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BedTimes OCTOBER 2010


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InSide Features

22 Working on the relationship

The manufacturer-retailer partnership is critical to the mattress industry’s success. Representatives of both groups weigh in on what’s working—and what isn’t.

34 Rethinking the performance review

At too many companies, performance reviews have devolved into annual “check the boxes” exercises. There are far better ways to correct and reward employees, according to an expert.


7 Front Matter

With the help of a new PR agency, the Better Sleep Council is moving solidly into the world of social media, starting with “Suite 7,” a Web video series where the mattress stars.

13 Management Issues

Technological advances and economic realities dictate that more and more workers do their jobs far from corporate headquarters. Managing such “remote” employees takes both a new mind-set and a new skill set.

19 Sales Talk

53 Newsmakers 57 ISPA News 58 Up Close 60 Calendar 62 Advertisers Index 63 Classifieds 64 Last Word

You know the importance of networking, but how well do you actually do it? A sales professional points out 10 networking mistakes that many of us make.

5 Editor’s Note 17 Marketing Matters 39 Industry News

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EDITOR IN CHIEF Julie A. Palm 336-727-1889 SENIOR WRITER Barbara Nelles 336-856-8973 CONTRIBUTORS James S. Bain Dennis Garlick Heather Lutze Kelley Robertson Dorothy Whitcomb Jim Whitt ART DIRECTOR Stephanie Belcher 336-201-7475 Vice President of ADVERTISING Sales Kerri Bellias 336-945-0265 Ad Production & CIRCULATION manager Debbie Robbins 336-342-4217 COPY EDITOR Margaret Talley-Seijn BedTimes deadlines Editorial deadlines for the Industry News and Newsmakers sections of the December issue of BedTimes are earlier than usual Monday, Oct. 25. Volume 138 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. 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 © 2010 by the International Sleep Products Association. Reprint permission obtainable through BedTimes.

Editor’sNote Ick: Tiny bedbugs reach critical mass F or decades, bedbugs lived only in the quaint nighttime tidings of mothers: “Don’t let the bedbugs bite.” Who had time to worry about some mythical insect when the boogeyman might be lurking under the bed? With the help of pesticides like DDT, bedbugs largely disappeared from the developed world by the 1940s and 1950s. But for the past decade or so, they’ve been resurgent, in part, experts say, because chemicals like DDT are no longer in use but also because we’re far more mobile than we used to be and bedbugs, apparently, like to travel. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the number of bedbug infestations throughout the country tripled from 2005 to 2009. Because of their dense populations and vibrant tourism, urban areas such as New York have been particularly plagued. In fiscal 2009, the city received 11,000 complaints about bedbugs—up from just 537 in 2004. The little critters have been found just about everywhere there’s a bed—houses, apartments, dorms, hospitals—but in schools and stores, as well. They are mainly a nuisance, known to bite and cause skin irritation but not to spread major disease. Small comfort if you or your loved ones are being bitten. This past month, bedbugs seemingly crawled into every newspaper, magazine, website, radio and television set, too. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that I’ve heard or seen a report about them every day. Quite a media presence for a creature that’s only 4 or 5 millimeters long. For the mattress industry, bedbugs

present a guilt-by-association problem. They can be found virtually anywhere there’s a blood source and a comfy place to hang out between meals, but with “bed” in their name, there’s a natural association with, well, beds. Suppliers of mattress and pillow protectors are right to promote the efficacy of their products in helping to protect people from the insects. Retailers and factory directs that deliver mattresses to consumers—and pick up used bedding—should take steps to avoid mixing contaminated products with new. The industry also can do its part to partner with entomologists, exterminators and others to provide consumers with accurate information about bedbugs and how to avoid and treat infestations. The International Sleep Products Association, for example, has posted a bedbug FAQ based on information from University of Kentucky professor and entomologist Michael F. Potter ( bedbugsFAQ). Whatever your own efforts, it’s probably best to remember mom’s warning. BT

Julie A. Palm BedTimes | October 2010 |


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BSC’s new PR agency is leader in Web work


fter a competitive review of nine agencies, the Better Sleep Council chose New York-based CJP Communications as its agency-of-record for marketing, communications and public relationship efforts in May. The BSC is the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association, which promotes the important link between good health, a good night’s sleep and a good quality mattress. “A great night’s sleep is so important to all of our lives; we consider it a noble cause to help spread that message and empower people to learn how they can improve their sleep,” says Jennifer Prosek, CJP chief executive officer. CJP ( is one of the largest independent public relations firms in the United States, with 70 professionals working at offices in New York, London and Connecticut. It is a full-service firm, providing public relations, financial communications, investor relations, corporate communications, consumer campaigns, digital and social media, crisis communications and issues management. The agency was named a “Best

Recognized work CJP Communications’ Web comedy for IKEA, ‘Easy to Assemble’ was lauded by Ad Age.

Agency to Work in PR” by PR News and an “Inc. 5000” fastest-growing company by Inc. magazine in 2009. It has won numerous awards for its work, including recognition last year for outstanding logo and graphic design, crisis communications, media campaigns and telecommunications programs. CJP has become one of the in-

dustry’s leading producers of Web videos for its clients and partners. Ad Age named its IKEA-sponsored Web comedy “Easy to Assemble” the “Most Watched Branded Web Series Ever.” (To watch an IKEA episode, go to watch?v=wMIjC16-Dwg, Episode 6, “Personal Shopper.”) Earlier this year, two CJP web series were nominated for “Best Branded Entertainment Web Series” at the Streamy Awards. CJP’s “Suite 7,” a seven-episode web video series premiering in December, is the agency’s largest project for the mattress industry, but it will work with the BSC on other projects, including the annual Better Sleep Month in May, using a mix of social media and traditional PR methods. “Having served on the BSC for several years, I know firsthand the importance of having a strong and nimble PR firm to help promote the industry’s consumer messages,” ISPA Chairman Don Wright said when the selection announcement was made. Wright is chief marketing officer of industry supplier Wright of Thomasville, based in Thomasville, N.C. “I’m excited with the firm that the BSC has chosen.” BT


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ManagementIssues Going the distance for remote workers Help employees be more effective—no matter where they work By James S. Bain


anaging people and projects from across the hall can be tough enough. Managing people and projects in different cities, states, even countries can seem impossible. Some days, you might as well be on different planets. As technologies advance and companies seek to save money on overhead and employee relocation costs, “remote” management is becoming more and more common. Whether your company has a sales force spread across the country, a research and development facility in another state or a construction project halfway around the world, the inability to have a quick face-to-face meeting or just casually run into members of your team can hinder performance and progress. If you’re managing a distant work force, you need to be aware of the potential downsides of such arrangements so that you can minimize or avoid them completely. The goal of most companies is to deliver something of value to their internal and external customers. The

Remotely located employees often have more flexibility in ‘how’ the work gets done, but they still need to have specific goals and objectives concerning the ‘what’ and the final ‘when.’

challenge of managing people remotely has a direct impact on both the productivity of your work force and the quality and quantity of your end-product or service. To operate at peak performance, managers must learn how to improve their interactions with employees who work at a distance. Studies of motivation and behavior have shown that humans have different levels of motivational triggers. Most basic needs, such as those for food, water and shelter, are satisfied by receiving a salary or wage. Where the worker or manager is located isn’t much of a factor. Mid-level needs, including the need for interpersonal relationships and a need to belong to a group, are generally easier to satisfy when people work in direct contact with each other. In other words, remote employees may be more dissatisfied with their work because it’s more difficult to develop much-needed professional relationships. They don’t get the “face time” they require. But those issues can be solved. Once they are, the highest level needs—such those for achievement, recognition,

responsibility and advancement—are not only met, they are often enhanced by remote working arrangements. The key is to take creative measures to ensure that long-distance working relationships are built and nurtured. How can managers make sure that they are on the same planet as their remote team members?


Start by agreeing on the outcomes you seek Engage in true two-way communication. Be specific about the desired results of the work in general or a project in specific and confirm that everyone involved understands those goals. Set firm deadlines. Remotely located employees often have more flexibility in “how” the work gets done, but they still need to have specific goals and objectives concerning the “what” and the final “when.”


Get out of your office and go see your people It doesn’t matter so much whether you schedule your trips to remote locations on a regular basis or as-needed. But it’s critical that you do visit your workers on their turf—at their offices or their project sites. In the 1970s, management experts encouraged supervisors and executives to get out of their offices and wander down the hall or into the breakroom to meet with employees. It was called “management by walking around.” Managing a remote work force requires more than walking around— get in your car or hop on a plane, whatever it takes. People want to see you. They need to have access to you and feel like you value them as workers.

BedTimes | October 2010 |




Stay in touch via other means Institute a daily or weekly “How can I help you?” call. This regular contact will go a long way toward building trust. Make this call one of your regular practices.


Use technology to its fullest potential While there is no substitute for real face-to-face interaction, current technology can get you pretty darn close. Email is a great way to quickly exchange information. Take advantage of videoconferences, teleconferences, online virtual meeting sites and social networking. This also is an excellent way to bridge the generation gaps that are developing in today’s work force. If you’re a baby boomer, learning to efficiently text and tweet will help you communicate, not just

14 | BedTimes | October 2010

with remote employees, but with younger ones, as well.


Walk a mile in their shoes The construction business is a great example. Staffers in the office don’t understand the difficulty of working out of a hot, dusty pickup truck with no good place to fill out necessary paperwork. And workers out on the job site have no clue what employees in the office do all day. Develop a “day in the life” program. Set up opportunities for employees from different areas of your company to spend a half or whole day shadowing each other. For instance, send your plant supervisors on dealer calls with sales reps. The experience will help each group understand the difficulties the other faces, whether they work at corporate headquarters or not.


Keep communication open Take the time to communicate with your people in any way possible. It will help to build the relationships so necessary for job satisfaction. Start by asking your people about their lives, their work, their needs. Then shut up and listen. You’ll be surprised what you learn. BT

James S. Bain is an author, speaker, consultant and coach. He is founder of Focus on the 5, a division of Falcon Performance Institute, a consulting and corporate training firm focused on productive performance. Look for Bain’s forthcoming book Never Pass on a Chance to P: A Roadmap to Peace in Your Life. To hire Bain or to find out more about Focus on the 5 and the Falcon Performance Institute, check or call 352-854-4015.

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MarketingMatters Two faces of Facebook

Using the social media site to build business By Heather Lutze


ost people use Facebook sites to stay in touch with friends and family. But there’s another side to Facebook—one that can help your business grow. According to Facebook’s own statistics, more than 1.5 million businesses have active pages on the site and more than 20 million people become fans of business pages each day. For companies, Facebook is an easy, effective way to spread your brand message, while building community and loyalty among customers. Follow these steps to create a corporate Facebook presence that generates results:

➤ Keep “Joe” and “Joe the mattress company CEO” separate In other words, don’t mix business and pleasure. If you already have a personal Facebook page that you use to keep up with your friends and family, keep it personal—don’t send your business contacts there. Instead, create a separate Facebook identity where you are “Joe the mattress company CEO”—and not Joe the excellent golfer or Joe the attentive grandfather. On your business persona page, include your corporate bio and other information that pertains to your role in your company. You can then build a page off that business profile that serves as a company fan page. Mixing your personal and professional pages is discrediting and unprofessional. It’s perfectly fine to have two profiles on Facebook. You simply have to use your middle initial or some other distinguishing information to differentiate the two accounts, which brings us to…

➤ Name your accounts wisely While your individual posts on Facebook aren’t ranked in Google searches (at least not yet), your profile is. And how you name your pages is critical for ranking purposes. While you’d certainly use your name for your individual business account and use your company name for your fan page, you’ll want to tag some keywords onto each. For example, if you, as the company founder, want to be known as a leader in mattress manufacturing technology, you might name your business profile “Joe W. Smith, Mattress Manufacturing Specialist.” Similarly, you could name your fan page in such a way that there’s no question what your company does, as in “Joe’s Foam Mattresses Inc.” Think of the keywords you want to be found under and work them into your tagline or title. This strategy opens your profile to the world and helps you go beyond building a Facebook community of friends and fans. (Don’t forget to go into your settings on Facebook and make sure your business persona and company fan profiles are public.) ➤ Post valuable, appropriate content After your pages are set up, encourage your customers to join your fan page. Post information about products and services, trade shows you’ll be participating in, new employees—any newsworthy company developments. It’s OK—heck, it’s a good thing— to include ads, coupons and specials for your company on your fan page. Fan pages were designed to give businesses a way to blatantly promote themselves. Don’t, however, put ads,

coupons or specials on your business persona page. If you do, people will quickly start “unfriending” you. Finally, remember to feed your Twitter posts, blog posts and YouTube videos directly to your fan page so you can extend your brand. You can do this easily by using a tool such as Ping. fm or On your business persona page— the page focused on you as “Joe the mattress company CEO”—you post your thoughts on industry developments, information about honors you’ve received, lists of conferences you’re attending, articles you’ve published, etc. On this page, you’ll want to only accept friend requests from people who directly relate to your business. If a personal friend finds the page and offers a friend request, direct him to your personal page. BT For the past 10 years, Heather Lutze has served as chief executive officer of the Findability Group (formerly Lutze Consulting), a search engine marketing firm that works with companies to attain maximum Internet exposure. She is a nationally recognized speaker and author of The FindAbility Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing. Lutze is a lead speaker for the Pay Per Click Summit and spent two years speaking for Yahoo! Search Marketing. For more information, check

BedTimes | October 2010 |


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SalesTalk Networking 101: Make the most of opportunities


10 pitfalls to avoid

Failing to establish a connection Effective networking means connecting with people. You won’t connect with everyone you meet, but you can improve your results by making eye contact, smiling, asking questions and showing interest in the other person.

By Kelley Robertson


etworking is a critical sales skill. After all, the more people you connect with, the more sales opportunities you create. But many salespeople fail to take full advantage of the power of networking. Here are 10 blunders you need to avoid:


Attending the wrong networking events When I started my business, I attended as many networking events as I could fit into my schedule. However, I quickly noticed that I encountered the same people at most of these events—other small business owners out looking for business. These people weren’t my target market and very few of them interacted with the type of decision-maker I sought. Get the most from your networking by attending focused events where you know you’ll meet prospects.


tions about her business and profession. Ask what challenges she faces and what she enjoys most about her work. High-value questions encourage people to share information and help you position yourself as an expert and resource.



Becoming distracted by other people We’ve all had a conversation with someone who constantly watched the room and other people instead of paying attention to what we were saying. Such experiences leave us feeling ignored and insignificant. Don’t make the same mistake. Pay close attention to every person you meet.


Focusing exclusively on your self-interest If you make the effort to find out how you can help someone, chances are that he will reciprocate. In the words of motivational guru Zig Ziglar, “You can get anything you want in life if you just are willing to help enough other people get what they want.”

Waiting for people to introduce themselves Let’s face it: Most people are reluctant to approach strangers. If you take the initiative to introduce yourself to others, you’ll be perceived as a person of confidence, strength and power. And the other person will be grateful that he didn’t have to make the initial approach. Spending too much time talking If you truly want to make a great impression, limit the amount you speak to 40% of the conversation. Remember: Networking events are the place to uncover potential sales opportunities. They aren’t the appropriate forum for making full-scale sales presentations.


Failing to ask questions The most effective way to create a connection is to ask someone ques-

6 7

Failing to articulate your value proposition I once spoke with a small business owner at a networking event and, after a 20-minute conversation, I still had no idea what she did because she was unable to clearly articulate the purpose of her company and her ideal client.

Executing a meet-and-move strategy We’ve all encountered the person at a networking event who introduces himself, gives you his business card, asks for yours in return and then moves on to repeat the process with several others. You get much better results by talking with a small number of people rather than meeting as many as you can.


Failing to follow up Don’t make the mistake of calling someone three months after a meeting and saying something like, “We met a few months ago and I thought I’d touch base with you.” There are better strategies. When you meet a potential customer, arrange to contact her shortly after the event. Mark it in your calendar and call on the agreedupon day and time. After you meet someone who isn’t a prospect, look for opportunities to refer business to him or help him in other ways. You never know how his connections might help you in the future. BT © MMX Kelley Robertson. All rights reserved.

Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling, helps sales professionals close more sales at higher profits. Get your free copy of 100 Ways to Increase Your Sales by subscribing to his free newsletter, 59 Seconds to Sales Success, at Robertson conducts workshops and speaks regularly at sales meetings and conferences. Contact him at 905-633-7750 or

BedTimes | October 2010 |


The manufacturer-retailer partnership Industry insiders assess strengths, weaknesses

By Barbara Nelles


he manufacturer-retailer relationship is a complex pas de deux, with many opportunities to work beautifully together to sell more and better bedding, but also plenty of chances to misstep and trounce on each other’s toes. BedTimes spoke with a cast of industry insiders—from small retailers to large manufacturers, plus a few consultants and industry observers—to assess the current performance of both partners. We put a number of questions to the group, focusing on the manufacturer’s role in aiding retailers but also asking what retailers can do to support the mattress brands they sell on their showroom floors. Their comments ranged from praise to prescription to provocation. As is often the case when talking about this hot topic, everyone had something interesting to say.

Surviving tough times together The difficult economy is testing the entire industry and reminds everyone that players in the mattress business will rise—or sink—together. For retailers to get consumers to walk through the door and part with precious cash for a new mattress, manufacturers have had to redesign products with “value” top of mind. And they’ve had to re-evaluate priorities, focusing on what retailers say they want most. Stuart Carlitz, president of Eclipse International and Eastman House, North Brunswick, N.J. “We’ve seen so many retailers come and go in this economy. Now we offer our ‘exotic’ features at $699 to $999. We’ve packed more ammunition into the more moderate price points. We

22 | BedTimes | October 2010

tailor a collection to fit into the price points they’re looking for, so they can survive. And that’s what it’s about today—survival.” Barrie Brown, principal of et oyeblikk: Retail Strategies LLC and interim chief executive officer of Factory Warehouse, Dallas “The greatest help manufacturers have provided to retailers in the past two years was developing better values and better pricing. They’ve done a lot of value engineering.” Jamie Piper, director of marketing communications for Sealy, Trinity, N.C. “The economic environment has been difficult for everyone, but it hasn’t impacted our focus on making sure we continue to develop and nurture our relationships. We are always looking for opportunities to collaborate with retailers.” Rick Robinson, president of Spring Air International, Boston “The first place bedding companies look to cut when they’re trying to lower their overhead cost is sales training and advertising, but we can’t afford to do that and have probably increased the percentage of dollars we spend on this. In fact, we’re expanding our sales training budget for next year and looking to do more with video training.”

Whose brand is it? Both retailers and mattress manufacturers have to create and market their own brands to be successful and stay in business. That means a lot of competing brand promotion at the retail level. As the comments indicate, this is an area in which striking the right balance remains a challenge.

Cindy Williams, vice president of retail strategy at Info Retail Inc., Atlanta “There is a constant pull between manufacturers and retailers because each wants to be the brand. Stores can quickly become very cluttered and confusing. But it is possible for manufacturers to get their pure brand message out there without pushing the RSA out of the process. A couple of manufacturers have been successful at it. Good POP also allows the RSA to hear the message over and over so they are able to sell more expensive products.” Don Wright, chief marketing officer, Wright of Thomasville, Thomasville, N.C. “I think most retailers do a good job of branding themselves and it’s becoming more of a collaborative effort between those retailers and their manufacturers. With a few notable exceptions, there is not enough consistent national brand support happening in the industry. Once you get consumers inside, you’ve got to create a destination within the store. The surf industry is a good example—they use the windows, front doors, floors. The minute a customer arrives in the parking lot, brand messaging starts.” Gerry Morris, president of Inner Spring professional training and coaching, Dallas “The branding breakdown comes in at the retail level. Manufacturers do a good job of creating a message about lifestyle and sleep, but retailers go to ‘swingthe-door’ merchandising in a competition for the lowest prices.” Chuck Kill, chief executive officer of Bedmart, Tucson, Ariz. “When we advertise, we are promoting our

Stuart Carlitz President, Eclipse International/ Eastman House ‘Many of our retailers look to us for direction. We show them how to improve their business.’

Barrie Brown Principal of et oyeblikk: Retail Strategies LLC ’The greatest help manufacturers have provided to retailers in the past two years was developing better values and better pricing.’

Jamie Piper Director of marketing communications, Sealy ‘We’re taking relationships with retailers to the next level. A key objective is for us to become their No. 1 marketing and online partner.’

brand, the Bedmart brand, more so than the manufacturer’s. We want you to shop our store because of who we are, not what we sell—so we try to emphasize our own brand.”

“What’s the new role of technology?” on Page 26.) Retailers offered both rants and raves on the quality of the training provided by bed makers. Manufacturers say they strive to tailor their training programs to each retailer’s particular style of selling, but that high turnover at retail continues to hinder the effectiveness of even the best training programs.

levels and help us sell a great night’s sleep. We find that our reps are very good at training the skills and techniques that we want our sleep consultants to have for our stores. They visit often and we hold seminars once a week in different regions. We also have training programs by manufacturers in their plants and our people get a specialized class on products and specs. We sit down with the manufacturer ahead of time to make sure the training is appropriate to what we want RSAs to know.”

Eric Hinshaw, chairman and chief executive officer of Kingsdown, Mebane, N.C. “Retailers must have a reason behind each line they carry. Whatever each line’s brand promise, it’s incumbent upon retailers to make sure their manufacturers deliver on that promise. Retailers must also develop a brand promise that sets them apart in their market and they need to deliver. Unfortunately, most have created a brand promise around price, but if the consumer uses price as their surrogate to other knowledge, then the retailer becomes insignificant. We are trying to help retailers differentiate through the better sleep concept.” Gary Fazio, chief executive officer, Simmons Bedding Co., Atlanta “A retailer must have their own brand if they’re to survive and thrive. They must figure out their reason for being in business. Then the two brands (retail and mattress) can be married together.”

Thoughts on training Manufacturer-provided sales and product training is an industry fundamental that’s rapidly evolving, mostly because of technological advancements but also because of concerns about the cost of having an army of sales reps out personally visiting stores. (See the section

Herman Tam, vice president of sales and marketing, Leggett & Platt’s Consumer Products Group, Whittier, Calif. “Training is more important than ever before because consumers do their research online before shopping. Many walk in filled with information—and misinformation. Manufacturers can provide scripts to retailers that use a low-pressure selling approach. Retailers should train RSAs to be helpers instead of sellers striving for a sales goal.” Roger Cunningham, owner of The Bed Store, Knoxville, Tenn. “Reps come in (and) they know their brands and offer technical information. But we need trainers that understand how to deal with the consumer and their No. 1 issue—that they don’t trust us. There was a day when reps were good and understood their jobs, and trainers really trained, but standards have declined.” Kill/Bedmart “The manufacturers we work with are interested in our input. They work with us on many

Morris/Inner Spring “RSAs are often a transient group who take the path of least resistance to make the sale. Bedding is a category of goods that requires much product knowledge and selling skills, and bedding makers and their reps have provided the best sales training in the home furnishings industry. Recently, however, there has been a trend toward hiring bedding reps with no background in the industry. Manufacturers need to do a better job of training their own staff.” Lisa Stansbury, vice president of Fred’s Beds, Wilmington, N.C. “I appreciate when my reps work with our salespeople, look at the line and help tweak things. I like vendors that stay in touch regularly and would like more time with my reps. You learn something from every conversation. The fact is, whoever is most accessible, that’s who you’ll buy from.”

BedTimes | October 2010 |


Rick Robinson President, Spring Air International “We’re expanding our sales training budget for next year and looking to do more with video.’ Fazio/Simmons “Retailers don’t have a lot of places to go to get educated and can’t spend the time to research and develop the things they need to be more successful. It’s our job to educate them and tailor our message to whatever their regimen and training is. Ask the right questions: Make sure you’re talking about their business—not your own. We want to sell with our retailers, not to them. That means we have to sell through to the end-consumer together.” Robinson/Spring Air “Retailers may be dealing with a bunch of different product categories. To gain the confidence of consumers, they need to be knowledgeable. It’s up to us to train them. Three of us here cut our teeth as national sales trainers. We know the value of it. A mentor once told me, ‘When training reps, tell them to hang onto the steering wheel for an extra 60 seconds when arriving at a (retailer) appointment and think, “What can I help teach someone today that will help win share of mind?” ’ ” Hinshaw/Kingsdown “In our monthly newsletter to retailers, we talk about developing your own educational processes. We offer sleep education seminars and one-on-one teaching formats to enable the retail salesperson to understand and engage the customer in a sleep discussion. We’re very committed to selling our brand and it all relates back to sleep. It’s incumbent on the salesperson to work sleep into the discussion upfront and for our retailers to be dedicated to this.”

24 | BedTimes | October 2010

Cindy Williams Vice president of retail strategies, Info Retail ‘Web-based training is great because it’s easy to access and can be viewed over and over.’

Gerry Morris President, Inner Spring ‘The branding breakdown comes in at the retail level.’

Carlitz/Eclipse & Eastman House “Many of our retailers look to us for direction. We show them how to improve their business, how to sell up into better merchandise and talk about our patented features. Today we’re growing our market share by extending our relationships in every direction. Many new dealers are small mom-and-pops owned by recent immigrants. There’s a whole resurgence in this business. We have a multilingual advertising campaign with the tag ‘Eclipse spells sleep in any language.’ Most sales training is done in-store with video coming soon. We also conduct seminars and tours at our factory. RSAs watch the construction of their top bed and their opening price point—so they can see the difference and be able to talk about it.” Wright/Wright of Thomasville “Consumers have a higher expectation now at the point of contact with the RSA. They need to feel comfortable within the shopping

Don Wright Chief marketing officer, Wright of Thomasville ‘There’s a lot more training going on at retail and that’s critical.’

environment and make a connection with the salesperson. And retailers are getting it. There is a lot more training going on at retail and that’s critical. The quality of the buying experience in the past 10 years has grown much more professional.” Williams/Info Retail “Manufacturers need to work closely with at least their A and B customers to keep up with training and integrate it to the retailer. RSAs constantly struggle to keep products and attributes straight and there is such turnover at retail. Concentrate training on how to sell mattresses generally— that’s most helpful. Web-based training is great because it’s easy to access and can be viewed over and over.”

Perceptions of POP programs As part of their own branding efforts, manufacturers produce an enormous array of point-of-purchase materials, with items ranging from logo- and copy-intensive to mood-evoking. Several retailers told BedTimes they prefer a streamlined display and limit manufacturers’ POP. As a result, some manufacturers pack a lot more information and demo units onto foot protectors. Cunningham/The Bed Store “We produce large lifestyle pictures ourselves to brand the store and the ‘better sleep’ concept. Major manufacturers are finally getting on-thebed right. They’ve softened it up. It’s been pioneered by smaller players— the nicely embroidered fabrics, etc.

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Chuck Kill Chief executive officer, Bedmart ‘We find that vendors are getting better and better in the types of POP they provide.’

Eric Hinshaw Chairman and chief executive officer, Kingsdown “We are trying to help retailers differentiate through the better sleep concept.’

It has strong feminine appeal and is very tactile. The Big Ss are paying attention now and listening because they see little guys making progress with these looks.” Robinson/Spring Air “We made a concerted effort to move away from point-of-sale materials that are all about Spring Air. Instead, we try to visually communicate to whoever is standing at the foot of the bed how that product is going to help them. We have also produced a wealth of advertising and promotional materials available at an FTP site designed to assist retailers.” Kill/Bedmart “We find that vendors are getting better and better in the types of POP they provide. Their offerings are constantly evolving. We use ceiling banners, foot streamers and other items.” Gerry Borreggine, president of Therapedic International, Princeton, N.J. “We’ve concentrated on evolving to a more sophisticated approach with enhanced POP that is more compelling and explains to the consumer why this is a good investment. We understand that mattress retailers are looking for more help as they compete against myriad new and exciting products such as HDTVs and exotic audio equipment and fight for those disposable income dollars. In the recession, we’ve absorbed more of the cost of POP— it’s been our challenge. But it’s very important to us for brand building. POP needs to be even more logi-

26 | BedTimes | October 2010

Hermann Tam Vice president of sales and marketing, Leggett & Platt ‘Training is more important than ever before, because consumers do their research online before shopping.’

cal and persuasive for second-tier manufacturers because they are not the top-of-mind brands.” Carlitz/Eclipse & Eastman House “Our salesman walks in with an iPad that shows all that we offer, which is a full array of wall banners, neon lights, Lucites, pillow shams, footers. We’d also like retailers to consider creating a more comfortable sleep shop environment, perhaps with cubicles or half walls for privacy, softer lighting, artwork on the ceiling— someplace consumers will feel more comfortable spending more time.” Fazio/Simmons “If a retailer wants it clean and spare at retail, that’s their decision. But you don’t want to lose the opportunity to draw attention to your floor. It benefits the store and benefits the consumer. POP must be quick to grab attention and easy to understand.” Hinshaw/Kingsdown “Everyone

Gary Fazio Chief executive officer, Simmons (not bold) ‘We want to sell with our retailers, not to them. That means we have to sell through to the end-consumer together.” has pretty pictures of people sleeping, but they need to provide information on how to buy a bed and why you should care about sleep. We use stenciling on the walls, signage, banners and much is electronic now. It all points to our message that the product you’re buying is of much greater importance than you thought.” Stansbury/Fred’s Beds “We like handing out manufacturers’ brochures. It’s amazing how they add credibility and trust. It really helps the sales associate, too, to have something in their hand as they’re talking.” Wright/Wright of Thomasville “With more technical features being introduced to beds, the methods of communicating these features is evolving. We’re seeing a trend towards more technically focused point-ofsale messaging. As a result, the tools for delivering these messages are also becoming more technically advanced. Digital signage, interactive kiosks and QR codes are being used to help sell the products. It’s all about engaging the consumer and showing them what differentiates your product from the others on the floor.” 

The role of new technology Whether it’s impacting training methods or changing point-of-sale materials, new technology and new media are spicing up the manufacturer-retailer relationship, opening new lines of communication that go straight through to the ultimate consumer.

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Roger Cunningham Owner, The Bed Store ‘We need trainers that understand how to deal with the consumer and their No. 1 issue—that they don’t trust us.’

Piper/Sealy “We’re taking relationships with retailers to the next level. A key objective is for us to become their No. 1 marketing and online partner. We’re working collaboratively with retailers on their website redesigns and advising them on what makes the most sense when it comes to social media. Online training is a top priority, too. Sealy retailers have open access to our University of Sleep website. It’s interactive with courses and quizzes. The new Embody by Sealy brand launch has the most used courses ever. Now we are offering customized training pages for specific retailers. With next year’s launches, we’re looking at new ways to convey information via all kinds of digital devices, to make it more interactive and more fun for the retail sales associate. We also offer the Retail Advertising Toolbox, a website for all of our retail partners to access. We’re building the content and functionality so it’s an even better asset to retailers.” Michael Nermon, founder and president of Ergo Customized Comfort, Irvine, Calif. “Smart technology like QR tags are ‘here and now.’ We’re excited about technology finding its way into manufacturers’ product lines. Technology is a way to avoid all the clutter around the product—we don’t want to bombard customers. We also have a big-screen TV and DVD player with comfortable seating arranged in the middle of the showroom for customers to sit and watch educational materials. Most of what I

28 | BedTimes | October 2010

Lisa Stansbury Vice president, Fred’s Beds ‘I appreciate when my reps work with our salespeople, look at the line and help tweak things.’

get from manufacturers is geared toward sales training but hopefully that’s changing.” Owen Shoemaker, senior vice president of product development, Comfort Solutions, Willowbrook, Ill. “Technology is increasingly an important part of the relationship. Our new website went live in September. It reflects our social media connectivity on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and so on. We can help retailers increase sales with in-store and online tools that empower sales reps and provide advantages to consumers, too.” Dick James, owner of Blackberry Creek Mattress Outlet, Boone, N.C. “Big companies are dabbling in social media, but no one is doing anything of significance. It’s something we all need to understand—a new communication network for reaching consumers, but it must be a cooperative effort. If I blog and tweet, manufacturers need to have similar involvement and be saying the same things.” Williams/Info Retail “Digital media is a great way to engage the consumer. It can be interactive and collect data from consumers—even measuring how long someone stands in front of a display. Manufacturers can provide digital tools that get their brand message out in conjunction with retailers’ messages. Improving the retail environment with digital tools may also help attract a better caliber of retail salesperson.”

Gerry Borreggine President, Therapedic International ‘We’ve concentrated on evolving into a more sophisticated approach with enhanced POP that is more compelling.’

What retailers really want BedTimes gave a few interviewees with have a retail perspective the last word, asking what they want most from manufacturers moving forward. James/Blackberry Creek “We all need greater sensitivity to consumers. In the aircraft industry, there was a revolution and all of a sudden customers were brought in to help design the planes. It resulted in many engineering changes. I’d like to see more of that in the bedding industry—you’d see lots more retailers and, ultimately consumers, meeting together in groups and talking about their needs related to bed design and the selling process. Manufacturers must be interested in bringing us all together.” Williams/Info Retail “A real collaboration between manufacturers and retailers would mean putting the customer at the forefront and honoring the desire of the female shopper to have a good experience. Consumers gain all their information at manufacturers’ websites then they go shopping and can’t find the products they saw. Agree as an industry that we’ll start listening to the voice of the consumer so she stops hating the mattress shopping process.” Nermon/Ergo Customized Comfort “We’d like manufacturers to supply us with turnkey content for our website—too often it’s scattered about and unfocused. An image library with captions is basic. Add a long and short description version for each product.

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Michael Nermon Founder and president, Ergo Customized Comfort ‘Technology is a way to avoid all the clutter around the product— we don’t want to bombard customers.’ Let retailers decide what they want to use on their site since we don’t usually refer consumers to a manufacturer’s site. We want them to stay at ours.” Cunningham/The Bed Store “We would like manufacturers to listen more and to prove they are listening by making changes. We’d like them to create better value and really resonate with good merchandising, advertising and training. Instead of treating each

30 | BedTimes | October 2010

Owen Shoemaker Senior vice president of product development, Comfort Solutions ‘Technology is increasingly an important part of the relationship.’

other as necessary evils—there must be more mutual respect. A reconnection is needed.” Brown/et oyeblikk: Retail Strategies and Factory Warehouse “I’d like to see an end to all the distrust—it’s been well deserved on both sides through the years. The challenge is to treat this as a partnership—not a transaction—and to work collaboratively. In a perfect world, consumers would value

Dick James Owner, Blackberry Creek Mattress Outlet ‘It’s something we all need to understand—a new communication for reaching consumers.’ and think about their sleep, so retailers wouldn’t need to talk about products, prices and promotions versus sleep. Let’s come up with a message to consumers that resonates—if people only knew all the great things a new mattress could do for them. Manufacturers need to provide even more support, information and do research on consumer trends and sleep so that those messages can get out to the public through the retail community.” BT


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Performance review flight plan

Piloting the assessment process to help employees soar By Jim Whitt

34 | BedTimes | October 2010


n the list of things that are done for all the wrong reasons, performance reviews would have to rank near the top. They end up being “check the boxes” exercises that have little influence on performance, in large part because they take place after the fact. The typical performance review is the equivalent of landing an airplane and asking, “Now, where are we?” One of the worst things about reviews is the use of numerical values to rate performance. You have probably met more than one manager who refuses to give the highest rating to anyone, using the excuse “I don’t believe in giving perfect scores.” Recently an employee of a major corporation related an extreme example of this attitude. At the end of his most recent performance review, his manager said, “Nobody scores that high!”—and then proceeded to lower the employee’s scores. If the scale is 1-5 and no one ever gets a 5 then that means you’re a lousy manager. Why can’t the people who report to you ever hit the mark? What’s sad is that the boss who is afraid to acknowledge that someone has met or exceeded expectations never quite understands why people quit trying to meet or exceed expectations. If you never give a 5 (or even a 4) when it’s deserved, you create a culture where 3 becomes your standard of excellence. Mediocrity is not only acceptable, it’s as good as it gets. On the flip side is the failure to let employees know that they’re not getting the job done. Too many managers are so fearful of conflict or hurting people’s feelings that they will ignore bad behavior and poor performance even when it’s detrimental to the company. Guess what happens when a supervisor gives a 3 or a 4 when the employee deserves to be shown the door? Pretty soon you end up with a group of employees that makes the Three Stooges look competent. The annual review is not going to go away, but the real performance review should be taking place in real time every day. Good or bad performance needs to be recognized immediately and consistently. The manager’s role should be like that of a flight instructor. The employee’s role is like that of the student. The instructor and student fly side-by-side.

Clearly define expectations First, there needs to be a flight plan with clearly defined expectations. To get started, the manager should ask the employee to complete a list of expectations of the job from the employee’s perspective. This should include what he believes his responsibilities are and what authority he possesses. The manager should do the same from her perspective. Then, the manager and employee should work together to reconcile the two lists. During this conversation, the manager also needs to learn what the employee believes he needs from the manager to successfully do his job. Measure behavior, values & skills In addition to establishing these expectations, assessments should be completed to measure behavior, values and skills required for the job. Corresponding assessments should be completed by the employee to see how they compare. This establishes a benchmark that helps the employee understand his strengths and helps the manager understand how to capitalize on those strengths. It also identifies areas that need strengthening. It’s important to remember that the employee has to be a good behavioral fit for the job. No amount of coaching can remake someone into something he is not. Communicate constantly & consistently Now that there’s a flight plan in place, it’s the manager’s responsibility to provide a system and process for constant and consistent communication. She has to coach the employee—not just evaluate his performance—to keep the plane on course. In my first job out of college, my sales manager called me every Monday morning. His questions included: “What’s going on?”,= “How are you doing?” and “What can I help you with?” This helped him know what I required to do my job and gave me the help I needed to do that job. Provide specific feedback When employees meet or exceed expectations, they should be told they are on course. This needs to be specific. There is nothing in the world that will inspire you more to keep doing a great job than to hear from the boss that you are doing a great job. The only exception is when those words are insincere or untrue. When employees fail to meet expectations, they need to be told they are off course. Again, this needs to be specific. If no one tells you how you need to improve, you’ll assume that you’re doing exactly what you should be doing—or that your boss doesn’t care what you do. I know of a case in which employees describe their manager as a wonderful person, but don’t think he’s a good boss. They like him but dislike working for him because he gives them no direction. They feel like they’re flying blind. This creates a high level of anxiety for the employees and probably for the manager, too.

The manager’s role should be like that of a flight instructor. The employee’s role is like that of the student. The instructor and student fly side-by-side.

Choose your direction Employees need and want direction. How and when that direction is provided makes all the difference—for the employee, the manager and the organization. Like flying a plane, reviewing performance should be a matter of constant course corrections. If you wait until the end of the flight to make adjustments to the course, you’ll always be disappointed with where you land. Worse yet, someone else will probably be sifting through the wreckage to figure out why the plane crashed. BT Jim Whitt calls himself “an unapologetic people provoker.” As a speaker, consultant and author, Whitt has provoked people and organizations to reach their full potential for more than 20 years. He is co-founder of Purpose Unlimited, which is in the business of transforming lives, leaders and organizations through the power of purpose. To find out more about his speaking and consulting, check or call 918-494-0009.

BedTimes | October 2010 |


Do IQ tests truly identify the best performers? By Dennis Garlick Love them or loathe them, IQ tests often are still part of assessment in the workplace. Performing well on an IQ test can mean the difference between getting hired or not—or getting promoted or not. Critical employment decisions are being made based on tests that measure underlying constructs that are not well understood. How much value should your company put on IQ test performance?

What do IQ tests measure? At their core, many intelligence tests measure the ability “to understand.” Consider a word analogy problem like “kitten is to cat as puppy is to _____.” Solving this problem involves understanding the relationship that is common between kitten/cat and puppy/dog. Completing a number series like 3, 6, 9, 12, _____ involves understanding a general pattern and then applying the general pattern to determine the next number in the sequence. Performing well on tests like these involves understanding general principles that can be applied across different situations. Think of someone in your office who’s generally considered intelligent or smart. You know that she will be able to understand most ideas or concepts that you explain to her. Often, such people need very little training and can generalize their knowledge from one situation to another. They don’t need to be given specific instructions for every task. When assessment tests are given, it’s often found that the same people are consistently good at understanding, i.e., people who do well at word analogy problems also tend to do well at number series problems. Studies show that people who perform well on these types of tests also tend to perform well in job situations that involve understanding. This is what makes IQ tests useful.

Recent advances in brain science When we hear that someone has a high IQ, it’s tempting to think that his brain has some magical ability to understand or solve any problem. In truth, it’s been found that understanding in adulthood is due to the connections between neurons. It’s not simply a case of having more neural connections. In fact, the opposite is true: People with higher IQs actually have fewer connections. Having fewer connections means that irrelevant information can be filtered out and this enables commonalities to be seen across situations. Neural connections are gradually pruned over childhood in response to experience. In other words, the ability to understand is due to a learning process. Experience with relevant abstractions in childhood leads to the ability to understand those abstractions in adulthood. Some people’s brains are better at this

36 | BedTimes | October 2010

process than others—and this leads to them having higher IQs.

IQ vs. work experience But what if a person with a high IQ hasn’t had relevant childhood experience in a certain domain? While he may score well on the IQ test, his brain will not have the right connections to understand that domain. This means that he will need to memorize appropriate steps and procedures, just like someone with a lower IQ who also lacks relevant experience. Conversely, what if someone with a lower IQ does have relevant childhood experience? Imagine a person with a lower IQ grew up selling goods on a street corner and interacting with customers, while someone with a higher IQ spent her childhood at home studying. In this case, the person with the lower IQ is likely to relate more easily to customers and perform better in sales and marketing positions. While the higher IQ child may have had greater potential, her lack of experience prevented her from turning that potential into ability. In these cases, the IQ test doesn’t help identify the best performers.

What this all means What this tells us is that IQ is not a direct measure of the ability to understand in all domains. When a job requires skills such as those involved in schoolwork, a person with a higher IQ may perform better on evaluations. But, in other situations, your company will be better off using assessments that mirror on-the-job tasks. Such tests will give you a better gauge of workplace abilities and potential. The bottom line: If your company is using IQ tests in hiring or promotions, care needs to be taken— they’re only helpful in some situations. Dennis Garlick received his Ph.D. in psychology in 2003 and currently is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California Los Angeles. He is a speaker, consultant and author of the book, Intelligence and the Brain: Solving the Mystery of Why People Differ in IQ and How a Child Can Be a Genius. For more information, check

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IndustryNews Latex International opens Texas facility L

atex International, a producer of Talalay latex mattresses and pillows based in Shelton, Conn., has opened a 100,000-square-foot fabrication facility in Wichita Falls, Texas. At the same time, the company has closed its production facility in Atlanta. The changes are part of a larger strategy to reorganize how the company’s products are fabricated and distributed. As part of the transformation, Latex International has contracted with Unisource Logistics Solutions to reduce lead times by utilizing their warehousing, cross-docking capabilities, inventory management and distribution services. Unisource has a fleet of more than 500 vehicles, as well as contracts with hundreds of private trucking companies across the United States. In addition, the company has 80 warehouse distribution centers. Latex International’s Connecticut fabrication site will continue to service its customers in the Northeast. “LI’s ability to centralize our latex inventory (produced in our Connecticut foam pouring plant) will create greater production efficiencies, minimize ‘stock-outs’ and provide more consistent and improved on-time delivery,” said Kevin Coleman, Latex International president and chief executive officer. “The new facility is twice the size of our facility in Atlanta, and LI will have the fabrication capacity to triple the output that we are currently producing.” The second phase of the project will include closing Latex International’s facility in La Mirada, Calif., in December. According to the company, its partnership with Unisource will allow Latex International customers on the West Coast to continue to order smaller skid quantities, as well as pick up on a more regular basis. The company says it “will conduct a transportation analysis for each customer to ensure the company

delivers on time and at the best value.” “For LI’s truckload customers, Unisource will provide extremely competitive rates as backhauls are quite abundant coming out of Texas. This provides great values to our customers in the western, central and southeastern parts of the U.S.” Coleman said. In the third phase of the restruc-

turing, scheduled for 2013, Latex International plans to start pouring latex at its Texas facility, which already has the necessary infrastructure— power availability, electrical, gas and lighting—to do so. The company broke ground on a new latex manufacturing plant in Malaysia in June.

Culp reports fiscal first-quarter sales up 23% Fabric supplier Culp Inc. reported net sales of $55.9 in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2011, a 23% increase over the $45.4 million recorded during the first quarter of fiscal 2010. The High Point, N.C.-based company’s fiscal first quarter ended Aug. 1. Mattress fabric sales were up 18% during the period; upholstery sales increased 30%. The company reported net income of $3.7 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, compared with net income of $1.9 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2010. On a pre-tax basis, the company reported income of $4.3 million, compared with pre-tax income of $2 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010. “Our stronger sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 reflect better consumerdemand trends than a year ago, particularly in the first two months of the quarter, as well as success from our sales and marketing initiatives,” said Frank Saxon, Culp president and chief executive officer. “Our improved profitability reflects the higher sales volumes, as well as the benefits of a leaner and more costefficient operating platform. Today, Culp has a strong competitive position in both mattress fabrics and upholstery fabrics.” Mattress fabric sales for the first quarter were $30.9 million, up from $26.3 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010. “Our mattress fabrics business delivered a solid performance, primarily driven by improved retail demand in the bedding industry in the first two months of the quarter and by the closure of a key competitor in late calendar 2009,” Saxon said. Culp recently completed a capital project to expand production of its knitted mattress fabrics, the company’s fastest growing category. “For fiscal 2011, we will continue to fund capital expenditures for maintenance and expansion-related projects in mattress fabrics. While we are pleased with our first-quarter results, we are seeing some slowdown in industry demand, as well as increased pricing pressures and higher raw material costs,” Saxon said. At the end of the fiscal first quarter, Culp had $18.1 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. Total debt was $11.6 million. Looking ahead to the second quarter of fiscal 2011, Saxon said: “We expect that the economic uncertainties and ongoing issues surrounding the housing market and high unemployment will continue to affect consumer demand for furniture and bedding products.” Culp projects overall sales in the second quarter to be up 5% to 10%. Sales of mattress fabrics are expected to be flat or up as much as 5% compared to second-quarter 2010.

BedTimes | October 2010 |



USDA investigating retailer for misuse of ‘organic’


uring the past year, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has sued several apparel manufacturers for falsely claiming that their products were made with “bamboo fiber” when, in fact, the fabrics were more accurately described as containing “rayon” or “rayon made from bamboo.” Now the International Sleep Products Association has learned that another federal agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is investigating a mattress retailer for possible misuse of the term “organic mattress.” The USDA has jurisdiction to decide whether organic claims for textile products, including mattresses, are accurate. Its National Organic Program regulates when a particular agricultural product may be called organic.

40 | BedTimes | October 2010

In general, the agricultural raw material—in the case of textiles, the cotton, linen, hemp, wool or other fiber—must be produced in compliance with USDA rules, which, among other things, govern the kinds of fertilizers that may be used to grow plants. In addition, USDA rules require a qualified third party to certify that the grower runs a certified organic operation. The grower’s fulfillment of these requirements allows the fiber itself to be called “certified organic.” “We understand, however, that since cleaning and dyeing materials used to convert the raw fiber into a textile do not meet NOP standards, USDA would not allow the fabric manufacturer to claim that the fabric itself is organic,” said Chris Hudgins,

ISPA vice president of government relations. “Rather, USDA would allow the fabric producer to claim only that the fabric is ‘made with certified organic cotton’ (or wool, linen, etc., as relevant).” According to Hudgins, USDA appears to be taking the position that retailers of finished textile products like mattresses may, at most, claim that the fiber used in the textile is certified organic. In light of this investigation, mattress manufacturers and retailers that are making organic product claims should review their product packaging and advertising materials and consult with qualified legal counsel to confirm whether those claims meet USDA requirements, Hudgins said.

Leggett & Platt launches ‘Virgin Mattress’ campaign To promote its VertiCoil Edge innerspring, mattress industry supplier Leggett & Platt is rolling out a new national contest and social media campaign. Through Oct. 11, visitors to L&P’s Virgin Mattress YouTube channel can compete to win a mattress made with VertiCoil Edge innersprings. To participate in the contest, visitors must upload a video response to the Virgin Mattress Contest video, explaining why they deserve a new mattress. The Virgin Mattress Contest is linked to a social media campaign L&P created to engage and connect with consumers. The company will air a series of comedic webisodes that follow a couple in their quest to fight off an arch nemesis and save the family mattress store from financial ruin. The campaign, previewed before an industry audience and originally slated to launch in May, was redesigned and its start date pushed back. The videos go live Oct. 13—the same day the contest winner is announced. “We want to be the first to bring this kind of media to the mattress industry,” said Mark Quinn, vice

president of marketing for the residential furnishings segment of the company, which has headquarters in Carthage, Mo. “The Virgin Mattress campaign is back, this time with new characters and new videos that take a fun look at a couple’s efforts to redeem their family mattress business. Humorous customers, sleazy salespeople and crazy bedroom stories are all incorporated into a tale that will make consumers think twice about their current mattress.” Contest entries will be judged on creativity and contestants’ need for a new mattress. “We’re happy to award a consumer with his or her own new virgin mattress,” Quinn said. “Consumers already know that a good night’s sleep can improve their quality of life. We want them to also understand the role the mattress plays in their sleep and thus their life. Life happens in the bedroom and consumers often don’t replace their mattress as frequently as they should.” L&P is promoting the contest and webisodes through YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. A free Virgin Mattress-related iPhone application will be available for download later this year. For more information, check

BedTimes | October 2010 |



Boyteks adds capacity, expands line B

oyteks, a producer of jacquard woven and knitted mattress fabrics, has significantly increased its manufacturing capacity and added a host of new products during the past 18 months. The 8-year-old company, which has headquarters in Kayseri, Turkey,

exports products to more than 60 countries. Through capital investment of approximately $9.2 million, Boyteks increased its capacity to produce woven tickings by 25% and grew its knitting capacity by 15% in 2009. The company plans continued in-

vestments, said Önder Honi, Boyteks deputy general manager. The company is growing not only through investments, but through design and innovation, Honi said. New product introductions so far in 2010 include Oxygen Plus, VitaminE, Clima Natura, Thermaspa and Anti-Ageing. Customers can see these and the company’s entire product range at a recently opened showroom that was finished earlier this year. “Boyteks has become the world’s highest capacity jacquard woven and knitted mattress ticking producer,” Honi said. “As a result of this massive capacity, Boyteks continually gives fast and highquality service to its mattress ticking customers, providing access to innovative production ideas through its special and unique products.”

Short Bedding sales slow



42 | BedTimes | October 2010

After six months of strong growth, U.S. mattress sales slowed significantly in July. According to the monthly Bedding Barometer from the International Sleep Products Association, unit shipments rose only 0.6% in July 2010 over the same period in 2009. The wholesale dollar value of those shipments fell 2.2%. Average unit selling price also declined, down 2.8% for the month when compared to the previous year. For the year, unit shipments are up 9.6% and dollar values have increased 8.6%. The AUSP is down 0.9% for the first seven months of 2010 when compared to the same period in 2009, according to the report.


Medical Mattress Care upgrades website M

edical Mattress Care has redesigned its website,, adding information and improving the user’s experience. “We revamped and updated the entire site with easier navigation and added departments and several languages, as well,” said Michel Marynissen, MMC owner and managing director of the company, which has headquarters in SintPauwels, Belgium. “Clients, prospects and our partners will now have access to more information about all our products.” MMC produces mattresses and sleep accessories, including pillows, mattress protectors and positioning cushions, for the health care market,

as well as institutions such as hotels, schools, shelters and prisons. This revamping of the website is part of the company’s larger expansion efforts.

“We’ve improved our coverage in Poland and several other European countries and are still looking for good distributors in other countries,” Marynissen said.

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Worldwide Mattress buying, selling used equipment


group of mattress industry veterans has started Worldwide Mattress Machinery, a company that buys and sells all types of used mattress manufacturing machinery in North and South America, as well as Europe.

“We are a new company, but our staff has been in the mattress industry for a number of years,” said Pete Sasser, managing director. Sasser previously was with American Plant and Equipment and National Mattress Machinery. “With this vast experience,

we are dedicated to having the very best machinery on the market at very competitive prices.” The company, based in Spartanburg, S.C., has a warehouse where it services machines. The company has a website at

Shorts Atlanta Attachment adds division Atlanta Attachment Co., a mattress machinery supplier based in Lawrenceville, Ga., has launched a new division, Atlanta Precision Machining and Fabrication. The division offers in-house, turnkey support for manufacturing parts, assemblies or complete machines for any industry. It also offers a variety of other services, including design, prototype, sub-assembly, assembly, warehousing, distribution, sales, technical services and support. Mark Tullis manages the new division, which has its own website,

CPSC seeks to close company The New York Post reported Sept. 2 that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has asked a judge to shut down Brooklyn Sleep Products for violating federal flammability standards. According to the newspaper, the company manufactures and renovates mattresses for sale on the East Coast and its products repeatedly failed flammability tests during the past two years. To read the full article, check local/brooklyn/mattress_maker_bad_tag_esa0eHW6gpZd6yVurDyJ8J.

BedTimes | October 2010 |



Boyd mattresses first to carry SSA’s new seal


t. Louis-based Boyd Specialty Sleep has become the first mattress manufacturer in the United States to adopt the new safety and environmental standards created by the Specialty Sleep Association. Boyd is placing the SSA Safety and Environmental Program seal on NaturalFlex latex mattresses and PlanetSleep visco-memory foam mattresses. Over the summer, the SSA rolled out a voluntary, two-level program. Seals indicate to consumers that the manufacturer and labeled products meet minimum environmental and safety standards and labels list mattress components. Consumers seeking additional information can check the SSA’s website ( and contact the organization if they wish to learn more about a specific manufacturer’s component filing. The Boyd mattresses carry the organization’s Level I seal, which means the company meets all federal flammability requirements; provides a warranty for the product; meets all safety requirements for children’s products, if applicable; discloses material construction with a descriptive label; will participate in an annual survey to identify carbon footprint issues and has committed to continuous improvement; and meets standards set by the Montreal Protocol Act, when applicable, for the reduction or elimination of ozone-depleting substances. Denny Boyd, president and founder of Boyd Specialty Sleep, serves on the board of the SSA, which is headquartered in Friant, Calif.

Short Shifman rolls out exclusive Bloomingdale’s line High-end producer Shifman Mattresses, which has headquarters in Newark, N.J., has launched an exclusive line of bedding at Bloomingdale’s called Traditional. The collection, with entry-level pricing, features handcrafted, two-sided mattresses with tack-and-jump quilting and cotton upholstery. In January, Shifman plans to unveil the step-up Premium Luxury collection. Bloomingdale’s has carried Shifman product for 23 years and estimates that it has sold more than 100,000 of the handcrafted beds. “We have developed a strong relationship with Bloomingdale’s throughout the years and are thrilled that they are looking to the Shifman brand to further fuel the resurgence of the luxury market,” said Bill Hammer, Shifman president. 

46 | BedTimes | October 2010

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coSleep, a specialty mattress brand produced by Fort Atkinson, Wis.-based Durable Products Co., is including the CertiPUR-US certification seal on foam mattresses, including the Cool-Contour Deluxe, Healthy Living and new Sensation, Obsession and Revelation models. “Seeing the CertiPUR seal on EcoSleep mattresses will appeal to people who have a meaningful sense of environmental and social responsibility and incorporate these values into their purchasing decisions,” said President Dave Young. “Consumers that have been looking for clearer guidance when shopping for environmentally friendly mattresses

can feel confident that some of the components used to make EcoSleep are not only comfortable but have

also passed very strict environmental, health and safety standards.” CertiPUR-US is an effort of the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam Inc., based in Loudon, Tenn. CertiPUR-US is open to all producers of furniture and bedding foam products. Certified foams undergo third-party laboratory analysis that examines VOC emissions and foam chemistry. Products must be manufactured without the use of prohibited substances such as chlorofluorocarbons, methylene chloride, PBDE fire retardants, lead, mercury and other materials of concern. CertiPUR-US also sets baseline requirements for foam performance and durability.

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48 | BedTimes | October 2010

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Teen rallies mattress industry to help homeless A

s part of a school service project, a Pittsburgh teenager worked over the summer with companies in the mattress industry to construct six new beds for a local homeless shelter. Harley Skorpenske, a junior at Quaker Valley High School in Leetsdale, Pa., said she chose homelessness as the subject for her school project because it’s a problem she’s been aware of since she was a young child. “It seems to be one of the most common and very well-known problems in America that constantly goes on to be ignored,” Skorpenske said. Skorpenske worked with Hickory, N.C.-based mattress industry supplier Hickory Springs Mfg. Co., which donated components and helped her assemble the cores. The Original Mattress Factory, an Ohio-based factory direct with several Pittsburgh-area locations, helped her cover the mattress cores. Both companies donated

Special-delivery project Harley Skorpenske (left) presented six mattresses to Erika Frantz at the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh in July.

the time and materials to the project at no cost. “I liked mattresses because I feel like a bed is something we take the most advantage of. It is something that everyone deserves to have,” Skorpenske says. Skorpenske contacted several shelters before deciding to donate the beds to the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, which serves women and children escaping domestic violence.

Alana Van Fossen, development associate for the facility, said the shelter had received mattress donations from a company in Virginia, but that those contributions stopped a few years ago. The shelter has been short of new mattresses since. The entire project—research, preparation, assembly and donation—took Skorpenske five months. She delivered the mattresses on July 23. Amber Skorpenske contributed to this report.

Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation 1. Publication Title: BedTimes 2. Publication No. 0893-5556 3. Filing Date: Sept. 15, 2010 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 2010 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) 3,898 3,580 B. Legitimate Paid and/or Requested Distribution 1. Outside County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 2,142 2,091 2. In-County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 0 0 3. Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, 1,382 1,371 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 3,534 3,472 D. Nonrequested Distribution 1. Outside County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541. 132 47 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 100 10 E. Total Nonrequested Distribution 232 57 F Total Distribution 3,766 3,529 G. Copies Not Distributed 132 51 H. Total 3,898 3,580 I. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation 93% 98% 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 2010 |



Simmons inks licensing deal for pet products M attress major Simmons Bedding Co. has signed a licensing deal with JLA Pets to manufacture Simmons-brand pet beds and other pet-related products. “Many consumers view their dogs and cats as members of their family

and want to provide them with superior comfort as they sleep,” said Todd Merker, director of global licensing for Atlanta-based Simmons. “These consumers associate Simmons products with a comfortable, high-quality sleep experience, and we’re glad to know

that they’ll feel confident purchasing a Simmons pet bed for their dogs and cats.” Under the deal, Roswell, Ga.based JLA Pets also will manufacture Simmons-brand pet crates, kennels, blankets, crate pads and travel items.


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50 | BedTimes | October 2010

MPT Group hosts demo Machinery supplier MPT Group Ltd. hosted mattress manufacturers for a demonstration of its Infinity Sleep Support System, a continuouswire spring unit fabricating system. During the event, which was held at the company’s headquarters facility in Bacup, England, in early October, customers were able to see both the Infinity coiler and Infinity assembly machines in operation and were able to view a selection of products created using the system.

Glideaway offers protector St. Louis-based specialty sleep manufacturer Glideaway has introduced its first fullencasement mattress protector as part of a revamped accessories line. The Sleepharmony Deluxe Full-Encased Mattress Protector covers all six sides of a mattress, has an internal zipper and is machine washable. It provides a waterproof, breathable barrier that allows air to flow while protecting the mattress from dust mites, bedbugs, mold and other allergens, the company said. The protector has a suggested retail price from $45 to $79. Glideaway introduced the Sleepharmony brand earlier this year.

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NewsMakers Industry veteran Smith named Simmons president Mattress major Simmons Bedding Co. has appointed Tony Smith as president of U.S. sales and Simmons Canada. In the new role, Smith is responsible for all U.S. sales functions, as well as the Atlanta-based company’s Canadian business unit. Smith reports to Simmons Chief Executive Officer Gary Fazio, the former Sealy executive and Mattress Firm chief, who took the helm at Simmons in July. “We are fortunate to have someone with Tony’s experience and capabilities on board,” Fazio said. “Tony has an impressive track record and proven success across all facets of the organizations with which he has worked. I look forward to his many contributions as a member of the Simmons executive leadership team.” Most recently, Smith was president and CEO of Fort

Lauderdale, Fla.-based International Bedding Corp. Prior to that, Smith spent 22 years at Sealy, serving in various roles, including vice president of sales and regional vice president. He later was named chief operating officer of Sealy Canada. “I am honored to join Simmons, a company with a rich heritage and ongoing commitment to innovation, quality and world-class service,” Smith said. “I look forward to working with the company’s highly motivated leadership team to advance strategies and grow market share in the U.S. and Canada.” In related personnel changes, Simmons has announced that Paul Bognar, former Simmons Canada president, now reports to Smith. Dominick Azevedo, formerly executive vice president of sales, has left the company.

E.S. Kluft hires new VP of finance

IBC elevates board member to CEO

E.S. Kluft & Co., maker and distributor of Aireloom and Kluft brand mattresses based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., has hired Steve Smith as vice president of finance. Smith is a financial executive with 20 years of experience working for manufacturers in a variety of industries, including the Steve Smith mattress industry. “We are excited for Steve to bring to Kluft the expertise and cutting-edge ideas that he has put to use at many other high-profile organizations to boost productivity and efficiency,” said Earl Kluft, company president and chief executive officer. Most recently, Smith served as controller for Sweda Co. LLC, one of the largest companies in the promotional products sector. During his tenure at the former Spring Air Co., he was division controller and a member of the company’s top management team, where he oversaw budgeting, cash management, forecasting, financial reporting and analysis, as well as banking and union relations. Smith also has held positions with Aquafine Corp. and PTI Technologies Inc.


attress producer International Bedding Corp. has named Jeff Maillet as chief executive officer of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company. He replaces Tony Smith, who has left IBC to lead U.S. sales and Canadian operations for Simmons Bedding Co. Maillet, a member of IBC’s board for the past three years, Jeff Maillet has extensive Wall Street experience, according to the company. “Jeff combines a global approach and a proven track record of driving shareholder value with knowledge of the bedding industry,” IBC said in a news release announcing the appointment. “Under his guidance, IBC is poised to grow its business domestically and internationally.” “I am honored to lead International Bedding to the next level and am confident in the company’s continued leadership in key markets, as well as our ongoing commitment to innovation,” Maillet said. “My partners here at IBC represent some of the finest sales and marketing, manufacturing and operations managers in the bedding industry.” IBC has five U.S. manufacturing facilities where it produces brands including Europa, Miralux, Origins, the IB Classic Collection, American*Pedic and the Dr. Breus Bed.

BedTimes | October 2010 |



Atlanta Attachment adds two engineers


attress machinery supplier Atlanta Attachment Co. has hired Eric Gagnon and Michael Tomlin as mechanical design engineers. Both will work in the Lawrenceville, Ga.-based company’s engineering department where they will assist in the design and development of new products for the bedding industry. Gagnon recently earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition to courses in mechanical engineering, Gagnon studied internal combustion engines, material selection and failure analysis. He has Eric Gagnon a background in design prototyping, service and managing parts inventory and possesses other engineering and manufacturing skills. Tomlin recently earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering through a joint program of North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He concentrated his studies in mechatronics engineering, which encompasses mechanical, electrical and computer engineering and focuses on the computer control of mechanical and machine systems. He has completed internships with Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., BorgWarner Inc. and Carolina Michael Tomlin Knife Co. Both report to Preston Dasher, Atlanta Attachment senior vice president of engineering.

Shorts Giessmann joins MAMMUT

Frank Giessmann has joined the sales team of machinery supplier E. Stutznäcker GmbH & Co. KG., which Frank Giessmann produces MAMMUT brand sewing machines. The company has headquarters in Cologne, Germany. Previously, Giessmann worked in technical sales for ZSK Stickmaschinen GmbH, a German producer of embroidery machines, for 15 years. He replaces Dirk Quabach.

Natura hires plant supervisor

Cambridge, Ontario-based mattress and sleep accessories producer Natura World Inc. has named Russell Banks plant manager of its Canadian facility. He reports to President Ralph Rossdeutscher. Banks previously worked for six years at Waterloo Bedding.

Specialty Sleep Association names board, officers under new bylaws


he Specialty Sleep Association recently named a new board of directors, officers and the group’s first professional president. The SSA’s general membership meeting, the first held under the association’s recently revised bylaws, took place during the Las Vegas Market in August. Bart DeHaerne, president of Deslee Textiles USA, was elected chairman of the Friant, Calif.-based association; Michael Nermon, founder and president of Ergo Customized Comfort was named vice chairman; and Todd Youngblood, president of Chili Technology, was elected secretary/treasurer. Dale Read was appointed president of the association. The role has recently been redefined and is now a paid professional post. As president,

54 | BedTimes | October 2010

Bart DeHaerne

Todd Youngblood

Michael Nermon

Dale Read

Read will focus on membership development and implementation of the group’s Safety and Environmen-

tal Program. Read had been publisher and editor in chief of Bedroom magazine since 2003. Earlier in the year, he stepped down from those roles and became a senior writer. He has been active in the SSA for many years and was elected as its volunteer president in 2008. Tambra Jones remains executive director, responsible for leasing the association’s showroom at the World Market Center in Las Vegas and overseeing operations and finance. Other SSA board members elected at the meeting include: Denny Boyd, Boyd Specialty Sleep; Mark Miller, InnoMax; Jeff Scorziell, Anatomic Global; Scott Smalling, Simmons; and Dave Brummett, Mattress Firm. The SSA was founded as a not-for-profit organization in 1995.

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How making changes in the way you interact with your customers will improve your bottom line How to leverage social and digital media to get your messages out to the masses The latest in responsible used mattress recycling, new pilot programs, including retailer involvement and emerging trends New information manufacturers and retailers need to know about Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act implementation And much more!

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ISPANews ISPA & RRI wrap up pilot recycling program T he International Sleep Products Association and Rubber Recovery Inc., a solid waste recycling business near Charleston, S.C., have finished a program to test options for processing and recycling large volumes of used mattresses. ISPA partnered with RRI in 2009 to determine whether the shredding technology the company uses to recycle tires and other materials could be used to process mattresses. The effort is part of ISPA’s larger ISPAEarth Sustainability Initiative. “Most mattress recycling today is performed exclusively using manual labor. An efficient mechanized approach is needed to process the volumes of used mattresses that large urban areas generate,” said ISPA President Ryan Trainer. “RRI’s expertise in processing other durable products provided us with an excellent opportunity to test whether the shredding technology they use can efficiently separate the spring steel from other mattress components.” A number of ISPA members contributed resources to the project. Atlanta-based mattress major Simmons Bedding Co. and Greenville, S.C.-based bedding producer Park Place Corp. provided hundreds of used mattresses and foundations for use in the tests. Simmons also provided logistical support for delivering the used units to the shredding plant and simplifying how the products were handled during processing. Carthage, Mo.-based mattress industry supplier Leggett & Platt contributed four employees from its quality assurance and engineering departments to document the tests. Throughout the process, other mattress manufacturers, recyclers, component suppliers and retailers observed the tests and provided valu-

Tired product The International Sleep Products Association and Rubber Recovery Inc. put hundreds of mattresses and foundations through the company’s tire shredding equipment.

able insights into how the RRI process could be adapted to mattress recycling, Trainer said. “The RRI pilot program is an excellent example of how ISPA and our member companies serve the mattress industry,” said Don Wright, ISPA chairman and chief marketing officer at industry supplier Wright of Thomasville in Thomasville, N.C. “Proper disposal of used mattresses has been a pressing industry problem for years and the need for a permanent solution is obvious. ISPA is committed to working with mattress manufacturers, industry suppliers, the retail community, government officials and recycling centers to develop an economically feasible and sustainable solution to this problem. I look forward to seeing the results of this pilot program and sincerely appreciate all the support we have received from

our members.” Going forward, several foam suppliers will analyze whether the mixture of shredded foam, fiber and fabric generated from the shredding operation is suitable for making rebond foam used for carpet padding. L&P will draft a report and recommendations regarding the tests, which ISPA will make available to all members, as well as companies interested in recycling used mattresses. BT

➤ Learn more For more information on the International Sleep Product Association’s mattress recycling efforts and the ISPAEarth Sustainability Initiative, check sustainability.

BedTimes | October 2010 |


UpClose Woods comfortable on the bright side of life Lumber company VP looks to the positive, personally & professionally By Dorothy Whitcomb

Woods explains. “The bedding inean Woods likes to be on the dustry was consistent so we decided right side of a problem. That’s to become a specialized business not to say that he expects to offering a specialty product.” always be right, but he does seek The company’s commitment a positive platform from which to to the industry extends to active operate. participation in efforts to strengthen “I tend to focus on positive it. For Woods that means consistent, things,” he says. “When I walk away long-term involvement in the Interfrom a situation, I think about what national Sleep Products Association. we did right and what we can do Woods serves on the ISPA board differently, rather than what went and its Executive Committee and is wrong. There are plenty of negative chairman of the Suppliers Council. influences. If you allow them in, they He also serves on ISPA’s Better Sleep can overwhelm you and affect your Council and is a member of its Matperformance.” tress Disposal Task Force. It’s this kind of thinking that took “You get out of something what Woods to C.J. Hodder Lumber Co. you put into it and we’re vested in 16 years ago. Woods had been workthe long-term success of the indusing for the Lincoln Financial Group try,” Woods says. selling mutual funds, insurance and True to form, Woods sees many retirement annuities, when Skip of the challenges currently facHodder, who is now company presiing the industry, including market dent, approached him about joining Fan favorite Dean Woods is an avid supporter of major league instability, currency fluctuation and sports teams, including the Pittsburgh Penguins, who won his family’s business. raw material price volatility, as opHodder and Woods had become their third NHL title and the Stanley Cup in 2009. Woods got a portunities. chance to see and touch the coveted cup at a friend’s party. friends while both were members of Woods points to ISPA’s efforts the Jaycees, a service and social organito maintain a duty exemption for ra‘It was an opportunity zation that focuses on building memdiused foundation components in the bers’ business and management skills. current Softwood Lumber Agreement for me to become “It was an opportunity for me to between Canada and the United States involved in a successful become involved in a successful family as an example of meeting challenges business,” Woods says. “I felt that if I head on. family business. didn’t try it, I might regret it. If it didn’t “This was a real political football,” I felt that if I didn’t try work, I could always go back to what I he says. “We worked with ISPA and was doing before.” (ISPA President) Ryan Trainer for a it, I might regret it. Woods will be the first to tell you long time until there was a successful that it’s worked out just fine. He’s found result.” If it didn’t work, I could a home at the company, which began always go back to what in 1957 by providing industrial lumber Music, music, music A quick look for crating and packaging materials. C.J. at the playlists on Woods’ iPod reveals I was doing before.’ Hodder Lumber made its first foray into a man who loves music—all kinds of the bedding industry in the 1960s when based company decided to focus its music. Scroll through and you’ll find it began providing bed frame materials efforts in the mattress industry. ballads, rock ’n’ roll, heavy metal, blues, to Simmons Bedding Co., a relationship “This is the Rust Belt and some of rap, jazz. Favorite performers include it maintains to this day. the other industries we had been workTony Bennett, Bob Dylan, Metallica, About 15 years ago, the Pittsburghing with had changed economically,” Kid Rock and B.B. King. He attends


58 | BedTimes | October 2010

as many concerts as he can and fondly remembers proposing to his wife, Lisa, after a Tony Bennett concert. Ol’ blue eyes Speaking of music, Woods is an unabashed Frank Sinatra fan who grew up listening to the crooner. One of his favorite memories is of attending a Radio City Music Hall event that combined 1950s-era film clips of Sinatra with performances by the Rockettes and the Radio City Music Hall orchestra. “I went for the whole Sinatra experience,” he says. “I wore his trademark Fedora all over town and had dinner at Patsy’s Italian Restaurant, where he used to hang out.” Everyday heroes An avid sports fan, Woods follows the Pittsburgh Steelers

➤ Bio in brief Name Dean Woods Company C.J. Hodder Lumber Co. Title Vice president Location Pittsburgh Education Woods earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Robert Morris University. Age 46 Family He and his wife, Lisa, have been married for six years and have two young sons.

and Penguins closely. These days, however, he’s having a hard time respecting

all of the players. “I admire people who go to work every day, work hard for their families and try to do the right thing. I enjoy sports and entertainment, but a lot of these guys are proving themselves not to be heroes.” Bedside reading Woods is reading The Last Lecture, a book based on a talk given by Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor Randy Pausch after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Throughout the book, Pausch, who died in July 2008 at age 47, stresses the importance of living life to the fullest. “Because of his age and the age of his children, I can relate to Pausch in a lot of ways,” Woods says. “I’m finding the book very uplifting.” BT

BedTimes | October 2010 |


Calendar 2010 October

When it comes to mattress manufacturing, Komar Alliance is the leading industry supplier. From flame-retardant thread and bobbins to spray adhesives, mattress tape and fastening systems, we’ve got it all.

A Coats Distributor

Oct. 16-21 High Point Market International Home Furnishings Center & other locations High Point, N.C., U.S. Phone 336-869-1000 Oct. 25-28 MOBTEX Tripoli International Fairground Tripoli, Libya Phone 90-212-224-68-78


Nov. 24-25 The Sleep Event Business Design Centre London, U.K.

2011 January

T hread in g the n eed le, an d then som e.


1-800-USA-SEWS 60 | BedTimes | October 2010

Jan. 15-18 The Canadian Home Furnishings Market International Centre Toronto, Canada Phone 514-866-3631 Jan. 24-28 Las Vegas Market World Market Center Las Vegas, U.S. Phone 888-416-8600 The Canadian Home Furnishings Market The show will be Jan. 15-18 at the International Centre in Toronto.


Feb. 18-20 Tupelo Furniture Market Mississippi & Tupelo complexes Tupelo, Miss., U.S. Phone 662-842-4442


➤ March 16-18 ISPA Industry Conference & Exhibition Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club St. Petersburg, Fla., U.S. Phone 703-683-8371


April 2-7 High Point Market International Home Furnishings Center & other locations High Point, N.C., U.S. Phone 336-869-1000


May 25-28 Interzum Cologne Koelnmesse Cologne, Germany Phone 49-221-821-0

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


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


Dueffe SRL Francesco Arcangeli 39-71-7926054


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



Edgewater Machine Co. Inc. Roy Schlegel 718-539-8200


MPT Group Ltd. Andrew Trickett 44-1706-878558



Enriquez Materials & Quilting Inc. Silvia Enriquez 323-725-4955


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


Flexible Foam Products Inc. Michael Crowell 419-647-4191


P.T. Dunlopillo Indonesia Sham Bharwani 62-21-3858626


A. Lava & Son Co. Steve Appelbaum 800-777-5282 (800-777-LAVA)


AFT Corp. Rick Brumfield 800-631-1930


American Law Label Inc. Rocco Bruno Jr. 773-523-2222 Arch Chemicals Tom Robitaille 770-315-2646 Atlanta Attachment Co. Inc. Hank Little 770-963-7369

C2-1, 29

Bekaert Textiles USA Inc. Brandon Wells 336-769-4300


Global Systems Group Russ Bowman 954-846-0300


P.T. RubberFoam Indonesia Andreas Janssen 62-21-53662190


Bloomingburg Spring & Wire Form Vickie Schwarm 740-437-7614


Hengchang Machinery Factory Ren Ying 86-769-83307931


Quilting Inc. Mark Gibney 800-358-0153


BLR Martin Leroux 819-877-2092


Bodet & Horst GmbH & Co. KG Ute Schmiedel 49-37349-697-27


Boyteks Tekstil AS M. Nebi Dogan 90-533-685-6041


BRK Group Jeff Miller 562-949-4394


CertiPUR-US Robert Luedeka 865-657-9840


CT Nassau Taber Wood 800-397-0090


62 | BedTimes | October 2010

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


SABA North America LLC Jim Turner 810-824-4964

Innofa USA Todd Hilliard 336-687-1006


Simalfa Darren Gilmore 973-423-9266


SpringCo. Inc. Carlos Luna 305-887-3782


Springs Creative Products Group George Booth 803-324-6505


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


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


Kenn Spinrad Inc. Randy Weinstock 800-373-0944


Komar Alliance Herman Tannenbaum 215-441-9300


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


Therapedic Sleep Products Gerry Borreggine 800-314-4433 Tietex International Ltd. Wade Wallace 800-843-8390




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For Sale Quilters, tape-edge machines, serger-flangers: Galkin and Porter. Rufflers: Porter and Atlanta Attachment. One complete plant for sale. Contact Pete Sasser. Phone 864-285-4454; Fax 864-699-9424; Email

Employment Opportunity U.S.-based Mattress Ticking representative or consultant. Ticking experience not essential but good knowledge and contacts throughout the United States are required. Email

Place your classified ad today! Reach mattress industry professionals around the world with your advertising message through the BedTimes Classifieds. Rates: $3 per word for the first 100 words and $2.50 thereafter; minimum charge of $75. “Blind” box number: $50 per insertion. Ad copy and payment must be received by the first of the month preceding publication. Send ads and payment to BedTimes Classifieds, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1917. Contact Debbie Robbins, advertising production manager, for additional information. Phone 336-3424217; Fax 336-342-4116; Email

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BedTimes | October 2010 |


TheLastWord Sleep can help offset effects of digital brain drain


he relentless stream of emails, text messages, online updates and computer searches is gobbling up not only much of our time, but our brain power, too, making us less productive and hindering our social interactions. In a recent segment on “The Early Show,” CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton reported that the average American spends more time using media devices such as TVs, computers, cell phones and iPods than doing anything else—8 1/2 hours a day. Researchers say that this digital overload can actually change how we think and behave. Sometimes the changes are for the better, but more and more researchers say our ability to focus and learn is being undermined by bursts of information, Ashton reported. Some even conclude that our brains can become addicted to the digital stimulation, which has been linked to depression and other problems. Among Ashton’s remedies: ➤ Take a daily break from electronic devices—turn them off and have a conversation or go for a walk ➤ Try meditating—a state of “restful alertness” can rejuvenate a tired brain ➤ Get some exercise—staying fit maintains good blood flow to the brain ➤ Don’t skimp on sleep—it gives the brain a chance to repair itself.

64 | BedTimes | October 2010

Marketers investing more in social media Marketers plan to significantly increase their investment in social media marketing programs during the next year, according to a new survey from the Pivot Conference. About two-thirds (63%) of brand marketers and ad agency professionals already have implemented social media marketing programs and 87% of those plan to increase their investment in the next 12 months, the survey shows. Of the 37% of marketers that aren’t currently investing in social media, 62% plan to invest within one year. Among the social media platforms that marketers are targeting: search engines (e.g., Google), social media sites (e.g., Facebook) and microblogging or “presence” applications (e.g., Twitter). Emerging platforms in which marketers are planning to invest include mobile apps (e.g., iPhone), location-based services (e.g., Foursquare) and in-game advertising (e.g., FarmVille). The online survey of 137 corporate marketers and ad agency professionals was conducted by Extra Mile Audience Research on behalf of the Pivot Conference. The Pivot Conference, which will be held Oct. 17-20 in New York, is a marketing conference focused on the 18- to 34-year-old demographic.

Big ports suffer big declines


he world’s five largest ports—Singapore; Shanghai; Hong Kong; Shenzhen, China; and Busan, South Korea—all showed double-digit declines in container shipping last year, according to a new ranking of the world’s 50 largest container ports in the Aug. 23 issue of the Journal of Commerce. The Port of Singapore, No. 1 in the ranking, saw a 13.7% slide in shipping from 2008 to 2009, according to the journal. Only two ports among the world’s 15 largest—Guangzhou and Tianjin, both in China—showed any growth in what the journal calls “the worst year ever in container shipping.”

Quotable “We have many opportunities to avoid sleep—lights, electrical devices and other entertainment offer round-the-clock temptations. But we must recognize the importance of sleep and make it a priority to get enough. It is a lot easier to prevent weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease by getting enough sleep than it is to treat these problems once they develop.” — Lawrence J. Epstein, sleep physician at Harvard Medical School & author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep

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BedTimes Oct. 2010  

The business journal for the sleep products industry

BedTimes Oct. 2010  

The business journal for the sleep products industry