BedTimes JUNE 2009
THE BUSINESS JOURNAL FOR THE SLEEP PRODUCTS INDUSTRY
Retiring for the night Baby boomers offer big opportunities
Product Watch: Whatâ€™s new from suppliers Planning for the worst Containing rising postal prices
Build Mattresses with .PEFM
Walking Foot Mattress Bucket Building r 4JNQMJGZPQFSBUJPOXJUICPSEFSHVJEJOHTZTUFN r .PWFTNPTUUBQFFEHFPQFSBUJPOTUPUIFTFXJOHSPPN requiring only one true tape edge operation (contact sales for details) r 'PSGMJQBOEOPGMJQNBUUSFTTDPOTUSVDUJPOBTXFMMBT[JQQFSCFET r 4JOHFS69IFBWZEVUZTFXJOHIFBE r 8BMLJOHGPPU GFFETZTUFNQSPEVDFTBQBOFMXJUIOPVOTJHIUMZ puckers or gathers r &MFDUSPOJDNPUPSXJUIOFFEMFQPTJUJPOFSTFXJOHGPPUMJGU r 4PMJETUBUFFMFDUSPOJDTQFFEDPOUSPM r /PNFDIBOJDBMDMVUDI r 1OFVNBUJDGMPBUBUJPOUBCMF PQUJPOBM
r &VSPUPQTNBZCFUBQFFEHFEPOUIJTMPXDPTUXPSLTUBUJPO doubling the output of the conventional tape edge machine r 1OFVNBUJDSFUSBDUBCMFCJOEFS r 0QUJPOBMGMBOHFBUUBDINFOU Website:
Sudden Serviceâ„¢ Company
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. 09018040709
Atlanta Attachment Company 362 Industrial Park Drive Lawrenceville, GA 30045 r'"9
One Traditional Tape Edge We can show you how to save time and money... Bucket Build your mattresses
Standard Tight Top
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Contact a sales representative at 770-963-7369 for machines required or to arrange for a demonstration in our showroom.
your customer’s comfort. your product’s performance. ...your bottom line.
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comfort. Preserve offers creamier hand, consistent support and an unprecedented level of comfort to satisfy both demanding manufacturers and quality-conscious consumers. improved performance and durability. Preserve features enhanced levels of dynamic flex fatigue and improved support factors. Preserve performs better, longer. naturally renewable. Preserve marks a leap forward in foam technology, conserving increasingly scarce oil resources while substituting more sustainable options. color fastness/improved color retention. Due to significant technical advances, Preserve stays whiter, longer. It maintains color longer than ever before.
PO Box 128
Furniture by Century.
Hickory, NC 28603
(888) HS FOAM1
www.hickorysprings.com ©2008 Hickory Springs Mfg. Co.
16 What baby boomers need now
The recession may have baby boomers rethinking their retirement plans, but these 76 million Americans have health and lifestyle concerns that still make them a prime market for mattress makers.
26 Saving money, one stamp at a time
Postal costs are not an enormous line item in most bedding manufacturers’ budgets, but the difficult economic climate has companies looking at all of their expenses. We show you ways to save money on mailing, even in the face of recent rate increases.
7 Front Matter
The recent worldwide outbreak of swine flu has companies rethinking everything from their sick-day policies to their emergency protocols.
9 Product Watch
Industry suppliers show off their newest innovations in machinery, equipment, components and services.
14 Family Business
50 Up Close 52 Calendar 53 Classifieds 54 Advertisers Index 56 The Last Word
If the worst were to happen to you—a sudden illness, a debilitating accident—would your company be able to survive your absence? A succession expert explains what plans you need to have in place.
5 Editor’s Note 35 Industry News 46 Newsmakers 49 ISPA News www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
BedTimes | June 2009 |
This little piggy saved money, used technology to save the environment,
had a cleaner, safer plant and cried “Wee wee wee!” all the way home.
Yes, SABA foam bonding adhesive solutions can really do all that. In the midst of challenging economic times, SABA is your cost-reducing partner. Only SABA provides its customers with the most efﬁcient application system on the planet ensuring signiﬁcant savings. SABA’s monitoring technology also ensures sustainability and control over your adhesive application. Now won’t everyone cry “Wee wee wee!” all the way home?
We began using SABA adhesives and its application system more than a year ago and it has proven to be virtually maintenance free, very simple to operate and extremely efﬁcient. We’ve saved money and virtually eliminated the down time and headaches typically associated with gravityfeed adhesive application. I highly recommend SABA to others in the bedding industry.
See for yourself ﬁrst hand how the SABA foam bonding adhesive system can save you money!
Enjoy 20 to 50% reduction in adhesive costs All application equipment provided at no cost to you Highest performing water-based adhesive Cleaner and safer working environment Monitor and control adhesive usage
Contact SABA today for a risk-free 30 day testing period.
Call us at 810 824 4964
Email us at email@example.com For sales inquiries, please contact: T 810 824 4964 F 810 824 4986 E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.saba-adhesives.com
SABA North America LLC 5426 Lapeer Road Kimball MI 48074 USA
--O’Neal Freeman, Vice President of Operations Bedding Industry of America Therapedic of New Jersey & Eclipse® International
SABA, dedicated to foam bonding Est. 1933: 75 years of strong bonds
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 Patricia Frank Stan Holden Dorothy Whitcomb Dick Yemm 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 August issue of BedTimes are Wednesday, July 1. Volume 137 Number 6 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.
Editor’sNote Oracle sees money in the mattress
illionaire investor Warren Buffett knows a thing or two about where to stash money. In December 2007, Berkshire Hathaway stock hit a record price of $150,000 a share. Buffett, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of the holding company, has since watched the value of that stock drop precipitously— along with just about everyone else’s. But, as I write this, Berkshire Hathaway still is trading at $90,000 a share. Every year, some 35,000 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders gather in Omaha, Neb., for the company’s annual meeting and to hear Buffett opine about the overall economy, Berkshire Hathaway’s future and whatever else the “Oracle of Omaha” wants to talk about. (Full disclosure: I grew up in Omaha and have been forever grateful to Buffett for making the city something other than the butt of jokes.) This year’s meeting kicked off with a movie featuring Buffett as a mattress salesman in the company’s Nebraska Furniture Mart. As the story line goes, Buffett is having little success selling a mattress to a shopper. Alistair Barr, writing on a Wall Street Journal MarketBeat blog (www.wsj.com), explains the plot: “One model, called the Warren, has ‘too many ups and downs’ and ‘bounces back slow,’ she complains. What the shopper is really after is something ‘safe and secure.’ Finally, Buffett suggests the best-selling model, the Nervous Nelly. This mattress has been the top seller ever since the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped below 10,000. It has an exclusive feature, allowing owners to stash everything they own inside. ‘I’ll take it,’ the shopper says immediately.” Buffett is ostensibly joking. But trendspotter Marian Salzman is more
serious when she predicts that, because of growing economic insecurity, people will increasingly want to purchase mattresses with built-in safes. (See story on Page 56.) Buffett has been right about a lot things. Whether he knows it or not, he just might be on to something. The foundation of a good bed Our August issue will feature a Product Watch on trends and innovations in foundations, including box springs, slats and electric adjustables. If you are a manufacturer of such products and would like to be considered for inclusion in the article, we’d like to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me a little about your products. If you have sales sheets or photos, you can send those along, too. Questions? Email or call 336-727-1889. A reminder about reminders We want to be able to send all of our readers a short email reminder to tell you that the latest BedTimes has been posted online at www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes. We have emails for many readers but not all. To make sure we have your email address, please send it to Debbie Robbins, our circulation manager, at email@example.com. BT
Julie A. Palm BedTimes | June 2009 |
Tree Born Technology
Award winning recycling process Recycling waste product into clean, profitable alternatives
Using a renewable source of raw material, that also maintains a healthy planet on a daily basis
Natural latex, the sap of the rubber tree “Hevea Brasiliensis”, is the basic raw material used to produce all of our latex bedding products. Natural latex provides optimal comfort and health benefits through greater resilience and elasticity.
Brands • • • The most eco friendly latex made in the USA
Innovation Widest range of products with a high content of natural latex Hevealux has the highest content of natural latex produced on a continuous production line Custom tailored mold designs available Latexco-US is part of the family owned Latexco N.V. group based in Europe with over 50 years of experience in serving the bedding industry worldwide .
Latexco LLC: 975 Gerard Road, 30553 Lavonia, Georgia Phone: + 1 706 356 8001 • Fax: + 1 706 356 8444 firstname.lastname@example.org mail: Sleep Comp West, a division of Latexco: 6725 8th Street, 90620 Buena Park, California Phone: +1 714 522 4991 • Fax: +1 714 522 4900 email@example.com mail:
FrontMatter Can your company cope with the flu? Outbreak reminds businesses of the importance of planning By Julie A. Palm
he horrors of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and Hurricane Katrina, which struck the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, prompted many companies to update their plans to survive a natural disaster. But it’s been several years since the world faced a possible pandemic—the SARS outbreak in late 2002 and early 2003 was the most recent—and it’s likely that your company’s plans to deal with an infectious disease outbreak are out of date, if they exist at all. As BedTimes went to press, the World Health Organization’s Web site (www.who.int) listed 33 countries that had reported 5,728 confirmed cases of the H1N1, or swine flu, virus. Mexico had recorded 56 deaths; the United States had tallied three deaths. Canada and Costa Rica had reported one death each. The rapid spread of the virus led the WHO to declare a pandemic alert level of 5 on a 6-point scale. While the H1N1 outbreak may not have been as virulent and deadly as originally feared, its appearance and quick spread prompted Mexico City to virtually shut down for several days and there were scattered reports of schools and businesses closing in other countries. Was your company caught off guard? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, companies have a responsibility to prepare for an infectious disease outbreak, not just for their own safety, but in order to help prevent further spread of the disease. “In the event of pandemic influenza, businesses and other employers will play a key role in protecting employees’ health and safety, as well as limiting the negative impact to the economy www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
and society,” says the CDC Web site (www.cdc.gov). “Planning for pandemic influenza is critical. ...As with any catastrophe, having a contingency plan is essential.” At a minimum, your company should have policies in place on employee attendance, sick pay, return-to-work requirements, child care policies, travel restrictions, vendor/ contractor relationships and communication with workers, according to Best Practices LLC, a research and consulting firm in Chapel Hill, N.C. The CDC has a 35-point checklist on its Web site that employers can use to craft and update their plans for dealing with a pandemic. Among its suggested tasks: ➤ Designate a pandemic coordinator or team. ➤ Determine the potential financial impact of a pandemic on your company.
➤ Train and prepare an ancillary work force using contractors, retirees, etc. ➤ Create an emergency communications plan and develop media for distributing information (hot lines, Web sites, etc.). ➤ Encourage employees to get flu vaccines and track their participation. ➤ Set policies for employee compensation and sick-leave policies specifically for a pandemic. For instance, offer additional sick days or more liberal leave policies. ➤ Establish policies for flexible work schedules and telecommuting. ➤ Provide necessary infection-control supplies, such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers and tissues. ➤ Set policies for restricting travel to affected geographic regions and for evacuating employees from such regions. ➤ Schedule exercises or drills to test your plan. BT
➤ Learn more For up-to-date information about the H1N1 virus and other infectious diseases, check: ➤ U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov Provides updates about the spread of the disease in the United States, as well as information about treatment of the disease and ways to prevent its transmission. Also offers workplace preparedness worksheets, tips for maintaining a healthy workplace and an extensive Q&A section about workplace policies and procedures for sick leave, travel restrictions and related issues.
➤ U.S. Department of Health & Human Services www.hhs.gov Provides updates about the spread of the H1N1 virus, offered in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
➤ World Health Organization www.who.int Gives updates about the spread and scope of the H1N1 virus throughout the world and the current pandemic alert level. Also offers information about treatment of the disease and guidance documents for individuals, communities and other groups.
BedTimes | June 2009 |
ProductWatch A roundup of new offerings from suppliers
attress industry suppliers are introducing products and services designed to help you differentiate your products in the marketplace, improve manufacturing efficiency, save money and boost your company’s reputation. For a comprehensive list of products and services available to the mattress industry, check the BedTimes Supplies Guide, which is continually updated and available online at www.bedtimessuppliesguide.com. Descriptions and images in this section were provided by the companies. Product claims are not endorsed by BedTimes.
FOAMS & FIBERS
Baalbaki Baalbaki, a foam and adhesives producer with headquarters in Damascus, Syria, and manufacturing in the United Arab Emirates, offers mattress manufacturers across the Middle East and Asia an MDI-based, heat-accelerated prepolymer adhesive for use with flexible foams. The company also is targeting mattress recycling efforts in these regions with its MDI-based adhesive, which is used to bond crushed, recycled foams into composite blocks for a variety of end-uses. Phone 971-6-526-0788 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.baalbaki.com Contact Farrukh Riaz Corbin Fiber Products Corbin Fiber Products introduces 60° Plus, a thermally bonded, vertically oriented fiber core product. Corbin, which has headquarters in Corbin, Ky., says its new fiber product addresses loft and compression-set conditions that impact traditional fiber 60° Plus orientations and “offers a measurable increase in support and comfort without an additional cost burden.” “The demand for sleep system and seating suppliers to provide quality, problem-solving products at increased value has never been higher,” says Tom Brown, Corbin president. “60° Plus delivers on all counts thanks to the world-class textile development and testing facilities, customer service and environmental stewardship capabilities we bring to these markets.” Phone 606-258-8929 Email email@example.com Web www.corbinfiberproducts.com www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Enkev Natural Fibres
Enkev Natural Fibres offers Cocolok and Hairlok, 100% natural filling materials for mattresses. “We use the best natural ingredients to make our products: coconut fiber, and wool and hair from animals, as well as cotton, sisal, flax, corn and pure, natural latex,” says the company, which is based in Volendam, Netherlands. The fibers can be used in a variety of mattress constructions and in all mattress layers. The company says the fibers offer an environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic materials and notes that their natural elasticity combines with ventilating and pressure-relieving properties to give an extra dimension to mattresses. Phone 31-299-364355 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.enkev.com Contact Miranda Klein Flexible Foam Products Flexible Foam Products introduces AdaptaFlex, a highdensity foam offering a softness and resilient support that the company says makes it ideal for use in mattresses, pillows and upholstered furniture. Designed to respond to both body temperature and weight, AdaptaFlex’s advanced memory foam molds to the body’s contours. “The foam absorbs and distributes pressure like no other foam,” says the Spencerville, Ohio-based company. “Its slow recovery properties ensure it returns to its original shape, resulting in a better mattress, a more comfortable pillow and a superior piece of furniture.” Phone 419-647-4191 Email email@example.com Web www.flexiblefoam.com Contact Michael Crowell Foamex International Foamex International premiers BodyZone and BodyZone Ultra, a product line for the health care sector designed to reduce the occurrence of pressure ulcers that often result from long-term bed care. The foams are engineered using latest generation, breathable memory foams. Independent testing “demonstrates superior performance over other brands by neutralizing pressure, heat, moisture, friction and shear,” says the Media, Pa.-based company. The foams are
BedTimes | June 2009 |
manufactured using Foamex’s patented Variable Pressure Foaming, which yields “virtually zero emissions,” according to the company. A white paper by Dr. Michel Hermans, a wound, burn and trauma care expert, is available on request. Phone 610-744-2300 Web www.foamex.com Turner Fiberfill Turner Fiberfill in Montebello, Calif., has added new equipment and testing services. Its Derriere Compression Tester is shaped to match the human posterior and tests for a loss of loft by simulating the sitting action of a 235-pound person. Testing Derriere Compression Tester is available at 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 repetitions. The company also is offering a new line of FR fibers that it says are “extremely resilient and very soft.” Turner offers a range of mattress components, including insulator pads, FR barriers and densified fiber (up to 6 inches thick) that can be used to replace urethane foam in comfort layers. Phone 323-724-7957 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Jeff Friedman
INNERSPRINGS Curvati Fossati
Phone 39-039-48-24-24 Email email@example.com Web www.dormidormi.it Contact Fossati Valentino
10 | BedTimes | June 2009
Curvati Fossati introduces Polymspring, a patentpending polymeric innerspring unit for mattresses. The unit has an unusual design, is lightweight and, unlike metal springs, prevents transmission of electromagnetic waves, says the company, which has headquarters in Milan, Italy. According to the company, other benefits of Polymspring include improved mattress ventilation and air flow.
Texas Pocket Springs Texas Pocket Springs, based in Keene, Texas, now offers a “micro” Quattro-coil innerspring unit specifically for use in pillow-top and euro-top mattresses. The queen-size version of the unit has 1,344 coils. Coils are available in 2 ½-inch and 3 ½-inch heights and use 17-gauge wire. The unit replaces foam in the top comfort layers of a bed and will not take a set, the company says. It also helps promote air flow and evens out weight distribution. Phone 972-740-1485 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.texaspocketsprings.com Contact Martin Wolfson MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT Atlanta Attachment Atlanta Attachment, headquartered in Lawrenceville, Ga., unveils two new machines: ➤ The Model 4300 Automatic Vertical Handle Inserter is a serger and automatic vertical handle inserter for applying vertical handles to mattress borders. Four or eight handles may be applied automatically to borders up to 15 inches wide. The machine’s estimated production Model 4300 rate is 90 to 120 borders per hour. The workstation serges border edges, attaches handles and measures and cuts borders to length. Premade handles in contrasting colors can be applied or handles can be made automatically from the border material. The unit can be used as a border serger and/or border measuring workstation when handles are not being attached. ➤ The Model 1366 Automatic Vertical Stitch Programmable Workstation requires no CAMs to vertically stitch preserged borders made of foam, fiber or foam-and-fiber combinations to create “a rich, plush-looking side panel,” the company says. The workstation handles borders from 4 inches to 24 Model 1366 inches wide. After stitching, the border may be cut to length, closed or re-rolled. Both machines are supplied with detectors for thread breaks, material out, flaws and splices and are controlled by the company’s patented Serial Bus Control System with touch screen. Phone 770-963-7641 Email email@example.com Web www.atlatt.com Contact Hank Little www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
ProductWatch Galkin Automated Products Galkin Automated Products offers the Model EFS-100 Automated Flange Sewing System. It speeds up the flanging operation, allowing quilted panels to be produced with “cookie cutter” precision and perfect radius Model EFS-100 corners, according to the West Babylon, N.Y.-based company. “The operator simply selects the program, loads the quilt panel and keeps it flat while the system does the rest, including turning the panel,” Galkin says. The result is a finished product with improved tailoring, lines and construction, according to the company. The EFS 100 is ergonomically adjustable and can sew continuous multineedle panels, tack-andjump quilted panels and single-needle European-style quilted panels. Phone 631-643-5432 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.galkin.com Contact John Reppucci
Creative Ticking Creative Ticking’s line now encompasses organic fibers, bamboo, Tencel and other unique yarn combinations and includes everything from exotic yarns to high-tech knit solutions, according to the company, which operates a 175,000-square-foot facility in Gastonia, N.C. Creative Ticking has patented its Integrated Barrier System, which the company says combines “luxurious ticking with an FR solution.” Phone 704-861-1536 Email email@example.com Contact Steve Gravlee Culp Home Fashions Culp Home Fashions introduces an engineered, “soft” adhesive FR finish for its jacquard constructions. The finish reduces the need for costlier, higher weight FR fiber materials, says the High Point, N.C.based company. Culp also is rolling out the Cumulus collection, which the company says is a highly textural, bulkier circular knit featuring novelty yarns that provide maximum stretch and recovery. The collection was designed to give mattress makers the option of elimi-
12 | BedTimes | June 2009
nating quilting from the manufacturing process. In addition, Culp says it is adding “a panorama of concentrated surface colors” to its “most luxurious knits and damasks.” Phone 336-643-7751 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.culpinc.com Contact Mike Cottonaro Interwoven Group Interwoven Group adds Bamboo Diagonal to its collection of woven and knit mattress fabrics constructed with renewable resources. The new stretch knit panel fabric is one of several eco-friendly offerings available from Interwoven. In addition, the company has added two new colorations to its Brody Suede border fabric collection, bringing the collection’s total color choices to nine. Interwoven is opening a distribution facility in Hickory, N.C., which—along with its Carson, Calif., location—will enable the company to ship products “on a timely basis and at a lower cost to its customers,” Interwoven says. Phone 828-781-0687 Email email@example.com Web www.interwovengroup.com Contact Sandy Van Dyke
Lilly Management Group
Lilly Management Group, based in St. Charles, Ill., now offers The Writer’sDesk, a public relations and communications service for mattress manufacturers, retailers and industry suppliers. Company founder Susan Ebaugh has three decades of experience as a communications professional and 25 years of experience in the mattress industry. The service includes public relations, news placement, media relations, trade advertising, trade branding and other communications services. The Writer’sDesk is designed to meet the needs of companies that can’t afford the services of other outside agencies, who don’t have skilled in-house communicators or who lack the time to develop their own communications strategies. Phone 800-409-0976 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.lillymanagementgroup.com Contact Susan Ebaugh BT
9M`OTUZS MZP /[[^PUZM`UZS MATTRESS TAPE,
TICKING & BORDERS from CT NASSAU
For the first time ever, you can get mattress tape, panel fabrics, and borders — all designed and color-coordinated from one source — CT Nassau. No other supplier brings together inspired woven and knitted ticking fabrics and borders with the largest variety of mattress tape in one seamlessly color-matched unit. You never have to worry about selecting coordinated tapes and fabrics because we’ve done it for you. Our mattress fabrics, borders, and tapes match like they’re made for one another — because they are! Contact us at 1-800-397-0090 or www.ctnassau.com to find out how we can make your mattresses look their best.
6557 Flotilla St, Commerce CA 90040 616 S. 55th Ave. Ste 103, Phoenix, AZ 85043 www.enriquezquilting.com Ph. 888.464.4275 Distributor for Texas, Arizona, New Mexcio, and California.
4101 S. NC 62, PO Box 39, Alamance, NC 27201 www.ctnassau.com Ph. 1-800-397-0090
Photographs are not representative of final products’ colors.
FamilyBusiness Planning for your company’s survival What you should do if the worst happens By Dick Yemm
any life-changing events occur suddenly, when least expected. Being prepared is the key to ensuring the survival of your business. Consider the case of Bob Stone. A fall in Bob’s office resulted in a lengthy coma. Prior to the accident, Bob had felt invincible. He intended to operate his business for another 15 years before passing it on to one of his children or selling it. His family was solely dependent on the company for income and benefits. Bob regained consciousness 10 months later and found that his business had been running well, especially considering the slow economic climate. Some luck was involved: Hard decisions to reduce the number of employees and scale back the company’s operations had been completed just prior to the accident. But critical decisions remained that would determine the business’ survival and here’s where Bob’s planning paid off. Bob’s fall set into motion a contingency plan that included both a durable power of attorney and an operating plan. Bob and his wife, Elaine, had developed the plan with the aid of an adviser who emphasized the importance of including an operating plan—just in case something happened to Bob. Elaine had worked with Bob, building the company for 15 years before she left to raise their family. Though she wasn’t directly involved in the business anymore, Bob frequently updated her on the status of the company. She was aware of the employees’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as current and future contracts. After the fall, Elaine made sure that
14 | BedTimes | June 2009
everything medically possible was being done for Bob and then she turned her attention to running the business. The first thing she did was go to their home safe to find Bob’s durable power of attorney, which gave her legal authority to substitute for him, and the company’s operating plan. The documents told her: ➤ To contact the listed professional advisers ➤ Whom to trust ➤ Key operating information ➤ Options for retaining their owner interest in the company ➤ Where to obtain additional information Elaine’s prior experience in the business, together with the assistance of loyal employees and professional advisers, allowed her to step in on short notice to run the company. Key to preserving the business was: ➤ Elaine’s current knowledge of the business ➤ Her management skills ➤ A legal transfer of authority ➤ A written operating plan A world without planning Unfortunately, this story is the exception, not the rule. Caring for an incapacitated family member is emotionally draining and time consuming. Most family businesses in a similar
situation would end up failing because the business’ principal was unable to participate in daily operations. Consider the alternatives. Without the necessary preparation, Bob could have emerged from his coma to find that his business was being operated by a court-appointed manager, had been sold or, in the worst case, closed and the hard assets auctioned. Without any business planning, Bob’s company would have stumbled along, with chaos ruling the day. State statutes would have determined the company’s future—if the business managed to operate long enough for new leadership to be determined. Under such circumstances, the odds would have been against Bob, who likely would have emerged from the coma to find he no longer had a business to run. In such a scenario, Elaine would be ill prepared to take over the business. She would have to hire an attorney to represent herself and other members of the family, draining the remaining family savings. Elaine might become financially desperate as income from the business ceases to flow. Benefits such as health insurance, which continued only as long as Bob’s owner interest is retained, would disappear, too. Elaine would have to race against www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
the clock, as her legal representatives tried to protect the business’ survival. Obtaining an opening in the court’s schedule would likely be difficult, and few operating decisions are rendered in an initial hearing anyway. If multiple parties were to challenge the direction of the hearings, the case could take months, even years, before a final decision was rendered. Very few courts are successful at micromanaging a business. In a worstcase scenario, several hearings could be necessary before a judge appointed an attorney to represent Bob, a guardian and a conservator to oversee his assets. Finally, the judge would need to approve a new manager to replace Bob as principal operator. In the meantime, the business would founder. Elaine could be forced to sell the company or its assets as she runs out of time and money. Keeping things running Estate planning typically includes a
durable power of attorney in case the owner is incapacitated and a will in the event of death. Too few businesses take the additional step of creating an operating plan. But key to protecting the survival of a company is its continued operation. Naming a successor who doesn’t have the necessary operating knowledge or management experience is like telling someone to walk into a dark room that doesn’t have a functioning light switch. But Bob was smart: Elaine was able to follow Bob’s operating plan, ensuring the family business’ continued operation. What makes the difference between failure and survival? ➤ Estate planning that includes a durable power of attorney ➤ An operating plan ➤ Identifying a successor with industry operating knowledge and experience ➤ Minimizing the time it takes to transfer operating authority Bob and his family are fortunate that
Elaine was able to keep the family business operating while he recovered. Bob had a business to come back to, and the family retained its financial lifeblood. Each business is unique and requires its own customized planning. A business owner needs the aid of a team that includes a legal adviser, a tax adviser and a professional successor adviser who has operated a company. It’s difficult for a business owner to be objective and try to do it all on his own. Is your business prepared to operate without you? You need a plan. BT Dick Yemm is an author, speaker and consultant on succession planning. His book, The Stories, was developed with a series of seminars on contingency and succession planning for business owners and their families. Yemm is a professionally licensed certified financial planner and holds multiple levels of security licenses. For more information, call 772-562-1281, email email@example.com or check www.yourbusinesswithoutyou.com.
BedTimes | June 2009 |
Retiring for the night
The wave of baby boomer retirements is just beginning. Their health and, in many cases, their lifestyles are changing. How can the bedding industry meet the needs of this enormous demographic group? 16 | BedTimes | June 2009
By Patricia Frank his is the year that many baby boomers hit the economic wall. This is the year, according to economic forecaster Harry S. Dent, that turned boomers “from spenders into savers.” This is the year that added a third “b” to the description of boomers: As a demographic, they are big, bold and now—broke. Since 2008, many nearing retirement have watched their nest eggs shrink from ostrich-size to hummingbird-size. The boomers—all 76 million of them—remain a pig-in-the-python demographic bulge. And they remain trendsetters. But the economic meltdown has made many boomers fiscally cautious. “In general, the baby boomers are hanging on for dear life and waiting for the storm to pass”—especially the leading-edge boomers who turned 62 in 2009, says David Baxter, senior vice president at Age Wave, a San Francisco-based research and consulting group focused on the widespread effects of population aging. A recent AARP survey found that 57% of people age 45 and older who are working or looking for a job and have lost money in the stock market during the past year are planning to delay retirement. They are facing a scary financial picture: shrunken IRAs and 401ks, a housing market slump, falling home valuations and declining interest rates on investments. But not all boomers are in the same situation, Baxter says. “Younger boomers, in their late 40s and early 50s, are reasonably distant from retirement. They’re at their spending peaks and they’re not holding off as much,” he says. “As the economy recovers, there will be a lot of pent-up demand.” With 60% of discretionary income held by people age 50 and older, that’s good news for the mattress industry. Other emerging trends show considerable potential for savvy manufacturers. We’ll look at several.
BedTimes | June 2009 |
Home simple home One significant trend: Boomers are staying home more. They’re eating at home, finding entertainment at home and even vacationing at home— “staycations” are big. When people spend more time at home, they tend to focus on the items in that home and are more willing to purchase crucial essentials. “While boomer women have cut back, they’re still spending on things that make their home more comfortable and healthy,” says Carol Orsborn, chief strategist of VibrantNation.com, a Web site devoted to well-educated women over 50 who make $75,000plus a year. What could be more comfortable and healthy than a great bed? Simple living—another hot trend—means making do with less and getting rid of clutter. This purification process is what Orsborn terms the “new anti-materialism.” “Women are thinking, ‘If what I have is less, then what I have has got to be wonderful,’ ” Orsborn says. “Beds are mythical, especially for boomers. Mattresses are one of those essentials that are going to be elevated over time. It’s funny how when you really want something, it moves from being a want to a need.” Mattress manufacturers can position bed sets as the one crucial element that boomers shouldn’t stint on when creating their dream bedrooms. Think ads featuring uncluttered, spare, serene rooms with a bed floating in a sea of muted natural colors. Rx: Take one bed Many boomers think of themselves as “forever young” and, for some, the concept of middle age extends into their 70s. “In reality,” Baxter says, “many boomers face increasing health challenges, including chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes, that require long-term management.” Arthritis is a particular problem for the baby boom generation. From 2000 to 2004, the number of hip replacements in the United States increased 83% and knee replacements jumped 115%. If the trend continues, Arthritis Care & Research
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journal reports that we can expect to see “1.4 million knee replacements and 600,000 hip replacements by the year 2015”—with the largest increase among 45- to 64-year-olds. Obesity also causes mobility issues. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston have found that baby boomers have significantly higher rates of obesity than their
Who’s a boomer? Demographers and social scientists can argue about the exact parameters of the baby boom generation, but it’s generally considered the cohort of 76 million Americans born after World War II, from 1946 to 1964.
parents, who were born from 1926 through 1942. Given boomers’ mobility issues, products of all types will be re-engineered for ease of access. This is where a concept called “universal design” comes in. It can help aging boomers deal with their health issues. Baxter predicts we’ll see “more universal design products and services of high quality that meet people’s needs. Among them are cabinets that are easier to reach, larger grips on gardening and household tools, and bathrooms that are safer with fewer slippery surfaces and better lighting.” But boomers generally don’t care for the term universal design. With their youthful world view, they look at grab bars and wheelchair accessibility as something for the elderly— not them. So we may see universal design called “‘ergonomic design”—a designation boomers can feel more comfortable with. Whatever it’s called, we’ll be seeing more of it. There’s evidence that boomers do see a link between their health and their mattress. A Better Sleep Council survey found that women age 55 and older are more likely to consider a mattress purchase an investment in their health, but are more likely to keep their mattress longer than their younger counterparts—14.5 years on average. Web content targeting this group could make a strong case for replacing old bedding as an investment in good health. Testimonials from health experts such as orthopedic surgeons and chiropractors could provide meaningful recommendations and testimonials to help shorten the mattress replacement cycle. That’s an opening for mattress makers to not only tout existing health and wellness benefits but to create new ones. For example, for boomers, “getting in and out of the bed will become as important as the bed itself,” says Chuck Nyren, principal of the Nyren Agency in Snohomish, Wash., and author of Advertising to Baby Boomers. Among other things, that may mean an end to thick, princess-andthe-pea mattress sets and a return to lower profiles. Changes to frame www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
designs and improvements to adjustables could make it easier for aging boomers to get in and out of bed. To combat problems associated with arthritis and other conditions, the pressure-relieving properties of mattresses will likely take on increased importance and, for obese boomers, sturdier and perhaps larger bed sets will be important. There could be other innovations, as well. Consider mattresses that monitor vital signs or bed sets with perimeter, motion-detecting lights that would illuminate the bed as people return after late-night trips to the bathroom. Given this health intelligence, Orsborn recommends that manufacturers, “turn the focus of your advertising from product-centric to how your products deliver solutions for boomer problems. How do your products solve nighttime arthritis and back pain, snoring issues, mobility challenges, decreased night vision and depth perception, and the diminished strength that makes mattress flipping difficult?” Connecting to the Internet Boomers are connected, wired and plugged-in. David Weigelt, a partner at Immersion Active, a Frederick, Md.based marketing agency focused on older consumers, and co-author of Dot Boom, reports that about 80% of boomers are online. “Adults over 50 make up the fastest growing constituency on the Web,” he says. “What’s even more important is that, even in this economy, they outspend younger adults 2-to-1 on a per capita basis.” And it’s not just men who are online. “Boomer women make up the fastest growing segment on Facebook,” Weigelt says. And those women are often seeking the opinions of others about products. According to Orsborn, 88% of women 50 and older say referrals from others, including online testimonials from strangers, are among the top three things that lead them to make a final purchase decision. According to Weigelt, the key to
20 | BedTimes | June 2009
Retirement becomes retro In 1950, nearly half of men 65 and older still were in the labor force, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That percentage bottomed out in the 1980s at less than 16%. It has since climbed to 19%. As the oldest baby boomers reach 65, experts predict this figure will rise even more. Retirement, as we know it, will be redefined. Some 80% of boomers plan to work part-time after retiring from full-time jobs. For some, this is less a choice than an economic necessity.
a successful Web strategy is what Immersion Active calls “meaningful online engagement.” “Our mantra is ‘lead with the right and follow with the left.’ We want to introduce marketing messages not by listing left-brain stuff like features and benefits, but by engaging the senses and evoking a right-brain physiological response,” he says. But with boomers, it’s then important to follow up with the details. “A lot of boomers who have discretionary income to buy any bed they want, are on the Web, investigating,” Nyren says. He works with clients to make their Web sites boomer-friendly and reminds them that boomers, regardless of educa-
tion level, were educated to read. “People in their 50s and 60s, if interested, will read every word. Then they’ll get out their reading glasses and read every word of the fine print,” he says. So detailed Web content is crucial, but the sites have to be designed with boomers in mind. “Keep in mind that older eyes find it difficult to read white or colored type against a dark background or over graphics. And some widgets are hard for older minds and fingers,” Nyren says. “But if the Web site hierarchy and font sizes work for the older brain, they’ll click on every link and will want to know everything there is to know about the product.” Use relevant cultural icons Some marketers think boomers are a monolithic demographic that can be reached with a universal message: Just use hippies wearing bell-bottoms and flashing peace signs at Woodstock and you’ve got the boomer demographic nailed, right? Not quite. An 18-year age span means the boomer generation is really two generations in one. The youngest boomers, born in 1964, were only 5 during the iconic Woodstock musical festival. Remember too, that 15% of boomers born between 1956 and 1964 are foreignborn. Make sure you market to their relevant cultural icons. “Music from the ’60s can alienate the whole boomer market,” Baxter warns. However, “if artfully done with the appropriate icons, music can be an effective shortcut targeting specific age groups.” Marketing to specific life stages works especially well with boomers. “Companies should think about targeting by life stage rather than age—such as an older couple moving into the house of their dreams,” Baxter says. Pivotal life stages for boomers include seeing their kids off to college and becoming emptynesters, downsizing their lifestyles, partial retirement and full retirement. Marketers agree. The key to www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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successful boomer marketing is three-pronged: touch on boomers’ life stages, differentiate advertising to various economic levels and use relevant symbolism. New ways of living Some boomers with money concerns are putting a fresh spin on communal living. This is especially true for single women whose retirement income is often smaller than that of couples or single men. “ ‘Caring collaboratives’ describes this trend of buying apartment buildings or larger residential dwellings for independent cooperative living ventures,” says Matt Thornhill, founder of The Boomer Project, a research and consulting group in Richmond, Va., and co-author of Boomer Consumer: Ten New Rules for Marketing to America’s Largest, Wealthiest and Most Influential Group. Often the residents are united by shared interests or simply a need for companionship. One woman writing online about single women retiring recently acknowledged, “My worst fear is growing old alone.” There’s a sizable boomer popula-
tion of men and women who are divorced, widowed or have never been married. What are their mattress needs? Will they be more comfortable in smaller, double-size mattresses rather than massive king sizes? Experts on this group expect that in coming years, we’ll be seeing more boomers staying put to be close to relatives and longtime homes instead of migrating in massive waves to the Sun Belt and agesegregated retirement developments. “As money opens up again, some boomers will downsize or ‘age in place,’ ” Nyren says. “This means retrofitting their homes to do so.” Baby boomers may have tightened their purse strings lately, but manufacturers who pitch their bedding products strategically will find boomers ready to buy beds that deliver solutions for their comfort, health and new life stages. This, most of all, is a generation that takes good care of itself. BT
‘Green’ is mainstream Keep in mind that baby boomers are interested in living and shopping “green.” “The green and sustainable movement is here to stay. Eighty percent of all adult Americans think and act in a green manner” at least in some areas of their lives, says Matt Thornhill, founder of The Boomer Project, a research and consulting group in Richmond, Va., and co-author of Boomer Consumer: Ten New Rules for Marketing to America’s Largest, Wealthiest and Most Influential Group.
22 | BedTimes | June 2009
Baby boomers tend to respect and value the judgment of people in their own age group. (Never trust anyone under 40?) Because they put a lot of stock in the recommendations of their peers, there’s an opportunity for the bedding industry to use this experienced work force in marketing and selling mattresses to other boomers Who better to help fit the buyer to the product?
Patricia Frank, a former advertising executive, reports and tracks trends and lifestyles of the baby boomer generation.
7 boomer trends to target
Less is more Baby boomers are paring their lives down to basics—it’s the new anti-materialism. But beds are
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plus a year. “Boomers think, ‘If what I have is less, then what I have has got to be wonderful.’ ” Beds will play a starring role in the new serene, uncluttered bedroom.
3 mythic among baby boomers, says Carol Orsborn, chief strategist of VibrantNation.com, a Web site devoted to successful, well-educated women over 50 who make $75,000-
Sun Belt loses its allure Boomers are less likely than their parents to migrate to Sun Belt locations and age-restricted retirement developments. Many will stay closer to home or relocate to vibrant communities in other parts of the country. An example is an entrepreneur who moved from New York City to Boulder, Colo., and still works full time at age 80. As they downsize or retrofit their existing homes to fit their needs, expect to see an emphasis on universal design and ergonomic fixtures and furnishings to keep them comfortable and safe. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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couples. According to the Brookings Institution, in 1980, about twothirds of Americans age 55 to 64 lived in married-couple households. That percentage fell to less than 58% in 2005.
Health issues on the horizon Expect to see many more hip and knee replacements as boomers age and growing girth takes a toll on joints. Also consider their vision changes, diabetes and other age-related illnesses and disabilities. Prostate and other problems lead to more nighttime bathroom visits.
Wired and well-read seekers of information Boomers are online in huge numbers. The Internet is where they go to research and buy products. Online shopping is growing by leaps and bounds. Manufacturers’ Web strategies must
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consider how boomers use the Web and build sites that give them what they’re seeking.
Smaller beds for solo sleepers? These days, the buyers of beds are not necessarily
Oldest boomers turn spiritual As leading-edge boomers reach retirement and beyond, they begin to ask “How can I leave a legacy?” Volunteering and a new interest in giving something back arises. Boomers support companies that are philanthropic. BT
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uring the first three months of 2009, the U.S. Postal Service lost $1.9 billion. During the previous 12 months, it lost $2.8 billion. So, perhaps understandably, the USPS is once again raising postage rates. In January, it increased the rates for Priority Mail to $4.95 and Express Mail to $17.50 for flat-rate envelopes. But for most companies, the biggest change took place May 11, when First Class rates rose by an average of 5%. To mail “regular” envelopes (no larger than 6 1/8 inches by 11½ inches by ¼ inch) it now costs 44 cents—up from 42 cents—for up to 1 ounce. The rate for each additional ounce, to a maximum of only 3.5 ounces, remains 17 cents. To avoid overstuffing No. 10 business-size envelopes, consider using the No. 11 envelope, which is nearly 1 inch longer but within the limitations. Or use 6-by-9 envelopes. If your mailing piece weighs more than 3.5 ounces—or is larger than 6 1/8 inches by 11½ inches—the cost starts out at double the smaller size. The first ounce will cost you 88 cents, up from 83 cents. Then, once again, it’s 17 cents for each additional ounce, up to a maximum of 13 ounces for $2.92. If your piece is more than 13 ounces, it’s even more expensive. That’s because you’ll need to send it via Priority Mail at a minimum cost of $4.95. It might get there a little sooner than First Class mail, but if it is local mail, perhaps not. All things considered—reasonably fast, dependable delivery to even the smallest town in any state—the rate increase is not unreasonable. But if you do a lot of mailing, those extra pennies can add up. Here are 12 simple ways to reduce, or at least contain, costs:
Know the latest postal rates And make sure everyone in your company who sends or handles your mail knows them, too. Ask each person, “How much does it cost to mail a letter in a business-size envelope weighing 1 ounce? Weighing 2 ounces?” If they don’t answer 44
28 | BedTimes | June 2009
Tell your employees that if an envelope seems heavier than usual, they shouldn’t add an extra stamp ‘just to make sure.’ They need to weigh it first.
cents and 61 cents, you could have a costly problem on your hands. As noted earlier, the new rate for the first ounce is 44 cents. But the rate for a 2-ounce letter is not twice that, as you might think. It is 61 cents—only 17 cents more. And a 3-ounce letter will cost 78 cents to mail, not $1.32. To avoid confusion and to control costs, remove any old rate charts that may be on your postal scales or mailroom walls and post a chart with the new rates. You can download and print a chart of First Class rates from www.usps.com. For the new rates for all classes and types of mail and for special services, download the latest May 11 Price List (Notice 123) from the same Web site.
Weigh your outgoing mail As a rule of thumb, four—or at most five—sheets of 20-pound, 8½-by-11 paper in a No. 10 or 6-by-9 envelope, weigh just under 1 ounce and can be mailed for the new rate of 44 cents. Tell your employees that if an envelope seems heavier than usual, they shouldn’t add an extra stamp “just to make sure.” They need to weigh it first. The least expensive postal scales, available at office supply stores, are spring-activated, but over
time they can become inaccurate. A better choice is an electronic scale. Prices range from about $36 to $146, depending on features and capacity. Some postage meters—available only from five USPS-authorized manufacturers—come with an attached electronic scale and calculate the correct postage automatically if the current rates have been entered.
Check your scale regularly As a quick check, place 12 dimes on your postal scale; they should weigh almost exactly 1 ounce. Better yet, compare your scale with an electronic, self-serve scale at your local post office by weighing a typical mailing piece on both. If your scale reads low and you rely on it, your outgoing mail may be returned to you for additional postage, delaying its delivery. Or it may be delivered with postage due, which is annoying to recipients. If your scale reads high, you’re paying too much for postage.
Guard your postage Keep stamps secure. They’re too easily misplaced or “borrowed.” If you use a postage meter, only specified employees should have access to it. Each morning, have a trusted www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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employee jot down the amount of postage available and keep track of the amount used for each customer or for any mass mailings you do. Watch out for employees using your postage to mail dozens or hundreds of wedding or party invitations, sweepstakes entries, personal newsletters, packages, etc. Because postage can be a tax-deductible expense, you need to know how much is used each year for business purposes and have the receipts to prove it.
Keep an assortment of stamps on hand If you don’t have a postage meter, or in case your meter’s balance is occasionally too low for the day’s postage, keep on hand an assortment of stamps in various denominations—44 cents, 17 cents and perhaps 1 cent, 2 cents, 3 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents and $1. Also keep a supply of $4.95 stamps for Priority Mail and $17.50 stamps for Express Mail. Keep each denomination in a separate envelope or file folder. Or use a small storage box with a dozen or so compartments.
Use both sides of the paper If you’re sending letters or documents containing five or more sheets, you may want to print on both sides to reduce the weight of your mailing. To help ensure that both sides of each page are read, include a note at the bottom of each that says, “Please see other side.” If the weight of the sheets is less than 3.5 ounces, fold the pieces of paper to fit into a 6-by-9 envelope to avoid using a larger envelope that requires 44 cents more for the first ounce.
Use email instead of “snail” mail The advantages are obvious: instant transmission, zero cost and no mailroom delays at either end. But with the ever-increasing glut of emails—both legitimate and spam—yours may be lost or ignored
30 | BedTimes | June 2009
New First Class postage rates For envelopes no larger than 61/8 inches by 11½ inches Up to 1 ounce 44 cents Up to 2 ounces 61 cents Up to 3 ounces 78 cents Up to 3.5 ounces 95 cents Postcards Up to 4¼ inches by 6 inches No weight restriction 28 cents For larger envelopes (flats) Up to 12 inches by 15 inches Up to 1 ounce Up to 2 ounces Up to 3 ounces Up to 4 ounces Up to 5 ounces Up to 6 ounces Up to 7 ounces Up to 8 ounces Up to 9 ounces Up to 10 ounces Up to 11 ounces Up to 12 ounces Up to 13 ounces
88 cents $1.05 $1.22 $1.39 $1.56 $1.73 $1.90 $2.07 $2.24 $2.41 $2.58 $2.75 $2.92
* If an envelope is more than 13 ounces, use a Flat Rate envelope or small Flat Rate box. Other Priority Mail $ 4.95 Express Mail $17.50 (If under 3 ounces, Express Mail may cost between $13.05 and $17.30 if sent to local or nearby ZIP codes.)
in crowded in boxes. Recipients also may be reluctant to open your attachments for fear of viruses or may have problems opening them because of software incompatibilities. A business letter, delivered the old-fashioned way via the USPS, may get more attention because it’s increasingly rare.
Know the pickup schedules Whether your company’s mail goes into a box in your office building, a street corner mailbox or at a post office, write down and learn the pickup schedule and watch for any changes. Get employees in the habit of mailing early in the day to avoid any last-minute rush. If you miss the last pickup or dispatch, you may have to send an important letter via an overnight delivery service at much higher cost.
Clean up your mailing list regularly Are you still mailing to those who aren’t likely to do business with you? People move, change and lose jobs, take vacations or maternity leave, retire and die. Companies merge, relocate, downsize, change their needs and go out of business. If you’re sending mail to an outdated list, you’re wasting money. Once or twice a year, clean up your mailing lists. Eliminate obvious duplicates. It’s called merge/purge. Ask at your local post office about various list-cleaning services.
Consider using commercial (discounted) postage rates If you mail 500 or more pieces of the exact same size and weight at a time, you can qualify for a discounted First Class rate—as little as 33.5 cents for the first ounce—as long as the pieces meet specific addressing, presorting and bar coding requirements. Even greater savings are possible if you mail 200 or more pieces at the Standard (formerly Bulk or Third Class) rate. If your mailing qualifies for the www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Watch out for employees using your postage to mail dozens or hundreds of wedding or party invitations, sweepstakes entries, personal newsletters, packages, etc.
automation rate, with five-digit ZIP codes, each piece may cost as little as 19¢ to mail. The amount of savings increases as you fine-tune the sorting. What’s more, instead of keeping it under 1 ounce, you can stuff up to 3.3 ounces of material in each envelope at the same price. However—and it’s a big however— it may take several days or even a week longer for your mail to be delivered, especially if it’s going a long distance, which can be risky if you’re making a limited-time offer or important announcement. To do the required presorting and bar coding in-house, you need special software and must pay $185 per year for the appropriate USPS permit. It may be easier to have a local mailing house do it for you, but the fee the mail house charges will reduce your savings. A warning: If you have several hundred First Class envelopes to mail and they’re being sent to people who requested something, don’t hold up your mailing until you have the 500 needed for the lower rate. You could easily antagonize prospects or cus-
32 | BedTimes | June 2009
tomers, jeopardizing sales. A mail house may be able to combine your mailing with another customer’s to meet the minimum requirement and avoid a delay. Ask at your post office for a list of local mail houses, call several for details and pricing and check their references.
Consider using postcards to generate new business Design postcards as you would a small ad. If your message can fit in a 6-inch by 4¼-inch space without resorting to type too small to be read easily, consider using postcards instead of letters or other types of promotional materials. You’ll save on the cost of paper, printing, envelopes, inserting, sealing and postage. With the new rate of 28 cents per card—or as little as 20.5 cents each if you mail 500 or more and qualify for the five-digit ZIP code automation rate—postcards may be a bargain. Need more space? Use oversize cards—5-by-7 or up to 6 1/8-by11½—sent at the rate for letters.
Don’t waste postage on ineffective mailings If you send out direct mail pieces to generate new business (and you probably should on a regular basis), you’ll save postage by making sure that each mailing is designed for maximum results. Ho-hum mailings are a waste of postage, printing and effort. Direct marketing guru Dan Kennedy—who charges upwards of $50,000 plus royalties to create a direct mail campaign—advises: ➤ Always include an offer—a special discount, bonus, freebie, sample, etc. ➤ Give a good reason to respond right now. ➤ Tell prospects exactly what you want them to do next, how they should do it, when to do it and what will happen as soon as they do—or what might happen if they don’t. ➤ Track each mailing. Use a key number, extension number, free report number, etc., so you’ll know which mailings are working, which aren’t and what your return on investment is for each. ➤ Capture the name, address, phone number and email address of each person who responds. Add it to your database if it’s not there already and do follow-ups until the prospect buys. ➤ Use strong sales copy. Don’t be timid. Study the successful mailings of others. If you can’t write hardhitting copy yourself, hire a freelance copywriter. The more effective your mailings are, the less significant the latest postal increase will be. By using some or all of the tips in this article, you’ll start saving money on postage—and be better prepared for the rate increases that are sure to come next year, too. BT During the past 37 years, Stan Holden has written direct mail pieces for more than 200 advertisers, including AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Transamerica, Sears, Ward’s, UAL and Sunbeam, as well as many banks, publishers and insurance companies. He has earned the Direct Marketing Association’s highest awards for both direct mail and direct response print ads. Holden also writes and publishes how-to guides. For more information, email email@example.com. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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IndustryNews Spring Air closes; licensees still operate
op 10 bedding producer Spring Air, based in Tampa, Fla., closed all nine of its corporate-owned manufacturing plants in early May. Three independent Spring Air manufacturers—who opted out of the 2007 corporate buyout, or “rollup” of licensees—are continuing normal operations. Licensees in Canada also remain open. Spring Air’s majority owner, Bethesda, Md.-based investment firm American Capital Ltd., shuttered the corporate Spring Air facilities after efforts by Spring Air Acting President Steve Cumbow to orchestrate a lastminute management buyout failed. Corporate executives have not returned phone calls. Hundreds of Spring Air employees around the country reported showing up for work the week of May 4 to find facilities already shuttered or in the process of closing. Workers have said they have little information about final paychecks or other salary and benefit issues. One former employee has filed a lawsuit in Florida, claiming Spring Air has violated the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act by not giving a 60-day notice
of the company’s closure. Several news outlets have reported that Spring Air was filing for bankruptcy protection and liquidating its assets but, as BedTimes went to press, court papers had not yet been filed. News of the corporate shutdown has had wide-ranging impacts throughout the bedding industry. Carthage, Mo.based components supplier Leggett & Platt reduced its first-quarter earnings per share by $0.2 to $0.4 and increased its bad debt expense to $8.5 million because of the “exposure” it had to Consolidated Bedding, the primary Spring Air producer. And retailers throughout the country were forced to find product to replace Spring Air on their floors. Other mattress manufacturers, including Comfort Solutions, Natura World and Serta, quickly got advertising campaigns up and running to encourage Spring Air dealers to switch to their brands. John Grove Jr., president of the largest licensee based in Greensboro, N.C., and one of the independents still producing, said he was servicing his customers as usual and also fielding order inquiries from around the country.
“We’re a healthy company with a strong cash position. We’ve been in this business since 1971and we’re here to stay,” he said. Grove said his company can continue to produce Spring Air mattresses, even if corporate Spring Air files for bankruptcy protection and liquidates. Other U.S. licensees still operating are in Beaufort, S.C.; and Grand Rapids, Mich. In addition, one corporate-owned facility in Chelsea, Mass., was quickly re-opened and employees re-hired after Ed Bates re-purchased the business that he had sold to Spring Air in 2007. Industry sources report that several companies and industry veterans are considering purchasing individual plants or larger portions of Spring Air’s assets, but the future of the brand is still very much up in the air. Grove predicts there will be more plant buy-backs and re-openings among former Spring Air licensees and said that, despite the current turmoil, he has faith in the future of the brand. “Whether or not we make a bid for the brand in the future, we are going to keep it going,” he said.
Canada starts anti-dumping investigation The Canada Border Services Agency is investigating the alleged injurious dumping of certain mattress innerspring units from China. The investigation, announced April 27, follows a complaint filed by Globe Spring & Cushion Co. Ltd. of Toronto, alleging that the dumping of innersprings is harming Canadian production by causing lost sales; price erosion and suppression; a decline in revenues, gross margins and net profit; and reduced employment and market share. Dumping occurs when goods are sold to importers in Canada at prices that are less than their selling prices in the exporter’s domestic market or at unprofitable prices. The Special Import Measures Act protects Canadian pro-
ducers from the effects of such unfair trade. The Canadian International Trade Tribunal is conducting a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the innerspring imports are harmful to Canadian producers and will issue a decision by June 26. The Canadian Border Services Agency is investigating whether the imports are being dumped and will make a decision by July 27. For more information, check www.citt.gc.ca/index_e.asp or www.cbsa.gc.ca/sima-lmsi. Earlier this year, the United States issued duties against innersprings imported from China after determining that they were being dumped on the U.S. market.
BedTimes | June 2009 |
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Tempur-Pedic’s sales down but profits up
edding maker Tempur-Pedic reported that net sales in the first quarter dropped 28% to $177.1 million from $247.2 million during the same period in 2008. On a constant currency basis, sales fell 24%, according to the Lexington, Ky.-based company. Tempur-Pedic’s gross profit margin was 46.2% in the first quarter of this year, as compared to 43.7% in the first quarter of 2008. The company attributed the gain to “lower commodity and transportation costs, improved efficiencies in manufacturing and pricing actions taken during the quarter, partially offset by fixed cost deleverage related to lower production volumes.” The company reported an operating profit margin of 14.6% in the first quarter as compared to 11.9% during the same period in 2008. Tempur-Pedic said operating profit margin improved, in part, because of lower operating expenses. The company reduced operating expenses by $22.7 million to $56 million in the first quarter of 2009 from $78.7 million in the first quarter of last year. Mattress sales declined 29% globally and pillow sales fell 27% during the first quarter, the company said. Tempur-Pedic reported earnings of $0.18 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2009, the same as in the first quarter of 2008. The company reported net income of $13.3 million for the first quarter of the year, down from $13.5 million during the same period in 2008. During the first quarter, the company reduced its total debt by $19.3 million to $400 million. “We executed well during the first quarter,” said Mark Sarvary, TempurPedic chief executive officer. “We made solid progress on our long-term initiatives, most notably our initiative to drive gross margins. An easing commodity environment and our productivity initiatives have generated substantial margin improvement despite lower volumes. Importantly, we continued to drive balance sheet improvement by paying down debt.”
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BedTimes | June 2009 |
L&P reports lower sales, earnings in first quarter B edding industry components manufacturer and supplier Leggett &
Platt reported first-quarter sales from continuing operations were $718 million, 28% lower than last year’s sales of $998 million. The Carthage, Mo.based company blamed “extremely weak market demand.” In an announcement April 22, L&P reported first-quarter earnings of $.06 per share, compared with $.23 per share in the first quarter of 2008. But on May 8, the company revised its earnings estimate downward by $.02 per share to $0.4 per share because of the shutdown of Spring Air, which closed its corporate-owned plants in early May. In addition, L&P said that although it “had previously established a significant bad debt reserve for
38 | BedTimes | June 2009
this account, Leggett is increasing its bad debt expense by $8.5 million to reflect the full amount of the credit exposure” it had with Consolidated Bedding, the primary Spring Air producer. For the first quarter of 2009, L&P’s Residential Furnishings unit, which includes bedding components, adjustable beds, foam and other beddingrelated products, reported that total sales from continuing operations decreased $109 million, or 21%. “Extremely weak market demand more than offset inflation-related price increases and market share gains in specific product categories,” the company said. Sales in L&P’s Industrial Materials segment, which includes mattress manufacturing equipment, decreased
$48 million, or 22%, also as a result of weak demand. First-quarter cash flow from overall operations was $115 million, as efforts to reduce working capital contributed significantly to cash flow, the company said. “First-quarter earnings were in line with what we anticipated, however, market demand was weaker than we expected and was the driving force behind the yearover-year reduction in earnings,” said David Haffner, president and chief executive officer. “In addition, as anticipated, first-quarter earnings were significantly impacted by steel deflation (as inventory valuation and selling prices reflected lower steel costs).” Haffner added: “We continue to
experience very weak demand across our markets. For many of our businesses, demand seems to have stabilized during the first quarter, albeit at levels below what we anticipated.” The company expects, even under current market conditions, to continue to fund both capital expenditures and quarterly dividends from operating cash flow. Earnings per share from continuing operations for 2009 are expected to be $.60 to $.90, benefiting from the previous closures of poorly performing operations, reduced overhead spending and lower commodity costs, according to L&P. Full-year sales from continuing operations are projected to be $2.9 to $3.3 billion, or 19% to 29% lower than in 2008, mainly because of “extremely weak market demand,” the company said.
Court OKs Vita financial restructuring
The Vita Group announced April 22 that the High Court in London has approved the restructuring of the company’s long-term financing and capital structure through an injection of funds from its major equity holder, TPG, and certain members of its existing lender group. As a result of the restructuring, Vita’s existing syndicated debt position will be reduced to about $135 million in a debt-for-equity swap, significantly strengthening the balance sheet, according to the company. In addition, $129 million of new money will be made available, increasing Vita’s working capital. The final agreement reportedly gives senior lenders a 37.5% equity stake. Vita was acquired by TPG, a private equity investment company based in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2005. “Today marks the conclusion of a complex process, which will give Vita one of the strongest balance sheets in the polymer industry and sufficient financial resources to work through the current environment,” said Joe Menendez, Vita Group chief executive officer. “The company is grateful to everyone involved for their hard work, which has brought this restructuring to a successful outcome and put Vita on a stable footing for the future.” The Vita Group manufactures foam, plastics and nonwovens for the bedding, furniture, transportation and medical products industries. It operates worldwide with nearly 80 sites in 20 countries.
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BedTimes | June 2009 |
Select Comfort sales fall 17%; operating income improves
elect Comfort, an airbed manufacturer and retailer based in Minneapolis, reported that its net sales for the first quarter of 2009 decreased 17% to $139.6 million from $168.2 million in the first quarter of 2008. The company also reported firstquarter operating income of $0.3 million, an $11.3 million improve-
40 | BedTimes | June 2009
ment compared to the first quarter of last year. The first-quarter net loss was $2.7 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $7.1 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2008. “Our year-over-year improvement reflects the first steps of successfully implementing our key priorities, which
include more closely aligning costs with anticipated sales, reigniting the Sleep Number brand and preserving cash,” said Bill McLaughlin, Select Comfort president and chief executive officer. During the first quarter, Select Comfort’s overall retail sales dropped 17%, with same-store sales declining 14%. E-commerce and direct-marketing sales each fell 34%. Wholesale sales increased 14%, driven by significantly higher sales through QVC, according to the company. First-quarter gross profit margin was 58.6%, up from 57.6% in the first quarter of 2008. Cash flow from operating activities was $24.1 million in the first quarter of 2009, which included a $23 million tax refund associated with prior-year losses. This compares to operating cash flow in the first quarter of 2008 of $14.6 million. The company reduced capital expenditures to $1.2 million in the first quarter of 2009, compared to $10.3 million in the first quarter of 2008. Select Comfort closed 30 stores during the first quarter and plans to close another 25 by the end of the year. It also closed a facility in Omaha, Neb., as part of an effort to restructure its supply chain and discontinued major information technology initiatives. The company also relaunched its entire Sleep Number bed line, focusing on price points below $1,500 and reducing annual product costs by $10 million. As for the future, Jim Raabe, Select Comfort senior vice president and chief financial officer, said: “We expect the economy and consumer confidence to remain weak for the balance of the year. Historically, the second quarter is the seasonal low point for sales, and we believe that our 2009 second quarter will be consistent with that trend. … For the full year 2009, we continue to anticipate positive free cash flow and moderately improved bottom-line results compared with 2008.” www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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Bodet, Milliken partner for FR covers Mattress fabric supplier Bodet & Horst, headquartered in Elterlein, Germany, has formed a partnership with Spartanburg, S.C.-based Milliken & Co. to market a line of sewn FR socks and sewn mattress covers in the United States. The finished products use Basofil Alessandra technology to achieve their flame-resistant properties and will help mattress manufacturers meet U.S. open-flame mattress standards, according to the companies. The products are being sold under the Milliken brand name, Paladin, and were introduced to the mattress industry at Interzum Cologne in May. The new FR covers are chemical-free and can replace the use of two or more FR products to achieve compliance with the 16 CFR Part 1633 open-flame mattress standard, said Jerry Pratt, president of Bodet & Horst USA in Mount Airy, N.C. The tubular knitted socks offer a second alternative for achieving FR compliance. The covers consist of an FR barrier backing layered with a decorative double-knit face. The decorative knits contain specialty yarns such as CoolMax, Tencel, bamboo and polyester and can be treated with anti-microbial and moisture-management products without affecting the productsâ€™ FR properties.
42 | BedTimes | June 2009
Short Gold Bond unveils The Natural Bedding and futon producer Gold Bond has created The Natural futon, an eco-friendly futon with a suggested retail price of $279. The futon was designed for and is featured in the Coastal Living 2009 Idea House in Nobleboro, Maine. The cushion is constructed from 100% cotton upholstery and fill and provides long-lasting support for sitting and sleeping, said the company, which has headquarters in Hartford, Conn. The frame is made of rubberwood, a sustainable lumber harvested from rubber tree plantations when trees have reached the end of their 25- to 30year life cycle.
Therapedic adds two licensees
herapedic International has signed deals with two new licensees in the western United States. Everton Mattress in Filer, Idaho, will produce Therapedic brand mattresses for Idaho, Utah, much of Montana, eastern Oregon and northeastern Nevada. Rodney Goodrum, who used to work for a Therapedic licensee in Denver, now owns the plant. Operating as Therapedic-Colorado, his company will supply Colorado with Therapedic products. Goodrum said of his deal with Therapedic, “I love this brand and I believe in this brand. I am very confident I can rebuild it to where it was before in Colorado. It will take hard work but I am dedicated to the task.” Everton Mattress President Steve
Everton said that “having Therapedic as an additional brand will help us better serve our customers. We are very enthused about the possibilities it presents for us.” Everton also announced that it has hired Todd Scheidt as sales manager. Scheidt previously was a key account manager for Therapedic in Missouri. “We are putting together a strong team in the West,” said Gerry Borreggine, president and chief executive officer of the Princeton, N.J.-based licensing group. “With Idaho and Colorado added to our Seattle and San Francisco operations, we now have the strength, like never before, to sell and service larger regional accounts in that region. We are putting a strong team together there and hope to add another licensee shortly.”
Colorado deal Gerry Borreggine, (left) president and chief executive officer of Therapedic International, presents Rodney Goodrum with the Therapedic license for Colorado.
Western partnership Gerry Borreggine, (second from left) president and chief executive officer of Therapedic International, celebrates a licensing deal with representatives of Everton Mattress, including Todd Scheidt, Steve Everton and Chris Sanders.
BedTimes | June 2009 |
Wife of 1800mattress.com owner found dead
ay Barragan, wife of 1800mattress.com founder Napoleon Barragan, was found dead May 14 at her home in Searingtown, N.Y. News agencies reported that her son, Eduardo Barragan, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. A worker found Barragan, 65, lying at the bottom of a flight of stairs at about 7 a.m. A police officer told Newsday that Barragan had “traumatic injuries to her upper body and her head area.” A spokesman for the company said Eduardo Barragan has a history of mental illness and that he had been living with the couple. Barragan is credited with helping found the multichannel mattress retailer. According to the
44 | BedTimes | June 2009
company, she lent her husband $2,000 from her earnings as an Avon sales representative to start Dial-A-Mattress (later renamed 1800mattress.com) in 1976. Barragan was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The couple had been married for more than 40 years. They also have a daughter, Kay Otilia Massel, and 12 grandchildren. Their daughter Beatrice died of an illness in 2003. Their son Luis, who was president of the company, died in a swimming accident in 2006. 1800mattress.com filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March. Sleepy’s and at least one other company were expected to bid on the company’s assets during an auction in late May.
Short XSENSOR wins tech award XSENSOR Technology Corp., a provider of pressure-mapping equipment based in Calgary, Alberta, has earned a 2009 Alberta Export Award in the Advancing Technologies category. The awards are given to organizations that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in exporting products or services outside Canada’s borders and were presented at a gala March 25. XSENSOR exports to more than 40 countries, with 95% of its total sales derived from international customers. This is the second time the company has received an Alberta Export Award.
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NewsMakers Van Dyke takes ticking helm Bedding
Sandy Van Dyke has been named president of Interwoven Group LLC, Sandy Van Dyke an importer of mattress ticking, presewn covers and FR fabrics. Founded in 2008, Interwoven has headquarters and distribution in Hickory, N.C., and a West Coast distribution center in Carson, Calif. Van Dyke joined Interwoven as an equity partner and takes responsibility for the growth and development of the company’s full product line. Most recently, Van Dyke was vice president of textile components at Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. veteran
FabricTech2000 appoints president
abricTech2000 has named Jeff Bergman president and chief operating officer. The position is a new one for the Cedar Grove, N.J.-based manufacturer of mattress and pillow protectors. Bergman is a mattress industry veteran with 30 years of experience, mostly in sales. Previously, he was national vice president of sales and marketing for mattress maker Aireloom. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of sales and marketing for a Spring Air licensee. Bergman’s initial objectives at FabricTech2000 inJeff Bergman clude recruiting a national sales force, an effort begun by the company last year, and expanding the company’s reach in the Southeast, Midwest and West. “We are excited about the energy and expertise Jeff brings to our brand,” said Arnold Hershbain, FabricTech2000 chairman and chief executive officer. “He is by far the most successful sales and marketing executive in the mattress industry today and has a tremendously successful track record of taking strong brands and expanding their retail presence.” Bergman said he was drawn to the opportunities presented by FabricTech2000 and its product line. “With declining traffic and sales, sleep shops and furniture stores are hungry for new sources of revenue and accessories, particularly quality protection products. When I studied the category, no one, in my opinion, was offering the quality, value and rigorous testing that FabricTech2000 offers to the marketplace, and I wanted to be a part of this company’s growth.”
Leggett names Consumer Products VP C
omponents supplier and manufacturer Leggett & Platt has hired Herman Tam as vice president of sales and marketing for its Consumer Products Group. The position is a new one for the company, which has headquarters in Carthage, Mo. Prior to joining L&P, Tam served as senior director of marketing at Dacor. His background includes marketing posts at James Hardie, Valmont Industries, Cummins and IKEA. “Herman Tam was hired because of his in-depth experience in strategic marketing, brand management, product development and commercialization, market and business development, and building strategic partnerships,” said Rob Woods, presi-
46 | BedTimes | June 2009
dent of L&P’s Consumer Products Group. “His extensive marketing background, combined with his passion for home goods, has brought tens of millions of dollars’ worth of new business to previous employers.”
At L&P, Tam oversees the branding and marketing of sleep accessory products and works with crossfunctional teams to develop products, processes and marketing innovations. Tam reports to Woods.
Hinshaw receives business leader award
Eric Hinshaw, chairman and chief executive officer of bedding producer Kingsdown, has earned the 2009 Frank S. Holt Jr. Business Leadership Award. The award is presented annually by the Elon University Martha and Spencer Love School of Business in Elon, N.C. The recipient is selected based on a number of criteria, including the person’s character and stature in the community. The award is named for Frank Holt Jr., a business leader known for his acumen and civic engagement. “We are honored to name Eric as this year’s recipient,” said Mary Gowan, see page 48
Comfort Solutions awards achievements Mattress licensing group Comfort Solutions, headquartered in Willowbrook, Ill., has presented a number of awards for sales, marketing, manufacturing, product quality and leadership performance in 2008. The Presidents Club Award, the companyâ€™s highest recognition of personal sales performance, was presented to Ernie Guillaume, Bill Lemke and Brad Miller of Comfort Solutions in Spokane, Wash.; Chris Paulk of Comfort Solutions in Rock Island, Ill.; and Al Tenenbaum of Comfort Solutions in Hartford, Conn. Guillaume was given the additional honor of being named Comfort Solutionsâ€™ Sales Representative of the Year. Hal Patton, general manager of Comfort Solutions in Spokane, received the Sales Excellence of the Year Award. Darren Sodikoff, vice president of sales at Comfort Solutions in Minneapolis, and Scott Wallis, sales manager of Comfort Solutions in Scranton, Pa., were recognized for their outstanding performance in sales and marketing. Brian Chase, vice president of operations at Comfort Solutions in Hartford, was named Manufacturing Executive of the Year. Michael Keefe, senior vice president of manufacturing in Rock Island, and Jerry Rath, purchasing manager in Rock Island, received awards for meeting consistent and
high manufacturing standards. Comfort Solutions in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., earned the Quality Excellence Award. Cited for outstanding quality were licensees in Hartford; Norfolk, Va.; and Scranton. The Norfolk licensee also received the Plant Excellence Award for highest overall performance in sales, marketing and quality. The Hartford and Rock Island licensees also were cited for outstanding performance in those areas. Mark Kolovson, president of the Hartford licensee, was awarded the companyâ€™s top Leadership Award. Earl Kluft, president of Comfort Solutions in Rancho Cucamonga, and Jeffrey Sherman, president of Comfort Solutions in Rock Island and Minneapolis, were recognized for outstanding leadership. The companyâ€™s licensee in Argentina received the International Sales Excellence Award, as well as the International Marketing Excellence Award. Four additional international licenseesâ€”in Australia, Dubai, Israel and Singaporeâ€”were recognized for outstanding sales results. Licensees in Australia, Indonesia, Israel, Singapore and United Arab Emirates were honored for excellence in marketing the companyâ€™s King Koil brand.
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BedTimes | June 2009 |
from page 46 dean of the Love School of Business. “We consider him to be a friend of the Love School of Business and a model business leader.” Hinshaw joined Mebane, N.C.-based Kingsdown in 1981. Under his leadership, the company has grown from a regional player to a top 10 bedding brand with an international presence. Hinshaw and his wife, Rebecca, are involved in a number of civic and charitable activities. Most recently, they provided a Duke University fellowship in pediatric pulmonary medicine. In 2004, Hinshaw led Kingsdown’s fund-raising efforts for the Children’s Miracle Network, raising more than $1 million for children’s hospitals in North America. Hinshaw extended his thanks to Elon University and the Frank Holt Jr. family for the award and said, “to be included among the great leaders who have previously received this award is a true honor.”
48 | BedTimes | June 2009
U.K.’s National Bed Fed elects president
he National Bed Federation, a trade association for U.K. bedding manufacturers and suppliers based in Skipton, England, has elected a new president, treasurer and two directors. Anthony Joyce, division president of Leggett & Platt Bedding Components Europe, is the first supplier to be elected president of the organization. He joined the board in 2007 as its first supplier representative following a change in membership rules that gave suppliers full, equal status alongside manufacturers. Tean Dallaway, finance director of Airsprung Furniture Group, is the new treasurer. Simon Spinks, managing director of Harrison Spinks, has been elected to the board as vice president. Mark Baron, sales director of the John Cotton Group, was elected supplier representative. Joyce said he hopes to continue to strengthen the organization by building on the progress of the previous president, Peter Keen.
ISPANews Chairman: ISPA moves ahead on many fronts
Association needs your support to strengthen industry Editor’s note The following is excerpted and reformatted from a letter sent by ISPA Chairman Rick Anderson, president of Tempur-Pedic North America, to members of the International Sleep Products Association.
want to thank you for the confidence you have placed in me and the board of trustees to lead this wonderful association. I also want to assure you that we will do everything we can to effectively represent your interests on the broad array of issues facing our industry. We can be most effective working on your behalf when we understand your interests and expectations. I want you to know that the ISPA trustees and staff will regularly reach out to you to solicit your input. As your chair, I welcome your input. The best way to reach me is by email, and I will get back to you as quickly as I can. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to highlight several of the key efforts we are pursuing: Mattress Retailer Council I am pleased to note that the Mattress Retailer Council we formed last year is off to a great start. The council is led by Dale Carlsen of The Sleep Train and Barrie Brown of Mattress Giant and includes executives representing seven other major mattress retailers. Although mattress retailers are currently not members of ISPA, the council provides a forum in which ISPA manufacturers and suppliers may communicate with key representatives of the retail sector of our industry as we work together to increase the market for mattress sales and address the issues confronting our industry. Working together with the Mattress Retailer Council, we identified two ma-
jor efforts that will truly benefit all of us. These are advancing a national marketing campaign and creating a national used-mattress waste management initiative. Both will have a significant impact on growing our industry’s market. Advocacy efforts As individual companies, we couldn’t possibly carry out the valuable advocacy work that ISPA does before Congress, the administration and the states without spending a tremendous amount of resources. In my view, the value that ISPA brings in this area may be well worth the entire annual membership fee. Through its direct lobbying, our industry’s collective grassroots support and the coalitions that it participates in, ISPA provides great benefits to all of us and helps protect our businesses from unnecessary costs imposed by government regulation. One prime example of how ISPA has taken a leadership role on our behalf is the work it has under way to establish a federal tax credit for consumers who
purchase home furnishings. This effort will directly stimulate purchases of mattresses and, in the process, preserve and create well-paying jobs. Last December, ISPA took the lead in forming the National Home Furnishings and Building Products Coalition, which includes14 national associations. We are working hard through this coalition to get Congress to pass our legislative proposal, which will provide a significant benefit for consumers and our industry. Please monitor ISPA’s newest member e-newsletter Advocacy Connection for our progress on this and other important efforts and for “action alerts” calling for your support. As you can see, we have a number of significant efforts under way at ISPA that directly benefit you and your company. I want to wish you all the best. Sincerely, Rick Anderson, ISPA chairman President, Tempur-Pedic North America
2009 ISPA board members The International Sleep Products Association elected Rick Anderson of Tempur-Pedic as chairman and Don Wright of Wright of Thomasville as vice chairman at its spring meeting. Their terms run through the next ISPA EXPO, which will be March 3-6, 2010, in Charlotte, N.C. Anderson replaces Charlie Eitel of Simmons, who now serves as immediate past chairman. Other board members are Paul Block, Galkin Automated Products; Gerry Borreggine, Therapedic International; Michael Crowell, Flexible Foam Products; Perry Davis, Leggett & Platt; Michael Faus, Carpenter Co.; Eric Hinshaw, Kingsdown; Laurie Horne, Springwall Sleep Products; David Karr, Comfortaire; Hank Little, Atlanta Attachment; Jim Malkiewicz, Wickline Bedding; Bill McLaughlin, Select Comfort; Robert Parker, Restonic, Johnson City; Dave Roberts, Comfort Solutions; Ralph Rossdeutscher, Natura World; Bryan Smith, Southerland; Stuart Spiller, Hickory Springs Mfg. Co.; Kevin Toman, Englander Sleep Products; Alvaro Vaselli, Foamex International; Dean Woods, C. J. Hodder Lumber Co.; and Dave Young, VyMaC.
BedTimes | June 2009 |
UpClose Rebuilding, rebranding the family business Intercoil International director took on numerous challenges By Dorothy Whitcomb
t’s easy to forget how young a man Hassan Al-Hazeem is. His poise, sense of purpose and focus suggest someone who has spent decades honing leadership skills. In fact, Al-Hazeem, who became managing director of Intercoil International at age 26, had to learn a lot on the job—and learn it quickly. When Al-Hazeem took the helm of the business his father founded in 1974, he discovered a company suffering from “the short-term focus of previous managers.” That short-term, profitsnow orientation had left the company with an outdated infrastructure and an unmotivated, unproductive work force. “It is much easier to establish a new business than to take charge of an existing one. But then, the more obstacles you face, the more you learn,” Al-Hazeem says. During his first three years at Intercoil, he found plenty of challenges from which to learn. In 2001, his father, whom Al-Hazeem idolized, died. Then a fire whipped through the company’s factory. The following year, Al-Hazeem was forced to relocate the manufacturing facility because of expansion plans for the nearby Dubai International Airport. Today, Intercoil’s 90,000-square-foot, state-ofthe-art plant is the centerpiece of Al-Hazeem’s plans to make Intercoil the leading bedding manufacturer in the Persian Gulf region and Middle East. To do that, he has had to reposition his company from one known primarily as a polyurethane foam provider that also made some mattresses and furniture to a manufacturer of high-quality orthopedic sleep products. Al-Hazeem
50 | BedTimes | June 2009
Family focus Hassan Al-Hazeem and his wife, Lina, have a 2-year-old daughter, Ghalya. She was the inspiration for a new line of children’s bedding introduced earlier this year.
believes the continuing diversification of Intercoil’s line and the decision to become a Therapedic International licensee in 2002 have helped with the rebranding. Al-Hazeem has created a more vertically integrated company by increasing the number of retail outlets that Intercoil operates. In addition to eight shops in the United Arab Emirates, the company has one each in Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia and will open
Monster mattress Intercoil International set out to build the world’s largest mattress in 2007. Creating the mattress took more than 1,400 hours and the work of 150 employees.
two additional galleries this month in Oman and Saudi Arabia. “Opening retail outlets helps to position Intercoil as an industry leader and helps to promote Therapedic,” AlHazeem says. “With our own stores, we can also control sales training and create a selling environment that produces more sales.” The strategy seems to be working. In 2000, mattresses represented about 35% of Intercoil’s total production. By 2008, that number had jumped to 70%. Overall sales growth has followed a similar trajectory, with company sales more than tripling in the past five years. Though he’s made great improvements to Intercoil, Al-Hazeem says work remains to be done. “I want to make sure that the business has matured to the point that anyone coming in can see a welldefined corporate culture,” he says. “Growth, quality, self-motivation and self-discipline should be part of the system whether I’m there or not.” A dream deferred Al-Hazeem always thought that he would start his own business. When his father asked him to join Intercoil, he shelved that dream to support his family’s interests. “I’d like to get to the point where I can macromanage Intercoil and start new businesses that are my babies from the beginning,” he says. He would like to establish a company to manufacture building products, as well as a management consulting firm. Understanding each other Al-Hazeem attended university in the United States in a pre-Sept. 11 world and the Americans he met then www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
were “down-to-earth, welcoming and without stereotypes,” he says. Today, he thinks that, unfortunately, people in the West look to his part of the world and see “spoiled, oil-rich people who have not had to work for what they have.” He adds: “Propaganda in the West often misrepresents Islam as aggressive. It’s an overblown stereotype, and I feel badly when people don’t understand Islam.” He acknowledges that stereotypes about Americans are common in the Middle East, as well. “Americans are blamed for foreign-policy decisions made by their government. In the end, we’re more alike than we are different and we all want the same things.” On being a dad Al-Hazeem’s world shifted when his daughter, Ghalya, was born two years ago. He recently named a line of children’s mattresses after her and Ghalya’s future is of primary
➤ Bio in brief Name Hassan Al-Hazeem Company Intercoil International
parents instill values from the time their children are young, it makes a big difference as an adult. When you deal with people in an open, kind, transparent way, they appreciate it and reciprocate.”
Title Managing director Location Dubai, United Arab Emirates Age 34 Education Al-Hazeem earned a BS in computer science from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and an MBA from the American University in Dubai. Family He and his wife, Lina, have a 2 year-old daughter, Ghalya.
importance to him. “We want her to be a believer and an achiever. We want her to believe in herself and her family and always aim high,” he says. “When
Going big Intercoil set out to create the world’s largest bed and earn a place in the Guinness Book of Records in 2007. It took 150 workers more than 1,400 hours to produce and assemble the innerspring mattress. Loosening up Al-Hazeem admits to being a perfectionist. “It’s stressful and drains all your energy,” he admits. To bring those impulses under control, he’s taught himself to delegate and now focuses on achieving a balanced life. “You have to learn to be satisfied with what you achieve as long as you’re doing your best,” he says. “If you don’t have balance, you’re never going to be happy.” BT
BedTimes | June 2009 |
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June 2-5 ZOW Spain Feria de Zaragoza Zaragoza, Spain Phone 49-521-96533-0 Fax 49-521-96533-99 www.zow.es
Oct. 1-4 ZOW Turkey Istanbul Expo Center Istanbul, Turkey Phone 90-212-3249610 Fax 90-212-3249609 www.zow.com.tr
June 4-8 Furnex Egypt Cairo International Convention Centre Cairo, Egypt Phone 202-2527-1010 Fax 202-2527-1015 www.furnexegypt.com
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
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BedTimes | June 2009 |
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TheLastWord Online bargain hunting
2029 could be a good year for mattress makers
Consumers are a little more willing to shop again, but remain extremely price conscious, according to the latest Consumer Behavior Report from PriceGrabber.com (www.pricegrabber.com), a source for price comparisons. In a March survey, 50% of consumers said they had made recent efforts to curtail their shopping because of the economic downturn. But that’s a drop from an October 2008 survey, when 59% said they had cut spending. Many consumers say that when they do shop, they spend more time online, researching purchases and comparing prices. One in four consumers said they were spending more time online because of the recession. Of those, 94% used the Internet to compare prices, 67% sought coupons and 52% visited social networking sites. Important for the mattress industry, consumers say they are still willing to purchase big-ticket items—when the price is right. More than half of consumers surveyed said they have taken or planned to take advantage of sales on items in one or more of these categories: electronics (30%), home improvement (20%), kitchen appliances (12%) and furniture (12%).
‘One thing we don’t do in this (economic) crisis is cut marketing around the world. We continue to make sure that our brands stay healthy and that we exit this tunnel with more market share than when we went in.’ — Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola chief executive officer
56 | BedTimes | June 2009
ooking ahead 20 years, trendspotter Marian Salzman predicts two lifestyle changes that would be welcome news for the mattress industry. As part of the launch of the new U.K. Home television network, Salzman envisioned what life will be like in 2029. Among her top predictions: ➤B y 2015, two-thirds of homes will have two master bedrooms. It’s the ultimate solution for couples who have incompatible sleep habits and preferences. ➤P eople will be stuffing their mattresses with money—literally. Salzman says economic uncertainty and a lack of trust in financial institutions will lead people to keep a three-month stash of cash in fireproof safes built into their mattresses.
‘Green’ may be losing its glow The percentage of Americans who say they almost always or regularly buy “green” products remains unchanged at 36% in 2009. The plateau is particularly significant when considering that the rate tripled the previous year, from 12% in 2007 to 36% in 2008. The data comes from Mintel, a global consumer research firm. “People’s priorities have changed because of economic hardship,” says Marcia Mogelonsky, Mintel senior research analyst. “A substantial number of shoppers are now struggling just to provide the basics for their families.” www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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