BedTimes OCTOBER 2009
THE BUSINESS JOURNAL FOR THE SLEEP PRODUCTS INDUSTRY
Using social media
New pillow constructions bolstering business Mattress black market thrives in Cuba Leadership Lessons: Take off the ‘boss’ hat
Cutting Edge Technology OPTIONS • Model 1367 Motorized Carousel • Model 1379990 Additional roll carts • Model 1379835 Additional stacker carts
Additional stacker carts available Model 1379835 Touch screen controls
Additional roll carts available Model 1379990
Electronic Edge Guiding System
SPECIFICATIONS Voltage (v/ph/hz)
220V 1PH 50/60HZ
Air pressure (psi)
Air consumption (cfm)
Shipping Weight (lbs)
Shipping Dimensions (w/l/h, In.) Roll Holder Infeed Main Unit
Minutes 8 hours Minutes unload / load
480 - 96
480 - 96
Minutes Run time Panels per minute
394 x 5.5
394 x 8.0
pieces per shift
FR Queen Panels per min.
Motorized Carousel Model 1367
Model 1379D - 55 watt Model 1379D100 - 100 watt
121 x 35 x 40 143 x 94 x 96 160 x 68 x 96
Conforms to all safety regulations dictated by the FDA
Sudden Service™ 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. 08112010609
Atlanta Attachment Company 362 Industrial Park Drive Lawrenceville, GA 30045 (770) 963-7369 • FAX (770) 963-7641
Laser Cutter - Cuts all Non-wovens
High Speed Cuts all Non-wovens 3000+ Pieces per Shift* • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Round, mitered or square corners Inner panels, foundations, single-sided mattress bottoms and dust covers Inventory roll goods only, up to 30” dia. Reduce number of SKU’s Fully automatic operation Video Available! Download schedule to laser Windows XP operating system www.atlatt.com Touch screen interface Or contact sales Never run out of any panel size to request a CD Cuts panels continually, no lunch or breaks Auto stacks panels Operator can easily create and save styles from simple menu driven software Quick and easy on-screen order set-up All units are supplied with 1 stacker cart and 1 roll cart 1 Year Warranty
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* Production based on 100 watt laser, queen size panels and most common non-woven material.
Certify your Peace of Mind Hickory Springs goes one step further for quality foam.
CertiPUR-US (CM) approved foams are: • Low emission (low VOCS). • Made without ozone depleters. • Produced without PBDEs. • Made without mercury, lead and heavy metal. • Made without formaldehyde. • Made without phthalates.
By complying with the CertiPUR-US (CM) voluntary testing, analysis and certification program, Hickory Springs confirms the proactive measures taken to verify that its flexible polyurethane foam not only provides durable comfort but is produced in a responsible, consumer-friendly manner.
How will CertiPUR-US benefit your company? • Focuses on current consumer concerns about foam involving health and indoor air quality. • Provides comfort and conﬁdence, reassuring consumers about the foam in your sofa. • Provides a reference source website for your customer service staff. You don’t need an in-house expert on health regulations and concerns. • Demonstrates your commitment to a healthy home environment. Based on a similar program in Europe, CertiPUR-US provides added value to furniture manufacturers – and eventually consumers — offering peace of mind and answering questions typically asked by consumers. Hickory Springs is one of several founding members of the CertiPUR-US program, which was officially introduced in early 2009. To switch to Hickory Springs’ certified CertiPUR-US foam, call 1.800.438.5341 or visit HickorySprings.com. Also see certipur.us.
PO Box 128, Hickory NC 28603
CertiPUR-US is a Certification Mark of Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam, Inc. ©2009 Hickory Springs Mfg. Co.
16 Social media marketing
Twitter, Facebook, blogs. Marketing through these new social media tools requires a completely different way of communicating with consumers. BedTimes talks to experts about the ins and outs.
24 Pillow power
Both mattress manufacturers and industry suppliers know that pillows are a good secondary revenue stream and help introduce consumers to their brands. We look at trends in this important category.
9 World Report
The Cuban government controls the mattress market in the island nation, licensing only one producer that sells beds with price tags out of the reach of most Cubans. The result? A flourishing black market.
15 Leadership Lessons
All too often leaders equate leadership with control. Leadership guru Larry Wilson argues that executives and managers need to take off their “boss” hats, put on their “sales and marketing” hats and start approaching their employees like customers.
54 Up Close
5 Editor’s Note 7 Front Matter 37 Industry News 50 Newsmakers 52 Communication Tips 56 Classifieds 58 Advertisers Index 59 Calendar 60 The Last Word
Before starting adjustable frame and bedding company Ergomotion with his father five years ago, Kelly Clenet had a multipronged career that included hair styling and buying and selling real estate. He says all of that prepared him for his next goal: Making Ergomotion a $100 million company.
BedTimes | October 2009 |
Know the score When you use SABA water-based adhesives,
you can make sure the savings beat expenses with every unit
SABA’s adhesive monitoring system allows you to take control & track usage Make sure that every mattress you produce is a winner. SABA’s monitoring technology ensures sustainability and control over your adhesive application. In these challenging economic times, this technology allows you to track real time adhesive consumption, along with production counts, so you always know the exact cost of the adhesive on a per unit basis. Join our winning, cost-effective team. Hit a grand slam of savings when you use SABA. The SABA Adhesive Monitoring System is simple and provides management with instant access to adhesive cost data via a secure web-based software application. Working in conjunction with our delivery system, the amount of adhesive being consumed is captured by the system’s on-board computer, and production data is entered by plant personnel. The system makes all the calculations and now you finally have control over your adhesive applications.
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SABA North America LLC 5426 Lapeer Road Kimball MI 48074 USA
SABA, dedicated to foam bonding Est. 1933: 75 years of strong bonds
EDITOR IN CHIEF Julie A. Palm 336-727-1889 firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR WRITER Barbara Nelles 336-856-8973 email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS Patricia Fripp Wilfredo Cancio Isla Dorothy Whitcomb Larry Wilson ART DIRECTOR Stephanie Belcher 336-201-7475 firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President of Sales Kerri Bellias 336-945-0265 email@example.com Ad Production & CIRCULATION manager Debbie Robbins 336-342-4217 firstname.lastname@example.org COPY EDITOR Margaret Talley-Seijn
BedTimes deadlines Editorial deadlines for the Industry News and Newsmakers sections of the December issue of BedTimes are earlier than usual, Thursday, Oct 22. Volume 137 Number 10 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 126 Parkview Lane, Reidsville, NC 27320 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 It’s time for the industry to Twitter, blog & YouTube I
have yet to tweet. But I’m planning to. Soon. (If you think I’m talking about a bird call, skip this column entirely and go straight to our cover story on social media marketing, starting on Page 16.) I’m not what you’d call an “early adopter” of technology. I waited years to get a cell phone; I joined LinkedIn only this year. I know I’m behind—and I know I need to catch up. It’s no revelation that technology is changing at an ever-quickening pace. Twitter’s big today. Who knows what will take its place—or when. Next week? Next month? Probably not longer than next year. When senior writer Barbara Nelles was putting together our cover story on social media marketing and how the mattress industry can use it successfully, she submitted several drafts. The technology and stats were literally changing daily. Our industry, by and large, isn’t on the leading edge when it comes to communications technology. We still have companies without Web sites. Let me say that again—without Web sites. To be fair, there are a handful of mattress manufacturers and industry suppliers with robust blogs, Twitter campaigns and YouTube videos. They are out there, reaching not only today’s consumers but tomorrow’s. Haven’t you noticed that teen-agers stopped talking on their cell phones a couple of years ago? For them, it’s all about texting and on-demand information. When those teens get out on their own and start shopping for mattresses, they will not be looking at newspaper circulars or TV. Will your company be well-versed in how to reach them? Our cover story is filled with useful tips and information. Read it and, most
importantly, try some of the ideas: Most of it costs nothing but a little staff time. If you want to learn even more, plan on attending the International Sleep Products Association’s Industry Conference and Exhibition, which will be Nov. 4-6 in Bonita Springs, Fla. The program includes a session on “Marketing Through Social Media: Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore the Social Networking Explosion.” The panel discussion will be led by Lissa Coffey, the 2009 Better Sleep Council spokeswoman, and feature Erik Qualman, global vice president of online marketing for EF Education, and social media consultant Jonathan Ressler. For more information and to register, check www.sleepproducts.org/ industryconference. New address A reminder that the mailing address for the editorial and advertising offices of BedTimes has changed to 126 Parkview Lane, Reidsville, NC 27320. If you are sending us photographs, news releases, product samples, advertising materials or similar items, you should send them to that address. Remember, however, that we prefer to receive editorial and ad materials via email whenever possible. BT
Julie A. Palm BedTimes | October 2009 |
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FrontMatter Time management, well-being & workplace safety Three new studies show benefits of sleep
ews about sleep is always of interest to BedTimes. Three recent research studies caught our attention:
The best use of time Although they know our emotional and physical health suffer without adequate sleep, scientists still don’t know the exact reason for sleep. Why do some people need more sleep and others less? Why do some members of the animal kingdom sleep during the day and others at night? Jerome Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California Los Angeles and chief of neurobiology for the V.A. Greater Los Angeles Healthcare system, argues in the August issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience journal, that sleep has evolved to help humans and animals better manage their time, keeping them safe during times of danger and keeping them from wasting energy during less productive times. “We spend a third of our life sleeping, and it seems so maladaptive—‘the biggest mistake nature has made,’ scientists often call it,” Siegel says. “But another way of looking at it is this: Unnecessary wakefulness is a bigger mistake.” Siegel points out that animals seem to have less need for sleep during the times when they most need to be awake. For instance, migrating whales can stay awake for weeks without exhibiting signs of stress. Similar findings have been found when studying migrating birds. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the big brown bat, which sleeps 20 hours a day, hunting for insects during its tiny window of wakefulness in the early evening. “Increased waking time would seem to be highly maladaptive for this www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
animal, since it would expend energy and be exposed to predatory birds with better vision and better flight abilities,” Siegel says. Poor sleep = poor quality of life If you haven’t been sleeping well, you’re more likely to feel a reduction in your quality of life, according to a study reported in the August issue of Sleep. Arizona State University’s Graciela E. Silva, the article’s lead investigator, told Reuters Health that “the study results showed that abnormalities in quality of sleep had an important impact on quality of life. Subjective quality of sleep was associated with lower quality of life.” Silva and her colleagues studied more than 3,000 patients with heart or respiratory disease who had a comprehensive sleep study as a baseline and then again five years later. During that time, the patients experienced only a slight increase in breathing problems during sleep, according to medical tests. But “those subjects who reported having difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep…and those who reported being excessively sleepy during the day had lower quality of life than subjects who did not report having these symptoms,” Silva says. Dangers of daylight-saving time In most of the United States, daylightsaving time ends Sunday, Nov. 1 and we’ll dutifully turn our clocks back an
hour to make up for the hour we lost last spring. That’s good for our health, says a new study. According to an article in the September issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, losing just one hour of sleep can be dangerous, especially for those in hazardous work environments. “One hour of lost sleep may not seem like a lot. But our findings suggest it could have an impact on people’s ability to stay alert on the job and prevent serious injuries,” says Christopher Barnes, who conducted the research and co-authored the article with David Wagner when both were doctoral students in organizational behavior at Michigan State University. Barnes and Wagner studied the number of injuries reported to the Mine Safety and Health Administration from 1983 to 2006 and the number of days workers missed because of those injuries. They found that, on average, there were 3.6 more injuries on the Mondays after the country switched to daylightsaving time when compared to other days, at least in part because workers slept less the night before. “We think managers and organizations can use this information to help improve safety in the days following the switch to daylight-saving time,” Barnes said. “They can schedule particularly dangerous work on other days, perhaps later in the week after employees have had more time to adjust their sleep schedules.” BT
BedTimes | October 2009 |
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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.
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Photographs are not representative of final products’ colors.
WorldReport Outlaw mattress makers thrive in Cuba Most residents can’t afford beds from state-run monopoly By Wilfredo Cancio Isla El Nuevo Herald
fter a long, exhausting day behind the wheel of his truck, Alberto Escalona would like nothing better than to rest his weary bones and drift off to la-la land on a comfy spring mattress. Only in his dreams. Escalona lives in midtown Havana. One of the many deprivations of life in Cuba is a dire shortage of decent mattresses, which are manufactured by one company under an exclusive agreement with the state. Escalona and his wife and their children sleep on threadbare foam rubber padding that hardly provides any support or comfort. “At this rate, my children will have to be taught how to sleep on a real mattress,” Escalona said. But in a textbook example of supply meets demand, even in the communist world, a flourishing black market of mattress-making entrepreneurs has sprung up to help Cubans get a good night’s sleep. Until the economic crisis of the 1990s, newly married couples and outstanding workers were occasionally given the chance to buy Cuban-made mattresses through state-run stores. No longer. Today, mattresses are passed from grandparents to grandchildren like prized heirlooms. Enter the black market mattress makers. To get their raw material, they have been known to steal metal springs, stuffing and cover fabric from the official mattress factory. They also cannibalize old, discarded mattresses or use straw as a filler. “Theft here has been constant, ever since the company started,” said Luis www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Hernandez, who works at the official mattress plant. “The bosses need eyes in the back of their heads, at all times.” In a bit of over-the-top brazenness, the freelance mattress merchants have been known to set up shop right outside the hard-currency stores where the official mattresses are sold. Other nonsanctioned mattress makers operate more or less openly, using pushcarts or trucks to distribute their wares. The government is beginning to take notice. According to dissident economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe, the
authorities have increased their pursuit of independent craftsmen over the past year, engineering raids on clandestine shops and fining illegal manufacturers. In Cuba, the “Mattress Giant” is the communist state. It has granted the country’s sole mattress-making concession to an outfit called Dujo Copo Flex, a joint Cuban-Spanish operation created in 2001. The company annually produces 60,000 mattresses. Generally, they are designated for ritzy tourist hotels that don’t cater to Cubans or are sold through hard-currency stores run by the government. There are two types of currency in
Cuba: convertible pesos (each worth about $1.24) and regular pesos, worth a fraction of that. In a hard-currency store, a queensize mattress made by Dujo Copo Flex might cost 120 to 180 convertible pesos. The same mattress would cost 5,352 in ordinary pesos. Either way, the price tag exceeds a year’s salary for the average Cuban. While the cost of a black market mattress is far less, the quality can be dicey. “You run the risk of getting a new mattress with old springs and straw filling,” said independent journalist Odelin Alfonso. During a visit to the town of Guanajay, west of Havana, Miami historian and blogger Ingeborg Portales found a factory that manufactures straw mattresses. “It was like an image from the Middle Ages,” said Portales, who photographed the manufacturing process. “It’s exhausting work that allows these people to barely survive, provided the police don’t confiscate their mattresses because they have no license to make them or sell them.” Portales, who has lived in South Florida since 2004, said the mattress makers buy straw for five ordinary pesos and spread it out to dry. They buy burlap sacks, which are placed between the straw and the spring unit. “The sacks are used by garbage collectors who, instead of throwing them away, wash them in the river and sell them for one ordinary peso,” said Portales, who went to Cuba in June 2008. The price of straw mattresses ranges from 600 to 800 pesos ($25 to $30). Por-
BedTimes | October 2009 |
Exports to Cuba restricted
Cuba’s state-controlled system of manufacturing limits export opportunities for mattress producers in other countries. In addition, the United States severely restricts exports to Cuba and requires allowed exports to be licensed by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security. For more information about U.S. policies regarding trade with Cuba and other countries, check these sites. ➤ The Web site of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security provides information about U.S. export policies and regulations. The bureau licenses exports to Cuba and “processes proposed exports to Cuba under a general policy of denial,” according to the site. There are some categories that the bureau currently can approve for export. They include medicine and medical devices, agricultural commodities, “low-level” telecommunications equipment, items for news organizations and groups that promote democracy, and certain aircraft. www.bis.doc.gov/policiesandregulations ➤ A Web site that brings together resources from several U.S. government agencies to assist businesses in planning their international sales strategies. www.export.gov ➤T he U.S. State Department Web site has a comprehensive profile of Cuba, including updates on U.S.-Cuba relations. www.state.gov
10 | BedTimes | October 2009
tales said they are very much in demand. Responding to harangues at neighborhood assemblies and workplace gatherings, the Cuban government has acknowledged it has a mattress problem but said it is making strides to boost production. Dujo Copo Flex last year invested about $368,000 to purchase new equipment as part of a plan to produce 6 million units by 2010. The production plan includes mattresses and other bedroom items. However, part of the company’s production has gone—by state directive—to armed forces units and Operation Miracle, the project that since late 2004 has brought to Cuba thousands of Latin American patients for eye surgery. The company says it also has exported some of the precious mattresses to Italy—and to Venezuela, Cuba’s petroleum-producing patron. BT
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A D V E R T O R I A L
An Untold Story NOT ONLY IS TENCEL® USER FRIENDLY AS A NATURAL FIBER, IT’S ALSO EARTH FRIENDLY
Above right and below: Lenzing Fiber’s headquarters are located in the resort village of Lenzing, Austria, which has been a tourist destination for centuries. Lenzing closely monitors its production to avoid compromising the area’s eco-system. The company is equally committed to ecologically responsible practices at all of its production sites.
As a appeared in LDB Interior Textiles.
s an established name in the market, TENCEL®’s qualities – soft feel, cool and sensual touch, easy care, and moisture management – are well known. Less well known is its producer Lenzing Fiber’s unique, multidimensional, environmentally friendly commitment. Its factory in Lenzing, Austria, is in a pristine, picturesque village on a lake at the base of the Alps. It has been a vacation resort for European rulers for centuries, and remains a premier resort area in Austria today. Lenzing has always been conscious of its impact on the environment and the local tourist economy. The company’s closed-loop production process recycles waste streams and recovers aqueous byproduct, achieving 99% recovery of all emissions. The company manages its water overflow temperatures to within 2o C of the river Ager (which is fed by the lake ) to
lessen the impact on the surrounding ecosystem. By-products of the manufacturing process provide energy for the plant and surrounding community as well as the wood sugar xylose that is converted into Xylitol sweetener for sugarfree candy. TENCEL® itself is all-natural and biodegradable. The raw material comes from responsibly managed forests that have been independently certified by the Soil Association on behalf of the Forest Stewardship Council. By using FSC-certified wood, Lenzing is supporting environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests. The raw material for TENCEL® is extracted from eucalyptus wood pulp, a sustainable resource. Eucalyptus trees are felled to their root balls and regrow without replanting. Unlike cotton, hemp, and other fibers touted as ‘organic,’ no pesticides, herbicides, defoliants, or fertilizers are used. With a natural defense mechanism against insect infestations, no pesticides that would leach unchecked into waterways are needed. No irrigation is necessary, which conserves precious water resources. TENCEL® is produced in Mobile, AL; Grimsby, UK; and Heiligenkreuz, Austria. The production process for TENCEL®, the revolutionary lyocell technology, was designed with the
environment in mind and has received numerous awards. Among these is the “European Award for the Environment” of the European Union, recognizing, apart from social criteria, the company’s closed loop production cycle. Lenzing has been widely applauded for its earth-friendly policies. It is again the only fiber manufacturer to receive the “European Flower Award” for setting new standards in the field of sustainability, and the use of ecological technologies. Lenzing has also been given the “European Award for the Environment.” The “Textiles Vertrauen” award acknowledges that no toxic substances are used. This makes TENCEL® suitable for infant products, a fact affirmed by OKOTex Standard 100 Certification. Consumers worldwide are taking notice of organic and sustainable fibers such as Lenzing TENCEL® Fiber. LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) describes a $228.9 billion US marketplace for goods and services focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development, and sustainable living. Lenzing Fibers is committed to a forward-looking environmental policy, which encompasses the responsible, provident, and careful use of all resources as a central feature of its commitment to sustainability. It’s a story well worth telling. ❑
Lenzing AG, A-4860 Lenzing, Austria
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With TENCEL® fibers you can feel it right away that they come from Nature since botanic principles are applied throughout the complete manufacturing process. The water management of plants, closed circuits and sustainability are all important functions from Nature on which the TENCEL® production process is based. Thanks to its natural intelligent properties the fiber guarantees an optimum night’s sleep. Perfect moisture management, skin friendliness and an in-built feeling of freshness ensure a pleasant climate for sleeping. The naturalness accompanies you throughout the night.
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LeadershipLessons It’s time to take off your ‘boss’ hat Stop controlling workers & start selling to them By Larry Wilson
I tell leaders to take off their “boss” hat and put on their “sales and marketing” hat. Approach the people who work for you as if they were customers to whom you are selling work.
Workers as customers Consider this: Business leaders have two customers—those who buy their company’s products and services and those who buy their call to work for the company. Companies know they can’t control the customers who purchase products and services. But they can go to great lengths to influence those customers and successful ones do just that. How do business leaders interact with their other customers, the people who work for them? Too often, people in leadership positions have a mind-set—often an unconscious mind-set—that they control their staff. This is an illusion and it has dire consequences.
Three motivators When researchers study employee commitment in the workplace, they often ask workers questions that are tied to this central issue: “What would it take to get your full commitment to your company?” and “What would it take to motivate you to do whatever it takes to help your company accomplish its goals?” Here’s what the research shows: People work primarily for money. A paycheck provides them with a sense of security, increased options and a degree of control. But people look for rewards beyond money and will work hard for a company that provides them with significant opportunities for growth, not just in their professional lives but in their personal lives, as well. Such developmental opportunities give workers a sense of empowerment by helping them discover their true potential, find out who they are and imagine what they could become. Leaders who understand this might use a recruiting slogan like, “Come work here. We’ll help you grow and prosper.” There’s another important finding from workplace commitment research: People will perform above and beyond expectations if they are given a significant purpose. They desperately want to know that they are making a difference and that their life will create a meaningful legacy. The lesson is clear: Business leaders need to offer employees all three commitment drivers—financial rewards, opportunities for growth and a sense
hat business leaders really want is a staff full of committed people—people who are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to assure that the company they work for is successful. Such high performers are passionately focused on finding and maintaining loyal customers to ensure that their company keeps growing. But too often, leaders act in ways that do nothing to foster such commitment among their staff. Leadership is the phenomenon of someone following another person because he wants to, not because he has to. As we know, true leadership is rare. Many people—30%, according to one Gallup poll—are disengaged at work and simply comply with orders. They show up, exert minimal effort and exude hardly a trace of passion. This isn’t good for anyone. It’s time for a transformation and transformation starts with a new mind-set.
of purpose. Workers, in turn, are then more willing to give leaders what they want—their dedicated passion. Leaders who help workers develop personally and professionally simply do a better job of retaining good employees. People will follow leaders who provide them with the opportunity to grow and make a difference in the world, not because they have to, but because they want to. So, go forth and sell added value to your “other” customers. BT Larry Wilson is a pioneer in change management, leadership development and strategic thinking. He has founded the Wilson Learning Corp., Pecos River Learning and The Wilson Collaborative. Wilson works with companies to help them “create the organization that, if it existed, would put them out of business.” His clients include major mattress manufacturers and retailers. He can be reached at email@example.com.
BedTimes | October 2009 |
Social media marketing 16 | BedTimes | October 2009
Getting a conversation started with consumers
By Barbara Nelles ocial media is experiencing staggering growth and user demographics are rapidly broadening beyond the ranks of youthful “digital natives.” In August, Forrester Research reported that social media use among adults age 35 to 54 jumped 60% in the past year. A recent Verizon TV commercial pokes fun at the trend, depicting two teen-agers who scold their parents for obsessively posting “I love you’s” on Facebook and “tweeting” their every move. Understandably, businesses are eager to tap into the popularity of social media to spread the word about their products and services. And, according to social media experts BedTimes spoke with, some companies are finding success. What exactly is social media? “It’s anywhere you have a two-way conversation online—it’s blogs, social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, microblogging platforms like Twitter and FriendFeed, chat forums, message boards and instant messaging—and it comprises about 80% of the Internet’s content,” says David Reiss, president and chief executive officer of DEI Worldwide, a Los Angeles-based advertising agency and word-of-mouth marketing firm. Winners at social media marketing are companies that are able to speak with an authentic and often passionate voice, perhaps by sharing personal stories on company blogs that make consumers want to stick around to learn more and post their own thoughts. Other companies are extending a helping hand to consumers by answering questions about products and solving problems instantly via Twitter. Still others offer a utility—a quiz, a coupon or a downloadable Web tool—that forges a bond with the company or brand.
BedTimes | October 2009 |
What social media marketing isn’t Rule No. 1, the experts say, is to remember that social media marketing isn’t like traditional advertising. You can’t just push out the same old sales message by blogging, building a Facebook page or posting comments in forums. “Social media is not a new marketing channel. It’s about community and relationship building and engaging in conversations,” says Amber Naslund, a social media blogger, consultant and the director of community for Radian6, a social media monitoring software company based in Fredericton, New Brunswick. “The most important thing to remember is the public views social media as ‘all about me.’ People are not on Facebook to find your products, but to develop relationships.” “In fact, people are really distrustful of brands right now in the social media space,” says Markham Butler, technical director for ad agency BBDO in Atlanta. “They don’t want to be bothered with companies that get in there and try to blast out product messages.” Instead, companies should dip into
social media slowly and quietly. Begin simply by finding out where your customers are online and listening to conversations. You’ll want to search the Internet for your company name, your brands, your competitors’ brands and other key words and phrases related to the mattress industry. Expect that it will take awhile to refine your “listening posts,” your search tools and search terms. There are many free listening
‘Social media is not a new marketing channel. It’s about community and relationship building and engaging in conversations.’
Dealing with negative comments
Companies can turn adversaries into advocates simply by responding to these critics—whether openly or in private. Experts say rule No. 1 for dealing with negative comments is don’t attempt to discredit the complaint by getting defensive. Don’t counter negative commentary by immediately jumping to the defense of your company or an employee. Instead, “say ‘Wow! Thanks for sharing that. Let me see what we can do about this and let me get back to you,’ ” says Beth Harte, a community manager for Los Angeles-based MarketingProfs and a marketing and public relations consultant, writer and educator. “Fear is the biggest nail in the coffin of any social media program, but I always say social media didn’t invent criticism, it just made it easier to hear and react to,” says Amber Naslund, a social media blogger, consultant and the director of community for Radian6, a social media monitoring software company based in Fredericton, New Brunswick. “Complaints represent a beautiful opportunity to engage with those people, turn it to a positive and become a ‘customer engagement activist’ on the Web. ‘I think your brand sucks’—if you ignore that comment, it looks like you are tacitly agreeing or trying to hide something. Instead, become the proactive hero who is there to take care of customers. We consumers don’t expect companies to be perfect; we expect them to be responsive.”
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tools available. If you haven’t already, create a set of Google Alerts at www.google.com/alerts. You also can create alerts at search engines that target social media, such as www.socialmention.com and www.backtype.com. Sign up for Twitter and download TweetDeck or Seesmic, free third-party Twitter “browsers” that let you create ongoing searches. Take advantage of the Web’s most popular social bookmarking site Delicious (http://delicious.com) to locate bookmarked chatter. Search Delicious tags for your key words. You also can use Delicious to review public bookmarks of social media experts to learn more about how other companies are effectively using social media. Check out the case study tags of Chris Brogan (http://delicious.com/chrisbrogan) and Amber Naslund (http://delicious.com/ambernaslund). Other experts often post their bookmarking “handles” at their blogs and Web pages. Joining the conversation “Empower those people within your company who understand your brand’s value and what makes you better than the competition,” says Beth Harte, a community manager for Los Angeles-based MarketingProfs and a marketing and public relations consultant, writer and educator. Develop a culture at your company where it’s OK for employees to speak directly with consumers. It’s often a huge cultural shift, social media experts say, but worth the effort. Your company’s brand ambassadors will not necessarily be your youngest, most digitally savvy staffers. Look for people who have a positive attitude and a good understanding of your brand, your products and mission. Don’t expect your ambassadors to stay on message all the time, but do find those who are able to converse fluently with consumers. “They could be in accounting, research and development or on the plant floor,” Harte says. “Send them to conferences and educate them about social media. Allow them time to view www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
blogs, Facebook, Twitter posts and YouTube videos at work.” Baby and infant products company Graco has a popular Heart to Heart blog with more than a dozen contributors from within the company. Its success began with a single employee, a new mom who forged connections with Web visitors. When it comes to mattresses, there are many subjects that you can to build stories and conversations around, Harte says. “I just bought a new house, I just got married, I had my first baby— people need help with all of these things,” she says. “They want to know what’s best for a bad back, how a mattress is made, what to buy when pregnant. Companies begin by sharing stories on these subjects that lead to two-way conversations.” “There is a huge opportunity with mattresses for the right company to take the conversation away from the product and make it into something bigger,” Naslund says. “Tell us how to really shop for a mattress. What are the tricks of trade?” Offering a utility is one way to forge connections in social media, Butler says. A utility may be a tool that consumers use to compare your products to your competitors’ offerings or it can be a gadget they download and tell their friends about. For instance, outdoor retailer REI created a popular application for mobile devices that provides free ski reports. The goal of social media is “opening up, inviting consumers in and having them create their own content—on blogs, Twitter and elsewhere—about you,” Harte says. “But bear in mind that social media is very much a slow burn,” Naslund reminds companies. “Don’t get frustrated. Develop a philosophy of being present, helpful and available and letting the people who need you find you.” In many ways, social media enhances traditional advertising efforts. “Sometimes we need to be interrupted and reminded,” Harte says. “I had a coupon on the refrigerator for Chick-fil-A’s new peach shake. Then a connection tweeted about how great www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Implications of the mobile Web
In August, CNET News reported that use of the Apple iPhone to access the Internet increased 221% in 12 months. Mobile Marketing Watch predicts “smart phone” sales will outstrip computer sales by 2011. “We are looking at an increasingly mobile Web environment,” says Jeb Banner, chief executive officer of Small Box, a Web development and digital marketing company based in Indianapolis. “More than three-quarters of Twitter users and one-quarter of Facebook users access the applications from a mobile device. Since 2008, Internet access via mobile devices has soared.” “Whenever the mood strikes us, we can have sound-bite conversations,” says Amber Naslund, a social media blogger, consultant and the director of community for Radian6, a social media monitoring software company based in Fredericton, New Brunswick. “The ease of the mobile Web enables people to broadcast without the filters or impulse control they exercise when creating longer commentary. And there are impulsive blurts of compliments, too. Companies need to be paying attention to these.”
‘Bear in mind that social media is very much a slow burn. Don’t get frustrated. Develop a philosophy of being present, helpful and available and letting the people who need you find you.’ they are. It enticed me to take that coupon and try it. Now I’m hooked.” Create rules Before you begin, minimize risks to your company by creating and enforcing written guidelines for employees regarding the use of and access to social media, experts say. Guidelines should include commonsense advice like “Don’t share any
information you wouldn’t be comfortable telling your mom,” Harte says. Write your rules in conjunction with your company’s risk managers, including attorneys and insurance companies. Decide who within your company is allowed to identify themselves as representatives of your business in social media forums. Be forthright with the public about your policies. The popular Graco baby blog links to a “Rules of Engagement” and lets readers know it operates in a highly regulated industry and is unable to address all issues publicly. “There is so much talk today about making your company transparent,” Harte says. “That’s a scary, risky notion to many. Instead, think in terms of becoming more ‘translucent.’ ” For more information, read “Social Media Policies Critical for Reducing Legal, Business Risks” at Jennifer Leggio’s blog on ZDNET, http://blogs.zdnet.com/feeds. Measuring ROI Tracking and measuring the effectiveness of social media marketing is a nascent, hotly debated field. There is no single definitive method, experts agree. Companies are cropping up that provide paid social media monitoring services—a first step in determining return on investment—and there are
BedTimes | October 2009 |
More information on social media marketing Start with a good book ➤ Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff ➤ The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media by Paul Gillin ➤T rust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
Some social media marketing blogs ➤ Altitude Branding by Amber Naslund, www.altitudebranding.com ➤ Chris Brogan, www.chrisbrogan.com ➤ Going Social Now by Shiv Singh, www.goingsocialnow.com ➤ KD Paine’s PR Measurement Blog, http://kdpainblogs.com ➤P ositive Disruption by Tom Martin, tommartin.typepad.com/ positive_disruption ➤ Mashable: The Social Media Guide, www.mashable.com ➤ Social Media Explorer by Jason Falls www.socialmediaexplorer.com ➤ Social Media Today, www.socialmediatoday.com ➤ The Harte of Marketing by Beth Harte, www.theharteofmarketing.com ➤ ZDNet – Social Business by Jennifer Leggio, http://blogs.zdnet.com/feeds
Video ➤ “A Talkable Brand is…” at John Moore’s Brand Autopsy blog, http://brandautopsy.typepad.com
Publications and e-newsletters ➤ www.clickz.com ➤ www.mediapost.com ➤ www.imediaconnection.com
plenty of free online tools. Radian6 is one example of a social media monitoring platform that provides results and analysis in real time on a “flexible dashboard.” The service is priced on a sliding scale based on users and volume and starts at about $600 a month for a single user. Free tools include Google Analytics (www.google.com/analytics) and the site statistics tool Xinu Returns (http://xinureturns.com) that evaluate your Web sites and blogs. You also can set up alerts at the social media search engine SocialMention (www.socialmention.com) and at the Twitter search tool TweetBeep (www.tweetbeep.com). In order to determine the ultimate effect of social media on your bottom line, you have to consider more than social media “impressions.” Companies must create benchmarks and set goals for their social media marketing efforts, experts say. Chart your
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social media involvement, refining and tweaking it as you go. Track social media mentions, increases in Web site visitors and numbers of Facebook “fans” and Twitter followers. Over time, compare the changes in these measurements to sales figures and perceived brand reputation. For more information, watch the slide show “Basics of Social Media ROI” by Olivier Blanchard at www.slideshare.com and read “How to Measure Social Media ROI for Business” by Aaron Uhrmacher at http://mashable.com. Twitter & Facebook Twitter launched in 2006 and is the fastest growing social media application, according to Nielsen Online. Its strongest demographic is users 28 to 50 years old. The microblogging platform grew an astounding 1,928% in the United States from June 2008
to June 2009, when it had 21 million unique monthly visitors. Facebook claims to be the most popular social networking platform with 250 million active users around the world and 87.3 million unique visitors in the month of June alone. Its fastest growing demographic is women between the ages of 35 and 55. While thousands of companies have created Facebook pages, few have accumulated a sizeable number of fans. Then there’s Volkswagen. As of early September, the company had 272,000 Facebook fans, which it gained since the spring when it launched a utility that complements its “Meet the Volkswagens” ad campaign. When visitors click a button on the Volkswagen page, it mines their profile to match them with their “future Volkswagen.” People can click on photos of their matches, view pages set up for fans of specific vehicles and share photos, videos and stories with others who’ve been similarly matched. “One of our clients has a successful yearlong campaign that hooked right into Facebook,” Butler says. “Visitors log into their Facebook accounts within the company’s Web site and easily share any of the videos or other viral content there with friends.” Papa John’s pizza chain went from 1,000 to 20,000 fans overnight when it offered a secret code to fans of its Facebook page, Butler says. The code yielded a coupon for a free pizza. Now the company’s fan base is more than 300,000. “Think about the metrics they can pull from that information,” Butler says. “Who wants a free pizza? Who likes their pizza? Who will come back a second time and pay for a pizza?” Twitter, often described as Internet-based texting, has an enormous community of dedicated users. Basically tweeters publish short posts of 140 characters or less about what they are doing or thinking. They “follow” people and are followed by others. If they see a good tweet, they can “retweet” it to others. Twitter on mobile devices allows people to ask for help and receive it, publicly and in real time. As one Twitter aficionado told BedTimes, www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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Thinking of hiring a social media expert?
The most important thing is to find someone who really is engaged with social media, not someone who views it as a tool for message pushing, says Beth Harte, a community manager for Los Angeles-based MarketingProfs and a marketing and public relations consultant, writer and educator. Check to see if your potential social media marketing manager—or in the case of an outside agency, its executives and employees—are “out in the social media space,” says Markham Butler, technical director for ad agency BBDO in Atlanta. “Forget about how they pitch you. Look at what they are doing. Are they out there, searchable and sought after for valuable information? Are they on LinkedIn? Do they have Twitter handles and blogs that they use regularly? People who do social media well, do it all the time.” For more information read “25 Signs You’ve Got a Strong SM Consultant or Agency” at The Harte of Marketing blog, www.theharteofmarketing.com.
“When I need an opinion about something, I don’t search the Internet anymore, I go on Twitter.” Frank Eliason, director of digital care for telecommunications provider Comcast, “singlehandedly
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changed Comcast” using Twitter, Naslund says. “He got on Twitter one day and said ‘Can I help you?’ to a disgruntled customer,” Naslund explains. “Since then, he has helped thou-
sands of customers and now has a team behind him assisting customers on Twitter.” In July, Best Buy launched its Twelpforce, a legion of rank-and-file Best Buy employees who respond to questions and requests via Twitter. Tweeters need only to include “@twelpforce” in tweets to get a Twelpforce member’s attention. Mattress makers who monitor Twitter posts over a 24-hour period for phrases such as “going mattress shopping” or “need a new bed” will see how many consumers need guidance regarding the product category—a lot. Thanks to the mobile Web, many of these consumers are out shopping as they tweet. What can your company do to help? For more information on getting started with Twitter, read Tom Humbarger’s post “Best Practices for Corporate Twittering” at www.socialmediatoday.com/ SMC/119962. BT
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Mattress make meeting dem By Barbara Nelles
hether it’s $3 or $350, there is a pillow for every purse. Today’s frugal consumer may be postponing a mattress purchase, but she still will indulge in a new pillow. And many mattress manufacturers and industry suppliers have added offerings to assist shoppers in their quest for the perfect pillow. “Pillows started getting important about five years ago,” says Dave Young, chief executive officer
2 | BedTimes 24 | BedTimes| October | October2009 2009
of mattress kit and pillow supplier VyMaC Corp., based in Fort Atkinson, Wis. “Consumers are waking up to the fact that a good mattress and a bad pillow yield a really bad night’s sleep.” Research shows that consumers are very attached to their pillows, says Kevin Stein, vice president of marketing and research and development at Latex International, a foam supplier with headquarters in Shelton, Conn. Many admit to bringing their pillow with them when
Pillows play powerful role
ers, industry suppliers mands of consumers they travel and say they are pillow possessive— to the point of engaging in pillow “fights” with their sleeping partner. “Pillows have become integral to the mattress sale and can be 10% to 20 % of the ticket. They are the No. 1 sleep accessory,” says Herman Tam, vice president of sales and marketing for Leggett & Platt’s Consumer Products Group, which is based in Carthage, Mo. Enlightened consumers are learning to give
up their lumpy old pillows sooner and they are interested in matching new pillows to the comfort materials in their mattresses, product suppliers say. “Pillows are consumable products with an intelligent sell that can drive consumers back to mattress stores when it’s time for replacement,” says Dan Schecter, vice president of consumer products at Carpenter Co., a Richmond, Va.-based supplier with more than 2,600 pillow SKUs.
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Foam pillows have power Foam pillow lines are proliferating and, not surprisingly, interest in latex mattresses is spurring interest in latex pillows. Since 2003, Sleep Comp West LLC has distributed a line of 100% natural latex pillows to mattress manufacturers. The latex pillows are made in Sri Lanka by Latex Green and are available in classic and contour (the neck area is higher than the head) profiles. A zoned latex pillow with a firmer perimeter for neck support was introduced in 2008 and a Talalay version will be available this fall. The company also offers a memory foam collection. “Pillows are about 5% of our business and growing,” says Roger Coffey, president of the Buena Park, Calif.based company, which does business as Latexco West, a division of LatexcoUS. “Especially on the West Coast, with the growing demand for natural latex mattresses, consumers are asking for a 100% natural pillow.” In 2009, Latex International added a 100% natural latex pillow with a 100% cotton cover to its Rejuvenite line. The company launched Rejuvenite in 2005, but has manufactured latex pillows since 1975. Rejuvenite is marketed to retailers, as well as directly to consumers via a Web site, (www.rejuvenite.com), with a “pillow personalizer” function. Suggested retail prices range from $79 to $149. Perfect Fit Industries, a soft goods Pillow partnership Sleep Comp West LLC distributes a line of 100% natural latex pillows produced by Latex Green.
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Right Plethora of pillows Carpenter Co. offers more than 2,600 pillow SKUs, including the new Avena foam model. Below Special core Diamond Spring Co. produces pillows made with polyurethane and visco-elastic foam ‘springs’ inside.
manufacturer and distributor with three plants in the United States, has a “soup to nuts” pillow product line, says Jeff Chilton, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Charlotte, N.C.-based company. It also distributes a line of latex pillows manufactured by Latexco in Lavonia,
Ga., and Tielt, Belgium. One Latexco offering, the Oodles pillow, is filled with extruded latex “spaghetti.” In a recent appearance on the Home Shopping Network, 18,000 Oodles twin packs sold for $54.99 each. During the Las Vegas furniture market in September, Carpenter
‘Consumers are waking up to the fact that a good mattress and a bad pillow yield a really bad night’s sleep.’ added the Avena foam pillow to its large selection. The core is a new formulation that is “more comfortable than both latex and visco,” Schecter says. Bedding manufacturer TempurPedic’s iconic contoured neck pillow has long been a key driver of the company’s mattress sales, says Dan Setlak, vice president of marketing and direct sales for the Lexington, Ky.-based company. “Our research has validated that consumers who first experience Tempur-Pedic via a pillow purchase are 40% more likely to purchase our mattress when they are next in the market.” www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Belly up to the Pillow Bar Frustrated by her quest to find just the right pillow, Dallas entrepreneur Merrimac Dillon hit on an idea: an in-store machine for custom-filling pillows. In early 2008, she created and introduced the freestanding, patentpending Pillow Bar. Sort of like a popcorn machine for blowing pillows, it allows retail sales associates to monogram a 300-thread count, 100% cotton sateen pillow and fill it with white Hungarian goose down. Pillows have a removable lavender sachet, too. Dillon says consumers often choose to have special messages, such as “Seeking serenity” or “Easy to love you,” embroidered onto the pillows instead of a name or initials. “We’re taking the guesswork out of a perfect night’s sleep,” Dillon says. Suggested retail prices range from $70 for a travel pillow to $295 for the “Dr. Mary” version. The Pillow Bar is now in a half-dozen sleep shops in Chicago and Texas and Dillon says that number soon will double. Watch a video of the Pillow Bar in action at www.thepillowbar.com.
Made to order The Pillow Bar kiosk allows consumers to fill and monogram a goose down pillow to their specifications.
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Diamond Spring Co., which has headquarters in Zele, Belgium, offers a line of pillows with cores made with its patented foam “springs.” The springs are formulated with both firmer polyurethane foam and softer visco-elastic foam to give the pillows a variety of feels. The cores are then wrapped in polyester fiber and encased in 100% cotton or CoolMax covers. “This is a durable pillow that keeps its shape, evacuates moisture during sleep and keeps the head in perfect position, eliminating any pressure on shoulders and spine,” says Eric Van Speybroeck, Diamond Spring sales manager. L&P stamped its brand name on pillows for the first time when it introduced the Leggett & Platt Home Collection earlier this year. Pillows are available in synthetic, foam and down fill. The Classic Memory Foam pillow has bio-based content and an open-cell structure. “It’s shaved, not molded,” Tam says. “The core has no skin, rendering the bun highly breathable for cooler sleeping.” The company introduced a line of Talalay latex pillows at the fall Las Vegas Market. Suggested retail prices for pillows in the entire collection range from $59 to $99. Fiber gets fancy The lion’s share of pillows sold continues to be made of inexpensive polyester fiber fill. But in recent years, manufacturers have been rolling out premium, lofty synthetic fills or down alternatives that command higher prices—some as much as $59 in standard sizes. Premium polyester fill and natural down also are used in combination. United Feather & Down, which has U.S. headquarters in Des Plaines, Ill., introduced a premium down alternative three years ago called MicroMax. It comes in four grades: good, better, best and luxury. Carpenter launched its Beyond Down pillow collection in 2007. This year, the company added an “exploded polyester cluster” fill pillow called Celestial that offers www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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cost about the same as other synthetic fills, the company says.
Alternative fillings VyMaC Corp. offers EverLoft pillows made with a down alternative called Everlon, a product developed by Fossfill A/S.
New markets Industry supplier Latex International started its Rejuvenite line in 2005. The pillows are marketed to retailers and directly to consumers.
greater loft and support at a moderate price point, Schecter says. Leggett & Platt Home Collection’s plush Micro Gel Fiber is actually a polyester fiber with coil-like strands that add extra loft and softness, Tam says. VyMaC manufactures a number of proprietary pillow designs that are sold through its associated Verlo Mattress Factory Stores. It also markets a full line of synthetic pillows through retail, hospitality and other sales channels. Its EverLoft pillows, introduced in 2006, are filled with a down alternative called Everlon—a product developed by the Danish company Fossfill A/S. The pillows are lofty, durable and launderable, Young says.
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Pillows made with fill from recycled plastic bottles are popular and the quality of the fill is greatly improved. Those bottles may one day be the source of all synthetic pillow fiber, pillow makers say. Cambridge, Ontario-based mattress and bedding accessories maker Natura World offers five pillow collections with wool, latex and memory foam cores. But its newest pillow, the Eco-Green, is filled with a synthetic fiber made from recycled bottles. Turner Fiberfill, a regional manufacturer and distributor of synthetic pillows based in Montebello, Calif., also offers eco-friendly pillows made from recycled plastic bottles. They
The ups and downs of feathers Demand for feather pillows has been reduced in recent years by consumer concerns about bird flu and hygiene, a number of soft goods suppliers say. But a white goose down pillow is still the ultimate pillow, says Bob Hickman, United Feather & Down, vice president of sales and marketing. The company is both a manufacturer of pillows and a supplier of feathers and down to other soft goods manufacturers. It processes feathers and down that it purchases from suppliers around the world using a 15-step cleaning cycle, Hickman says. Feather and down fills are a natural, renewable resource that come in a complex array of grades and qualities. “Goose down is considered most desirable, yet good duck down from Europe is of better quality than goose down from China, where birds are slaughtered young,” Hickman says. United Feather & Down’s topof-the-line offering is a 100% white goose down pillow, which retails for about $169 in a standard size. A 50/50 blend of small feathers and down is considered “best” quality and is a top seller to the hospitality industry, Hickman says. Leggett & Platt Home Collection uses Canadian white goose down and feathers in its pillows because they “have an excellent quality reputation,” Tam says. “The feathers are treated with an agent that makes them hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, too.” McRoskey Mattress Co., a manufacturer and retailer based in San Francisco, carries a down sleeping pillow line manufactured by Northern Feather Canada. Pillows are available in four sizes, three firmnesses and retail priced from $125 to $195. McRoskey also offers a selection of synthetic pillows and a travel version. “We promote buying the $25 pillow protector along with the www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
pillow by offering a 15% discount when they are purchased together,” says Robin Azevedo, McRoskey president. “Pillows have been a good product for getting people to come back to the store between mattress purchases.” Shape changers In addition to the wide variety of components used, pillows come in a multitude of shapes and constructions. There are neck pillows, travel pillows, knee pillows, lumbar pillows and body pillows. And there are gusseted, multichambered, foldable and adjustable versions. VyMaC and Turner Fiberfill offer a “boomerang” or U-shaped breastfeeding pillow that cradles a nursing infant. VyMaC also has a “dog bone” shaped pillow that will accommodate a person wearing a type of breathing mask used to treat sleep apnea. “Pillows that help position the body are increasingly important,” VyMaC’s Young says. “Especially in Europe and Asia, we are seeing a lot of body pillows for side sleepers and they’re growing in importance in the U.S. They fill voids and help maintain a comfortable posture.” An unusual body pillow with fingerlike appendages is a top seller on a home shopping network in
New constructions Leggett & Platt Home Collection’s Micro Gel Fiber is actually a polyester fiber with coil-like strands.
‘Pillows have been a good product for getting people to come back to the store between mattress purchases.’ Japan, Young says. It’s designed and marketed by Fossfill. Sleepers can wrap and tie the pillow around them or use it in any number of sleep positions. Tempur-Pedic listened to consumer feedback and redesigned
its body pillow earlier this year, Setlak says. The fabric cover, pillow loft and length all were tweaked based on user input. Perfect Fit recently introduced an electric body pillow that is slated to appear on the shopping outlet QVC later this year. It retails for between $79 and $99. United Feather & Down recently added the Bed & Body pillow to its Personal Comfort Sleep System pillow program. The new model has a dual chamber that unzips to become a full body pillow. Also new to the line is the Pillow-Top pillow, which is gusseted and firmer on one side; a plush pillow-top on the other. Latex International’s Bliss pillow has a latex core covered in a down outer layer. Perfect Fit sells a pillow that looks like a minimattress, with a quilted cover filled with microdenier fibers and a core of high-loft polyester. And Leggett & Platt Home Collection offers the Triple Chamber: The center holds Canadian white goose feathers; the top and bottom layers contain goose down. United Feather & Down introduced Utopia in August. A combination of a down pillow with an inner chamber that holds two removable layers of memory foam, it’s the “world’s first completely adjustable sleep pillow,” Hickman says. BT
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BedTimes | October 2009 |
Pillows provide more than just a place to lay your head
illow manufacturers and suppliers tout not only the comfort of their products, but various health benefits, as well. There are pillows that are said to reduce aches and pains, enhance breathing, regulate temperature, prevent snoring, alleviate sleep apnea and provide aromatherapy. Body posture during sleep is important, says Roger Coffey, president of Sleep Comp West LLC, which does business as Latexco West and is based in Buena Park, Calif. “A good neck pillow will keep the head and neck in a neutral position, maintaining the neck’s natural curve,” Coffey says. “Without that support, neck muscles can tense up, leading to headaches and migraines.” Mattress maker Tempur-Pedic, which is headquartered in Lexington, Ky., offers the SidePillow, designed to cradle the neck and shoulder, relieve pain and prevent the sleeper from rolling onto his back and snoring. In addition to its Sleep Better Signature collection, which was designed by sleep doctor Michael Breus, Carpenter Co. offers the Ambient Comfort pillow. It’s filled with trademarked Holofiber material, said to increase oxygen levels in the body. Carpenter is based in Richmond, Va. United Feather & Down, a soft goods manufacturer and feather and down supplier with U.S. headquarters in Des Plaines, Ill., combines synthetic fill with silver to create anti-microbial and anti-odor Silverfill. The fill can be paired with the company’s Silverweave pillow cover. Soft goods manufacturer Perfect Fit Industries, which has headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., introduced the Ironman pillow at a recent Las Vegas furniture market. It incorporates the Ironman sleep technology developed by T3 Recovery Products. The collection includes standard and neck pillows designed to provide quick recovery and better sleep. I Care Sleep Products LLC, a divi-
34 | BedTimes | October 2009
Top Add-ons Natura World adds essential oils and aloe vera to some pillows, like the DreamMate. Middle Metal fibers United Feather & Down combines synthetic fill with silver for its Silverfill line. Bottom Breathing aid The Oxygen Pillow from European Sleep Works is designed to provide ‘deeper sleep through deeper breathing.’
sion of Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. in Hickory, N.C., offers specialty pillows designed to partner with its mattresses, says Jim Wall, I Care general manager. The company’s pillows have suggested retail prices between $40 and $80. “Our newest pillow is the Cool Flash introduced this year,” Wall says. “It’s a synthetic fill pillow covered with temperature-regulating Outlast fabric that is displayed with the Cool Flash mattress.” Other I Care pillows include the Pretty Pillow with a copper-containing cover and contoured shape meant to be gentle on facial skin and the Peace & Quiet Pillow, which is intended to alleviate snoring. Mattress and bedding accessories manufacturer Natura World offers aromatherapy with lavender or ylang-ylang essential oil in some pillows. Versions containing aloe vera are intended to provide a measure of skin care. “Many consumers use these pillows without a pillow case, especially the aloe vera pillow—I do,” says Julia Rosien, communications director for the
Cambridge, Ontario-based company. Temperature-regulating IsoCool pillows are a No. 1 bests eller at Carpenter, says Dan Schecter, vice president of consumer products. The pillows have a layer of phase-changing material beneath the fabric cover. European Sleep Works, a pillow maker based in Berkeley, Calif., retails and wholesales its Oxygen Pillow with a tag line that promises “deeper sleep through deeper breathing.” The pillow was introduced in 2005. “I started yoga several years ago— it’s all about breathing and it’s made a big difference in my life,” says Michael Lavin, company owner and pillow inventor. “In the research we’ve done, we discovered the unaddressed need in sleep is breathing.” The $130 Talalay latex pillow has a tri-layer core with “lateral cuts and hinge effects” and an “interior grid system support structure” that “opens the chest and facilitates diaphragmatic breathing,” Lavin says. The pillow is adapted for side and back sleeping and is covered in an organic cotton stretch knit that is said to facilitate air flow. BT www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
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IndustryNews Natura purchases NexGel Industry M
attress and bedding accessory manufacturer Natura World has acquired NexGel, a manufacturer of gel mattresses based in Alpine, Utah. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Natura, which has headquarters in Cambridge, Ontario, plans to expand distribution of gel mattresses, toppers and pillows across Canada and the United States, the company said. “We’re excited to be embarking on this new venture as the manufacturer of NexGel bedding products because of how the technology aligns with our mission statement,” said Ralph Rossdeutscher, Natura World president. NexGel mattresses with Ortho-Gel technology are said to provide pressure relief across the entire body. The gel is a honeycomb construction of hollow columns made from a rubberlike material that buckles under pressure while providing support and cushioning.
Select Comfort shareholders reject deal At a special meeting on Aug. 27, Select Comfort shareholders rejected a stock purchase agreement with Sterling Partners that would have given the investment group a majority stake in the Minneapolis-based mattress company. The Sterling proposal fell just short of a majority, receiving 49.94% of the vote. The agreement was to include the issuance and sale to Sterling of 50 million shares of Select Comfort stock at $0.70 a share. The day before the meeting, Select Comfort stock closed at $2.77 a share. Due to the vote’s very narrow margin, Select Comfort had Broadridge Financial Solutions, an independent certifier, conduct a recount. Broadridge verified the initial results of the vote. Subsequently, Sterling Partners filed a complaint in Delaware Chancery Court requesting expedited proceedings and a temporary restraining order requiring that Select Comfort retain an additional independent third party to recount the vote and that it be prohibited from terminating the securities purchase agreement until the recount was complete. On Sept. 4, the court rejected Sterling Partners’ requests. On Sept. 3, Patrick Hopf, a former Select Comfort board chairman who holds 73,750 shares, filed a similar lawsuit in Hennepin County Minnesota District Court against the company. If the Sterling Partners agreement had been approved, Hopf was expected to be appointed president and chief executive officer of the company. On Sept. 8, various financial news sources were reporting that hedge fund Adage Capital Partners GP had offered Select Comfort alternative financing.
Big dreams, big star Singer-songwriter Jewel helped Richmond, Va.based industry supplier Carpenter Co. promote its “Sleep Better. Dream Bigger” campaign in July and August. Jewel, shown here with Dan Schecter, vice president of sales and marketing for Carpenter’s consumer products division, performed at a picnic in Stephenville, Texas, on Aug. 13. Jewel’s most recent CD is Lullaby. Carpenter’s marketing and public education campaign focused on teaching people to sleep better and follow their dreams and centered on residents of Stephenville.
vets launch LatexBLISS
Mattress industry veterans Kurt Ling and Joe Hunt have formed a “virtual” company called LatexBLISS that debuted at the Las Vegas furniture market in September. It manufactures Talalay latex and latex-pluspocketed coil mattresses. The company has neither a corporate office nor a large corporate staff. There are no plants, only contract assembly facilities planned for the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and West Coast in the United States and in the United Kingdom and France. “Why does the industry need yet another mattress manufacturer? Because in this economy retailers need greater profit margins and, at the same time, better quality product,” Ling said. “We see an incredible amount spent on manufacturer’s infrastructure and burden that isn’t necessary.” The company is substituting a strong Web presence for a national advertising budget. LatexBLISS showed four ultrapremium collections in Las Vegas designed to appeal to consumers who are “bedding enthusiasts,” Ling said. The company calls itself “a trendy brand” for consumers interested in wellness. With a tag line that reads, “Revitalize and Beautify,” the brand’s Web site, www.latexbliss.com, “looks more like a Web site for an upscale spa or high-end cosmetic line than a mattress company,” Ling said.
BedTimes | October 2009 |
Most mattress components exempted from lead rules
he U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has exempted internal mattress components from new limits on lead, determining that those materials are physically inaccessible to children. The CPSC also has announced other exemptions from the lead limits that apply to virtually all outer mattress fabrics, as well as wood, paper and similar materials made from wood or other cellulosic fibers, and certain types of printing inks. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act requires that manufacturers of children’s products, which include mattresses intended for children 12 and younger, test and certify that their products and components do not contain lead in excess of 300 parts per million. The law says that this threshold may be reduced to 100 ppm in August 2011, if meeting such a lower limit is technologically feasible. The International Sleep Products Association had argued to the CPSC that most mattress components should be exempt from the law’s lead restrictions because they are inaccessible to children. For details about the CPSC’s lead regulations, check the CPSC site at www.cpsc.gov or the International Sleep Products Association’s Web site at www.sleepproducts.org/advocacy.
Mattress manufacturer Dunlopillo Indonesia, which has headquarters in Jakarta, celebrated the 64th anniversary of Indonesia’s independence on Aug. 17 with a patriotic mattress display at the Indonesian Record Museum in Semarang. The exhibit of custommade mattresses spelled out the date of the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence from colonial rule by the Netherlands, which was signed Aug. 17, 1945. The company said the display was intended to show consumers that a good mattress doesn’t have to be a conventional rectangle: Its latex mattresses can be built in any size and in almost unlimited shapes.
38 | BedTimes | October 2009
Therapedic inks licensing deals L icensing group Therapedic International has signed a deal with licensee Winco Inc. to expand Winco’s distribution of Therapedic products to include all of Texas. Winco also services Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma. Haleyville, Ala.-based Winco is servicing the region through a plant in Carrollton, Texas, that it recently purchased. Winco is owned and operated by Carroll Moran, who also owns Corsicana Bedding. “We are especially pleased to have Winco expand its Therapedic operation,” said Gerry Borreggine, president and chief executive officer of Princeton, N.J.-based Therapedic. “It’s a strong endorsement of our program and an affirmation of its adaptability by independent entrepreneurs—either
40 | BedTimes | October 2009
small or large operations—such as Winco.” “What Therapedic is doing fits our plans,” Moran said. “The new factory will operate as a dual license.” The Carrollton plant was owned by the former Spring Air Co. and will again produce Spring Air brand products because Winco has acquired the Texas license from the new Spring Air International. The addition of the newest Winco facility gives Therapedic 13 factories in the United States. The company also operates a large network of international licensees. It recently signed a licensing agreement with Tlaquepaque, Mexico-based manufacturer Artaban International to manufacturer and distribute Therapedic products in Mexico.
Texas team-up Under a new agreement, Winco Inc. will supply Therapedic products to Texas, as well as five other states. Pictured (from left) Clint Walling, Winco sales manager; Doug Guffey, Winco president; Carroll Moran, Winco owner; and Gerry Borreggine, Therapedic International president and chief executive officer.
“We are pleased to join the team of a top bedding brand,” said Alejandro Rodriquez-Gamboa, Artaban president.
Culp net sales down; ticking profitable Textile supplier Culp Inc., which has headquarters in High Point, N.C., had net sales of $45.5 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010, a decrease of 23% over the same quarter a year ago. Its mattress fabric segment was down 26% and upholstery fabric sales were down 19%. Pretax income was $2 million, or 4.4% of sales, compared with $1.2 million, or 2% of sales over the previous year. “In spite of the sales decline, we are very pleased with the strong turnaround in profitability for our upholstery fabrics business and continued solid profitability in our mattress fabrics segment,” said Frank Saxon, Culp president and chief executive officer. “We began fiscal 2010 with a much leaner operating platform than we had a year ago and we are realizing the benefits of our strategic actions, especially during the economic downturn. Today, Culp has a strong competitive position in both businesses and, as always, our primary focus is on execution for our customers.”
Mattress fabrics achieved solid profitability in spite of unprecedented weak consumer demand in the bedding industry, the company said. Operating income for this segment was $3 million with operating margins of 11.2% of sales, down from $4.2 million and 11.9% of sales for the same quarter the previous year. The company’s total cash flow from operations was $4.6 million for the quarter. Culp said it is close to a positive net debt position for the first time in more than 30 years. Its balance sheet reflected $15.5 million in cash as of Aug. 2, compared with $11.8 million at the end of fiscal 2009. Culp’s financial position continued to strengthen significantly during the first quarter, the company said, with an ending cash balance of $15.5 million and total debt of $16.4 million. Total debt, which includes current maturities of long-term debt and long-term debt, less cash (net debt) was $0.9 million, compared with $4.6 million at the end of fiscal 2009.
BedTimes | October 2009 |
Simmons sales fall; profit margin up A
tlanta-based mattress maker Simmons, which is engaged in a financial restructuring that began in the fall of 2008, announced that net sales for its fiscal second quarter decreased 18.6% to $218 million, compared to $267.7 for the same period last year. Gross profit was $94.3 million, or 43.2% of net sales,
compared to $101.2 million, or 37.8% of net sales, for the same period of 2008. “In light of the current economic conditions, we are generally pleased with our sales performance to date in 2009, in particular the sales of our upper-end products, which include our Beautyrest NxG and new Beautyrest
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Black product lines,” said Steve Fendrich, president and chief operating officer. “Our new BeautySleep line also performed well in the second quarter.” Net sales in the domestic segment decreased $34 million, or 14.8%, to $195.3 million compared to the same period in 2008. The company attributed the sales decline to decreases in both conventional bedding unit volume (down 15.5%) and conventional bedding average unit selling price (down 0.9%). Operating income in the second quarter totaled $19.2 million compared to operating income of $19.5 million for the same period last year. Operating income was negatively impacted by financial restructuring charges aggregating $6.6 million, the company said. Simmons’ net loss was $5.8 million for the second quarter of 2009, compared to net income of $1.2 million for the same period in 2008. On Aug. 14, Simmons announced it had reached an agreement with the majority of its senior bank lenders and holders of its senior subordinated notes to extend loan forbearance periods until Aug. 31.
CPSC updates guide for thrift, resale stores
42 | BedTimes | October 2009
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has updated its Handbook for Resale Stores and Product Resellers, which provides guidance to thrift stores and other resellers about safety concerns associated with certain consumer products. Renovated and second-hand mattresses must comply with both the 16 CFR Part 1632 and 1633 flammability standards. The revised handbook provides specific guidance on the matter and advises stores to destroy mattresses that do not meet flammability requirements. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
IKEA recalls sofa beds T
he U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Aug. 27 that IKEA has voluntarily recalled about 500 sofa beds because the mattress and seat cushions intended to be used as a mattress failed to meet the federal open-flame mattress standard (16 CFR Part 1633). Specifically, IKEA is recalling the Karlstad model sofa-bed frame that has article number 801-215-12 and supplier number 20789 with date stamps 0845 through 0927 located on a label attached to the underside of the frame. The sofa beds, with a retail price of about $850, were sold nationwide from November 2008 to July 2009. The mattress topper is not affected by the recall. The sofa beds were made in Mexico and distributed through IKEA Home Furnishings in Conshohocken, Pa. No injuries associated with the sofa beds have been reported, according to the CPSC. The CPSC said “consumers should immediately stop using the mattress and cushions and contact IKEA or visit the Returns and Exchange Department at their local IKEA store to arrange free installation of a replacement mattress and seat cushions.” For additional information, the CPSC tells consumers to contact IKEA at 888-966-4532 or www.ikea-usa.com.
44 | BedTimes | October 2009
L&P steps up focus on retail
Carthage, Mo.-based industry supplier Leggett & Platt has consolidated its direct-to-retail sleep products and services under a single umbrella. Its Consumer Products Group, which also manages the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of sleep accessories, is overseeing operation of the company’s adjustable bed division, Adjustables by Leggett & Platt. That division’s sales training team is now responsible for training on all Consumer Products Group brands, which include Leggett & Platt Home Collection, Fashion Bed Group and Southern Textiles. Consumer Products Group also introduced this year the Leggett & Platt Retail Solution, a set of retailer tools that includes point-ofpurchase systems, marketing materials, sales training and performance management systems. “CPG has a renewed focus on serving retailers and helping them meet their customers’ needs,” said Rob Woods, Consumer Products Group president. “We are committed to providing our customers and retailers with highly effective sales performance enhancing tools and training resources.”
Merello offers pillow wrapper M
erello, part of Leggett & Platt’s Global Systems Group, offers the ME-305, which automatically wraps pillows and cushions sized between 16-by-16 inches or 43-by-32 inches at a rate of eight per minute. The machine forms a tubestyle bag from a polyethylene roll and requires no lateral sealing. Changing the polyethylene roll is “fast and easy” Wrap it up The ME-305 from Merello can cover as many and different sizes can be used as eight pillows or cushions per minute, the company without adjustment, accordsays. ing to the company. Cuts are made by a maintenance-free, smokeless cold blade. A touch-screen PLC control displays input parameters and cycle information. An optional video jet thermal printer can print product data and bar codes directly on finished package.
Perfect Fit & Restonic team up
Mattress licensing group Restonic has partnered with Charlotte, N.C.based soft goods maker Perfect Fit for a top-of-bed program that includes mattress pads, pillows and Healthrest-branded bedding. The program emphasizes both quality and value, according to the companies. The mattress pads provide stain resistance, magnet therapy, Marvelous Middle zoned support and other features. Also included are three pillow styles. The products are “designed for stores such as Wal-Mart and Target. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to share the Restonic brand with a new set of consumers,” said Brooke Palmieri, Restonic marketing manager.
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BedTimes | October 2009 |
BedInABox supplying CertiPUR-US products BedInABox LLC has become the first bedding manufacturer to offer mattresses and bedding products exclusively containing CertiPUR-US certified foams. The Piney Flats, Tenn.-based company manufacturers and sells mattresses, mattress covers, pillows, and adjustable and platform beds via the Internet. “We believe CertiPUR-US represents the front runner in the ‘clean foam movement,’ ” says Steve Nice, BedInABox chief executive officer. “By specifying only CertiPUR-US compliant foam, we know that every foam mattress in our line offers the cleanest and best choice for all members of the family.” The CertiPUR-US certification process examines flexible polyureuthane foam products through a battery of independent laboratory tests and chemical analyses. Compliant products are certified to be manufactured without use of prohibited content such as ozone-depleting CFCs, PBDE fire retardants, lead, mercury and other materials of concern. CertiPUR-US also sets baseline requirements for foam physical performance regarding comfort and durability. The CertiPUR-US certification program, modeled after the CertiPUR program in Europe, is open to all foam manufacturers. For more information, check www.certipur.us.
46 | BedTimes | October 2009
Verlo stores change ownership
del Salameh, the owner of three Verlo Mattress Factory Stores in the Wisconsin cities of Delafield, Fort Atkinson and Watertown, has purchased two existing Verlo locations in the Wisconsin cities of Grafton and West Bend. Salameh is a longtime franchise owner and was named a Franchisee of the Year by the International Franchise Association in 2007. “I chose to be a part of Verlo because of its rich heritage of handcrafting the most superior mattresses one at a time, personalized for each and every customer,” Salameh said. “The torch has been passed to me and I am excited to be able to continue the tradition in Grafton and West Bend.” Salameh has upgraded the storefronts and signage at both locations and staged September grand re-opening celebrations that included special savings on floor models and clearance items. He said he will continue Verlo’s culture of community involvement at the Grafton and West Bend locations with fund-raisers and special events.
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Exhibiting companies scheduled to participate (as of September 8, 2009): A. Lava & Son Co. Advance Fiber Tech. Corp. (AFT) American & Efird, Inc. American Nonwovens Inc Arch Chemicals, Inc. Ateja Tritunggal Atlanta Attachment Co., Inc. Avery Dennison Corporation – Fastener Division BarretteWood Baumer of America, Inc. Bechik Products, Inc. Bekaert Textiles USA Inc. Black Bros. Company Bo-Buck Mills, Inc. BoMei-Changfu Ltd. BRK Group LLC Bruin Plastics Co., Inc. C.J. Hodder Lumber Company Carpenter Company Chamay Mattress Ticking Manufacture (Foshan) Co., LTD. Chem-Tick Coated Fabrics, Inc. Coats North America Costa International Creative Ticking CT Nassau Tape – Ticking CTL Deslee Textiles USA Inc. Diamond Needle Corp. Diamond Spring Company – USA Dunlap Sunbrand International Eclipse International/Eastman House Edge-Sweets Company Edgewater Machine Co., Inc. Enriquez Materials & Quilting Inc. Fecken-Kirfel America Inc. Feutre National Felt Inc. First Film Extruding, LLC/Balcan Plastics Ltd. Flexible Foam Products, Inc. FXI Foamex Innovations Global Systems Group Harvard Manufacturing Enterprises, Inc.
Henkel Corporation Herculite Products, Inc. Hickory Springs Mfg. Co., Inc. Ideal Quilting Limited Innofa Integrity Software Solutions James Cash Machine Co., Inc. Jomel Industries, Inc. Jones Fiber Products, Inc. Knickerbocker Bed Co., Inc. Komar Alliance Lady Americana Lampe USA Inc. Latex International Latexco Lava USA Leggett & Platt, Inc. Leigh Fibers Inc. Liberty Threads N.A. Inc. Luen Tai Group (HK) Limited Maxime Knitting Inc. N.V. Monks International S. A. Nantong Healthcare Foam Natura World Inc. Performance Fabrics & Fibers Plastic Monofil Co. Ltd. Precision Custom Coatings Precision Fabrics Group, Inc. Response Computer Group, Inc. Restonic Mattress Corp. Saba North America, L.L.C. Shanghai Latex Industrial Co. Ltd. Simalfa Soltex, Inc. Springs Creative Products Group LLC Spuhl AG Stork Twin City Testing Sunkist Chemical Machinery Ltd Tai Wa Hong (Macau) Tekscan Inc. The Govmark Organization, Inc. Tietex International, Ltd. Uni-Source Textile Vita Nonwovens William T. Burnett & Co., Inc. Wright of Thomasville, Inc. Zhejiang Huajian Mattress Machinery Limited
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Join your manufacturer, retail and supplier colleagues for these information-packed sessions! Keynote: Redefining the American Consumer New research introduces you to the ‘grounded’ consumer Many experts feel that the recession has permanently altered consumers’ spending patterns. Hear about provocative new research from Context-based Research Group and Carton Donofrio Partners suggesting fundamental shifts in the way Americans think about themselves and the purchases they make. Join us for an in-depth presentation about this thought-provoking research!
Meeting Customer Expectations Selling the experience is what will keep her shopping Mattress retailing is at a point in the industry’s lifecycle where selling the experience is becoming as important as the product assortment offered, says retail marketing and merchandising expert Marty Walker. Walker challenges mattress retailers and their manufacturer partners to move beyond the traditional emphasis on products and features to focus on what is truly important to customer…and what will make the sale!
Tapping the ‘Green’ Market Who are ‘Green Consumers’ and What Do They Really Want? The green movement is clearly here to stay as more and more consumers base their purchasing decisions on how eco-friendly a product is or how committed a company is to environmental responsibility. Who are these consumers and how can you respond to their wants and needs?
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NewsMakers L&P Consumer Products makes personnel changes
arthage, Mo.-based Leggett & Platt, which realigned its retail accessory brands earlier this year under Leggett & Platt Consumer Products Group has announced several position changes and promotions. Randy Long, a 23-year veteran of the company, has been promoted to the newly created position of director of sales. His responsibilities include overseeing of all domestic and international sales in the Consumer Products Group and expanding the sleep-related products and services portfolio. He supervises five regional vice presidents of sales and the director of retail sales training. He reports to Rob Woods, president of the Consumer Products Group. In addition to his new responsibilities, Long continues in his previous
role as vice president of sales for the Northeast region and remains based in Elmer, N.J. Della Emory, formerly sales director of marketing and alternative channels for L&P’s adjustable bed division, has expanded her role with the newly created position of vice president of sales for Leggett & Platt Retail Solution and adjustable bed marketing. In her new post, she is facilitating the nationwide rollout of Leggett & Platt Retail and will continue to reside in Carthage. Emory reports to Rob Woods. Zach Woods has been promoted from sales representative to vice president of sales for the Western region. His responsibilities include sales in 11 states, with 12 sales representatives reporting to him. Woods will relocate
Int’l Bedding adds operations execs Mattress maker International Bedding Corp., which has headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has hired four executives for operations positions. Bruce Miller serves as vice president of logistics and continuous improvement, a new position. Miller has extensive experience in the bedding industry and has worked for both Sealy and Simmons in senior positions at the plant, regional and corporate levels. Before joining the mattress industry, he was chief operating officer for Alan White Furniture. Steve Greco has been named operations manager for the company’s manufacturing plant in Texas. He previously spent seven years as operations and production manager for Simmons. Prior to that, he was a manufacturing manager for Collins & Aikman and a business unit director for KForce. Jim Haynes has been named operations manager for the company’s New York manufacturing facility. Haynes previously was a plant manager for Simmons. He also has held positions at IBM, Sonoco, J.M. Smucker Co. and the Sigma-Aldrich Co. Miller, Greco and Haynes report to Dan Hige, senior vice president of operations. Steve Boucher has been named plant manager for the Pennsylvania manufacturing facility, a new position. Previously, he was a plant manager for Gold Bond Mattress. He also has held manufacturing management positions at a number of Sealy facilities. Prior to that, Boucher was a plant and continuous improvement manager for Alan White Furniture. He reports to Ed Wolff, plant operations manager. “The additions will not only enhance our management depth, but bring a fresh set of eyes and ideas as we move forward with continuous improvement,” Hige said.
50 | BedTimes | October 2009
to the Los Angeles area. He reports to Long. Formerly the director of U.S. retail sales for the adjustable bed division, Brian Croft has expanded his role in the newly created position of director of retail sales training for the Consumer Products Group. He leads a group of 10 retail sales performance coaches, who are trainers on all of the group’s product categories. Croft reports to Long and is based in Carthage. “These internal changes allow us to capitalize on the strengths of our sales organization and retail sales training team,” Rob Woods said. “We’ve put together a great team of high performers to help our retail customers improve performance during tough economic times.”
Sealy promotes Murray
attress maker Sealy has promoted Mike Murray to senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of the company. He reports to Larry Rogers, president and chief executive officer of the Archdale, N.C.-based producer. “Mike brings a unique skill set to his new role that goes beyond his legal expertise,” Rogers said. “Mike offers a decade of experience in the bedding industry and has a keen understanding of Sealy’s business and operations.” Murray has been practicing law since 1991. Prior to joining Sealy in 1999, Murray was a senior attorney for Aeroquip-Vickers, now a division of Eaton. Since joining the mattress industry, he has played an active role in flammability regulation and other industry issues and has been “integrally involved in all aspects of (Sealy), including working with retailers, suppliers, manufacturing and the financial restructuring of the business, public filings and corporate governance,” the company said. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
D.R. Cash hires R&D VP
R. Cash Inc., a maker of mattress and custom machinery, has named Thomas Johnson vice president of research and development. He joins D.R. Cash from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he held a research post. Johnson’s areas of expertise include computer-aided engineering, systems engineering and Thomas Johnson electromechanical design. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Louisville and a master’s in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His responsibilities at D.R. Cash include consulting with mattress manufacturers on general and custom machinery, as well as focusing on new machinery research and development. “Thomas’ expertise in systems engineering and electromechanical design will be instrumental in the development of a new product range for D.R. Cash Inc.,” said Amy Titus, company president. “We look forward to his interaction with all of our customers.” Johnson reports to Titus.
Spring Air Int’l names sales trainer Boston-based Spring Air International has hired Heidi Kleinman as national sales trainer. Kleinman has 23 years of experience in sales management, training and business development and joins the company following 13 years with Blue Bell Mattress. Most recently, she was responsible for Blue Bell’s sales training, business development and key account management. She also held a number of sales-related positions there. Prior to that, Kleinman was regional sales manager for Beaux Visages. “Heidi is a specialist in innerspring, latex and specialty sleep products development,” said Rick Robinson, Spring Air International president. “She brings a wealth of mattress experience and an impressive track record to our organization and we’re pleased to have her with us on the ground floor of the new Spring Air.” Kleinman’s job responsibilities include supporting Spring Air’s retail and wholesale sales training programs, working with U.S. and international licensees and participating in the development and presentation of Spring Air programs to retailers. She reports to Robinson.
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BedTimes | October 2009 |
CommunicationTips 10 big traps to avoid when you speak
Take your presentations from dull to dynamic By Patricia Fripp
n executive gets up to speak. Everyone needs to hear what he has to say but within 10 minutes, they are either hopelessly confused or falling asleep. What is he doing wrong? Whenever you open your mouth— whether your audience is one person or 1,000—you want to get a specific message across. Maybe you want your opinions heard at a meeting or perhaps you’re giving a formal presentation. Whatever the specifics, anytime you set out to present, persuade or propel with the spoken word you face 10 major pitfalls.
Unclear thinking If you can’t describe what you’re talking about in one sentence, you may be guilty of trying to cover too many topics or lacking focus. Your listeners will probably be confused and their attention will likely wander. Whether you are improving your own skills or helping someone else create a presentation, the biggest (and most difficult) challenge is to start with a one-sentence premise or objective.
No clear structure Make it easy for people to follow what you’re saying: They’ll remember it better. If you waffle, ramble or never get to the point, your listeners will tune out. Start with a strong opening related to your premise and clearly state that premise. Then list the rationales or facts that support your premise, backing each up with examples, stories, statistics, metaphors or case histories. Finally, review what you’ve covered, take questions, if appropriate, and finish with a strong closing.
52 | BedTimes | October 2009
No memorable stories People rarely recall your exact words. Instead, they remember the images your words inspire. Help your listeners create a picture in their minds by using memorable characters, engaging situations, dialogue, suspense, drama and humor. If you can open with a highly visual image—whether dramatic or amusing—that supports your premise, you’ll hook them. Then tie your closing back to that opening scene. They’ll never forget it.
No connection The most powerful communication combines both intellectual and emotional connections. Intellectual connections can be made by appealing to educated self-interest with data and reasoned arguments. Emotional connections come from engaging the listeners’ imaginations, involving them in your illustrative stories by frequently using the word “you” and by answering their unspoken question, “What’s in this for me?” Use a high “you/I” ratio when talking. For example, don’t say, “I’m going
to talk to you about telecommunications.” Instead say, “You’re going to learn the latest trends in telecommunications.” Not, “I want to tell you about Bobby Lewis,” but “Come with me to Oklahoma City. Let me introduce you to successful entrepreneur Bobby Lewis.”
Wrong level of abstraction Are you providing only the big picture and generalities when your listeners are hungry for details, facts and specifics? Or are you drowning them in data when they need only an overview? Get on the same wavelength as your listeners. David Palmer, a Silicon Valley negotiations expert, refers to “fat” and “skinny” words and phrases. Fat words describe the big picture, goals, ideals and outcomes. Skinny words are minute details and specifics about who, what, when, where, why and how. In general, senior managers need to hear fat words. Middle managers require something in between. Technical and plant staff need skinny words. Feed them all according to their appetites. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
No pauses Good music and good communication both contain pace changes, pauses and full rests. This is when listeners think about what they’ve just heard. If you rush on at full speed to crowd in as much information as possible, you’ll leave your listeners behind. It’s OK to speak quickly, but pause when you say something particularly significant or ask a rhetorical question. This gives the audience a chance to think about what you’ve said and internalize it.
Irritating nonwords Hmm…ah… er…you know what I mean… One speaker I heard began each new thought with “Now!” as he scanned his notes to figure out what came next. Record yourself to check for similar bad verbal habits. Then tape yourself delivering the same material until such audienceaggravators have vanished.
Stepping on your “punch” words The most important word in a sentence is the punch word. Usually, it’s
the final word: “Take my wife, please!” But if you then drop your voice and add, “Right?” or “See?” you’ve killed the impact of your message. (To discover if you do this, use the tape-recording test described above.)
Misusing technology Without a doubt, technological advances have added impact to speakers’ presentations. However, just because it’s available, doesn’t mean you have to use it. Any visual aid takes the attention away from you, and even the best PowerPoint presentation will not connect you emotionally to the audience. Instead, use strong stories. Never repeat what is on the visuals. If you do, one of you is redundant. Information presented through technology tends to be about the speaker and the speaker’s company, but communication should be about the audience. One executive I coached had 60 PowerPoint slides—58 about his company and two about the prospective client. We halved the number and reversed the ratio.
Not having a strong opening and closing Engage your audience immediately with a powerful, relevant opening that has a high “you/I” factor. It can be dramatic, thought-provoking or amusing, but never open with a joke. Get your listeners hooked immediately with a taste of what is to follow. And never close by asking for questions. Take questions, if appropriate, but then go on to deliver your dynamic closing, preferably one that ties back to your opening theme. Last words linger. As with a great musical, you want your audience walking out afterward humming your tune. BT
Patricia Fripp is a speech coach, sales presentation trainer and keynote speaker. She works with companies large and small, as well as individuals. She builds leaders, transforms sales teams and entertains audiences. To learn more, check www.fripp.com or contact Fripp at 415-753-6556 or email@example.com.
Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation 1. Publication Title: BedTimes 2. Publication No. 0893-5556 3. Filing Date: Sept. 15 4. Issue Frequency: Monthly 5. No. of Issues Published Annually: 12 6. Annual Subscription Price: $50 U.S.; $65 outside U.S. 7. Address of Known Office of Publication: 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA 22314 8. Address of Publisher Headquarters: 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA 22314 9. Names and Addresses of Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor: Publisher, International Sleep Products Association, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA 22314; Editor, Julie Palm, 118 Park Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27127; Managing Editor, N/A 10. Owner: International Sleep Products Association, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA 22314 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees and Other Security Holders: None N/A 12. N/A 13. Publication Title: BedTimes 14. Issue Date for Circulation: September 2009 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation Avg. No. Copies Actual No. Copies Each Issue During of Single Issue Published Preceding 12 Months Nearest to Filing Data A. Total No. Copies (Net Press Run) 4,210 4,350 B. Legitimate Paid and/or Requested Distribution 1. Outside County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 2,124 2,131 2. In-County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 0 0 3. Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, 1,413 1,343 and Other Paid or Requested Distribution Outside USPS 4. Requested Copies Distributed by Other Mail Classes Outside the USPS 10 10 C. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation 3,547 3,484 D. Nonrequested Distribution 1. Outside County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541. 148 137 2. In-County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541. 0 0 3. Nonrequested Copies Distributed Through the USPS by Other Classes of Mail 0 0 4. Nonrequested Copies Distributed Outside the Mail 90 90 E. Total Nonrequested Distribution 238 227 F Total Distribution 3,785 3,711 G. Copies Not Distributed 425 639 H. Total 4,210 4,350 I. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation 94% 94% I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanction (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties). (Signed) Julie A. Palm, editor in chief
BedTimes | October 2009 |
UpClose Clenet enjoys building from the ground up
Former hair stylist founded Ergomotion with his father By Dorothy Whitcomb
elly Clenet is a man with a mission. Although people may think the odds are stacked against him, he plans to build his adjustable frame and bedding company into a $100 million operation. And he is more convinced every day that he will reach that goal. To appreciate the scope of Clenet’s ambition, it’s important to understand that he and his father, Alain Clenet, started Ergomotion just five years ago. Neither had previous experience in the bedding industry and they don’t think that hinders them. They have a product they believe in and, Kelly Clenet says, a receptive market. Ergomotion offers adjustable bed frames, as well as visco-elastic mattresses and pillows. The frames are at the core of the company’s strategy. Ergomotion draws designs for its frames from automobile technology, something that Alain Clenet, who serves as the company’s chief executive officer, knows a good deal about. Before starting Ergomotion, the elder Clenet had spent his entire career working in the automobile industry as an original equipment manufacturer. He holds numerous patents, including one for the Quadra-Drive system for Jeeps. When Alain Clenet’s company went public in the late 1990s, he sold his position and began spending much of his time in Africa, where he was involved in several nonprofit organizations. “My dad had a friend who manufactured mattresses in China. He suggested the adjustable bed idea,” Kelly Clenet says. “Dad didn’t want to start another company. He liked the idea of the opportunity, but didn’t want to work full time again so he approached
54 | BedTimes | October 2009
Family car Kelly Clenet drives a custom roadster designed and built by Clenet Coachworks, which his father, Alain Clenet, owned from 1974-86.
me about starting it together.” The timing was good. Kelly Clenet had been a hair stylist for 17 years, running his own shop and working as a manager and trainer for Rusk, a distributor of hair care products. In his “spare” time, he bought and sold real estate and ran a brokerage that traded in high-end used cars. He was growing tired of keeping all those balls in the air. “I wanted to build something that created equity,” he says. “I knew that if I put 100% of my effort into it, I could build something substantial. This opportunity was not going to come again.” Clenet has worked hard—and, he hopes, smart—to take advantage of the opportunities Ergomotion presents. A self-described “big picture guy,” he says he has surrounded himself with “the most seasoned people in
this category in the industry.” Ergomotion’s resources, Clenet says, are allocated to where they matter most: Research and development, distribution and customer service. “Ergomotion operates from an incubator building, so we’re not locked into a long-term lease or capital expenses for furniture and equipment,” he says. “We like being nimble.” All Ergomotion products are currently manufactured in China. Clenet’s focus is paying off. Ergomotion manufactures adjustable bases that Serta sells under its own brand and has agreements with two large distributors. Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. handles the company’s distribution to large retailers and mattress manufacturers, while ArchBrook Laguna facilitates the Serta program and Internet sales. The company sells in eight countries, with international sales accounting for about 23% of total business, up from 8% a year ago. Other than occasionally missing the creative aspects of doing hair, Clenet knows that he has made the right career choice. “We started this company with $25,000 and a $1 million line of credit that my dad and I personally guaranteed,” he says. “There are times when we thought the whole thing was going to implode, but we’re profitable, we own the company and we’re projecting that we’ll be debt-free by year-end. Things are good.” At home on the water Clenet grew up on the water in Michigan and California and currently owns a 23-foot Donzi, a high-performance powerboat. “When I’m on the water, it’s like turning off a switch,” he says. “I shut down every care in the world and am totally in the moment.” www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Perpetual motion Clenet has two speeds—on and off. “I’m a doer,” he says. “When I’m not doing something, I’m sleeping.” Fantasy destination “My dream vacation is to go to Fiji with a group of friends and family who all dive,” Clenet says. “The diving there is just amazing, so we’d sail around the Fijian Islands, diving and eating fresh fish.” An active life Clenet enjoys a broad range of sports. He runs every morning and says that walking his 120-pound dog, a Leonberger, also is great exercise. In the winter, he skis and snowboards with his son, Alexis. In warmer weather, he boats, scuba dives, hikes and spends as much time as possible at the beach.
➤ Bio in brief Name Kelly Clenet Company Ergomotion Title President Location Goleta, Calif. Age 40 Education Santa Barbara City College and Vidal Sassoon Academy Family Clenet and his wife, Heather, have been married for 11 years. He has a 14-year-old son, Alexis, from a previous marriage.
Street smarts Clenet has no formal business training, but says he acquired the savvy to run his
venture by asking questions and listening carefully to the answers. “I’ve learned the most about business and people from doing hair all those years. This area (in California) breeds entrepreneurs. I picked my clients’ brains and learned a ton,” he says. “The first year Ergomotion was in business, I was being counseled by my clients constantly.” Navigating a new industry Ergomotion became a member of the International Sleep Products Association shortly after opening its doors. “We use ISPA as a resource for all sorts of information about the industry and the shows have been very valuable to us for picking up new business, particularly international business,” Clenet says. BT
71/2” H Continuous Units 8” H Pocket Units Reliable & Creditable Canadian Professional Manufacture Bonnells and Edge guards 4” H to 8” H Wires, Border-rods, Grids, etc.
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BedTimes | October 2009 |
Classifieds For Sale
TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, MULTINEEDLE AND SINGLENEEDLE QUILTERS, long-arm label machines, sergers, etc. Contact Victor LeBron, American Plant and Equipment. Phone 864-574-0404; Fax 864-576-7204; Cell 864-590-1700; Email firstname.lastname@example.org; Web www.americanplantandequipment.com.
EMCO Compustitch Quilter with Quilt Rack and Catwalk and Gribetz cutter; National serger and Table 1; Union Special serger and Table 2; Porter 1000 serger and table; Porter tape-edge. Many other miscellaneous items available. Call Troy at 815-343-9984 for more details.
REBUILT AND RECONDITIONED MULTINEEDLE QUILTING MACHINES. Specializing in PATHE precision parts and service. Technical consultants. SEDCO. Phone 201-567-7141; Fax 201-567-5515. TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, QUILTERS & MISCELLANEOUS SEWING MACHINES. Contact Frank Carlino, U.S. Mattress Machinery. Phone 815-795-6942; Fax 815-795-2178; Email email@example.com.
Check out BedTimes online!
We manufacture wooden box-spring flat frames and foundations custom sized to your specifications. Foundation kit options available. Wood components for flat frames, foundations, pallets or packaging, including grooved stock cut to the size you need. Assembly available for most items. Foundations can be covered and bagged to be ready to sell. Ask about your specific needs. Email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. AUTOMATIC BORDER MACHINE. 2003 Atlanta Attachment 33200A1Y90. Standard and continental; sew miters and join. Like new. $53,000. Contact Tom Metcalfe in Bluefield, Va. Phone 276-326-1898. Complete tufting production line and sewing equipment for sale: tufting machine, tufting table, conveyor belt with mattress flip machine, including packing line, ventilation exhauster, bean bag machine, glue cabin including ventilation exhauster, HYMA foam cutter, Pfaff 1425/1426 sewing machines, Wolf cloth hot drill, Kuris Novita cutter, Wolf pacer, miniroller lay-end cutter, Niebuhr cloth feeder, etc. All the equipment is in excellent condition. Contact Per Kristensen. Phone 410-691-9944; Fax 410691-9977; Email email@example.com. TAPE-EDGE MACHINE. Spuhl-Anderson model TE2 with Singer 300U head. Excellent condition. Very little use. $8,500 or best offer. Will include extra items (call for list). Contact Bruce Teufel. Phone 732-299-5048.
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www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes 56 | BedTimes | October 2009
Gribetz GTE 300 Chain-Stitch 1992 quilting machine for sale. Completely refurbished; machine working in production now. Computerized. Special adaptation for widths of 100 inches; good for comforters. $79,000. Call 305-216-7156.
Place your classified ad today!
Reach mattress industry professionals around the world with your advertising message through the BedTimes Classifieds. Rates: $3 per word for the first 100 words and $2.50 thereafter; minimum charge of $75. “Blind” box number: $50 per insertion. Ad copy and payment must be received by the first of the month preceding publication. Send ads and payment to BedTimes Classifieds, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1917. Contact Debbie Robbins for additional information. Phone 336-342-4217; Fax 336-342-4116; Email firstname.lastname@example.org. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
MARK YOUR C ALENDAR !
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ISPA EXPO...the only trade show in the world devoted exclusively to the mattress industry!
March 3-6, 2010 Charlotte Convention Center Charlotte, North Carolina USA For information about exhibiting, contact Kerri Bellias, email@example.com or call 336-945-0265.
AdvertisersIndex A. Lava & Son Co. Steve Appelbaum 800-777-5282 (800-777-LAVA) www.alavason.com
American Law Label Inc. Rocco Bruno Jr. 773-523-2222 www.americanlawlabel.com
Atlanta Attachment C2-1, 21 Co. Inc. Hank Little 770-963-7369 www.atlatt.com Baron Styles Dave Williams 262-473-7331 www.baronstyles.com
Bloomingburg Spring 51 & Wire Form Vickie Schwarm 740-437-7614 www.bloomingburgspring.com
Eclipse International/ 29 Eastman House Stuart Carlitz 800-634-8434 www.eclipsemattress.com www.eastmanhousemattress.com Edgewater Machine Co. Inc. Roy Schlegel 718-539-8200 www.edgewatermachine.com
Enriquez Materials & Quilting Inc. Silvia Enriquez 323-725-4955 www.enriquezquilting.com
Global Systems Group Russ Bowman 954-846-0300 www.gsgcompanies.com Hengchang Machinery Factory Belinda Lau 86-769-83307931 www.hcjixie.com
Plastic Monofil Calvert Kogan 802-893-1543
P.T. RubberFoam Indonesia Andreas Janssen 62-21-53662190 www.rubberfoam.co.id
SABA North America LLC Jim Turner 810-824-4964 www.saba-adhesives.com
John Marshall & Co. Ltd. Peter Crone 64-3-341-2004 www.joma.co.nz
Boyteks Tekstil AS M. Nebi Dogan 90-533-685-6041 www.boyteks.com
Kenn Spinrad Inc. Randy Weinstock 800-373-0944 www.spinrad.net
Keynor Spring Mfg. Raymond Shao 604-267-1307 www.keynor.com
Komar Alliance Herman Tannenbaum 215-441-9300 www.komaralliance.com
58 | BedTimes | October 2009
Diamond Needle Corp. Abe Silberstein 800-221-5818 www.diamondneedle.com
Lenzing Fibers Inc. Nina Nadash 212-944-7898 www.lenzing.com
New England Needles Inc. Thomas Lees 800-243-3158 www.newenglandneedles.com
Boycelik Erol Boydak 90-532-274-3193 www.boycelik.com
Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. Rick Anthony 828-328-2201 www.hickorysprings.com
CT Nassau John Bauman 617-661-0970 www.ctnassau.com
Latex Systems Kitti Charoenpornpanichkul 66-2-326-0886, Ext. 204 www.latexsystem.com
Masias Maquinaria SA Sonia Ortiz 34-972-239-150 www.masias.com
BLR Martin Leroux 819-877-2092 www.blrlumber.com
BRK Group Jeff Miller 562-949-4394 www.brk-group.com
Latex International Kevin Stein 203-924-0700, Ext. 347 www.latexinternational.com
Simalfa Darren Gilmore 973-423-9266 www.simalfa.com
SpringCo. Inc. Carlos Luna 305-887-3782
Starsprings International Kai Christensen 46-513-17800 www.starsprings.com
Tietex International Ltd. Wade Wallace 800-843-8390 www.tietex.com
Oct. 1-4 ZOW Turkey Istanbul Expo Center Istanbul, Turkey Phone 90-212-3249610 Fax 90-212-3249609 www.zow.com.tr 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
➤ Nov. 4-6 ISPA Industry Conference & Exhibition Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa Bonita Springs, Fla., U.S. Phone 703-683-8371 Fax 703-683-4503 www.sleepproducts.org
Jan. 24-27 Interiors Birmingham National Exhibition Centre Birmingham, England Phone 44-121-780-4141 Fax 44-121-767-3825 www.interiorsbirmingham.com
Feb. 1-5 Las Vegas Market World Market Center Las Vegas, U.S. Phone 888-416-8600 Fax 702-599-9622 www.lasvegasmarket.com Feb. 2-6 Istanbul Furniture Fair CNR EXPO Istanbul Istanbul, Turkey Phone 90-212-465-74-75 Fax 90-212-465-74-76 www.itf-imob.com
Feb. 3-5 Australian International Furniture Fair Sydney Exhibition Centre Sydney, Australia Phone 613-9654-7773 Fax 613-9654-5596 www.aiff.net.au
➤ March 3-6 ISPA EXPO Charlotte Convention Center Charlotte, N.C., U.S. Phone 703-683-8371 Fax 703-683-4503 www.sleepproducts.org March 9-12 International Furniture Fair Singapore/ ASEAN Furniture Show Singapore Expo Singapore Phone 65-6569-6988 Fax 65-6569-9939 March 19-22 ZOW Shenzhen Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center Shenzhen, China Phone 60-3-2094-2880 Fax 60-3-2094-2881 www.zow-shenzhen.cn March 27-30 Interzum Guangzhou/ China International Furniture Fair China Import & Export Fair Pazhou Complex Guangzhou, China Phone 86-20-8755-2468 Fax 86-20-8755-2970 www.interzum-guangzhou.com www.ciff-gz.com
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BedTimes | October 2008 |
TheLastWord Survey: Raises to rebound in 2010 After a year of paltry raises and salary freezes, U.S. workers will likely see a larger bump in pay next year, according to a survey by Watson Wyatt, a global consulting firm. Companies expect median merit increases to be 3% in 2010, the “2009/2010 U.S. Strategic Rewards Survey” found. Last year, before the onset of the recession, companies projected 3.5% merit increases for 2009. Now companies say median merit pay increases will be 2%. Other good news for workers: Fewer companies plan to eliminate pay raises in 2010. Only 10% of companies expect to forgo salary increases next year, compared to 25% this year, according to a related survey conducted by subsidiary Watson Wyatt Data Services. When it comes to raises, companies are being more judicious. The survey found that workers who “partially met expectations” will receive median merit increases of only 0.2% in 2009, down from 1.5% in 2008. Workers who “exceed expectations” this year will receive a median 3.1% increase. “With companies operating on limited budgets, employees can expect their performance on the job to come under increased scrutiny,” says Laurie Bienstock, Watson Wyatt U.S. director of strategic rewards consulting.
Crazy co-worker complaints
he work environment can be more than a little stressful these days and it’s likely that co-workers are getting on each others’ nerves. But some pet peeves seem, well, more than a little peevish. In a recent nationwide survey by the human resource consultancy CareerBuilder, 2,600 hiring managers reported the strangest complaints they’ve received from employees about their co-workers. We picked our 10 favorites. The offending employee: 1. Eats all the good cookies 2. Is too sun-tanned 3. Is so polite, it’s infuriating 4. Is trying to poison me 5. Is personally responsible for a federally mandated tax increase 6. Has the wrong aura 7. Breathes too loudly 8. Wants to check another employee for ticks 9. Has bells on her shoes even though it’s not holiday time 10. Reminds another employee too much of Bambi
A whole new way to protect your back P
eople concerned about keeping their guns safe have an interesting option: the BedBunker, a heavyduty steel safe designed to hold as many as 32 rifles and 70 hand guns. The safe’s components are welded and powder coated for strength and it’s outfitted with high-security MulT-Lock brand
60 | BedTimes | October 2009
locks. The maker says the fire-safe BedBunker can survive as long as two hours in temperatures as high as 1,533 degrees. The BedBunker is designed to replace a bed’s foundation under twin-, queen- and king-size mattresses and is compatible with most standard bed frames, the manufacturer says on its Web site, www.bedgunsafe.com. BedTimes is not an expert in vault technology so we’ll have to trust what the maker says about
the BedBunker’s security features. But we do know something about mattresses and have to wonder if the BedBunker won’t diminish the quality of a sleep system. The company claims that today’s foundations add nothing to a bed’s comfort and says that “by placing your mattress on the floor, you can mimic what your BedBunker will feel like.” Actually that may be the BedBunker’s biggest safety feature: Your guns will be safe because you’ll be up all night tossing and turning. www.sleepproducts.org/bedtimes
Mattress Factory Survival Tool The Paragon® M+ has the most useful benefits of any multi-needle quilt machine in the world. Sews dense quilt packages up to 6” (155mm) thick
Easy Loop Take Time button shows needle/looper alignment POSI-TRIM™ system eliminates Tack & Jump® “tails” Rated for sewing speeds up to 1500 spm
AutoLube system for prolonged machine life
Encoders record sewing motions to resume exact position after an interruption in sewing
Equi-Stitch and Pattern Compensation technology ensures accurate stitching and true pattern definition.
Gribetz Batch Mode and AutoSchedule software produce great savings for the manufacturer.
Pre-loaded with 300 pattern shapes, all of which can be modified on the machine in seconds!
Adjustable presser foot height changes at the touch of a button.
Considering all the unique benefits of the Paragon M+, this is the best mattress quilter value in the industry. Best of all, it is backed by the dependable reputation of Gribetz. That means this versatile tool is ready to work when you need it most.
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