer is uncomfortable with their current mattress is misleading and inaccurate. You can create absolutely any feel you want with an innerspring bed and build in value at every price point.” see page 22
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from page 19 In Europe, where mattresses are generally 4- to 8-inches thick, solid latex cores are popular and affordable. But visco-elastic is gaining ground. The demand for various materials used in combination also is changing the mix of products foam suppliers offer mattress manufacturers. Polyurethane foam supplier Hickory Springs Mfg. Co., which is based in Hickory, N.C., now distributes latex from Latex International in the United States. “We’re the perfect combination,” says David Duncan, national product manager for Hickory Springs Bedding Foam Products. “Latex is a great sleeping surface, consumers like the ‘green’ story and it gives us the opportunity to offer manufacturers the next hot thing.” Latex’s growing popularity inspired urethane foam maker Carpenter to release a new, improved version of its synthetic latex, Qualatex, this year. “It’s urethane foam with the same feeling and properties of good Talalay, but at a better price,” Malechek says. Demand expands for latex Sales of latex cores, comfort layers,
Lure of latex What mattress manufacturers want, says Latexco’s Kevin Callinan, is ‘to tell a latex story about lower price points.’
quilting layers and pillows have been increasing for the past three to six years, Stein says. In the current economy, offering latex on an extra-thick mattress and doing it at an affordable price point means pairing it with an innerspring or polyurethane core. “That’s what mattress manufacturers want right now—to tell a latex story about lower price points,” says Kevin
CertiPUR-US certification available CertiPUR-US is a new voluntary testing, analysis and certification program to verify that polyurethane foams meet certain health and safety guidelines. It’s administered by the Alliance for Polyurethane Foam, based in Loudon, Tenn., and has certified four U.S. foam suppliers since beginning certifications earlier this year. Foam suppliers that receive CertiPUR approval have the right to use the CertiPUR certification mark on all certified foam families. The program is modeled after CertiPUR in Europe and is similar except the U.S. process has an additional quality control component. As stated at the CertiPUR-US Web site, both programs were developed in response to an increase in substandard imported foams. “There is growing consumer concern about the health of the mattresses they are sleeping on and it will become an increasingly important issue,” says Bob Luedaka, executive director of the foam alliance. “CertiPUR adds an extra measure of purchase security for them. It reassures them they are buying a safe, clean product.” The certification process is open to all polyurethane manufacturers worldwide. Assessment includes volatile organic compound testing and chemical breakdown analysis, as well as durability testing. The cost of the program runs about $2,700 for testing at one of several independent labs, plus an additional $3,000 per foam family for Polyurethane Foam Association members or $5,000 per foam family for nonmembers, paid every six months for the first year. Afterward, certification is renewed annually and spot testing is conducted. For more information, visit www.certipur.us.
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Callinan, Latexco vice president of sales. “A $999 all-latex mattress isn’t possible if the mattress is 11 to 15 inches high. But you can get the curb appeal you need at the thicker height by building up the mattress with latex at the top.” When you use latex in the bed’s top comfort layers, you don’t want to cover it with filler material, suppliers say. “Those big, puffy tack-and-jump quilts lose the feel of the latex,” Stein says. “We’re seeing more channel quilting come back in. It’s the European influence and it’s great for latex.” Interest in 100% natural latex also is expanding rapidly. Polyurethane foam supplier Foamex, which is headquartered in Media, Pa., introduced its 100% natural latex line, Natural Latex by Foamex, to its product lineup in 2008. “We are at a starting point,” says Mithra Weerasinghe, vice president and marketing director of Latex Green, a natural latex supplier with its own rubber plantations based in Avissawella, Sri Lanka. “As consumers and retailers learn more about the environmental and behavioral aspects of natural latex, interest will grow and grow. We expect big mattress brands to begin promoting it—that’s already happening in Europe.” Stein says Latex International is among the suppliers trying to meet the demand. The company has stepped up its production of 100% natural Talalay for use as cores and comfort layers.
Memory foam news The appeal of memory foam continues, even for today’s cash-strapped consumer. Among the big visco-elastic news is how popular it’s becoming in Europe. That’s one reason why latex supplier Gommagomma S.p.A., which is based in Caronno Pertusella, Italy, developed a new latex core that holds a memory foam topper, as well as latex pillows with memory foam inserts. Foam manufacturer Ovattificio Fortunato, with headquarters in Bellizzi, Italy, redesigned its memory foam offerings to build in breathability and ventilation. It offers a selection of interesting-looking visco-elastic cores with convolutions, channeling, pin holes and side vents. Some of its bi-level cores are layered with one or more spacer-fabric panels. “We are seeing lots of interest in visco-elastic here in Italy, in Europe and North Africa and we are trying to teach our customers about just how breathable and comfortable this foam can be,” says Gillian Fortunato, company co-owner. Adding renewable content Some polyurethane foam suppliers are creating a “green” story by adding a percentage of renewable content to some foam formulas. Instead of being 100% petroleum-based, these new foams contain a percentage of plant-based polyols, which replace a portion of the petro-polyols. Almost any plant or animal oil— soy, castor, canola, rapeseed, sunflower, palm, even fish—can be formulated into a polyol for use in foam production. The current ingredient of choice in North and South America is soybean oil; in Europe it might be sunflower seed oil. Percentages of bio-based polyols in a given foam range from 5% to 20%. Today, anything above 20% degrades the quality of the polyurethane, suppliers say. How companies promote these new foams as green is a subject of controversy in the industry, in part because suppliers typically don’t specify exact percentages of bio-based www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
to get to 20% renewable content in flexible foams—and our goal is to one day replace 100% of petroleumbased content. We’re working with our manufacturers to test new products and looking at a variety of materials and feedstocks,” says Jessica Koster, BiOH Polyols marketing manager. Hickory Springs, which participated in the development of BiOH Polyols, was the first adopter of the ingredient, incorporating it into its Preserve line of foams. “Preserve was the first bio-based (Left) Multipurpose Latex can being used as mattress cores, comfort layers and pillows. Products like Latex International’s Evercloud also make their way into quilt layers. (Below) Base layer Polyurethane often appears in the mattress core or layered with other materials.
content. Foamex uses a number of “agriculturally derived” ingredients in its “highly breathable” Aerus Natural memory foams and in its other families of bio-based foams, the company said in a news release. Its manufacturing process also is green and uses a proprietary Variable Pressure Foaming technology that is “virtually emission-free.” Multinationals like Bayer and Cargill are ramping up production of natural polyols to supply foam producers. Cargill, which has headquarters in Wayzata, Minn., introduced mostly soy-based BiOH Polyols in 2005 and, in 2008, opened its first North American polyols manufacturing facility, located in Chicago. “We’ve made significant strides
foam. It’s environmentally responsible and there’s no denying the feel-good factor for consumers,” Duncan says. “The product started taking off about a year ago, first in contract-type products, especially boutique hotels, and now it’s everywhere.” Two years ago, Flexible Foam, which is based in Spencerville, Ohio, introduced BioFlex Hybrid Foams and it now uses a percentage of BiOH Polyols in its entire product line, says Michael Crowell, vice president of marketing. “Our customers have been very pleased,” he says. “We use different percentages for different foam types. The lower density foams cannot use as much; the higher densities take more. We’re working with Cargill to incorporate even more.” BT BedTimes | July 2009 |
In the pocket Starsprings focused on the bed’s comfort layers with the introduction of its patented X-Pocket.
‘You can create absolutely any feel you want with an innerspring bed and build in value at every price point.’
from page 19 Going to new heights Creating a variety of feels is a primary goal of innerspring suppliers. For instance, there are pocketed coils with high preloads—a very tall spring in a short pocket—that can feel as conforming as an all-foam bed, suppliers say. “Lots of new products and innovations are out there with unique properties,” Hurst says. “These are not springs as usual; these are specialty springs. The springs pitch should concentrate on durability, temperature and instant reaction— it wins on all three.” L&P introduced an updated version of the Bonnell in 2008. Its VertiCoil unit is offered in heights
Steel has own ‘green’ story A large percentage of the steel used in the manufacture of innersprings is recycled scrap steel. Depending on exactly where the steel is made, the recycled content of spring units ranges from 50% to 90%. An important source of scrap steel is junked cars and large appliances. The recycled content of innersprings is a little-known fact that can have particular resonance with today’s consumer. “In marketing innersprings to consumers, it’s more and more important to tell that ‘green’ story,” says Mark Quinn, executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Bedding Group at Leggett & Platt, a mattress components supplier based in Carthage, Mo. “Anyone marketing innersprings can beat that sustainability drum.” Innerspring manufacturers also recycle all of their own production waste. “We collect and sell to recyclers all steel scrap generated during our manufacturing processes,” says Jimmy Bush, executive vice president of the Wire Products Group at Hickory Springs Mfg. Co., which is based in Hickory, N.C. “None is wasted.”
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up to 7 inches and is engineered for reduced motion transfer, as well as “straight up and down, vertical line deflection,” Quinn says. Today’s North American market is interested in units 6 inches and taller, says Jimmy Bush, executive vice president of the Wire Products Group at Hickory Springs Mfg. Co., which is based in Hickory, N.C. “In the last two years, the trend toward thicker one-sided mattresses and an increase in petroleum prices, which affected foam and fiber prices, drove the need for a taller innerspring,” he says. “Just four years ago we offered two spring heights, 4 inches and 6 inches,” adds Martin Wolfson, president of Texas Pocket Springs, which is headquartered in Keene, Texas. “Now 4 inch is nonexistent and 70% of what we sell is 8 inches. Tall, one-sided spring units, designed for single-sided beds are available now. L&P and Hickory Springs both make the units, which are designed for high-end innerspring mattresses. Pocketed improvements A good deal of recent spring innovation has been in pocketed coils. The coils are better able to mimic foam’s reduced motion transfer and cradling feeling, suppliers say. Pocketed coils are “the best way to compete with foam and you can create any feel—from plush to firm,” Wolfson says. Starsprings is engineering “less progressive” coils, Hurst says. “The Active Zone spring is our highest preload, but as you go down into the spring that’s when it becomes less progressive—it doesn’t push back as hard,” he says. Yes, pocketed coils are increasingly complex. Comfort levels are changed by adjusting coil height relative to pocket height, varying wire gauge, changing the coil shape and adjusting the number of turns. Some zoned units have as many as nine zones. Such advancements are helping drive demand. Peter Jensen, director of marketing and sales for Keynor Spring www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Spring on spring New bed constructions, such as this one created by Hickory Springs, often incorporate a mix of spring styles in both the cores and comfort layers.
Mfg., headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, has seen “a drastic increase” in the volume of pocketed coil units he’s selling. “We’ve built in a lot of features, including a zoned product introduced in early 2008, that’s been well received,” Jensen says. Texas Pocket Springs zones perimeter coils for added support and offers its patented Quatrocoil configuration—clusters of four coils designed to prevent comfort layers from falling between coils. The company recently introduced the Microcoil, a comfort layer for pillow-top mattresses. Starsprings focused on the bed’s comfort layers with its introduction of 5.1-inch springs compressed into 2.17-inch pockets in the patented X-Pocket and 4-inch springs compressed to 1.18 inches in the Stretch Pocket AZ. Coils in the top comfort layers are do-able in mattresses with retail prices of $899 and above in queen size, Hurst says. “It’s fun—the different things you can do in a box top and pillow top that you couldn’t do before,” Hurst says. “It s a completely different feel.” Consider coil-on-coil-on-coil
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Spring makeover Leggett & Platt introduced VertiCoil, an updated version of the Bonnell in 2008.
mattress construction. It was once reserved for ultra high-end bed sets, but is now turning up in premium beds, as well. What about putting coils over foam? Maybe someday. “Why not? Hurst asks. “There’s
no reason why visco-elastic or any other core should be on its own.” Springs manufacturer Agro International GmbH & Co. KG, which is based in Bad Essen, Germany, might disagree. The company sponsored a study completed in May by the Ergonomie Institute Munchen GmbH in Munich, which found that pocketed springs alone—without additional comfort layers or even ticking—provide the best ergonomic support and pressure point relief when compared to other types of mattress configurations. The fabric used to encase the springs is important, as well. Most pocket fabric is a nonwoven polyester/polypropylene blend. Variations in the fabric’s weight, fiber blend, seals and seams all impact the feel of the spring unit. Agro recently introduced an extremely lightweight, silky pocket material that “improves contouring to the body’s shape,” said Kirsten Skrodzki, a member of Agro’s marketing team. Texas Pocket Springs is researching various natural fibers as an alternative to synthetic nonwoven pocket fabric but none has performed up to par yet, Wolfson says. Regional preferences vary In Europe, Marshall coils have become a mainstay and they’re gaining market share in North America. Prices have come down as pocketed coils have grown in popularity, but affordability continues to be an obstacle to increased penetration in some regions of the world, says Erol Boydak, trade manager for wire and innerspring producer Boyçelik, which is based in Kayseri, Turkey. Boyçelik recently increased its manufacturing capacity to 5,000 pocketed coil units per week. A large share of that is headed to the U.K. market. The coils’ regional popularity is not just about price, it’s about preference, Boydak says. “Most African and Asian countries like firmer mattresses, which can be achieved more economically with a Bonnell spring,” he explains. BT www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Organic & Green Specialists for 15 Years
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At the bed’s base: Lumber use growing Environmentally friendly Wood is being Worth noting, says Ryan Trainer, touted for its ‘green’ story. executive vice president and general few trends are influencing how counsel for the International Sleep wood is being used in bed bases. Products AssociaFor starters, growing interest Canada-grown Much of the tion, is that founin all-foam beds in North America dations represent a spruce, pine and fir used in has meant an increase in wood-only beds made in North America is sustainable use of foundations. And, regardless of mattress from northern Quebec. wood because they type, some mattress manufacturers are are constructed turning to wood to reduce their costs, from byproducts forgoing a traditional metal box-spring of prime, construcunit in favor of an all-wood foundation. tion-grade lumber “It seems as though something new manufacturing. is happening every day in the way wood Despite his is being used,” says Ron Beauchamp, company’s roots general manager of BLR-Bois Le Roux in “The Steel City,” Inc., which has headquarters in Weedon, Dean Woods of Quebec. “Wood is the perfect matein North America is from the certified Pittsburgh-based Hodder Lumber rial. It’s resistant, lightweight, easy to sustainable forests of northern Quebec. agrees. manipulate and natural. With beds, All wood sold by BLR is certified “Sure, there’s a green story with steel, they are looking to tweak the way they by the Forest Stewardship Council and but wood is a renewable resource with build the frames. Some manufacturers BLR itself is in the process of obtaining a much smaller carbon footprint,” he are saving money by using thinner cuts, certification. says. “More and more mattress mak1-by-3s instead of 1-by-4s, but the prod“Ninety-five percent of Canadian ers are interested in documenting the ucts they build are just as strong because forests are state-owned,” Beauchamp sustainably forested wood they use in they’re well-engineered. Bed frames may says. “The federal and provincial govtheir beds and I expect that trend to be lighter today, but they’re stronger.” ernments are managing the people’s continue.” In 2008, lumber in bed sets began resources and we must respect very Most of the strong, slow-growing to gain prominence for the “green” stringent policies in order to maintain a spruce, pine and fir used in beds made story. sustained yield. It’s about the future; it’s for our kids.” Other prominent certifiers include the Canadian Standards Association, The Softwood Lumber Agreement of 2006 settled the decades-old trade litigation the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the between the United States and Canada. At the heart of the case was the U.S. American Tree Farm System and the government’s claim that the Canadian lumber industry is, in effect, subsidized by Programme for the Endorsement of its federal and provincial governments—the owners of most of Canada’s forests. Forest Certification. There are a number And, thus, Canadian exports were unfairly competing against the domestic U.S. of certifying organizations worldwide lumber industry. and debate exists about the rigor of The agreement gave Canadian provinces a choice of two export-tax options some programs. when selling into the United States: 1) a 15% export tax with modest volume limA good guide to sustainable forestry its or 2) a 5% export tax with the potential for more restrictive quotas contingent certification systems is available at upon prevailing market prices. Metafore, a nonprofit that, according In 2007, the United States alleged that Canada had miscounted its exports to its Web site, specializes in “working from those provinces that had chosen the 5% export tax. A binding arbitration with businesses to implement innovapanel convened by the London Court of International Arbitration agreed with the tions relating to evaluating, selecting United States in early 2009. The court’s ruling imposes a temporary tax of 10% and manufacturing environmentally on exports from Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan—provinces that preferable wood and paper products.” had chosen the 5% option—until the harm caused by the counting error is offset. Go to www.metafore.org and click on The temporary 10% duty is applied to nonradiused bed frame components, says “Tools and Resources,” then “CertificaDean Woods of Pittsburgh-based Hodder Lumber. Side rails, end rails and other tion Systems” and then “Introduction to pieces that are routed or have radiused corners are not included in the duty tax. Certification Programs.” BT
By Barbara T. Nelles
Update on trade dispute
26 | BedTimes | July 2009
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To grow a business today, you have to grow your people By Larry Wilson
egardless of what part of the mattress business you’re in, your world is changing in ways neither you nor anyone else has ever experienced. My metaphor is that we’ve landed in Oz, yet we’re responding as though we’re still in Kansas. Get this: Kansas rules and Kansas thinking won’t cut it in this new land. We’re talking survival here. Thriving comes later. Right now, leaders need to learn the essential competency of leading change—in this case, moving your company from the land of Kansas to the world of Oz. Something has changed fundamentally in the world of business. Although few people seem to have internalized this shift, the effect is startling and profound. Ten years from now, one in three companies will no longer be independent be-
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cause of bankruptcy or takeover; another one in three will be completely different at its core. Only one in three will resemble what it looks like today. What is this change? It seems that for a majority of businesses today, fundamental threats have moved from rare events to nearly common occurrences. And most businesses are not prepared for what that means. Larry Wilson is a pioneer in change management, leadership development and strategic thinking. He has founded the Wilson Learning Corp., Pecos River Learning and The Wilson Collaborative. Wilson works with companies to help them “create the organization that, if it existed, would put them out of business.” His clients include major mattress manufacturers and retailers. Beginning with this issue, he will write a regular column for BedTimes on leadership. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
BedTimes | July 2009 |
Before we get around to narrowing that gap, let’s look at the situation from a different perspective. Another metaphor might help: One of nature’s most familiar systems includes three parts—the soil, the seed and the harvestable plants. Nature connects these three to create a whole that’s larger than the sum of the parts. We call that synergy. Synergy defies simple math and it’s clearly one of nature’s wonders. In the world of business, we use words like culture instead of soil, strategies instead of seeds and profits instead of harvest, but we’re describing the same kind of system. You might be saying, “OK, so
most influence on “the way things are around here.” It’s the leaders at all levels who create and sustain the culture. And it’s these leaders who have to change first. Yes, leaders have to change the beliefs and behaviors that are unconsciously sabotaging the culture and, thus, the organization. This has to happen before any of the followers can be expected to make changes in themselves. Leaders go first. There’s a lot at stake. The organizational culture is a leader’s best friend—or a leader’s worst enemy. Think about it this way: The leader’s job is to bring about change. But, almost by definition, the culture
Although the seed is vital, soil is the real key to success.
what?” Here’s what: We’re out of balance. Most leaders focus on implementing or improving their strategies—the seeds—to increase their profits, or harvest. But they don’t spend nearly enough time and energy with the people who make up the culture that supports those seeds. The result is lost synergetic opportunities. Let’s talk words and define culture as “the formally or informally agreed upon beliefs and behaviors that are rewarded or punished within an organization.” In short, it’s “the way things are around here” and it includes cultural beliefs and behaviors that support the organization’s efforts, as well as those that sabotage the organization. The larger point is that it’s the leaders within the organization— from the chief executive officer to the shift supervisor—who have the
30 | BedTimes | July 2009
tends toward stasis. This is something every leader has to face and overcome. A new kind of leadership To put it bluntly, it’s the people who have the answers today. Pity the leader who undervalues the potential of the people he is trying to lead. The late management guru Peter Drucker said it best when addressing the senior management team of ServiceMaster Co. and asking his trademark question, “What is your business?” One by one, the leaders told Drucker that the company cleans floors, kills bugs and makes grass nice and green. “You’re all wrong,” Drucker told them. “You’re really in the business of growing and developing people.” What is required today is a new kind of leadership—leadership that
understands and puts into practice policies, systems and structures that reflect the belief that people are the most important resource of any company. It is leadership that expects and encourages all employees to—at appropriate times—take on the role of a leader, step into the fire and do what they believe is the right thing. This is easy to write about but not easy to accomplish. Why? Because most of us are still under the influence of years of command-and-control management thinking, or the old Kansas rules. Here’s the big question leaders need to ask themselves: How are we going to shift to a new and more effective kind of leadership, a new focus called developmental leadership? It requires the presence of an Oz culture. Farmers understand this concept better than many businesspeople. They recognize that, although the seed is vital, soil is the real key to success. Great seeds planted in bad soil yield little. The soil must be cultivated. Think back to those times when you launched a new training initiative or strategic marketing program. It may have worked for a period of time but, eventually, you were back doing the same things you had always done. If new initiatives are being received by your employees with little or no enthusiasm, don’t blame the employees. It’s probably not the initiative, or seed, that’s the issue; it’s probably the culture, or soil. It’s like saying your culture simply does not value change. As a company approaches the new world of Oz, what’s needed is not just change, but transformational change. This is the equivalent of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. And the caterpillar in most of us is saying, “You’ll never get me up in one of those things!” So how do you begin the transformation of a company on the ropes into one that welcomes change? There are some cornerstones that must exist. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
First, you must trust your people. That’s a shock for most leaders because their experience typically has been limited to command-andcontrol leadership. That style won’t work in Oz. Leaders need to listen to and empower people, helping them assume more accountability and responsibility. To grow a business today, you have to grow your people. Letting go of command & control Today, leaders have to be the fastest learners and expect others to follow. Leaders have to understand that leadership is someone following a person because he wants to, not because he has to. In short, leaders have to lead from their hearts, as well as their heads. The difficulty is that we are dealing with thinking that’s keeping us stuck. The classic structure is the hierarchy: Caesar at the top and a lowly soldier at the bottom. This hierarchy isn’t limited to the military. It applies to many institutions—schools, governments, businesses. The hierarchical structure didn’t appear magically. There were certain beliefs in place that encouraged and supported this structure. One belief was “I, Caesar, have all the answers. Your job, soldier, is to implement the answers. Yours is not to ask why; yours is but to do and die.” Another belief was “I, Caesar, do not trust that you, soldier, will do what you are told.” Caesar knew the soldier was going to be asked to do some pretty unpleasant things, like take a hill. “I, Caesar, know I wouldn’t be too excited to do many of these things. Therefore, I am going to have to control you, soldier, to make you do what you don’t want to.” The primary motivational tool of the hierarchy is fear. Information is given on a need-to-know basis and
punishments are levied against those who don’t do what they’re told. Today, this classic model is breaking down. Now what?
authority and, in return, you’ll get job security.” The old contract is invalid. This begs the question, “What is the new contract?” The answer starts with two facts. First, for most people, work is not their highest priority or the most important part of their lives. Second, people spend most of their waking hours at work. This paradox paves the way for a new work contract that takes the apparent problem and turns it into an opportunity for everybody. At the heart of this new contract is the organizational culture and, more specifically, a culture committed to developing people. The promise is “Come work here and we’ll help you learn to master critical new skills that will allow your work to be more efficient, effective and joyful—good for the company and good for you.” This new contract puts the “power” in “empowerment.”
Empowering employees The key to moving into an Oz culture is making the shift from “do what you are told” to “do what is right.” The reality is that Caesar no longer has all the answers—even he knows that. The world is just too complex and changing too fast. It means that Caesar must now trust that the soldier has a brain and is willing and able to use it. In most situations, the soldier is closer to the action and, therefore, more knowledgeable than even Caesar about what’s happening. That is a huge shift for both Caesar and the soldier. So the soldier is now being asked to take risks and make choices, something he never had to do in the past. The implicit old employment agreement was “Do what you’re told, work hard, don’t question
Encouraging mistakes But empowerment only works when there is trust and trust means accepting mistakes as part of learning and growing. So, the final key to creating an Oz culture is to encourage mistakes. The reality is that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing wrong—at least the first time. Our new world of constant change requires new thinking and new solutions. The new mantra is “Fail fast, learn fast and grow fast.” Here are the new rules about making mistakes. It’s OK to make mistakes as long as you meet all three of these following conditions: 1. You made a mistake in your effort to carry out the company’s mission. 2. You learn from the mistake. 3. You share your mistakes with everyone else in the company. This third requisite is founded on
Most leaders focus on implementing or improving their strategies —the seeds—to increase their profits, or harvest. But they don’t spend nearly enough time and energy with the people who make up the culture that supports those seeds.
32 | BedTimes | July 2009
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a belief that people can learn from others’ mistakes and not have to repeat them. Here’s a question: Typically, what do people in your company do when they make a mistake? Do they hide it or, as we see in many organizations, blame others for it? If so, your company is being robbed of its intellectual capital. Imagine a company where, when someone makes a mistake, he rings a big bell and yells, “Gather ’round. I made a huge mistake today and I want to tell you about it.” Could that ever happen in your company? No? Then this is how your worst nightmare will begin: You wake up one morning and find that your toughest competitor has learned to ring that bell, gather people around and share mistakes. That company becomes the fastest learner in the market, the fastest to change and the toughest to compete against. You may not have ever considered
34 | BedTimes | July 2009
how people in your company handle mistakes. So consider this: If they’re hiding them, you probably don’t know anything about the caliber of mistakes being made.
One of the most enlightening things to do is assemble groups of employees and ask them, “What are the10 dumbest things we do as a company?” Reaching out to your employees for their honest opinions can produce a tremendous opportunity for learning and change. If you’re not genuinely interested in creating a learning environment, it also can be painful and frustrating. But ego, politics and self-promotion have no room in a company that truly believes its people are its greatest asset. It’s only when we get beyond command-and-control and above the day-to-day problems that we can see the bigger picture—the patterns, challenges and opportunities of Oz. It’s from this place of “supervision” that you can start to be the kind of developmental leader who people are ready, willing and able to follow—not because they have to, but because they want to. Lead on leaders. Show us the way. BT
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IndustryNews Foamex sold, name changes A U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., has approved the sale of Foamex International to two equity firms, MatlinPatterson Global Opportunities Partners III LP and Black Diamond Capital Management LLC, for $155 million. The sale, a result of a court-ordered auction held May 21, will allow the Media, Pa.-based polyurethane foam supplier to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The deal closed June 12. “We are delighted with the outcome of this process,” said Jack Johnson, Foamex president and chief executive officer. “As we had hoped for at the outset of the filing, Foamex has emerged from the process expeditiously and
with a stronger balance sheet. …We will move forward as a private company, building on the technological excellence and innovative leadership for which Foamex is known.” With the purchase by New York-based MatlinPatterson and Austin, Texas-based Black Diamond, Foamex is getting a new name. The company will be called FXI-Foamex Innovations. The moniker doesn’t reflect a change in the company’s focus or product lines. “As we introduce FXI, we are better positioned than ever as a more nimble company poised for future growth,” Johnson said. Foamex filed for bankruptcy protection Feb. 18—its second filing since 2005.
Simmons posts $492 million loss for 2008 A
tlanta-based bedding producer Simmons posted a net loss of $492.2 million for 2008 compared to net income of $23.9 million for 2007. In a filing June 10, Simmons reported net sales for the year fell 8.7% to $1.03 billion, compared to $1.13 billion in 2007. Net sales in the domestic segment declined 9.4%, or $94.2 million, in 2008 from $908.2 million in 2007. Gross profit for 2008 was $379.9 million, or 36.9% of net sales, compared to $450.6 million, or 40% of net sales in 2007. For fiscal year 2008, adjusted EBITDA was $115.7 million, or 11.3% of net sales, compared to $157 million, or 13.9% of net sales, in 2007. Simmons reported an overall operating loss of $503.7 million for 2008, including $547.6 million in noncash goodwill and trademark impairment charges, compared to an operating income of $108.3 million for 2007. “The economic environment in which we operated in 2008 was a very difficult one, particularly in the fourth quarter and was highlighted by a significant decline in consumer spending and large increases in raw material costs,” said Steve Fendrich, Simmons president www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
and chief operating officer. Simmons is undergoing a financial restructuring and reached agreements with its senior bank lenders and the holders of its $200 million 7.875% senior subordinated notes to amend and extend forbearance agreements from May 31 to June 30. The agreements included an option to further extend the forbearance periods through July 31 under certain conditions. Because of the defaults on its debt covenants and other factors, Simmons’ independent, registered public accounting firm has expressed “substantial doubt about Simmons’ ability to continue as a going concern,” according to financial filings.
Fendrich said the company continues to operate as normal and had $57.3 million cash on hand as of May 30. “Simmons will continue to work with its key stakeholders to implement the restructuring in a manner that maximizes value, preserves its relationships with customers and protects suppliers and other constituents,” he said. The company had delayed reporting its final quarterly and year-end results, putting it in default under the terms of its 10% senior discount notes and had been given until June 13 to cure the defaults. The company said it planned to release results for the first quarter of 2009 by the end of June.
Short Bedding sales down in April Unit shipments dropped 11% and dollar values fell 16.6% in April when compared to the same month in 2008, according to the monthly Bedding Barometer from the International Sleep Products Association. The average unit price fell 6.3% in April. For the first quarter of 2008, unit shipments were down 14% and dollar values decreased 16.9%. First-quarter AUP fell 3.4%. The Bedding Barometer is based on sales activity reported by 18 participating U.S. mattress producers.
BedTimes | July 2009 |
Equity firm invests $35 million in Select Comfort Select Comfort, an airbed manufacturer and retailer based in Minneapolis, will get $35 million in financing from equity firm Sterling Partners. Under the terms of the agreement, Sterling Partners will purchase 50 million shares of common stock at $0.70 per share, giving it a 52.5% ownership stake in the company. As part of the agreement, Select Comfort will reduce the size of its board of directors from 10 to nine members and appoint five people chosen by Sterling Partners. The deal is subject to shareholder approval and customary closing conditions. The company expects a shareholder vote to occur by late July or early August. In addition, Select Comfort said it expects to amend its credit agreement with existing lenders to provide a maximum availability of $70 million and extend the maturity from June 2010 to December 2012. “We’re pleased to have made important progress in our efforts to improve the company’s short- and
38 | BedTimes | July 2009
long-term liquidity situation,” said Bill McLaughlin, Select Comfort president and chief executive officer. “Sterling Partners is a growth-oriented investor who recognizes the strength of our product, business model and people. The proposed transaction would allow us to collaborate with a partner who not only offers deep business knowledge and resources, but also shares our commitment to realizing the company’s long-term potential.” Chris Hoehn-Saric, co-founder and senior managing director of Sterling Partners, which has offices in Baltimore and Chicago, added: “During the past 12 months, the company’s leadership has made difficult and decisive moves, which have helped the company weather the current environment while also positioning it for future success. As long-term investors and true partners to the company and existing shareholders, we look forward to working with Select Comfort to return the company to profitability and growth.”
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1800mattress.com sale delayed
U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in New York has delayed his final ruling on the sale of 1800mattress.com to Sleepy’s. Judge Dennis Milton announced the delay on May 28, saying at the time that he expected to issue a ruling in early June. However, when BedTimes went to press, Milton had not announced a decision. Mattress retailer Sleepy’s has bid $25 million for 1800mattress.com, a multichannel retailer that sells mattresses online, through a call center and in brickand-mortar stores. 1800mattress.com, based in Long Island City, N.Y., declared bankruptcy in March. Sleepy’s, a privately owned company headquartered in Bethpage, N.Y., operates 700 stores in 11 states. After the bidding process, Milton heard arguments for and against the sale to Sleepy’s. Consolidated Group, a 1800mattress.com franchisee based in Windsor, Conn., has been most vocal in its opposition to a sale to Sleepy’s, saying Sleepy’s intends to put Consolidated out of business. The company has filed an $11.4 million damage claim against the retailer.
40 | BedTimes | July 2009
Shorts Draft Green Chemistry proposal released
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control has released for public comment a “draft straw proposal” for regulating chemicals in consumer products. The document lays out principles and responsibilities for manufacturers as the state works to implement the Green Chemistry Initiative. The initiative seeks to establish a science-based program for developing a priority list of chemicals used in consumer products that are of concern because of their possible environmental or public-health threats and regulate them. The draft is for public comment and may not reflect the final program. Review it at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/PollutionPrevention/GreenChemistryInitiative/upload/Draft-straw-proposal-outline.pdf.
Federal bill would combat bed bugs
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) has introduced the Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act of 2009. The legislation (HR 2248) would authorize funding for states to combat bed bugs and require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the health implications of bed bugs.
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Tempur-Pedic files patent infringement suit
edding producer Tempur-Pedic International, based in Lexington, Ky., has filed a lawsuit against several other companies that it says are violating the patented design and construction of Tempur-Pedic mattresses. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia by the Tempur-Pedic Management Inc. and Tempur-Pedic North America LLC subsidiaries. The companies named in the suit are Anatomic Global Inc., Bragada Inc., Carpenter Co., Classic Sleep Products Inc., Englander Sleep Products LLC, Essentia U.S.A. LLC, IR Specialty Foam LLC, Jeffco Fibres Inc., Sealy Corp., Serta Inc., Serta Restokraft Mattress Co., Sleep Products Inc., Simmons Bedding Co., Spirit Sleep Products LLC, Simmons Mfg. Co. LLC, WCW Inc. and World Sleep Products Inc. According to Tempur-Pedic, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Patent Number 7,507,468—titled “Laminated Visco-Elastic Support”—to the company on March 24. “This patent is directed to a variety of mattress constructions utilizing layers of visco-elastic and other foam materials,” Tempur-Pedic said. “The patent grants Tempur-Pedic exclusive rights to make, use and sell products incorporating the inventions claimed in the ‘468 patent.” According to Tempur-Pedic, the patent and lawsuit are not related to the formulation of the company’s proprietary Tempur material.
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Sealy restructures debt to improve liquidity Archdale, N.C.-based mattress maker Sealy has paid off its existing debt and replaced it with senior secured credit facilities with longer dated maturities, eliminating quarterly maintenance-based covenants. According to the company, the refinancing plan, which was unanimously approved by Sealy’s board of directors, strengthens its capital structure and enhances its liquidity. “This recapitalization plan accomplishes several key objectives: recapitalizing the company for the long term, putting in place a capital structure that is flexible enough to weather a downturn, permitting the company to grow when the economic environment improves and treating all stockholders fairly,” said Larry Rogers, Sealy chief executive officer and president. Under the new plan, Sealy will enter into a $100 million, asset-based revolving credit facility maturing in 2013 and issue approximately $350 million in senior secured notes due in 2016. It also will issue about $177 million in senior secured notes that could be converted into Sealy common stock.
Short High Point attendance dips Brian Casey, president and chief executive officer of the High Point Market Authority in High Point, N.C., said that an 8% drop in attendance at the spring furniture market is a sign of the market’s strength and relevance when compared to double-digit attendance declines seen at some other trade shows in the past year. “In tough economic times, people turn to what they know, and they know that for the past 100 years the High Point Market has been the source for new products, new ideas and new solutions,” he said. More than 75,500 people registered for the spring market in April. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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BedTimes | July 2009 |
Suppliers pick up Interzum awards F
our bedding industry suppliers were winners of Interzum awards presented at the Interzum Cologne furniture components fair held May 13-16 in Cologne, Germany. DesleeClama, based in Beselare, Belgium, won three awards, including Best of the Best for its EcoFair ticking made from organic cotton that the company says is 100% ecologically cultivated and purchased according to fair-trade principles. DesleeClama earned two awards for high product quality: one for Thermic, a ticking with phase-changing material, and another for Celliant, a hollow-fiber knit that the company says allows sleepers to absorb more oxygen and Label Ad #2:Spotlight idea
awake refreshed. Bekaert, which has headquarters in Waregem, Belgium, also was a threetime winner. The company earned two awards for intelligent material and design. One was for Purotex, a ticking embedded with what the company describes as “friendly, foodgrade bacteria” in spore form that is released by friction to work as a bed cleanser and deodorizer. The second was for Cambric, a sportswear-inspired, moisture-wicking ticking collection with a breathable honeycomb mesh construction. Bekaert’s multilayer knit, Meditiss, received a high product quality award. The fabric repels dirt, is temperature regulating
and waterproof. Bodet & Horst, based in Elterlein, Germany, won a high product quality award for Ultrasound, an ultrasonically bonded and perforated ticking with filled channels that acts as a breathable comfort layer for the mattress. Spühl AG, headquartered in Wittenbach, Switzerland, won an intelligent material and design award for CS 525 Dual, an electronic Bonnell innerspring fabricating machine that the company says runs at 20% faster speeds while simultaneously incorporating two wire gauges. The wire-forming machinery company is owned by Leggett & Platt.
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44 | BedTimes | July 2009
Dove Mattress joins Comfort Solutions
Mattress licensing group Comfort Solutions has signed a licensing deal with White Dove Mattress in Cleveland. “We are very pleased to have this outstanding fourth-generation, family-owned manufacturer become part of our U.S. licensee network,” said Dave Roberts, president and chief executive officer of the Willowbrook, Ill.-based licensor. “White Dove’s operating principles and practices, focused on value, integrity and partnership, are very much in keeping with our organization’s own business philosophies. This is a great match and an excellent opportunity for both companies.” Founded in 1922 by the Goodman family, White Dove operates a 150,000-square-foot facility where it manufactures innerspring, latex, foam and adjustable beds. As a Comfort Solutions licensee, White Dove will serve customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. “We view this as a great opportunity to get involved with what we believe to be the strongest, most progressive and forward-thinking licensing group in the country,” said Bruce Goodman, White Dove president. “Our partnership will be an excellent complement to our existing brands and programs.”
Short Dunlopillo unveils high-tech bed Dunlopillo Indonesia, a mattress manufacturer based in Jakarta, Indonesia, has introduced the D’Ultimate, a fourmotion adjustable bed with vibration massage and built-in entertainment and work center. The bed’s footboard holds a 42-inch LCD display that functions as television, as well as a monitor for the bed’s built-in computer. Other features include stereo speakers and a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. The bed frame’s upholstery can be customized. The D’Ultimate carries a suggested retail price of $15,000 for a queen set. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
BedTimes | July 2009 |
IndustryNews Green Ideas
Jamison steps up sustainability efforts
Mattress maker Jamison Bedding, based in Brentwood, Tenn., is strengthening its recycling efforts and laying plans for additional sustainability projects. Jamison already recycles most post-industrial waste at its manufacturing facilities and now is recycling office waste, as well. The company recruited a “Green Team” to help motivate employees to participate in recycling efforts. Paper, plastic and aluminum office waste is collected and processed by Earthsavers, a recycler in Nashville, Tenn. The company eliminated the use of Styrofoam cups and is decreasing energy use by turning off lights, computers and machinery when not in use and installing motion sensors to operate some lighting. Jamison also is in the process of creating more environmentally friendly mattresses and is investigating the implementation of a mattress recycling program. “This is something we have wanted to do for a long time,” said Frank Gorrell, Jamison president. “We already recycle much of our manufacturing materials. We thought it was important to practice this not only in the
46 | BedTimes | July 2009
plants, but in the offices, as well.” Jamison operates three divisions: residential, hospitality and Hypnos USA, the U.S. licensee of the highend U.K. bedding brand. Hypnos, headquartered in Buckinghamshire, England, already had in place office recycling programs and created a mattress recycling program, purchasing machinery that automatically separates steel, fiber and wood for recycling.
Natura World enters blogosphere
Natura World, a producer of organic and natural mattresses and sleep accessories based in Cambridge, Ontario, has taken its sustainability message one step further with the launch of a blog to complement the company’s social media efforts. It can be found at www.naturaworld.com/blog. “We want to reach our customers and we want to do it with the least possible environmental impact,” said Ralph Rossdeutscher, Natura World president. “Because of my role in ISPA, our membership with the Sustainable
Furnishings Council and our other sustainability efforts, I felt it was important to look at how we’re communicating with the world.” Natura has been on Facebook and Twitter since 2008, holding regular contests and interacting with consumers.
Hickory Springs broadens ‘green’ efforts
Hickory Springs Mfg. Co., a components supplier based in Hickory, N.C., has announced a broadened corporate sustainability initiative with the goal of increasing efficiency, reducing waste, easing environmental impacts and boosting workplace safety companywide. “Along with providing quality products, showing a good return on investment and striving to be a good employer and community neighbor, Hickory Springs is working diligently to reduce its impact on our environment,” said Don Coleman, Hickory Springs president and chief executive officer. Hickory Springs has long been involved in recycling and waste and energy-reduction efforts. The new initiative will increase the effectiveness of its sustainability
management practices, the company said. Hickory Springs will build on its line of sustainable products, which includes Preserve—foams with biobased content—as well as other eco-friendly components that the company now groups under the new EarthCare Inside umbrella. The company created a Web site, www.earthcareinside.com, to support such products.
Wright gets 2 certifications
Wright of Thomasville, a supplier of labels and pointof-purchase materials based in Thomasville, N.C., has received certification from the Forest Stewardship Council. The certification is a third-party guarantee that the wood used in Wright’s product line is sustainably harvested from certified, well-managed forests. The company also received the Rainforest Alliance Certification. The alliance says its seal of approval ensures that goods and services were produced in compliance with strict guidelines protecting the environment, wildlife, workers and local communities of the rainforest.
BedTimes | July 2009 |
Lemoyne outfits 9/11 memorial warship L
emoyne Sleeper Mattress Co., which is based in Lemoyne, Pa., has been chosen to supply bedding for the officers quarters aboard the U.S. Navy’s newest ship, the USS New York. The amphibious transport dock ship is a floating Sept. 11 memorial. Its bow stem is forged from steel re-
covered from the World Trade Center towers. The vessel is named in honor of those who died in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and for the “courage and compassion shown by countless New Yorkers” in the aftermath, according to the ship’s Web site. Lemoyne Sleeper has supplied the
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military since its founding in 1964 and built several custom mattresses for the USS New York, which will be commissioned later this year. “The Navy wanted everything about this ship to be first-class and of the highest quality, so we were thrilled when we found out they had selected our bedding for the USS New York,” said Andy Pearlman, Lemoyne Sleeper president. “We are obviously proud to be associated with this ship. And we take pride in knowing the products we manufacture are used to provide comfort for those who bravely defend our country and our freedom.”
Short Serta starts new campaign Bedding producer Serta in Hoffman Estates, Ill., has launched a national print advertising campaign for its Vera Wang by Serta mattress line. The ad, with the tagline “Comfortably Ever After,” will run in Brides, Town & Country, House Beautiful, Elle Décor, Real Simple, Traditional Home and other shelter and bridal publications through the end of the year. “This new print campaign will continue to grow brand awareness for Vera Wang by Serta while helping our retail partners drive more store traffic,” said Maria Balistreri, the vice president of brand management for the collection. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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Comfort Solutions revamps Web site
omfort Solutions, the Willowbrook, Ill.-based mattress maker and licensing group, has given its Web site a makeover. From the new home page at www.comfortsolutions.com, consumers can click through to minisites showcasing each of the company’s brands— Perfect Contour, Natural Response, Laura Ashley, eXtended Life, Reaction and King Koil. The new branding message is, among other things, intended to help define the relationship between the Comfort Solutions and King Koil names. “The new site makes it clear that Comfort Solutions is our company name while King Koil is a quality mattress brand within our family of product brands,” said Dave Roberts, Comfort Solutions president and chief executive officer.
50 | BedTimes | July 2009
Comfort Solutions’ retailers will be able to access a password-protected sales training section and a gallery of brand images and logos. Comfort Solutions’ own sales representatives will have the ability to order promotional materials for their retail customers online, streamlining collateral service and delivery to stores. “We are very committed to helping retailers drive more business, whether it’s through a more effective online presentation of the Comfort Solutions brands or through development of new site-based services that directly address what retailers need and how quickly they need it,” Roberts said. Other Web site features include links to international licensees’ Web sites, a mattress glossary for consumers and an interactive dealer locator.
Shorts Verlo Skokie relocates
Verlo Mattress Factory Stores of Skokie in Skokie, Ill., has moved into a new 2,600-square-foot space and celebrated with a grand opening in June. Owner Kerin Thomas-Smith, who has operated the franchise for more than 15 years, said benefits of the new location include being close to a mall and having better parking.
Serta teams with Barcalounger
Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Serta has partnered with Barcalounger Home to produce upholstery cushioning. Barcalounger is using Serta’s patented Comfort Quilt convoluted foam with Dacronwrap technology.
Anatomic Global signs deal with Relax the Back
attress maker Anatomic Global has inked a retail distribution agreement with Relax the Back for the distribution of Ecomfort, a line of environmentally friendly memory foam beds. Relax the Back has 120 brick-and-mortar stores in the United States and Canada and also sells online. Jeff Scorziell, president of the Corona, Calif.-based manufacturer, said the deal is an important first step in the new mattress brand’s national introduction. “The Relax the Back relationship gives us the opportunity to serve the retailer well in both our key competencies, which are our national drop-ship delivery and our superior back support technology,” he said. The beds have bamboo covers, use pre-consumer recycled materials in the core and have a patent-pending Neutral Posture Support System that allows the spine to relax. Vacuum compressing the mattresses saves retailers space and helps reduce the company’s carbon footprint by saving fuel used in transportation. Relax the Back will carry Ecomfort mattresses under a private label, PureFit. The beds have suggested retail prices from $1,299 to $2,999 for queen size.
Eco-friendly bedding Anatomic Global will be selling its Ecomfort line of environmentally friendly memory foam beds though Relax the Back retail locations.
BedTimes | July 2009 |
Comfy Covers remakes itself as Novo Textiles
omfy Covers, a producer of pillows, mattress protectors and linens based in Surrey, British Columbia, has changed its name to Novo Textiles Ltd. “The time had come to refresh our company name. We wanted to choose a strong, easily recognizable name, which would help us grow and build our brand in years to come,” said Jason Zanatta, company president. The 15-year-old company, which serves hospitality and retail channels, recently relocated to a new 22,000-square-foot facility and is in the process of rolling out its new Novo Sleep Systems brand. A summer launch of the Web site, www.novotextiles.com, is planned.
52 | BedTimes | July 2009
L&P offers retailers 2 programs
Carthage, Mo.-based Leggett & Platt is providing retailers two new programs to help them sell the benefits of better sleep. The L&P Retail Solution is designed to help bedding dealers increase revenue using turnkey marketing solutions. The L&P Home Collection is a new brand of bedding accessories. Both are offered through the company’s Consumer Products Group. L&P Retail Solution provides “all the tools retailers need to effectively engage and assist their customers—from point-of-purchase display systems and signage to marketing collaterals to sales aids and training and performance management systems,” the company said. In addition, L&P Retail Solution includes a complete range of bedding merchandise, such as ornamental beds, bedding support products and adjustable beds. It also features the L&P Home Collection of bedding accessories, including MicroPlush mattress and pillow protectors, sheet sets and a range of pillows for back, side and stomach sleepers. “By offering these unique tools and products in a comprehensive package, we can help the retailer sell the benefits of better sleep,” said Rob Woods, L&P Consumer Products Group president. “Dealers who take advantage of our Retail Solution will increase their revenues with the sale of additional bedding accessories, while simultaneously improving the experience for their customer.”
Verlo named top 100 franchise
Verlo Mattress Factory Stores, a factory-direct franchise based in Fort Atkinson, Wis., has been named a top 100 franchise in the third edition of Bond’s Top 100 Franchises: An In-Depth Analysis of Today’s Top Franchise Opportunities. The publisher, Source Book Publications, said it examined hundreds of North American franchise operations in three categories: food service, retail and service. Selection of the top 100 list was based on several variables, including historical performance, brand identification, market dynamics, franchisee satisfaction, level of initial training and ongoing support and financial stability. “It is an honor to be acknowledged and recognized as one of the premier franchises among over 3,000 franchises available in the marketplace today,” said Keith Mackey, Verlo Mattress Factory Stores vice president. Verlo franchises are concentrated in the Midwest with some as far west as Colorado and as far south as Texas.
New mattress e-tailer opens
indMyMattress.com, a new mattress e-tailer, has launched its business. Based in Massapequa Park, N.Y., the company sells memory foam mattresses—manufactured in the United States by Jeffco Fibres Inc.—via a Web site and call center. There are plans to add innerspring and eco-friendly beds to the product lineup in 2010. “We are totally virtual. I and my staff are utilizing our technical backgrounds to work from home and manage the business,” said William Kane, company founder and chief executive officer. “All of our customer service representatives—we call them ‘sleep health specialists’—also work from home. It opens up the manpower pool to some highly educated, retired and handicapped individuals—those who want or need to work from home.” The company donates $10 from every mattress sale to a charity for disabled veterans.
BedTimes | July 2009 |
NewsMakers Natura promotes Miller, hires Patten M
attress and sleep products maker Natura World has promoted Scott Miller to the newly created position of senior vice president for U.S. sales. Prior to joining Cambridge, Ontario-based Natura last year, Miller was senior vice president of sales for International Bedding Corp. Before that, he spent nine years with Simmons. “Scott’s tireless passion for connecting with long-standing and new clients has led Natura down new and exciting paths this past year,” said Ralph Rossdeutscher, Natura president. In the new role, Miller provides strategic direction, guidance and
oversight of the company’s U.S. sales efforts. He reports to Rossdeutscher. Reporting to Miller is new hire Robert Patten, who has been appointed vice president of sales for the eastern United States. Previously, Patten was with
Kingsdown names regional VP Mattress maker Kingsdown has named Peter Schmidt regional vice president of sales for the central United States. The position is a new one for the Mebane, N.C.-based company. Schmidt joins Kingsdown from Tempur-Pedic, where he served as a divisional vice president. Prior to that, he held a Peter Schmidt range of sales and marketing management positions in the energy, transportation and manufacturing sectors. “We are very pleased to have Peter as the newest member of our Kingsdown management team,” said Chris Henning, president of North America sales. “He brings extensive industry experience, as well as proven leadership.” Schmidt’s responsibilities include expanding the company’s customer base in the central United States, growing business with existing accounts and overseeing sales team development. He reports to Henning. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Spring Air as a senior vice president of sales. His background also includes sales and management positions with Simmons and Rooms to Go. “Robert brings a wealth of experience and is the perfect fit for Natura as we continue to expand,” Rossdeutscher said. “His passion for product innovation and customer service will be key driving forces as we continue to push toward making Natura a household name.” Patten’s key responsibilities are to guide and support the regional U.S. sales force and to identify and develop new opportunities with key accounts.
Classic Sleep adds sales VP
pecialty sleep products maker Classic Sleep has hired Justin Gannon as vice president of sales, a newly created position. Gannon joins Classic Sleep from Mattress Discounters, where he worked for seven years, most recently as vice president of merchandising and marketing. Prior to that, he was a corporate account manager with Sealy. Justin Gannon “As we went through the process of looking at who the next head of our sales division should be, we realized that retailers don’t need another salesperson, but rather a real partner who understands their business and what they need to generate new sales and profits,” said Mike Zippelli, chief executive officer of the Jessup, Md.based company. “There was no question that person was Justin, as he is widely credited with remerchandising and growing one of the best retail brands in the country.” Gannon’s initial priorities are to add sales associates to certain regions of the country and to fine-tune a new training program for retail sales associates. He reports to Zippelli.
BedTimes | July 2009 |
Industry veteran Charles Pike dies
Charles Pike, founder of Superior Mattress Co. in Evansville, Ind., died Feb. 7. He was 75. Along with his wife, Virginia, Pike owned and operated Superior Mattress for more than 40 years. The Pikes also owned Motel Mattress Distributors, Mattress Factory Showroom Inc. and Mattress Distributors, all based in Evansville. In addition, Pike was a partner in and chief executive officer of Mega Matt Enterprises, MSF Performance.com and Mattress-Factory.com. His family said Pike â€œloved the mattress business and the challenges that came with business in general.â€? He enjoyed serving as a mentor and, over the years, offered assistance to many people seeking to open their own businesses. Pike was a U.S. Army veteran, who was named a Kentucky Colonel in the 1970s. The honorary title is bestowed by the governor of Kentucky on individuals and organizations in recognition of their merit and high achievement. Survivors include his wife, son Steven, sister Teresa Ling and many nieces and nephews.
Shorts Nord steps down from CPSC chair Nancy Nord has resigned as acting chairwoman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, but will continue to serve out her term as a commissioner, which expires in 2012. Nord was appointed by President George W. Bush. As a result of her resignation, Thomas Moore, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, will become acting chairman until Obama administration nominee Inez Tenenbaum is confirmed.
Leggett & Platt adds board member Robert E. Brunner has been elected to the board of directors of Leggett & Platt, a components supplier and manufacturer based in Carthage, Mo. He fills a vacancy created by the expansion of the board to 10 members. He also was elected to the boardâ€™s Audit Committee. Brunner is executive vice president of Illinois Tool Works Inc.
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TradeShowTips Avoid 15 costly mistakes at trade shows
Keep these in mind for Industry Conference & ISPA EXPO By Phillip M. Perry
ttending a trade show, exhibition or conference requires a commitment of both time away from the office and money. But these events offer tremendous business opportunities that make those costs more than worth it—particularly for attendees who plan ahead. Here’s how you can enjoy a solid return on your investment in time and money by avoiding the most common and costly errors made by trade show visitors. Neglecting advance planning Most consultants cite the lack of sufficient advance planning as the No. 1 reason trade show visitors spin their wheels. Preshow preparation should be of paramount importance to any trade show attendee. Gone are the days when you could just show up at a show and start shopping. BedTimes always provides advance coverage of the ISPA Industry Conference and Exhibition, held this year Nov. 4-6 in Bonita Springs Fla., and the biennial ISPA EXPO, held next March 3-6 in Charlotte, N.C. Look for upcoming issues of the magazine in the mail or online at www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes. Information about the events and exhibitors also can be found on the International Sleep Products Association’s Web site, www.sleepproducts.org. Details are updated regularly so plan to check back often. In addition, you can use the BedTimes Supplies Guide at www.bedtimessuppliesguide.com to learn more about many exhibitors and their offerings. Defining goals that are too general When deciding what you want from the show, avoid thinking in general terms such as “seeing what’s new” or
“seeing our suppliers.” At the end of the show you will feel as though you failed to accomplish all you could. Here’s a better way: Ask yourself, “What is the biggest problem I have in my business?” Some examples would be “How can I get more reliable sourcing in the XYZ category?” “What new marketing programs will suppliers provide to move the XYZ line faster?” and “What steps can we take to solve our customers’ increasing complaints about XYZ quality?” Write the question—or series of questions—down on a piece of paper
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or enter it into your BlackBerry. Then take it to the show with the idea of getting answers from company representatives in the booths. This will keep you focused on what you really need to accomplish at the show. Not developing a strategy to reach goals You may fail to reach your goals because you don’t plot a detailed strategy. Define a game plan so all your steps are laid out before you arrive at the show. For example, “See X number of vendors to find the best sources for a specific component” or “Call our top six suppliers prior to the show to set appointments to discuss ways to reduce costs.” Part of a successful strategy is to allocate tasks among co-workers who will be attending the show. Do this early enough to avoid the duplication of effort that can result when various people try to accomplish the same goals. Failing to get a floor plan and booth directory Exhibitor directories for the ISPA Industry Conference and Exhibition and ISPA EXPO are available in the show issues of BedTimes and on ISPA’s Web site, www.sleepproducts.org.You also can find floor plans for EXPO in both places. Use them to plan your days. Cross-reference the directory with the floor plan to lay out a walking plan that
BedTimes | July 2009 |
maximizes the time you spend at the show. The time savings will assure that you reach your goals. Most people just turn to the right and go down the aisle to start the show. Not prioritizing the show floor Try to estimate how many booths you will be able to visit during the time you will attend the show. The average attendee spends about 13 minutes at each exhibit targeted for a visit, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research in Dallas. To that, you must add the time you will spend walking from place to place, attending seminars or visiting with colleagues in the aisles. Considering that slack time, figure you can visit maybe three booths each hour. Remember, these are the booths of exhibitors you specifically want to see—not ones you spontaneously stop by for a quick look while walking the aisles. That comes to 18 exhibitors in a six-hour period. Using the exhibitor list or floor plan, mark your “Priority 1” selections with a green marker. You want to see these exhibitors without fail. Then select a number of “Priority 2” exhibitors and mark them with yellow. You can visit these booths during time between visits to your Priority 1 booths. Then use a red marker for vendors you’re not familiar with but would like to check out. Now you have a visual aid for walking the floor. You can check off the booths as you see them and monitor your progress.
➤ Common mistakes 1. Neglecting advance planning 2. Defining goals that are too general 3. Not developing a strategy to reach goals 4. Failing to get a floor plan and booth directory 5. Not prioritizing the show floor 6. Not previewing the show 7. Making too many appointments 8. Not picking up important literature 9. Following the crowd 10. Ignoring the new and smaller exhibitors 11. Not steering the conversation at booths 12. Writing sloppy notes 13. Not exploiting slow hours 14. Not monitoring exhibitors’ promises to follow up 15. Failing to update co-workers
Not previewing the show Schedule some time to scope out the show before you start the walk that you have laid out. Walk the entire show floor quickly, looking for unexpected exhibitors or products. Take notes on what looks interesting. Then sit down and adjust your color-coded floor plan and walking path to include them. Making too many appointments Don’t get carried away when you
make appointments. Trying to squeeze too many into one day can actually make you less effective on the floor. That’s because you can easily fall behind and start rushing from one appointment to another before you have all the information you need. Rather than setting definite appointment times, I suggest you tell exhibitors you will drop by during windows of time. Say something like, “I’ll drop by between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Thursday.” If the person you want to see is busy when you drop by, don’t waste time hanging around. Leave word about the next window of time in which you’ll drop by, then move on. Not picking up important literature The first morning of the show, stop by the ISPA booth, where you will find lots of information about the programs and services available to the association’s members. Gather it up, check it out and then pack up any brochures, pamphlets or other pieces you don’t need immediately for the show. You won’t have missed anything and you won’t weigh yourself down with material nonessential to buying. One thing you’ll want to review right away: BedTimes. Scan the magazine for show information and exhibitor listings. Check the advertisements and other product announcements of interest then mark the exhibitor and the booth number on your list so you can hit it at an appropriate time. Following the crowd You are showing your independence from the mob by planning a productive trade show visit. Take that one step further: Walk the show in reverse. You’ll get faster attention from exhibitors if you walk against the traffic and you’ll be able to visit more booths right off the bat. Ignoring the newer and smaller exhibitors The newer and smaller exhibitors can provide leads for new products and services that can make your visit even more successful. You’ll see lots of interesting stuff from these exhibitors and their booths are great for generating creative ideas. Don’t
60 | BedTimes | July 2009
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make the mistake of ignoring them. If you follow the advice above about working against the traffic, you may be hitting a lot of these exhibitors early in the morning because you are starting at a slower section of the floor. That’s good. You can cover more of them. Not steering the conversation at booths As the buyer, you are the one in control. Never forget that. Don’t be afraid to exercise your control by steering the conversation with exhibitors. That may mean interrupting an exhibitor who is going on about a product feature that doesn’t concern you and navigating the conversation toward benefits that will help you make more money. What marketing plans is the vendor offering to help move the product? What has market research shown about how the product will help you better meet customer needs?
Here’s where your goal questions really come in handy. Write your key question on several dozen 3-inch by 5-inch cards. When you get to each booth, hand a card to a rep and ask how the company can answer your question. If the exhibitor doesn’t have an answer right away, say you’ll return later for the information. Alternatively, use a statement such as “I need to make a business decision” to readjust the exhibitor’s pitch away from product features and toward your needs. Explain what the business decision is, then ask how the exhibitor’s products can help you make that decision. Also, find a way of verifying what the booth staffer says the product can do. Get the name of designers or other technicians you can call on the phone after the show. Writing sloppy notes Where do you jot your notes? On the
backs of business cards? In the margins of show directories? Along the tops of product literature sheets? Show attendees can think of as many ways to confuse themselves as there are blank spots on paper. Avoid them all. If you return to the office with a bunch of notes on slips and bits of paper, you’ll never get them
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appointments—especially with the Priority 1 companies you really must see. Not monitoring promises to follow up Don’t let exhibitors get away with breaking a promise to contact you with requested information. Many exhibitors fail to follow up as promised after the show has closed its doors. That means a lot of wasted time. You never get the information that you need to make better buying decisions. Try creating a “buyer’s guide” using a small notebook or index cards. Divide individual sheets of paper or each card into sections—products or services seen, type, quantity, delivery terms, etc. At the bottom of each, write “What is the action step agreed to after the show?” Examples include a telephone call, sending literature or a personal visit. At each booth, pull out a card and fill it in with answers that exhibitors give you. By using such a guide, you have a clear record
organized enough to achieve the goals you set for the show. Type your notes into your BlackBerry, speak them into a tape recorder or write them all in a single small notebook. Not exploiting slow hours Every show has its hours when the aisles are quieter and exhibitors less busy. This is the best time to make
of what the exhibitor promised to do. Two weeks after the show, go through your cards and call anyone who did not do what they promised. Failing to update co-workers Prepare a brief report for your co-workers who could not attend the show. What trends did you spot? Applications? New products and technology? Your sharing will not only spread useful information, but will reinforce your learning process, as well. There you have it: The most common—and costly—mistakes made by trade show goers. How many do you make? Tuck a copy of this article into an advance folder for the IPSA Industry Conference and Exhibition or the ISPA EXPO and keep its guidance in mind as you make your plans to attend the shows. You’ll save time and money and get the most out of those events. BT
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BedTimes | July 2009 |
July 15-18 AWFS Fair 2009 Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas, U.S. Phone 323-838-9440 Fax 323-838-9443 www.awfsfair.org July 16-19 Furnitex Melbourne Exhibition Centre Melbourne, Australia Phone 613-9654-7773 Fax 613-9654-5596 www.aec.net.au/ftex
Sept. 9-12 Furniture China 2009 Shanghai New International Expo Center Shanghai, China Phone 86-21-64371178 Fax 86-21-64370982 www.furniture-china.cn
Sept. 14-17 Las Vegas Market World Market Center Las Vegas, U.S. Phone 888-416-8600 Fax 702-599-9622 www.lasvegasmarket.com Sept. 18-22 Index Furniture MMRDA Exhibition Center Bandra-Kurla Complex Mumbai, India Phone 91-22-28302870 Fax 91-22-28216140 www.indexfairs.com/ event_mum.asp
Sept. 9-13 Habitare Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre Helsinki, Finland Phone 358-9-150-9717 Fax 358-9-142-358 www.finnexpo.fi/habitare
Oct. 1-4 ZOW Turkey Istanbul Expo Center Istanbul, Turkey Phone 90-212-3249610 Fax 90-212-3249609 www.zow.com.tr
Index Furniture The exhibition will be Sept. 18-22 in Mumbai, India.
Oct. 17-22 High Point Market International Home Furnishings Center & other locations High Point, N.C., U.S. Phone 336-869-1000 www.highpointmarket.org
âž¤ Nov. 4-6 ISPA Industry Conference & Exhibition Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa Bonita Springs, Fla., U.S. Phone 703-683-8371 Fax 703-683-4503 www.sleepproducts.org
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ISPAAdvocacy Obama makes pre-emption an issue
n issuing the federal open-flame mattress standard in 2006, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission took the position that a manufacturer whose mattress fully met the 16 CFR Part 1633 requirements should be immune from a lawsuit seeking damages for injuries resulting from a fire involving that mattress. In other words, the federal standard pre-empted state product liability lawsuits involving compliant mattresses, said Ryan Trainer, executive vice president and general counsel for the International Sleep Products Association. On May 20, President Barack Obama issued a memo to all federal executive branch agencies, instructing them to review all federal pre-emption
findings during the past 10 years to determine whether they are justified under applicable legal principles governing preemption and, if not, to rescind those findings. Unlike cabinet-level agencies over which the president has direct legal control, the CPSC is a quasi-independent government agency controlled by its appointed commissioners so the president’s action doesn’t technically apply to the CPSC, Trainer says. “Nevertheless, we expect that federal pre-emption will become an issue once two new Obama appointees to the CPSC are confirmed,” Trainer says. “If that occurs, ISPA will argue that despite the Obama administration’s strong opposition to federal pre-emption findings, the 2006 decision was correct.”
Short ISPA opposes current N.Y. bill A bed bug bill that would require used mattresses to be sanitized before they can be transported, stored or sold alongside new mattresses has passed out of committee in the New York Legislature. While the bill includes several provisions that would help combat unscrupulous mattress renovators, the ban on transporting used mattresses with new ones could create additional costs for retailers. The International Sleep Products Association opposes the legislation in its current form, but is discussing alternatives with the bill’s sponsors.
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BedTimes | July 2009 |
Classifieds For Sale
For Sale TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, MULTINEEDLE AND SINGLE-NEEDLE QUILTERS, long-arm label machines, sergers, etc. Contact Victor LeBron, American Plant and Equipment. Phone 864-574-0404; FaxÂ 864-576-7204; Cell 864-590-1700; Email email@example.com; Web www.americanplantandequipment.com. REBUILT AND RECONDITIONED MULTINEEDLE QUILTING MACHINES. Specializing in PATHE precision parts and service. Technical consultants. SEDCO. Phone 201-567-7141; Fax 201-567-5515. TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, QUILTERS & MISCELLANEOUS SEWING MACHINES. Contact Frank Carlino, U.S. Mattress Machinery. Phone 815-795-6942; Fax 815-795-2178; Email firstname.lastname@example.org. EMCO Compustitch Quilter with Quilt Rack and Catwalk and Gribetz cutter National serger and Table 1 Union Special serger and Table 2
Porter 1000 serger and table Porter tape-edge Many other miscellaneous items available. Call Troy at 815-343-9984 for more details.
Wanting to Purchase 1 Porter GPT-1000 AC ruffler machine 1 Galkin flanging 3301 machine head Contact Sleep Rite Barbados. Phone 246-437-5337; Fax 246-228-6308; Email email@example.com.
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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. â€œBlindâ€? 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 for additional information. Phone 336-342-4217; Fax 336-342-4116; Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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66 | BedTimes | July 2009
AdvertisersIndex Natura World Michael Pino 908-410-1257 www.naturaworld.com
New England Needles Inc. Thomas Lees 800-243-3158 www.newenglandneedles.com
Plastic Monofil Calvert Kogan 802-893-1543 www.plasticmonofil.com
P.T. RubberFoam Indonesia Andreas Janssen 62-21-53662190 www.rubberfoam.co.id
SABA North America LLC Jim Turner 810-824-4964 www.saba-adhesives.com
A. Lava & Son Co. Steve Appelbaum 800-777-5282 (800-777-LAVA) www.alavason.com
Enriquez Materials & Quilting Inc. Silvia Enriquez 323-725-4955 www.enriquezquilting.com
Amelco Industries Ltd. Costas Georgallis 82-43-877-1881 www.amelco.com
Flexible Foam Products Inc. Michael Crowell 419-647-4191 www.flexiblefoam.com
Arch Chemicals Damali Noel-Lockett 770-805-3294 www.purista.biz
Global Systems Group Russ Bowman 954-846-0300 www.gsgcompanies.com
Atlanta Attachment Co. Inc. Hank Little 770-963-7369 www.atlatt.com
Hengchang Machinery Factory Belinda Lau 769-83307931 www.hcjixie.com
Baron Styles Dave Williams 262-473-7331 www.baronstyles.com
Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. Rick Anthony 828-328-2201 www.hickorysprings.com
Black Bros. Frank Kobilsek 815-539-7451 www.blackbros.com
Hodder Lumber Calvin Hodder 412-884-9100
John Marshall & Co. Ltd. Peter Crone 64-3-341-2004 www.joma.co.nz
Soltex Inc. Larry Starkey 864-234-0322 www.soltexusa.com
Springco Inc. Carlos Luna 305-887-3782
Bloomingburg Spring 53 & Wire Form Vickie Schwarm 740-437-7614 www.bloomingburgspring.com
Simalfa Darren Gilmore 973-423-9266 www.simalfa.com
BLR Martin Leroux 819-877-2092 www.blrlumber.com
Jomel Industries Inc. Phil Iuliano 973-282-0300 www.jomel.net
Starsprings International Kai Christensen 46-513-17800 www.starsprings.com
Boycelik Erol Boydak 90-532-274-3193 www.boycelik.com
Kenn Spinrad Inc. Randy Weinstock 800-373-0944 www.spinrad.net
Subi単as Confort S.L. Javier Subi単as 34-94-416-04-40 www.subinas.es
Boyteks Tekstil AS M. Nebi Dogan 90-533-685-6041 www.boyteks.com
Keynor Spring Mfg. Raymond Shao 604-267-1307 www.keynor.com
Therapedic Sleep Products Gerry Borreggine 800-314-4433 www.therapedic.com
Chicago Tape & Label Kristy Enger 262-473-0323 www.ctlabels. com
Latex International Kevin Stein 203-924-0700, Ext. 347 www.latexintl.com
Tietex International Ltd. Wade Wallace 800-843-8390 www.tietex.com
Costa International Manuel Vazquez 305-885-9761 www.costa-international.com
Latex Systems Christophe de Laforcade 66-2-326-0886 www.latexsystems.com
Vertex Fasteners Inc. Tom Fowler 847-329-8530 www.vertexfasteners.com
Diamond Needle Corp. Abe Silberstein 800-221-5818 www.diamondneedle.com
Latexco U.S. LLC Kevin Callinan 866-528-3926 www.latexco.com
Vintex Customer Service 800-846-8399 www.vintex.com
Edgewater Machine Co. Inc. Roy Schlegel 718-539-8200 www.edgewatermachine.com
Maxime Knitting Lorne Romoff 514-336-0445, Ext. 27 514-265-8782 www.maximeknitting.com
Weifong Industries Sdn. Bhd. Tevin Na 603-8739-1990 www.getha.com.my
BedTimes | July 2009 |
TheLastWord Shhh! The French are sleeping
As hundreds of cyclists take to France’s hills and valleys for the 2,175-mile Tour de France, chances are many of the country’s residents will be sleeping in, or perhaps enjoying a nice nap. According to a survey of social habits around the world conducted by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, people in France spend more time sleeping than in any other industrialized country—530 minutes, or more than 8.8 hours a day. In contrast, Americans sleep about 518 minutes (8.6 hours). People in South Korea sleep the least, averaging just 469 minutes (7.8 hours) of sleep each day.
Workers’ work mounts
A winning idea
e like Margherita Porporo’s plans for some of her recent lottery winnings. The Toronto resident, who won $8.2 million in a lottery drawing in May, told City News that one of her first purchases will be a new mattress. “There are a few things this 79-year-old grandma wants to do with her newfound fortune,” the Toronto television news station reported. “She plans to buy a bungalow. And she’s going out to purchase a new mattress, something her family has been telling her to get for some time. Now, at last, she seems sure she can afford it. It doesn’t appear, though, that she plans to keep the money there.”
early half of all workers say they have taken on more responsibilities at their companies because of recent layoffs, with 37% saying they are handling the work of two people, according to a survey of 4,400 workers conducted by CareerBuilder, a global human resources consulting firm. The extra work has employees stressed: A third say they feel burned out. And it’s no wonder. Some 34% of employees report they are spending more time at the office and 17% are working at least 10 hours a day. “Companies today are having to do more with less as they contend with shrinking budgets and staff levels,” says Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder vice president of human resources. “Employees are feeling added pressure as they shoulder heavier workloads and strive to maintain productivity levels. It’s critical that managers and employees work together to prioritize and set realistic expectations so work demands feel attainable and less overwhelming.”
Better sleep for soldiers
By 2012, all South Korean soldiers will be sleeping on their own beds, according to the Korean Times. In an April 27 story, the newspaper reported that the plan is part of an effort to improve the welfare of the military—a force 655,000 members strong. “Under the plan, the military will complete providing a total of 1,084 military residences nationwide with individual beds over the next three years to ‘meet social trends.’ Currently, most soldiers in the field still sleep on heated floors in their barracks,” according to the news outlet. “Critics argue that space on sleeping floors is
68 | BedTimes | July 2009
scant for soldiers used to beds before enlistment and even infringes on their basic human rights because it generates unnecessary physical contact.” www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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