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BedTimes SEPTEMBER 2010


Good PR Using the experts to get your message out

Las Vegas Market: Focus is on helping retailers Encouraging your employees to be healthier

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he PowerStack is now available in a High Profile unit to meet the demands of todays taller boxspring configurations. T Hickory Springs patented PowerStack zero deflection box spring is engineered for extreme stability. A series of cupshaped internal supports are welded to the box springs’ border wire and cross-support grid, then secured at the base on two axes. This unique construction prevents head-to-foot and side-to-side sway and reduces pocketing as well. Assembly is quick and simple — just staple it in place and move it on down the line.









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SEPT 2010

InSide Features

24 Getting good PR

You’ve got a marketing plan, a brand strategy and an advertising campaign. But what are you doing in terms of public relations? Two experts explain why effective PR is as important as those other efforts.

36 Moving workers toward wellness

If you’re considering starting a program to improve employee health and reduce insurance costs, wait a moment. Such efforts can be successful, but only if planned and implemented carefully.


7 Front Matter

Advertisers have long been obsessed with younger consumers, thinking they have money to spend—and are still open-minded enough to consider new brands and products. Recent research from the Nielsen Co. shows the fallacies behind that conventional wisdom and explains why companies shouldn’t ignore older consumers.

9 Company Profile

In recent months, century-old Pennsylvania Bedding has been rewriting its business plan, moving into new sales territories, improving its production facilities and hiring staff—all because of two new licensing deals.

13 Market Report

5 Editor’s Note 43 Industry News 56 Newsmakers 58 Calendar 60 ISPA News 61 ISPA Advocacy 62 Advertisers Index 63 Classifieds 64 Last Word

Some nifty technologies and a few major product launches drew the spotlight during the Las Vegas Market. But, overall, mattress manufacturers bet that line extensions, contests, social media promotions and revamped point-of-purchase materials would get retailers to lay their money down.

BedTimes | September 2010 |


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EDITOR IN CHIEF Julie A. Palm 336-727-1889 SENIOR WRITER Barbara Nelles 336-856-8973 CONTRIBUTORS Susan Ebaugh Lin Grensing-Pophal Helen Sullivan Dorothy Whitcomb ART DIRECTOR Stephanie Belcher 336-201-7475 Vice President of Sales Kerri Bellias 336-945-0265 Ad Production & CIRCULATION manager Debbie Robbins 336-342-4217 COPY EDITOR Margaret Talley-Seijn BedTimes deadlines Editorial deadlines for the Industry News and Newsmakers sections of the November issue of BedTimes are Friday, Oct. 1. Volume 138 Number 9 BedTimes (ISSN 0893-5556) is published monthly by the International Sleep Products Association. Periodicals postage paid at Alexandria, Va., and additional mailing offices. Editorial and advertising offices 126 Parkview Lane, Reidsville, NC 27320 Phone 703-683-8371; Fax 703-683-4503 Administrative and ISPA offices 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, Va. 22314-1917 Phone 703-683-8371; Fax 703-683-4503 Postmaster Send address changes to BedTimes, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, Va. 22314-1917 Contents © 2010 by the International Sleep Products Association. Reprint permission obtainable through BedTimes.

Editor’sNote Selling ourselves on the idea of simplicity “There is nothing so simple it cannot be made difficult.”— Merle P. Martin


doubt Merle P. Martin was talking about mattresses, but he might as well have been. By their very nature, mattresses aren’t overly complicated. Not when compared to so many items we use daily. They involve a relatively limited number of components and are constructed largely with techniques that have been around for awhile. From the outside, they look simpler still: On a showroom floor, they’re a bunch of fabric-covered rectangles, many of them white. (This isn’t to say that there aren’t significant, meaningful differences in the way mattress brands are constructed, or that various components don’t offer specific advantages in terms of comfort, support and durability, or that the industry isn’t quick to embrace technological advances. I’m just saying…) Simplicity is a selling point for many consumer goods. You can read a novel, watch a movie, send a message to your daughter in college or look up sports scores on the new Apple iPad— all with one hand and a single touch screen. Cars like the Toyota Prius no longer require a key to start the ignition: Just push a button and go. How cool is that? Obviously, the iPad and Prius are complicated products. They require an enormous amount of engineering, computer programming and who knows what else to make them work. But as a user, I don’t care. To me, they are simple. And simple is good. Too often, it seems, our industry purposely tries to take relatively simple products and make them complicated.

We bombard consumers with talk of coil counts and ILDs and then bring out the “bun,” showing them all those foam/ fiber/spring layers we just bored them to death talking about. So, it was refreshing at the summer Las Vegas Market to see a move by many manufacturers—aided by many suppliers—toward simplicity. Throughout the World Market Center, we saw efforts to educate the consumer without confusing her. Some mattress makers are reworking their lines, reducing SKUs and creating easy-to-understand, visually appealing ways for consumers to choose the right mattress for them. Others are revamping their point-of-purchase materials, eliminating tedious product specifications and focusing on a few key points that truly matter to the consumer. (See story on Page 13.) All the details about what’s inside our rectangles may matter enormously to us. But what matters to the consumer is how a mattress feels and how it will make her feel the next morning. Remember, at an Apple store, no one rips open all the rectangles— iPods, iPhones, iPads—to show you the insides. And they seem to be selling just fine. BT

Julie A. Palm BedTimes | September 2010 |



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FrontMatter Youth obsession costs companies money Baby boomers willing to try new products, spend freely


arketers are obsessed with youth. If you’re in the highly valued 18-34 age group, they want to know what you’re watching, texting, reading, Googling, eating, buying. And they’ll spend a pretty penny trying to get you to watch, text, read, Google, eat and buy the products and services they’re selling. “But by solely focusing on these groups, advertisers and consumer goods manufacturers are overlooking a group that has tremendous buying power: the 78 million baby boomers in the U.S. today,” according to the Nielsen Co., a New York-based firm that measures and analyzes media viewership and consumer trends. Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are just beginning to retire. “But today’s middle-aged and older consumers are different than their predecessors,” Nielsen says. “The conventional wisdom that they spend little, resist technology and are slow to adopt new products needs to be re-assessed. Boomers are an affluent group who adopt technology with enthusiasm. Think about the number of parents or grandparents who regularly send emails or upload photos to Facebook and other sites. They have also shown a willingness to try new brands and products.” Nielsen estimates that spending by baby boomers accounts for 38.5% of all money spent on consumer products. But, amazingly, only 5% of advertising dollars are directed toward adults 35-64 years old, which includes the second half of Generation X, in addition to the boomers. The bulk of marketing money is aimed at the favored 18-34 demographic, sometimes those 18-49. “Boomers should be as desirable

for marketers as Millennials and Gen Xers for years to come. They are the largest single group of consumers and a valuable target audience. As the U.S. continues to age, reaching this group will continue to be critical for advertisers,” says Pat McDonough, Nielsen senior vice president of in-

sights, analysis and policy. According to Nielsen, boomers: ➤ Dominate 1,023 out of 1,083 consumer packaged goods categories ➤ Watch the most video (TV, movies, etc.)—more than 9 hours a day ➤ Make up one-third of all TV viewers, online users and social media users ➤“Time shift” TV more than 18-24 year olds ➤ Are significantly more likely to own a DVD player ➤ Are more likely to have broadband Internet access at home. And if you think that the Web sites boomers visit are entirely different from those visited by younger adults (18-34), you’re mistaken. Eight of the top 10 Web sites favored by the different age groups are the same, according to Nielsen. “At a time when most analysts are predicting much slower growth in consumer spending, manufacturers and marketers need to look at every opportunity to grow market share,” Nielsen concludes. “Boomers can represent tremendous potential to those who know how to reach them.” BT

Web-surfing habits similar, no matter what age Top sites among boomers

Top sites among 18-34 year olds

1. Google 2. Yahoo 3. Bing 4. Facebook 5. Microsoft 6. AOL 7. YouTube 8. Wikipedia 9. Ask 10. Amazon

1. Google 2. Yahoo 3. Facebook 4. Bing 5. YouTube 6. Microsoft 7. AOL 8. Fox Interactive Media 9. Apple 10. Wikipedia

BedTimes | September 2010 |


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CompanyProfile Pennsylvania Bedding ties itself to new brands

Company is restructuring after signing deals with Therapedic, Spring Air By Dorothy Whitcomb


ith two new licensing partners, Pennsylvania Bedding is significantly expanding its sales territory, revising its business plan, ramping up manufacturing capabilities and hiring additional sales staff. The 103-year-old privately held company began much of its multipronged transition as it came to the end of a 20-year licensing deal with Comfort Solutions and inked new contracts with Spring Air International and Therapedic Sleep Products. The decision didn’t come easily for Pennsylvania Bedding, says Bill Spudis, president and chief executive officer of the company, which has headquarters in Old Forge, Pa. The bedding maker knows that change can be difficult and that leaving a comfortable, decades-long relationship in a down economy involved additional risk. Still, Spudis says, “We believe that it was the right move at the right time.” The opportunity to vastly expand its sales territory was central to the company’s decision to sign new licensing deals. Through its arrangement with Comfort Solutions, Pennsylvania Bedding was limited to selling in upstate New York and part of Pennsylvania and couldn’t sign licensing deals with other brands, Spudis says. Its combined territory with Spring Air and Therapedic includes all of Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., as well as parts of Virginia and West Virginia. New infrastructure To take advantage of its new opportunities, Pennsylvania Bedding had to restructure its manufacturing facilities. It reconfigured its 87,000-square-foot factory to make room for $1 million

Plant upgrade Frank Grillo (left) and Tom Umile show off a quilter in Pennsylvania Bedding’s plant, which includes $1 million worth of new equipment.

worth of new equipment. With no room left for storage, the company moved components and raw materials to a rented 30,000-square-foot warehouse across from the plant. Once the infrastructure was in place, developing a strategy to maximize sales in the new territories fell to sales manager Scott Wallis. Spudis says: “With both of the new companies, we have the autonomy to do what we need to do in our market and the flexibility to produce the kind of product that will sell. Scott’s experience was key in deciding what products to produce and how to merchandise them. It was no easy trick.” The Spring Air license brings Pennsylvania Bedding its own advantages, says David Adler, principal owner of the company and chairman of its board. “Retailers know that the Spring Air name is strong with consumers and we now have one of the largest Spring Air licenses in the country,” Adler says. Adler and Spudis cite Spring Air’s

Brand management Pennsylvania Bedding no longer produces private-label mattresses, manufacturing only beds with Spring Air and Therapedic labels.

commitment to innovative product development as one reason for signing with the brand. Sleep Sense, one of Spring Air’s latest offerings, draws particular praise from the pair. “In all the years I’ve been doing this, you can count pure innovations in the mattress business on one hand. Sleep Sense is one of them,” Spudis says. “Sleep Sense gives us a patented, encased coil unit that can’t be knocked off,” Wallis adds. “It has a fantastic look and feel and is tremendous value for the money. It is probably the most exciting product I have seen in a long, long time and it’s flying off retail floors.” Sleep Sense queen-size sets have suggested retail prices from $1,200 to $2,000, but Pennsylvania Bedding offers mattresses from both the Therapedic and Spring Air brands across all price points. Brands change; values don’t The company has made one other significant change in its product lineup: It no longer produces its own private-label product. “Once we signed with Therapedic and Spring Air, we put all our loyalty to them,” Spudis says. Loyalty was very much on the minds of company executives as they considered how best to present the brand changes to their customers. “I wanted them to know that just because the brands we were producing were changing, Pennsylvania Bedding was not,” Spudis says. “King Koil recognized us multiple times as a top-quality plant. I didn’t want customers to think that any of that was going away.” (King Koil is Comfort Solutions’ previous corporate name and still a major brand for the company.) Letters to current and prospective customers stressed the company’s core

BedTimes | September 2010 |



values of consistent quality, product innovation, reliable service and a stable, experienced staff. At the same time, the company’s sales staff emphasized new operational and marketing opportunities Pennsylvania Bedding would bring to retailers. “In our new world, retailers can be exclusive customers of Pennsylvania Bedding and have two brands,” Wallis says. “We can make it a lot easier for them and that’s what gets their attention.” Wallis has been helping retailers focus on ways to get more customers into their stores. A major advertising program that includes direct mail and newspaper inserts is in the offing. His chief goal, however, is finding ways to help retailers become more sophisticated in their own marketing efforts. “For the most part, our retail base is mom-and-pop independents,” he says. “They need to look quickly into Web

‘Without a doubt, our biggest challenge is developing our new territories. We need to get our name out there and show product.’ technology, update their customer lists and begin running private sales to bring old customers back.” What’s ahead Pennsylvania Bedding’s most significant challenges, however, lie in what company officials frequently call their

“new world.” “Without a doubt, our biggest challenge is in developing our new territories,” Spudis says. “We need to get our name out there and show product. We’re working hard to hire and train the staff to do just that.” So far, the company has hired six new sales representatives and is planning to add more. This fall, management expects to start running a second shift at the factory. Although no one at Pennsylvania Bedding dismisses the possible negative effects of a still-sluggish economy on their plans, they remain optimistic. “We’re setting our table. There’s a lot of pent-up demand out there and people will come back. If we have our table set correctly with product and distribution, we should get more than our share,” Wallis says. “The opportunities seem endless.” BT

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MarketReport Cool technologies, contests hot in Las Vegas

Vendors seek to make sales easier, more exciting for retailers By Barbara Nelles


endors at the August Las Vegas Market generally agreed that foot traffic was slower than at the February show—everything seems to slow when the mercury soars to 105 degrees and the market seems to be settling into a pattern of more bustling shows in winter and quieter markets in summer. In the halls of the World Market Center—where temperatures stayed cool, indeed—there were a lot of new offerings at mattress showrooms. Many were of the line-extension variety, but there were shop-stoppers too, some hidden away in private viewing rooms. Contests and promotions targeting both retailers and consumers were plentiful at the show, offering lucky winners everything from pillows to bed sets to iPads—even a trip to Las Vegas. Change in the air Simmons Bedding Co. introduced new Chief Executive Officer Gary Fazio, who said people have asked him why he joined the company after years with Mattress Firm, most recently as chairman: “Because of the tradition of the company and quality of the products like Simmons Beautyrest. We make a much better product. How do you measure quality? By the number of returns—I learned that at Mattress Firm. And with the new ownership, this is a very exciting time for us. You can see it throughout the showroom. There’s lots new here and lots in the pipeline. But innovation is easy; what’s not easy is to make it relevant. We’re going to change the conversation with retailers. It’s about working together and figuring this out together.” The company offered a number of enhancements to its ComforPedic and

(photos clockwise, from top left) Leader debuts Simmons Bedding Co. Chief Executive Officer Gary Fazio, who joined the company just before market, helped introduce the new Beautyrest Black Beyond beds. Playing with pillows Dave Young of Durable Products Co. offered retailers a pillow-making kiosk to add ‘an element of retail theater’ to the store. New deal Eastman House’s Stuart Carlitz (left) and Matt Connolly rolled out the first beds in the company’s Ernest Hemingway Fine Bedding collection.

Beautyrest Black collections. Most notable were three Beautyrest Black Beyond beds, luxury priced at $3,499 to $4,999 in queen.* Components include a cooling GelTouch comfort layer, as well as specialty foams and Variform Advanced Pocketed Coil springs. Mattresses are foam-encased, have patented Transflexion Comfort Technology, luxurious

* All prices are suggested retail for queen-size sets unless otherwise noted.

fabrics and bejeweled borders. At the Leggett & Platt Consumer Products Group showroom, new consumer messaging and a rebranding campaign were a central focus. The recently renamed Leggett & Platt Fashion Bed brand, formerly the Fashion Bed Group, displayed 19 new frame models, priced between $299 and $599. A new Web site for the Whittier, Calif.-based division went live during the show. All are part of a rebranding campaign to leverage the equity in the Leggett & Platt name, a process that will take six to 12 months to complete,

BedTimes | September 2010 |



said Herman Tam, Consumer maker and division of Chinese Products Group vice president producer Zinus based in Hayof marketing. ward, Calif., launched its Vivon Spring Air International Life Positional Mattress—an President Rick Robinson said imported line of adjustable he “crisscrossed the country beds with no outer frame. All prior to the market, meeting moving parts of the patentwith major accounts and clospending bed are built into the ing significant business.” mattress core. It’s available in “Market should be a celebra11-inch, 12-inch and 13.5tion of the work you’ve done inch mattress heights. Retail leading up to it,” he explained. prices are $1,800, $2,200 and The Boston-based licens$2,600 in twin XL, platform ing group has retooled its High-tech partnership Natura World’s Scott Miller (left) and inventor Gino foundation not included. The Giori demonstrate the licensed Sharper Image Personal Touch bed, collections and cut extranetop two beds have massage featuring ‘modulating foam technology’ invented by Gioir. ous SKUs, Robinson said. It features. All have a proprietary added four specialty beds to polyurethane foam core made Sleep Sense, a Back SupNew directions with part plant-based content, porter collection introduced at the last A handful of significant new brand activated charcoal and green tea. Special market. The beds have eco-friendly and technology introductions stood “loop and toggle” Stay Fit sheets come features, including a foam core made out at the market. In the Natura World with the bed. with a portion of plant-based conshowroom, selected dealers could see “There was a tremendous need for tent, natural latex layers, a sustainable the licensed Sharper Image bed with a breakthrough idea in a product catwood foundation and fabrics with “modulating foam technology.” Invenegory (adjustables) that even 65-yearnatural fibers. The Sleep Sense line tor Gino Giori was on hand to demolds say is ‘for older people’,” said now includes eight beds, priced from onstrate the patented Personal Touch Dennis Sones, chief marketing officer. $999 to $1,999. bed. The five-bed line adjusts to the “Our research and development took Spring Air has streamlined its sleeper via vacuum technology, providfour years. The bed is all about people Comfort Silhouette Imaging software ing a visco-elastic feel on a traditional who use technology to embrace a cerinto a simpler, more intuitive format polyurethane foam core. The foam tain lifestyle. Our target is sleep shops called Passport. CSI helps determine has a portion of plant-based content. and furniture stores.” what level of support and comfort is Beds retail for approximately $2,499 to As part of a new partnership with liappropriate for a consumer. While $4,999. Comfort layers include latex, censing group Therapedic International, using it on the retail floor, consumers visco-elastic and gel. mattress maker Hollandia International, receive a passport-like booklet that Vivon Life LLC, an adjustable bed which has headquarters in Sderot, explains different types of Israel, launched the iCon specialty materials in matBed at Princeton, N.J.-based tresses and leaves room for Therapedic’s show space. The note-taking while shopping. headboard has an iPad docking Anatomic Global, a foam station; the foundation is an bed manufacturer based in adjustable Trio base operated Corona, Calif., has redesigned with two digital remotes. The its showroom, its branded bed’s core is Talalay latex covproduct line and point-ofered with Hollandia’s signature purchase materials. The new 3-D Active Ventilation fabric. It Sleep By Design concept retails for $20,000. makes it easier for consum“In my long experience ers to find their comfort and selling beds, there are so many support level by dividing the people who come in to shop company’s EcoMemoryFoam for a $2,000 or $3,000 bed, but beds into three color-coded are actually willing and able to Tied to a new TV Comfort Solutions launched a contest for its King Koil brand that runs through January. The campaign is backed by a national series with graduated feels. spend much more,” said Avi multichannel marketing effort. Prices range from $799 to Barssessat, Hollandia chief $2,999. executive officer.

14 | BedTimes | September 2010


At the Eclipse and Eastman House showroom, the sun also rose on the Ernest Hemingway Fine Bedding line. Light glinted off the bed’s ornate border fabric, brown velvet bed streamers and high-end damask and knit covers. The license for Ernest Hemingway home furnishings is owned by furniture producer Thomasville. The three-bed inner-tufted group has specialty foam comfort layers and rich detailing. Beds retail for $1,299, $1,999 and $3,499. “Thomasville came to us and asked us to produce this line,” said Stuart Carlitz, president of the mattress brands and licensing group headquartered in North Brunswick, N.J. “They’ve done an excellent job of promoting the brand through the years. It’s their No. 1 case goods collection and has sold over $650 million in the last 11 years.” Retailers got a sneak preview of Simmons’ prototype bed for its new Beautyrest Haute Couture collection, which will retail at $10,000 and above. The bed’s components remain a secret, but the mix of upholstery fabrics it was dressed with were fashion-inspired and feminine. Many mattress makers added to their pillow offerings at market, but Fort Atkinson, Wis.-based Durable Products Co. took a step in a different direction with its introduction of a pillow-making kiosk for retail stores. The Dream Machine adds “an element of retail theater to your store, drawing new and repeat customers,” said Dave Young, Durable Products owner. The swirling pillow fill behind the machine’s glass windows is an 80/20 blend of Everlon fiber and duck down. Electronic controls allow the sales associate to fill each pillow to the customer’s specifications and create monogrammed messages on each pillow’s zippered, washable cover. Prices range from $45 to $150 for travel sizes to European squares. In addition to promoting to retailers its new Comfort Solutions license, Greenville, S.C.-based manufacturer Park Place Corp. rolled out the T3

16 | BedTimes | September 2010

Anniversary specials Rick Robinson and Spring Air are celebrating the 84th anniversary of the brand with special promotions.

Recovery Mattress with Ironman Sleep Technology. Suggested retail prices for the three T3 beds range from $1,499 to $2,499. Park Place recently signed the licensing deal with Seattle-based T3 Recovery Products, which holds the official license for sleep products associated with the worldwide Ironman triathlon series. Extensive line extensions At many showrooms, the focus was on filling in price points and augmenting collections. Englander, a mattress licensing group with headquarters in Olive Branch, Miss., enlarged its collection of two-sided mattresses, adding Lifestyle 2, a three-bed group made with up to 6 inches of 100% natural latex. The beds have 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch profiles and retail for $999 to $1,999. Gold Bond officially launched a plush new futon that combines visco-elastic with coils. The Visco Coil retails for $349 in full size. It has an innerspring wrapped in cotton batting and 2.5 inches of visco-elastic foam. The soft cotton twill cover is available in seven color choices. The Hartford, Conn.-based manufacturer added

three models to its Sacro Support collection, priced at $599 to $799. “These are two-sided beds with an edge-to-edge innerspring and a real box spring,” said President Bob Naboicheck. “They are more durable and give retailers something that the competition just doesn’t have.” Licensing group Restonic continues to “drill down on its growing reputation as a real value line,” said President Ron Passaglia. It unveiled two promotional pillow-top models priced at $399 and $499 and added two HealthRest beds with Marshall coils and 3 inches of specialty foams. They retail for $1,499. The company has worked to offer a consistent array of marketing promotions all year, including a new “Hot Buys” program that includes mailers, advertising art, point-of-sale materials and a TV spot. Tempur-Pedic put the focus on the high end with a redesigned GrandBed, which will ship in November and is priced at $6,999. The company added a top bed to the plush Cloud collection. The Tempur-Cloud Luxe begins shipping to retailers this month. Retailing for $3,999, it has a thicker layer of Tempur-ES foam, a knit cover with silk and bamboo viscose fibers and microsuede borders. “The (three-bed) Cloud collection is designed to compete with pillow-tops. It’s a soft bed that is still very supportive,” said Mike Mason, director of brand development and integration for the Lexington, Ky.based company. Classic Brands added three higher priced beds to its re-introduced allfoam Dormia brand. The imported beds have zip-off knit covers, as well as memory foam and latex comfort layers. The newest models are priced from $1,299 to $1,499. Home furnishings and electronics buying group MEGA Group USA, which has headquarters in Germantown, Tenn., put lots of mattresses on display at its first Las Vegas show. It focused on the official launch of its exclusive Paula Deen Home by Serta


line. The five-model collection retails for between $799 and $1,999 and has foamencased wrapped coils, in addition to comfort layers made of latex and specialty foam with plant-based content. Five Star Mattress, based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., focused on its rich-looking Esteemed Collection, seven foamencased innerspring models priced from $399 to $999. The top bed has several layers of specialty foams and a box pillow-top.

sociates. Two consumer video loops focus on power foundations and sleep accessories. The RSA video offers sales training. All are available online. Sleep products manufacturer Natura World based in Cambridge, Ontario, kicked off a year-long contest with a strong social media component to raise awareness of Sleep Envelope, a natural wool-filled cotton comforter and mattress pad set with Adding adjustables Hollandia International’s Avi Barssessat (left) and Therapedic International’s Gerry Borreggine show off the features of the Natural Silver Technology. iCon Bed, which includes an iPad docking station and an adjustable base The contest grand prize is two operated with two remotes. trips to New Zealand. A queen Mass customization Sleep Envelope set retails for $399. Its Prices range from $2,500 to $5,000. Customization was king at some wool fill is temperature regulating, showrooms. Licensing group Comfort helping keep sleeping partners with Helping retailers sell Solutions, with headquarters in WilNew sales tools, marketing promotions different needs comfortable. lowbrook, Ill., showed new beds and and contests proliferated at this Las VeComfort Solutions launched a styling in its dual-sided Sleep iD colgas Market—and many manufacturers “Where’s My New TV?” King Koil lection, introduced in February. The made use of new media, whether it was promotion that runs through Janunew top-of-the-line Delta Series is an iPhone app, social media or streamary. Consumers can receive a 32-inch, even more customizable. It has highing Web video. high-definition television with the density visco-elastic foam and Talalay Restonic made an array of new purchase of a $999 foam-encased King latex in reversible layers, as well as an video footage available to its vendors Koil Grand Luxe bed. The campaign optional zippered-access top. is backed by a national multichannel for use online and in advertising spots. Organic Mattresses Inc., based in marketing campaign. It also unveiled a social media-based Yuba City, Calif., offers consumers The company also has fine-tuned its communications strategy to reach key another customization choice in the Sleep iD BodyMatch technology. The audiences: licensees, retailers and their DUO bed. It zips open to reveal four comfort assessment application has a employees. It includes using LinkedIn 100% natural latex “plates,” two on new look, is easier to use and is now to connect licensees, creating a private each side. The two plates have four Web-based. Dealers can post it to their Twitter feed for retailers and encourfirmnesses and can be rearranged to Web sites, as well as offer it in-store. aging employees to create and share suit each sleeper’s comfort preference. At the International Bedding Corp. videos. Suggested retail is $3,995. showroom, Dr. Michael Breus, “The Simmons held an iSpy scavenger “Customers want comfort and flexSleep Doctor,” was on hand to explain hunt and gave away nine iPads as a ibility,” said Walt Bader, president and his new House Call Program. It’s way to educate dealers about its new CEO. “These mattresses allow you to designed to assist consumers after their QR Tag technology. QR tags are small adjust your comfort level as needed— purchase of the Dr. Breus Bed, which barcode-like visuals that consumers and prevent the headache of comfort was introduced by IBC at the February can scan in-store with their smart exchanges.” show. Consumers can receive ongoing phones to obtain all types of product E.S. Kluft & Co., with headquarsleep, health and wellness information information. ters in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., online from Breus, who is an author, Spring Air dealers were treated to launched the Comfort Zone collecspeaker and practicing clinical psycash prizes and special deals on Back tion. Dealers can showcase multiple chologist specializing in sleep disorders. Supporter models as part of the 84th anniversary celebration of the Spring comfort levels using just two display Purchasers of the bed also receive a Air brand and the first anniversary of First Night Kit with sleep diary, night models. Four color-coded and removSpring Air International. light and a thank-you note from the able 3-inch foam toppers provide L&P’s Consumer Products Group doctor. The six-model foam and Celdifferent feels. The bed cores are either released three new educational videos sion latex collection retails for $1,499 to individually wrapped coils or latex, targeting consumers and retail sales as$2,999. visco-elastic and polyurethane foams.

18 | BedTimes | September 2010


The top beds in the line have no fewer than 11 support and comfort layers, but sleep benefits—not construction—ought to be the main focus of the sales process, Breus said. “These beds have the key elements you need to get a good night’s sleep: a feeling of zero-gravity, temperature control and support,” he said. Jamie Piper, director of marketing communications for Trinity, N.C.-based Sealy, said a social media campaign launched for the specialty sleep Embody by Sealy line is part of an overall strategy to differentiate all Sealy brands in the social media space. Consumers are encouraged to connect with the Embody brand via Facebook, Twitter, blogs and traditional advertising in order to be among the first to hear about a host of upcoming contests and sweepstakes. On Facebook and Twitter and in a comical Web series, Serta is drawing

20 | BedTimes | September 2010

public attention to its Trump Home collection and the Serta brand, just in time for Labor Day mattress sales events. A central focus is “Counting Sheep for Hire,” a contest in which the public is invited to try and convince real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump to hire the currently unemployed “Counting Sheep” herd. The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based mattress maker is offering a grand prize vacation getaway at Trump property in Las Vegas. Englander is running a “What’s Your Bedtime Story” video contest through September. Consumers are urged to upload a video of their bedtime ritual to the contest Web site and encourage their friends to view and vote on the entries. The winner receives an ultra-premium mattress set. Foam bed maker EcoSleep, which is based in Fort Atkinson, Wis., displayed the CertiPUR-US seal on all its offer-

ings. CertiPUR-US is a voluntary certification program of polyurethane foams that tests for physical performance, indoor emissions and environmental stewardship. “This is one more point of differentiation from our competitors and builds on our communication of an eco-story,” said Mike Schweiger, vice president. A peek at new accessories Mattress makers are piling on the pillow choices. Luxury Italian brand Magniflex, with headquarters in Prato, Italy, also offered a new accessories rack. Vendors receive one rack free with a $2,000 accessories purchase and two racks with a $3,000 purchase. Signage and banners can be customized to the retailer. The unit can be filled with seven new ergonomic pillows that provide support for neck, lower back and other areas. All have Magniflex’s trademarked open-

cell, visco-elastic foam. The new pillows retail for $89 to $159. Mattress and sleep accessories importer Reverie, with headquarters in Silver Creek, N.Y., offered a new Sweet Slumber pillow with shredded latex fill and the feel of down. It retails for $100 to $150 in standard, queen and king sizes. Protect-A-Bed, which is based in Northbrook, Ill., offered a back-toschool Student Bedding Protection Kit that retails for $99 in twin XL. It includes a bedbug proof mattress and pillow encasement, along with a mattress protector that goes atop the encasement. The company also introduced the Luxury Sleep Story, a sheet set made with Tencel fiber. The fitted bottom sheet has the company’s Miracle Membrane, which protects the sleeper and the mattress from moisture and allergens. The queen size retails for $189.

Sleep Harmony, an imported mattress and pillow line by Glideaway Sleep Products, added latex to its pillow line-up. Three new pillows retailing for $59 and $69 from the St. Louis-based company have Talalay latex or a combination of latex and visco-elastic. The company also rolled out three mattress models with synthetic latex layered with memory foam. They retail for $1,299 to $1,499. Sean Bergman, vice president of sales and marketing for mattress protection supplier FabricTech International, headquartered in Cedar Grove, N.J., said the company’s strong emphasis on consumer health is behind its rebranding of the PureCare mattress and pillow protection collection. The premium protectors contain anti-bacterial silver ions said to kill 99.9% of bacteria. Pillow covers retail for $39; mattress protection is $119 to $169 in queen sizes. BT

New name, new looks Herman Tam of the newly renamed Leggett & Platt Fashion Bed brand shows one of the 19 frame models the company introduced in Las Vegas.

BedTimes | September 2010 |


Best biomechanical lying comfort Excellent bielastic behaviour High restoring force Impressive body-conformance


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Good PR Why you need it & who can help you get it


By Susan Ebaugh

magine that you’re a mattress producer with the opportunity to stand before retailers and consumers to tell them about your company, its philosophies, what sets you apart and why they should buy from you. Now imagine that your competitors were given that same chance. In fact, many of them already have taken the stage and spoken credibly about the strengths of their businesses, their products and the opportunities they bring to current and potential customers. Now it’s your turn. The room is hushed, the stage is lit and the microphone awaits. But you don’t appear—because you didn’t show up. Maybe you or your company’s management felt it wasn’t worth the time, effort or expense to be seen and heard by those who most impact your business. Regardless of your reasons, the fallout was the same: Your story was never told. And by being out of sight, you effectively put yourself out of mind. The power of presence That simple analogy points up the importance of having a presence, especially in this highly competitive industry. And one of the best ways for companies to do that is through public relations. PR has many facets, but for our purposes, it can be defined simply as this: The practice of maintaining visibility among a target audience to achieve and hold a position in their minds.

24 | BedTimes | September 2010

PR is never communication for its own sake, but communication for the sake of your business. Here’s another way to look at it: The more presence or visibility your company has, the more awareness you generate with customers. If your presence is reasonably consistent, awareness becomes familiarity. And over time, familiarity translates to credibility. How does that work? Experts in human behavior tell us there’s a strong and positive correlation between how familiar we are with something and how much we tend to like it or trust it. So it follows, then, that the companies customers are more inclined to buy from are those they’re familiar with or believe they have reason to trust—not the ones that “don’t show up.” Maybe the most compelling case for the power of presence was made years ago by publishing giant McGraw-Hill. In a now-famous appeal to attract business-to-business advertisers, the company effectively offered this argument for the value of visibility: ● I don’t know who you are. ● I don’t know your company. ● I don’t know your company’s product. ● I don’t know what your company stands for. ● I don’t know your company’s customers. ● I don’t know your company’s record. ● I don’t know your company’s reputation. Now—what was it you wanted to sell me?

PR is never communication for its own sake, but communication for the sake of your business.

BedTimes | September 2010 |


Trade & consumer PR If you’re a producer in the mattress industry, the two most common ways to create presence among retailers are through advertising and PR (news coverage). Both practices will put you in front of customers, but only PR gives your message the credibility of news that’s been reviewed and reported by a third party. Despite beliefs that journalism isn’t what it used to be, the reality remains that on most people’s “credibility meters,” a news story that’s run in print, on TV or online by a reputable news source still beats an ad on the same topic run by the same news source. The use of advertorials–a paid advertisement disguised as a news story—is evidence of the believability gap that exists between news and advertising. Consumer PR carries essentially the same objectives as trade PR— positioning, visibility, awareness and accrued credibility—but takes a company’s message directly to the end-users of a product or service. Years ago, video game pioneer Nintendo developed a new generation of interactive entertainment that proved newsworthy enough to earn hundreds of millions of consumer exposures on news programs alone. Many other companies have built their names and reputations using PR before they ever spent a nickel on advertising. That’s an added benefit of PR: Unlike advertising, there’s typically no media cost involved. There may be the cost of a good PR specialist who, ideally, knows your industry and the media that serve your target audience. But the services of a talented PR or communications specialist often cost less than those of an equally talented advertising agency. One caveat about PR is worth noting. While paid advertising guarantees exposure for your message on your terms, the publication of a news story is rarely

26 | BedTimes | September 2010

guaranteed and your article may not appear exactly as you structured it. What’s considered newsworthy is the purview of the news outlet and that fact alone suggests the importance of retaining an experienced, industry-wise PR specialist who can significantly increase your odds of not just getting coverage, but gaining positive and ongoing presence. Who needs it? The global answer is that many companies need PR and benefit greatly from it. Virtually every business— whether because of increased competition, a major achievement or a company crisis—needs PR at various times. But the simplest answer is that any business that wants to build and protect its name, reputation and customer base needs PR. In the mattress industry, virtually every top 15 manufacturer regularly employs trade PR to announce new products or programs, executive hires, business initiatives, etc. Many use consumer PR, as well.

Any business that wants to build and protect its name, reputation and customer base needs PR.

But many small and mid-size producers with valuable, newsworthy products and programs have little trade presence or visibility. Those are the companies that most need positioning and exposure to attract customers and fuel growth. Working with a PR specialist Good public relations requires earnest collaboration between a company and a specialist. Here are several steps to consider:


If possible, hire both industry experience & PR expertise Typically, a PR agency understands myriad businesses and industries, but not necessarily yours. Finding a specialist who’s worked inside the mattress or furniture industry or an agency with experience in your specific category is ideal. You’ll spend less time having to explain the industry, how it operates and the media that report on it. Still, PR firms are expected to assimilate the business of their clients. If you’re considering either a solo specialist or an agency with no mattress or furniture industry experience, look for a performance record that demonstrates ability and efficiency in serving new industries.


Determine what you need & want When it comes to PR, your options are fairly straightforward: Employ an in-house PR manager, or hire an outside specialist on either an asneeded or retained basis. An as-needed arrangement typically means you contact your PR consultant or agency only when you have news to report. Payment is per project. This may seem economical, but like many a la carte services, it can cost more over time and may deliver less. If your PR specialist is “on call,” you’ll receive periodic visibility based on what you determine is news. The onus is on you to think ahead and to know trade or consumer media deadlines—especially

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important when your story is urgent or tied to industry events such as furniture markets. In an as-needed arrangement, the ball is in your court because your consultant serves mainly as a conduit. Retained relationships, however, put the onus on the PR specialist and can deliver far more value to a company in the long run. Here’s why: A retained arrangement creates a partnership in which your business goals become the PR specialist’s focus. The consultant’s job is to execute a communication plan that supports and propels your business strategies. When it comes to PR, few companies have the time or expertise to think “forward,” identify and create news opportunities, know the media landscape, foster good press relations, deal with media crises or arrange media interviews and visits. How a retained consultant is compensated can be flexible and affordable. Some specialists and agencies are contracted annually; others may be paid monthly or for a set period. The best retainer arrangements are clearly spelled out, reflect the needs of both parties and involve a “no surprises” flat fee that can be budgeted across the year. By far, the most meaningful advantage of a retainer situation is its concentration on building and protecting your firm’s image and reputation consistently over time.


Plan for a mutual discovery process Even if you hire a practitioner with industry expertise, both you and your PR provider need an orientation. Generally, consultants are only as good as what they know about their clients. The more background you provide about your company and its objectives, the more effectively PR agencies or specialists can represent you. As with legal counsel, it’s essential to the integrity and productivity of your relationship to know that the business information you share will be held in confidence. In turn, your PR specialist should discuss her working methods and practices, even if your company has hired agencies or consultants in the past.

28 | BedTimes | September 2010

The goal is to arrive at a mutual understanding of your PR specialist’s job, your responsibilities as the client and how you will collaborate to achieve agreed-upon goals.


Designate a PR point person Every successful PR collaboration involves a company executive who serves as the primary contact for your provider. Ideally, the same executive serves as the spokesman for your company. The responsibility for managing a PR effort is too important to leave to any executive who’s available at the time. If it’s anyone’s job, it’s no one’s job. And when it’s no one’s job, the job doesn’t get done or is done poorly. The best point person is knowledgeable about your company’s business goals and developments. The size and operating style of a company often will determine whether the PR contact is a marketing executive, president or chief executive officer. In any case, the person should have the authority to: ●D  etermine what company developments should be made public ●P  rovide detailed information and direct quotations to support media releases and news stories ●R  eview and approve news for release (or have access to others whose approval is required) ●D  ecide when to release news to the media.


Learn the rules of the road Many companies think they don’t need to know much about how trade and consumer media function—that’s the job of the PR specialist. That thinking suggests companies don’t need to understand why portions of their news are edited or deleted from the published story, why a reporter may add new information to an article based on additional research, why some stories are never published, how media outlets differ in what they report and how they report it, etc. It’s your PR consultant’s job to know those answers. But your company should seek from your specialist an understanding of some basic media

guidelines for two important reasons. First, shared knowledge directly impacts the quality of the collaboration with your consultant. Second, you—as the client—can avoid the confusion or disappointment that can occur over how the media handles your news versus how you perceived it would or should be handled. The media is hardly infallible, but neither is it particularly malleable. In the end, it’s far smarter to understand it than to dismiss it.


Keep communicating Few things are as integral to collaboration as communication. The success of a PR program—especially one involving an outside specialist— depends on regular contact between the parties. The specialist needs to be familiar with your business and products, but also must stay on top of company developments to identify and leverage PR opportunities. Consultants can’t write about what they don’t know. For your part, you need to provide timely updates on company activities, as well as facts, figures and opinion for use in story development. Is PR worth doing? Today, public relations remains one of the most cost-effective ways to get in front of customers and consumers to build your name and image. If you’re a small or mid-size company with little or no visibility, ask yourself why so many of the industry’s largest and best-known brands continue to leverage PR to promote themselves. Then consider why these companies, which seemingly need it the least, use it the most. BT

Susan Ebaugh is a co-founder of Lilly Management Group, a full-service consulting firm to mattress producers, suppliers and retailers. She has 27 years of experience in the bedding industry, having served in executive marketing posts at Serta and Sealy. Ebaugh specializes in PR and strategic communications, marketing, branding and research services. Email, call 800-409-0976 or check

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Finding the right PR provider Your step-by-step guide to the search and hiring process By Helen Sullivan


hether you’re a small factory direct or a major bedding producer, public relations efforts can have a huge impact on your company’s success. Finding the right communications partner may be one of the most important decisions you make. Here’s a step-by-step plan to help you do just that. Depending on your needs and the size of your company, you might not need to follow the entire formal search process. But the plan gives you an idea of the many factors you need to consider when seeking an outside PR provider— and puts you on your way to a successful partnership.

Initial considerations


What do we need? Before you look for external support, do an internal, companywide audit to determine what services you need. Outline your company’s mission, target audiences and current marketing approach. Make note of where you are—in terms of reputation, sales, market share, etc.—and where you want to be. Which strategies are working? Which ones aren’t? If you already have a relationship with an outside PR, marketing or advertising agency and aren’t happy with them, could the situation be fixed through a heart-to-heart talk with the firm’s management or a change in staffing?


Do you want an agency or an independent specialist? There are advantages to using

A preliminary screening questionnaire The search process will be more efficient if you prescreen agencies with a first round of questions. Typical screening questions include: ●H  ow much time does your firm spend on various activities? (i.e. 20% on strategic planning, 50% on media relations, 10% on social media, 15% on special events, etc.) ● What is your agency’s size in terms of gross billings and staff? Where would an account with our budget rank in your client mix? ● What are your areas of expertise? What makes your firm unique? ● What’s your general philosophy and approach to media and public relations? ● What are the best “big idea” strategies you’ve developed on behalf of a client and how did they make a difference to the client’s bottom line? ● Who are your current clients? ● What is your preferred method of billing staff time and why? ● What are the top three media placements you’ve generated for a client this year? Last year? ● What is the single most successful result that one of your programs has generated for a client this year? Last year? ● Who would be our day-to-day contact? ● How do you prefer to work with clients? ● What haven’t we asked that we should?

30 | BedTimes | September 2010

a large, well-established PR firm. Most offer broad-based expertise and deep staffing. As a result, they can provide everything from highlevel strategic advice to a small army of junior staffers to carry the workload: You’ll have a team of working on your behalf. Or you may be better served by a small firm or an independent PR practitioner. Your budget may stretch farther and you’ll be a big fish in a smaller pond. Working with an independent practitioner also can insulate you from the disruptions of team turnover at a large agency.


How will you manage the search process? You need to identify someone within your company to oversee the search process and decide who will make the final decision. If you form a search team, consider giving an extra vote to the staff person who will work most closely with the agency. Recognize the significant number of hours that a proper search will take. Companies with larger budgets often hire professional agency-search firms, reducing the burden on staff, among other advantages. If it turns out that one PR firm is a strong contender from the start, you may not need a formal search process. There’s nothing wrong with contacting a highly recommended PR provider and starting your relationship without any bidding process at all. If you currently have an agency, you’ll need to determine when to tell them you’re considering a change (make sure you get all your files, media lists, password information, etc.) and whether they will be invited to bid.


What are reasonable search criteria? At the onset, you can narrow the field based on:

● Size Do you prefer an independent practitioner or an agency? If you want an agency, how large? ● Services These could include traditional public relations efforts, marketing and crisis communication. Many specialists and firms also provide social media, advertising, graphic design, Web development, government relations and special events management. Which do you need? ● Specialty Ask yourself if it’s important for the provider to have experience with the mattress or furniture industry. Many companies find it advantageous, but some benefit from an outsider’s fresh approach. ● Location Is geographic proximity important to you?

Starting the search


Prescreen to streamline the process Draw up a preliminary list of PR providers to consider. Good sources include companies or colleagues you trust and admire, area business journals, industry trade publications, local chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (, O’Dwyer’s Directory of PR Firms and PR Week magazine. Some regions have PRSAaffiliated groups of independent public relations practitioners, such as the Independent Public Relations Alliance in the Washington, D.C. area (


Develop a preliminary screening questionnaire A well-thought-out questionnaire will help you come up with a good list of semifinalists. (See story on Page 30.) The questionnaire should include a few requests that let firms differentiate themselves and be creative, but most questions should be easy for them to answer by drawing on existing company literature or previous new-business efforts. Your goal is not to make extra work for the contenders, but to gather information. Start out right by contacting each by phone to introduce yourself, assess their inter-

32 | BedTimes | September 2010

est, establish the right contact person and alert them that the questionnaire is coming. Insist that each agency respond in the format you provide.


Begin your analysis Once the questionnaires go out, you’ll start to hear from firms. This is an important opportunity for evaluation. How do they respond? Do you like interacting with them? Are their emails well written or typo-laden? Take notes.


Come up with a short list The questionnaires should help you screen out several firms. Set up a phone meeting with your top choices. If they are nearby, schedule an informal meeting or lunch to see if the chemistry is right. Following these meetings, you can probably narrow your list further.

The main event


Develop a request for proposal A request for proposal is the heart of your search. It’s generally between two and six pages long, plus samples of your current PR and marketing materials. Don’t disclose highly sensitive information in the RFP, but be forthright about the marketing challenges you face. Generally, RFPs include: ● An invitation to respond ●A  n overview of why you’re seeking proposals, expected outcomes and an explanation of your selection process ● The scope of the work and your budget—many firms won’t respond to an RFP without a budget ● Background on your company (history, description of past marketing efforts, samples of current ads and promotional materials, etc.).


Give guidelines for responding Explain the format you expect for written proposals. Insist on an electronic version, in addi-

tion to several hard copies. Outline what materials you require, where they should be sent, deadlines (three to four weeks is reasonable, longer depending on the budget and scope of work) and details on the timing and format of oral presentations that will be held later.


List essentials that must be included You may want bios of the account team, sample contracts, billing policies, etc.


Ask specific questions A specialist or agency shouldn’t have to guess what you most want to know. Ask for their honest assessment of your current approach. You can ask for an overview of a plan or keep the focus of your RFP narrow. However, it’s unfair to ask a PR provider to do large-scale speculative work; that’s like asking a restaurant to serve the banquet for a special event before you choose the facility. The selection process shouldn’t be a way for you to get free ideas.

The final round


See presentations Allow the firms you like best (no more than four or five) to make a presentation. Allocate 90 minutes to two hours for each. Ask them to introduce themselves, explain their basic capabilities, present an oral response to your RFP and answer questions. Insist that the person who will be your day-to-day contact do the bulk of the presentation. Chemistry matters.


Make your choice After the last presentation, set aside time for reflection, but ideally make a final decision within a few days. Once you’ve made your choice, call the winning firm as soon as possible, nail down details and sign a contract, with advice from legal counsel. Also notify the other contenders.


Set the stage for success After you’ve awarded the contract, meet with the new firm to discuss your reaction to its plan and next steps. Treat your PR provider as a partner, not a vendor. Take the time to educate them about your company—and the industry, if they don’t have that experience. Keep the firm in the loop on everything, from relevant staff meetings to problems and opportunities that arise. BT

Helen Sullivan, APR, Fellow PRSA, is president of the Washington, D.C. areabased public relations marketing firm InHouse Communications LLC. Sullivan managed the Better Sleep Council for the International Sleep Products Association on the agency side from 1983 to 1993. In its early years, she helped put the Better Sleep Council on the map as a media resource and is the creative force behind the establishment of Better Sleep Month and many other bedding industry initiatives. To contact her, email

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BedTimes | September 2010 |


Making worker wellness programs work

36 | BedTimes | September 2010

It takes more than cheap gym memberships


By Lin Grensing-Pophal

mployee wellness programs seem like a no-brainer. They promise to improve employee well-being, reduce health care costs, boost productivity and decrease absenteeism. But making wellness programs actually achieve results is difficult. Experts say too many efforts are poorly designed, ineffectively implemented and rarely evaluated in terms of bottom-line impacts. Kimberly Roberts is health management director with the Exigence Group, a national health care management organization based in Amherst, N.Y. “I can say that even the most passionate wellness advocates have struggled with proving that the traditional work-site wellness programs have been linked to any large savings—other than feeling good,” Roberts says. The problem is three-fold: 1. F  rom the start, programs aren’t designed to achieve specific results 2. E  mployee participation falls short of expectations 3. Without specific objectives, program effectiveness can’t be measured.

BedTimes | September 2010 |


By example Still, staunch supporters of wellness programs insist that they can achieve results and point to companies that manage to do so as models for others. Take Intel and IBM, for example. Intel saw a 0% increase in health care costs from 2008 to 2009 and expects to see the same in 2010. Zero percent! Intel credits the results, in part, to employee participation in a wellness program. About 37% of Intel employees have participated in the 3-Step Wellness Check and 25% of those have seen significant improvements to their health, according to the company. At IBM, wellness programs have become a business imperative, says spokeswoman Laurie Friedman. “Healthier employees have fewer absences and are more productive,” she says. “Not to mention the cost benefits: Healthy employees see less out-of-pocket health care expense.” According to Friedman, IBM has saved $190 million in health care costs because employees took responsibility

and adopted healthier behaviors. Broad-based is better But, Rosie Ward, health management services manager for RJF Agencies in Minneapolis, says that Intel and IBM are among the few companies that can make—and support—such claims. Ward specializes in assessing wellness programs for companies across the country. She says most wellness programs are incorrectly designed and too narrowly focused. “The way that we typically go about designing wellness programs doesn’t work,” Ward says. For starters, too many efforts try to segregate health issues into dis-

‘This has been one of the biggest problems with traditional wellness programs—they place too much emphasis on individual change and too little emphasis on cultural change.’

Making wellness pay Companies with effective wellness programs are more financially successful than other companies, according to the 2009-2010 Staying@Work report. Organizations with the most effective health and wellness programs had total returns to shareholders of 14.8%, compared to companies with less effective programs, where returns reportedly declined 10.1%. In addition to better returns for shareholders, the companies recorded higher rates of employee productivity, lower rates of work loss and lower health care costs. The research was jointly sponsored by global consulting firm Watson Wyatt (now Towers Watson) and the National Business Group on Health. The study focused on identifying the programs that are most effective and essential to improving employee health and productivity—and increasing corporate profitability. One of the key findings of the study was that companies with the most effective programs had a strong commitment from senior managers who regularly communicated the importance of a healthy lifestyle, volunteered to be health “champions” and provided adequate financial resources to support wellness efforts. In addition, the more successful companies approached health and wellness from a business perspective, creating a balanced set of practices and monitoring the effectiveness of their approach.

38 | BedTimes | September 2010

crete programs—one for smokers, another for people who are overweight, a third for people who have high blood pressure, etc. Instead, companies should take a holistic approach to employees and their health. Ward points to the book, Well-being by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, as a guide to creating more integrated programs. Based on years of Gallup workplace research, the book lays out five essential and interconnected elements of well-being: career wellbeing, social well-being, financial well-being, physical well-being and community well-being. When designing an employee wellness program, Ward says compa-

nies need first to focus on those elements of the organization’s culture that can negatively impact its workers’ well-being. “How do your leaders treat your people? What kind of relationships do they have at work? What are you going to do to retain top talent? What are you going to do to have employees be engaged, committed and productive?” Ward asks. “If you have employees who don’t like management and feel frustrated—or whatever it might be—you can get them to go through the motions, but at what cost?” Ward says companies that implement programs in this type of environment will find that “between years two and five they peter out because they’ve gone about it with too narrow a focus.” Bradley Warrick, managing partner of consulting firm Warrick LLC in Charlottesville, Va., agrees that “silo” programs create the wrong focus for companies and fail to produce results. “Without creating and

taining a strong, health-promotion culture, every stand-alone wellness program will have limited success,” he says. “This has been one of the biggest problems with traditional wellness programs. They place too much emphasis on individual change and too little emphasis on cultural change.” A financial incentive can help people move from considering change to actually making changes to benefit their health and wellbeing. “But without continual support and motivation thereafter, they will typically go back to their old ways,” Warrick says. “Creating and maintaining a strong health-promotion culture is the best way to prevent this from occurring.” Simma Lieberman agrees that companies need to take a broader approach—and wellness programs and institutional practices need to be aligned. Lieberman is an organizational development consultant in Albany, Calif., who has coached people and organizations on wellness for more than 25 years. One common problem, Lieberman says, is that companies will put programs in place and then discover that employees’ schedules and workloads don’t allow them to take full advantage. “If you’re not going to tell your managers to give employees time to participate then, of course, you’re going to say, ‘We tried it and it didn’t work.’ Of course not. If they’re working from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., no, they’re not going to use it (the fitness center, etc.),” she says. Are you promoting wellness but stocking the vending machines with fatty, salty snacks? Do you encourage hourly workers to participate in wellness programs but the management team is nowhere to be found? All of these “little things” can make a difference. Steps to success To make your wellness program effective, you need to take key steps, the experts say.

40 | BedTimes | September 2010

Simply defining what you mean by ‘wellness’ can be a key. Is wellness lower health insurance rates? Reduced absenteeism? Lower blood pressure? Less depression? Step 1 Get employees involved Workers should be involved in both planning and implementing any wellness program, Ward says. “If employees are part of creating it, they don’t need to have all of those heavy incentives to get them to do things,” she says. Start by determining employee needs and interests with a culture assessment. “You need to have discussions about ‘What do we want life at this company to look like three years from now?’,” Ward says. Employees will likely envision a place where they are engaged, healthy, safe and where they want to come to work every day. Lieberman agrees. “You need to find out what people want,” she says. “You need to look at the demographics in your organization.” In addition to asking employees for their input, companies should examine their current rates of absenteeism, workers’ compensation claims and recurring health problems among their work force. “Why are people out a lot? What are the reasons that people miss work?” Liberman asks. Based on this input and research, companies can decide where they want to focus their efforts. Simply defining what you mean by “wellness” can be a key. Is wellness lower

health insurance rates? Reduced absenteeism? Lower blood pressure? Less depression? Wellness can mean many different things to many people. Clarifying intent and identifying areas of focus can help ensure that everybody is on the same page. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Healthy People 2020 guidelines (www.healthy default.asp) can help you target specific areas for improvement. Step 2 Measure success As the experts noted, a key problem with many wellness programs is an inability to determine their effectiveness. Keep in mind the adage, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Companies need to put metrics in place to track, first, whether employees are using the programs and, second, whether the use is generating results, Lieberman says. Edward Trieber is managing director of Harris Rothenberg International Inc., a provider of employee assistance programs in New York. “Encouraging people to join gyms does not ensure that they will use them or use them effectively,” Trieber says. “Measuring how many times they go or having them download heart rate data may make for a more compelling case.” Step 3 Ensure accessibility Once a program is in place, make sure the details are effectively and clearly communicated to employees—and make sure its components and benefits are accessible to them. Commit to creating a positive, supportive environment for workers, ensuring management is involved and focusing on measurable outcomes. If you do, your wellness program can deliver on its promise—healthier, happier workers and an improved bottom line. BT

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IndustryNews Comfort Solutions, Park Place ink licensing deal Licensing group Comfort Solutions and mattress maker Park Place Corp. have signed a licensing agreement that covers eight states and part of a ninth. Initially, Park Place is producing Comfort Solutions products for Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. On Nov. 1, it will cover North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia, as well. The company has manufacturing facilities at its headquarters in Greenville, S.C., and in Denver, Pa. “We’re extremely pleased to welcome Park Place—a business begun in 1931 and representing three generations of the Orders family—to the Comfort Solutions group,” said Dave Roberts, president of the company, which is headquartered in Willowbrook, Ill. “Both Comfort Solutions and Park Place share many of the same business philosophies, including an emphasis on

product quality and customer service and a commitment to delivering value to the consumer.” “This business is still very much a people business and Comfort Solutions has some of the best in the industry,” said Jimmy Orders, Park Place president. “The company’s commitment to innovation through a strong research and development effort has resulted in products and brands that are leading-edge, exciting and retailing well. Supporting those great products are well-executed programs and support materials—a winning formula. We look forward to many years of mutual success through this important new partnership.” Comfort Solutions has 10 domestic and 31 international licensees. Its brands include King Koil, Laura Ashley Home, Perfect Contour and Natural Response.

Shoppers make own beds at Create-A-Mattress site

Retailing veteran Evan Saks has launched Create-A-Mattress, an e-commerce site that allows consumers to build a mattress to order. Shoppers can choose the size, comfort level and components, including latex, memory foam and traditional or wrapped-coil innersprings. The site,, launched in June. “We recognize that traditional mattress shopping often leaves consumers confused and frustrated,” said Saks, founder and chief executive officer of the Boston-based company. “By offering shoppers the opportunity to configure their beds—along with the information they need to make the right choices—we are making both the buying and sleeping experiences more comfortable.” Saks has more than 22 years of experience in the mattress industry and e-commerce and previously was vice president of marketing for According to the company, Create-A-Mattress is staffed by a team of professionals with decades of combined experience in mattress manufacturing, retail, e-commerce and customer service. Mattresses are available in standard sizes (twin, full, queen, king), as well as in custom shapes and sizes. The beds are manufactured by a major mattress producer, but prices are 20% to 40% lower than comparable brands in major chain sleep stores, Saks said. For customers who prefer a more traditional shopping experience, there are “prebuilt” mattress configurations. For instance, a Bad Back Package combines more supportive construction and components. The site also sells bed frames, pillows, mattress pads and sheets. Fourteen-day, white-glove delivery is available throughout the continental United States.

Park Place, T3 partner G

reenville, S.C.-based bedding producer Park Place Corp., has signed a deal with Seattle-based T3 Recovery Products to produce and distribute the T3 Recovery Mattress. Marketed as “the Mattress for the Human Race,” the T3 Recovery Mattress is the official bed of the Ironman series of triathlons worldwide. “We at T3 are very excited to welcome Park Place to the T3 Recovery Products group of licensees. Combining the rich history of Park Place and the Orders family with the worldwide recognition of T3 Recovery Products and Ironman brings complementary values and technology together,” said Richard Brass, T3 Recovery Products president. “Park Place is really looking forward to offering our retailers the combined strength of T3 Recovery Products technology and the power of the Ironman brand,” said Jimmy Orders, Park Place president.

BedTimes | September 2010 |



L&P sales continue upward trend


eggett & Platt, a components supplier headquartered in Carthage, Mo., generated $874 million in sales from continuing operations during the second quarter of 2010, a 15% increase over the same period in 2009. Second-quarter earnings


were $0.34 per share. Unit volumes increased approximately 14%. “We are encouraged to see continued sales growth,” said David Haffner, L&P president and chief executive officer. “Our cash flow remains strong and debt levels

remain low. We acknowledge the recent weakness in both investor and consumer sentiment, but remain guardedly optimistic.” In the second quarter, the company repurchased 2.3 million shares of its stock at an average price of $23.17 per share. Outstanding shares declined to 146.6 million. Net debt to net capital was 27.3%—below the company’s 30% to 40% target range. Total sales from continuing operations in the residential furnishings division, which includes domestic bedding products, increased $37 million, or 9%, during the second quarter over the same period last year. Total sales from continuing operations in the specialized products division, which includes the Global Systems Group machinery division, increased $36 million, or 30%. “Near term, growth should significantly exceed our 4% to 5% long-term goal as the economy recovers,” Haffner said. “Long term, we believe that modest sales growth, continued margin improvement, our dividend yield and stock buybacks will enable us to achieve our goal of generating total shareholder return that ranks within the top one-third of the S&P 500.”


Sh Mattress sales, dollars up Unit mattress sales in the United States rose 12.6% in June over the same period in 2009 and the wholesale dollar value of those units increased 13%, according to the Bedding Barometer, a monthly report from the International Sleep Products Association. The average unit selling

44 | BedTimes | September 2010

Tempur-Pedic sales soar in second quarter B

edding maker Tempur-Pedic reported a 42% increase in net sales, to $263 million, in the second quarter of 2010, compared to the same period a year ago. On a constant-currency basis, global net sales for the quarter increased 44%. North American net sales increased 58%; international net sales increased 10%. On a constant-currency basis, the international segment grew 14%. Net income for the Lexington, Ky.based company was $33.5 million in the second quarter, compared to $16.9 million in second-quarter 2009. Tempur-Pedic’s pillow sales rose 16% globally—27% domestically and 7% internationally. On a constant-currency basis, international pillow sales increased 10%. Gross profit margin for the period was 48.7%, compared to 46.6% in the second quarter of 2009. The company said the increase was the result of reduced fixed costs attributable to higher production volumes and increased manufacturing efficiencies. Tempur-Pedic’s operating profit margin was 20.5%, up from 15.7% in the second quarter of 2009. Operating cash flow totaled $44.5 million, an increase from $39.5 million during the same period in 2009.   The company recorded earnings of $0.46 per diluted share, compared with $0.22 in the prior-year period.

During the second quarter of this year, Tempur-Pedic purchased 3 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $33.42 for a total cost of $100 million. “We are very pleased with the continued substantial growth in our North American business and with the im-

proved performance of our international business,” said Mark Sarvary, TempurPedic chief executive officer. “Although the macroeconomic environment is still uncertain, we remain confident of the potential to significantly grow sales and earnings over the coming years.”


hort price inched up 0.4% in June 2010 over June 2009. The June numbers cap six months of gains in the U.S. bedding market. During the first half of the year, unit sales rose 11.3% and dollar values increased 10.7%. The AUSP dipped a slight 0.5% during the first six months of 2010, when compared to 2009.

A&E Flame-Out® has been engineered to save lives and money for 16 CFR 1633 compliance, so buyers can rest easier. And, because Flame-Out provides more yards per pound, each mattress costs less to manufacture. So you can protect families and your bottom line. For more information call 1-800-861-3256 or 1281AEIN FireExtinguisher(BedT).1 1

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BedTimes | September 2010 |



PFA amends platform to include human rights T he Polyurethane Foam Association has added a human rights clause to its Platform on Sustainability. The platform guides members’ continuing efforts to be responsible stewards of the environment and human health and safety, according to the association. The clause reads: “Evaluate envi-

ronmental and sustainability benefits in relation to human rights issues. Before supporting or adopting new manufacturing practices, consider the impact on human rights issues, such as exploitation of workers and child labor.” “A sustainability program is a process and not an endpoint,” said Robert

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Luedeka, executive director of the association, which has headquarters in Loudon, Tenn. “These principles provide guidance for our group’s current activities and future programs. Our goal in publishing and continuing to re-evaluate the PFA Platform on Sustainability is to create a springboard for ongoing discussion, education and growth in this area.” The entire eight-point platform is available at the association’s Web site,

Shorts Sealy wins Polartec award Mattress major Sealy was selected as a Polartec APEX Award winner for 2010. Winning products display superior function, design and aesthetics in their use of Polartec fabric. Sealy, which has headquarters in Trinity, N.C., incorporates Polartec into its Embody by Sealy mattress to improve air circulation in the foam beds, the company said. Polartec is a knit fabric made from synthetic fiber designed to mimic the temperateregulating properties of natural wool. It’s manufactured by textile supplier Polartec LLC in Lawrence, Mass.

Magniflex adds NYC office

Contact Scott Frisch, Vice President 704-516-2500

46 | BedTimes | September 2010

Mattress maker Magniflex has opened a separate sales and customer service center in New York, not far from its Soho retail showroom. Previously, the offices were part of the showroom. The additional space was needed in order to support the Prato, Italy-based company’s growing U.S. operations. “The new facility enables us to add more staff so we can be more responsive to the needs of our dealers and their customers,” said Marco Magni, Magniflex USA president.











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Korean manufacturer signs with Silentnight M attress manufacturer Furnistem Inc., based in Hwaseong, South Korea, has become a licensee of Silentnight, a major mattress maker and licensing group with headquarters in Barnoldswick, England. The Silentnight beds will fill out Furnistem’s high-end offerings, said In-Suk Jung, Furnistem purchasing manager. Furnistem is the primary mattress supplier to Korea’s largest furniture retailer and manufacturer, Hanssem Co. Ltd., based in Shihung, South Korea. The entire Silentnight line, including mattresses, divans, adjustables and other items, will be sold exclusively through Hanssem stores in Korea.

48 | BedTimes | September 2010

Celebrating the deal In-Suk Jung, (left) Furnistem purchasing manager; Joung-Jae Park, Furnistem president; Neal Mernock, Silentnight chief executive officer; and James Conway, Silentnight managing director; gather to sign the licensing papers.

One-Stop Shop for ALL Expendable Parts Needs Atlanta Parts Depot, a division of Atlanta Attachment Company, has recently purchased the inventory of a major parts supplier and currently stocks over $5.5 million of spare parts.

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Contact a sales representative to negotiate a special discount when signing your annual expendable parts agreement. As the leading supplier of automated sewing workstations, we are proud to offer a 72 hours or FREE policy. AAC pledges unequaled service and support to our valued customers. We pledge to maintain inventories of the recommended expendable spare parts for our automated workstations and to ship those replacement parts within 72 hours. If the expendable replacement parts are not shipped within 72 hours they will be... Free of Charge! Contact sales for the recommended spare parts list and the model workstations covered. • Atlanta Parts Depot ® is a division of Atlanta Attachment Company ® © 2010 Atlanta Attachment Company. All rights reserved.


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Bill would combat evasion of anti-dumping laws


wo senators have introduced legislation to combat evasion of existing federal anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders by importers and their foreign suppliers. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced the Enforcing Orders and Reducing Circumvention and Evasion Act on

Aug. 5 to give the U.S. Commerce Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection new tools to quash attempts to evade special duties imposed after formal determinations of unfair trade practices. Existing laws allow U.S. manufacturers to ask the Commerce Department and the U.S. International

Innovations and technology for the future

Trade Commission to investigate imports that are unfairly priced or subsidized, injuring U.S. industries. If the government finds that imports are dumped or subsidized and cause harm to U.S. industries, the Commerce Department issues a formal order that requires Customs and Border Protection to collect special duties to negate the unfair prices or subsidies. However, some importers and foreign suppliers attempt to evade these duties by shipping products to the United States via third countries, repackaging products in a third country, falsely identifying the country of origin or falsifying documents.  Key provisions of the bill include: ➤ Increasing the Commerce Department’s ability to investigate duty evasion ➤  Establishing a rapid-response timeline for the Commerce Department and Customs and Border Protection to respond to allegations of evasion ➤ I mproving the safety of imports.

Short Call for new products



50 | BedTimes | September 2010



If you are a supplier with new products for use in mattress manufacturing, we want to hear from you. BedTimes will feature a showcase of new machinery, equipment, supplies and components in the November issue. The deadline for inclusion is Friday, Sept. 24. Email the following information to Company name, new product description (100-word maximum), company Web address, company phone number, company email address and contact person’s name.

Magniflex responds to trademark lawsuit M

attress producer Magniflex has responded to a trademarkinfringement lawsuit filed by a Las Vegas hotel. The Las Vegas Sun reported in early August that MGM Resorts International, which owns the Bellagio in Las Vegas, is suing Prato, Italy-based Magniflex, which produces a mattress it calls the Bellagio Lavender. Beds at the Bellagio resort hotel and casino are manufactured by Serta and guests can purchase a Bellagiobranded mattress at a store in the hotel or through its Web site. In a statement, Marco Magni, Magniflex USA president, said the suit was being reviewed by the company’s attorneys, but that he believed it “was largely without merit.” “We named our aromatherapy mattress the Bellagio Lavender after the city in the Lake Como region of northern Italy,” Magni said. “We are proud of our Italian heritage, and as a result, many of our mattresses are branded to pay homage to major cities and cultural centers in our country. This branding strategy is not unlike the marketing approaches taken by hundreds of global products, services and real estate properties that carry the name of famous international cities.”

Short Protect-A-Bed has contest In honor of its 30th anniversary, mattress protection supplier Protect-A-Bed, with headquarters in Northbrook, Ill., will give $30,000 to a lucky winner in its Long Live Your Mattress Sweepstakes. The grand prize winner also will receive a $500 bedding protection kit, as will 10 additional winners. The sweepstakes began Aug. 10 and runs through Oct. 31.

Magniflex said it believes that its Bellagio Lavender mattress, which has unique features such as the infusion of pure lavender, can’t be confused with a “dramatically different product that happens to be named” after the hotel-casino property. The Bellagio Lavender mattress

was launched in Europe in 2009 and introduced in the United States this year. Magni said that, when naming the Bellagio Lavender mattress, Magniflex was unaware of the hotel’s line of home products or the pending trademark of Bellagio as a brand name.

CONCEPTS BEYOND DESIGN At Ideal we put design and innovation first. We offer the most unique and innovative styles available to the market and will wrap your mattress with custom-designed mattress covers and specialty-quilted products. Ideal embraces the latest technology. We create Axiom class custom centered panel designs, custom embroidered borders and custom vertical handles. We offer exceptional value and will work with you to create that exclusive product that stands out on the retail floor.

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BedTimes | September 2010 |



Sealy moving more into social media M

attress major Sealy has launched a social media campaign to promote its Embody line of memory foam and latex beds. The campaign began with an Embody by Sealy Facebook page and Twitter feed. The social media campaign will include a variety of consumer contests and promotions throughout the year and encourage conversation with consumers on topics of sleep and health. “This will be the first step in a much larger strategy to drive leadership in the digital medium,” said Jodi Allen, chief marketing officer of the Trinity, N.C.-based company. “Beginning with Embody, you will see from Sealy new and innovative approaches to marketing our entire portfolio from a digital perspective. We’ve al-

ready received such positive feedback from consumers about the Embody by Sealy line and wanted to create an innovative and exciting platform to drive awareness about the new brand.”

Embody by Sealy The mattress maker is starting its new social media marketing efforts by promoting its specialty sleep line of foam mattresses.


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52 | BedTimes | September 2010

WRIGHT of Thomasville, Inc. WRIGHT of Hong Kong, LLC

Play It Safe

Attach the SPSC Safety Hangtag to every mattress you produce Although all mattresses made in or imported into the United States must comply with Part 1633 and Part 1632, they are not fireproof. Attaching an SPSC safety hangtag to your mattresses helps protect against product liability and is a responsible and visible way to demonstrate your company's commitment to product safety. Nearly 220 million mattresses have carried the Sleep Products Safety Council's safety hangtags during the past 20 years. Hangtag sales also support SPSC's work as a watchdog for the industry--educating consumers about sleep product safety, building alliances within the safety community, and conducting product research.

Choose the safety hangtag option that’s right for you.

The safety hangtags are available three ways: • as a flat hangtag to insert with product-related literature provided to the consumer, or attached, • as a permanent, sewn-in Tyvek® label, or • as a bi-lingual English/French tag for use in Canada.

Add your name to SPSC’s e-mailing list. We’ll send you more information and an order form. Contact Jane Oseth at, (703) 683-8371, ext 1124. The hangtags provide your customers with valuable information on how to safeguard their families. Using the hangtag offers no legal guarantees, but its consumer safety messages can be helpful to both mattress manufacturers and retailers in defending product liability lawsuits.

SPSC: Watchdog for Safe Sleep

The SPSC is the safety arm of ISPA whose mission is to provide consumer information, support research and promote activities that advance the safety of sleep products.

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Gribetz International achieves milestone in quilting production


ribetz International, part of Leggett & Platt’s

machinery division Global Systems Group, has achieved a production milestone. The company built its 800th Paragon quilter and shipped it from its plant in Sunrise, Fla., in May, making Paragon quilters the most popular Gribetz quilt machine in its class. When Gribetz introduced Paragon more than a decade ago, it included features such as an adjustable presser foot, high-speed operation and computer controls. Today, most of those first machines are still in operation, according to the company. More recent technological innovations to the Paragon line include the Windows CE operating system, AutoSchedule/BatchMode functions, PosiTrim tail control and PatternLink software.

54 | BedTimes | September 2010

Specialty Sleep As The Specialty Sleep Association, based in Friant, Calif., has unveiled a two-tier label and seal program, aimed at educating consumers about a bed’s health, safety and environmental attributes. Mattress manufacturers pay a fee to the association and complete an application process with documentation in order to use the label and seal on their beds. Consumers can obtain more detailed information about a participating manufacturer by contacting the association or visiting its Web site, The Level I seal indicates that a manufacturer has met all federal flammability requirements, warrantees its product, meets applicable safety requirements for children’s products, discloses material construction with a descriptive label, reports annually on its carbon footprint and meets standards set by the Montreal Protocol Act for ozone-depleting substances. The Level II seal designates that the manufacturer has met

ssociation creates product seals

all Level I requirements, has satisfied California Section 1350 standards for low-volatile organic compounds and uses mattress fabrics free of harmful substances. “Purchasing safe and environmentally friendly prod-

ucts is an overwhelming concern of consumers,” said Dale Read, association president. “This first-of-its-kind safety and environmental program for mattresses represents the best way to finally deliver a clear message that the bedding industry is listening to that concern. The program is all about transparency and education. It represents a unification of suppliers, manufacturers and retailers around a set of environmental terms and definitions that will reduce confusion and bolster sales to consumers eager to purchase environmentally friendly products.” The program is the result of the association’s year-long Green Initiative, which brought together 15 manufacturers, suppliers and retailers. The group surveyed consumers and retail sales associates, examined various other certification programs and standards, and studied how best to address consumers’ concerns about the safety and sustainability of mattresses.

BedTimes | September 2010 |


NewsMakers Sealy hires R&D vice president D

avid Moret has delivery of innovative joined mattress consumer products. major Sealy as vice Moret’s background president of research and includes product develdevelopment. He replaces opment positions at a Alan Letton, who has left variety of well-known the Trinity, N.C.-based consumer brands. Moret company. arrived at Sealy from Moret is in charge of Newell Rubbermaid. Before that, he spent all research, development, five years at PepsiCo. innovation, engineering He began his career and technical initiatives David Moret with Procter & Gamble, at the company. The dumoving into roles of increasing ties of the position also have shifted responsibility and leading successful to focus more on the creation and

Parrish joins Springs Creative Kenny Parrish has been named to a newly created technical sales post at Springs Creative Products Group LLC. The textile supplier is based in Rock Hill, S.C. Parrish is responsible for sales of specialty fabrics to the mattress industry and other markets. The company created the new position to support a joint venture between Springs Creative and Devan Chemicals, a supplier of engineered fabrics with headquarters in Ronse, Belgium. Parrish has a background in textile sales and most recently was with Precision Textiles. “Kenny Parrish is a great addition to our team and will bolster our efforts to serve our customers. He combines technical and market experience with years of successful customer interface,” said Scott Frisch, Springs Creative vice president of specialty fabrics. Parrish reports to Frisch.

56 | BedTimes | September 2010

launches for the Charmin, Luvs and Pampers brands. “Dave has the know-how and the proven track record to drive significant changes to our new product development process,” said Mike Hofmann, Sealy executive vice president of operations. “He will serve as the critical link to our marketing group by translating our voice of consumer research into consumer-driven innovations that ultimately win in the market.” Moret has bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Henning moves to Comfort Solutions


attress industry veteran Chris Henning has been named senior vice president of strategic planning and business development for licensing group Comfort Solutions. It’s a new position for the company, which has headquarters in Willowbrook, Ill. Henning’s primary focus is on business development with major national and regional accounts. As part of the company’s executive team, he also is involved in marketing, merchandising and strategic planning. He reports to David Binke, Comfort Solutions executive vice president of sales. Chris Henning “Chris brings our company decades of valuable industry experience and leadership, as well as an excellent reputation for his accomplishments in marketing, merchandising, sales and strategy,” said Dave Roberts, Comfort Solutions president. “As we strategically position Comfort Solutions for the long term, we know that Chris’ outstanding record of success in the mattress business will play an integral role in our continued development and growth.” BedTimes want to Most recently, Henning was presiknow about it! dent of North American sales at KingsEditorial deadlines for the down. Prior to that, he spent five years Industry News and at Tempur-Pedic as vice president of Newsmakers sections of the sales for the western region and then as president of Tempur-Pedic’s retail November issue of division. Earlier in his career, Henning BedTimes are held executive sales positions at InterFriday, Oct. 1. national Bedding Corp. and Simmons Bedding Co.

Got News?

Damewood takes top sales post at Kingsdown


op 10 bedding maker Kingsdown has hired industry veteran Kevin Damewood as senior vice president of U.S. sales, a new position for the Mebane, N.C.-based company. Damewood is responsible for overseeing domestic sales, including strategic sales initiatives to grow market share for the bedding producer. “Kevin is respected and revered in the bedding industry for his profi-

ciency in building novel and successful strategic sales platforms,” said Eric Hinshaw, Kingsdown chairman and chief executive officer. “We are excited to add him to our experienced leadership team and have him direct such an important division within Kingsdown.” Damewood, who has more than 25 years of industry experience, has held sales and management positions at Sealy and at Simmons Bedding

Kingsdown’s Sleep to Live promotes two


leep to Live, a division of Mebane, N.C.-based mattress producer Kingsdown, has promoted Suzette Lapierre to director of national accounts and Solveiga Adams to international licensing manager. Both are newly created positions. Lapierre is a mattress industry veteran with 15 years of sales experience. She joined the company in 2008 and served as the Sleepy’s account manager before her promotion. Previously, she was national account manager for Tempur-Pedic and held sales management positions at Simmons Bedding Co. and Sealy. Lapierre began her Suzette Lapierre career as a sales manager and trainer at Mattress Firm. Lapierre’s responsibilities include overseeing national accounts in the continental United States. She also directs the sales team and merchandising efforts. She reports to Kevin Damewood, the company’s new senior vice president of U.S. sales. “Sleep to Live prides itself on attracting strong and innovative leaders, and Suzette represents the new breed of strategic leaders who bring broad industry perspective to our business,” said Eric Hinshaw, Kingsdown chairman and chief executive officer. “We are changing the game, and I’m confident Suzette will deliver results and lead teams that will take our busiSolveiga Adams ness to the next level.” Adams has more than 20 years of experience leading global accounts for major retail brands. She has relocated from Australia where she had served as regional sales manager for Kingsdown Australia since 2006. Kingsdown said Adams’ work in that country was instrumental in providing a model for the successful launch of the Sleep to Live brand internationally. Previously, Adams served in a variety of sales management roles at cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies, including Estee Lauder, Shiseido, Trimex and Sigma Pharmaceuticals. In addition to managing the development of new licensees internationally, Adams oversees licensee training and coaching. She reports to Lee Hinshaw, Kingsdown president of international sales. “Solveiga’s global experience establishing a presence for leading brands is unparalleled,” Lee Hinshaw said. “As one of the sharpest women leading a department within the international division of a major sleep products manufacturer, Solveiga is a rising star within our industry.”

Co., where he served as senior vice president of sales and established a new strategy credited with increasing the company’s sales and profitability. “I am thrilled to be part of Kingsdown,” Damewood said. “Eric and his talented team have built a legacy of being innovators and producing topquality products and delivering firstrate service. Kingsdown possesses key elements, which have led them to be a leader in this industry.”

High Point names new marketing VP

The High Point Market Authority in High Point, N.C., has hired home furnishings industry veteran Cheminne Taylor-Smith as vice president of marketing. She Cheminne Taylor-Smith replaces Kim Wray. Taylor-Smith is responsible for the strategic direction for all domestic and international marketing and will oversee all public relations and communications programs related to the biannual High Point Market. “I’m very excited to welcome Cheminne,” said Brian Casey, High Point Market Authority president and chief executive officer. “She brings with her a wealth of knowledge of the home furnishings industry and very strong skills in communications, marketing, public relations and business management.”  Taylor-Smith has spent nearly 20 years in the home furnishings industry in trade media, PR and marketing. Most recently, she was public relations director for Elle Decor. She served as editor in chief of BedTimes from October 2002 to March 2004.

BedTimes | September 2010 |


Calendar 2010 September

Sept. 1-5 Habitare Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre Helsinki, Finland Phone 358-9-150-91 Sept. 3-5 Perfect Home & Interior Warsaw Centre EXPO XXI Warsaw, Poland Phone 48-22-649-76-69 Sept. 3-6 China International Furniture Fair China Import & Export Fair Complex Guangzhou, China Phone 86-20-2608-0427 Sept. 16-19 ZOW Istanbul: International Exhibition of Components & Accessories for the Furniture Industry Instanbul Expo Center Istanbul, Turkey Phone 90-212-3249610


Oct. 16-21 High Point Market International Home Furnishings Center & other locations High Point, N.C., U.S. Phone 336-869-1000 dawn@highpoint www.highpoint

58 | BedTimes | September 2010

Oct. 25-28 MOBTEX Tripoli International Fairground Tripoli, Libya Phone 90-212-224-68-78

2011 January

Jan. 24-28 Las Vegas Market World Market Center Las Vegas, U.S. Phone 888-416-8600 info@lasvegas www.lasvegas


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


April 2-7 High Point Market International Home Furnishings Center & other locations High Point, N.C., U.S. Phone 336-869-1000 dawn@highpoint www.highpoint High Point The market will be Oct. 16-21 at the IHFC & other locations in High Point, N.C.

SUPPLIERS: Reach key mattress industry buyers in the only directory compiled specifically for the mattress industry! ISPA’s online BedTimes Supplies Guide provides mattress industry professionals around the world with comprehensive information about industry-specific products and services. Users can search by keyword or category to find the products they need without the irrelevant clutter of general internet search engines.

The Supplies Guide will also be published in the December 2010 issue of BedTimes magazine. Companies that purchase a complete listing by September 17th will also receive a free listing in the print version. Complement your listing with a display ad in the December issue of BedTimes, insertion deadline October 25th. Contact Kerri Bellias at or 336-945-0265. Contact Matt Kreuter, 972-402-7744,, for more information

ISPA: 703-683-8371 ·

ISPANews Hangtags let you communicate your safety message


leep Products Safety Council hangtags are an easy, highly visible way to demonstrate—and document—your company’s commitment to product safety. The bright yellow tags have been carefully designed to communicate key safety messages and provide safety tips to consumers. Although using the hangtags provides no legal guarantees, mattress manufacturers and retailers can use the tags to defend their interests in product liability lawsuits. More than 220 million have

been sold during the past two decades. Hangtags are available as flat tags that can be attached or included with other product-related information you provide consumers or as permanent, sewn-in Tyvek labels. Proceeds from their sale help fund vital SPSC programs that benefit the entire mattress industry. The SPSC is a unit

of the International Sleep Products Association devoted to advancing the safety of sleep products. For more information, check To order tags, email Jane Oseth, ISPA member services manager, at or call 703-683-8371, Ext. 1124.

Coming up ISPA board meeting Sept. 22-23 • Charleston, S.C.

ISPA Industry Conference & Exhibition March 16-18 • St. Petersburg, Fla.

Better Sleep Council meeting Oct. 13-14 • Alexandria, Va.

For more information on any of these events, call 703-683-8371 or check

Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club St. Petersburg, Florida

March 16-18, 2011 The All-Industry Event for Mattress Manufacturers, Retailers, and Suppliers

Mark Your Calendar for this Premier Mattress Industry Event! • Hear expert speakers discuss timely topics affecting the mattress industry • Connect with customers, colleagues and partners during relaxed social events • Complimentary guest registration for evening events at this exceptional resort

For more information visit

60 | BedTimes | September 2010

ISPAAdvocacy Shorts ISPA asks for changes to consumer database

Industry speaks out on Calif. chemical regulations

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is creating a database that consumers can use to file and search for product safety incident reports. As it stands, once the CPSC receives a report and transmits it to a manufacturer, the manufacturer has only 10 business days to review the report for accuracy and comment before it is posted in the database. The International Sleep Products Association, along with other manufacturer groups, has asked that the CPSC limit the types of individuals who may submit reports, establish minimum information requirements for reports, require accuracy in filed reports and permit manufacturers more time to respond. The CPSC plans to establish the database by March. To read the comments submitted by ISPA and the other groups, check coalitioncpscdatabase7-23-10.pdf.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control recently released draft regulations for the state’s Green Chemistry Initiative. The initiative seeks to establish a science-based program for developing a priority list of chemicals used in consumer products that are of high concern due to their possible environmental or public health threats—and regulate the chemicals accordingly. The International Sleep Products Association is a member of the Green Chemistry Alliance, a group of trade associations and companies who seek to minimize the costs and burdens that the Green Chemistry Initiative will impose on businesses. The GCA recently submitted comments outlining numerous concerns about the proposed regulations. To read the comments, check regulation_7-22-10.pdf.

BedTimes | September 2010 |


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


Amelco Industries Ltd. Andreas Georgallis 357-22-484444


American & Efird Inc. Sandra Reynolds 704-357-2378


Atlanta Attachment Co. Inc. Hank Little 770-963-7369

C2-1, 49

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


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


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


Diamond Needle Corp. Abe Silberstein 800-221-5818


MPT Group Ltd. Andrew Trickett 44-1706-878558

Dueffe SRL Francesco Arcangeli 39-71-7926054


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


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


Pacific Spring Inc. Victor Nguyen 626-272-8882


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


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



Global Systems Group Russ Bowman 954-846-0300


Quilting Inc. Mark Gibney 800-358-0153

Hengchang Machinery Factory Ren Ying 86-769-83307931


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


Ideal Quilting Inc. Nick Rossini 416-748-8402


Innofa Todd Hilliard 336-687-1006



SABA North America LLC Jim Turner 810-824-4964


Simalfa Darren Gilmore 973-423-9266


Springs Creative Products Group George Booth 803-324-6505


Starsprings International Kai Christensen 46-513-17800


Subi単as Confort S.L. Javier Subi単as 34-94-416-04-40


Therapedic International Gerry Borreggine 800-314-4433




BRK Group Jeff Miller 562-949-4394


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


CertiPUR-US Robert Luedeka 865-657-9840


Kenn Spinrad Inc. Randy Weinstock 800-373-0944


Costa International Daniel Vazquez 305-885-9761


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

Tietex International Ltd. Wade Wallace 800-843-8390

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


Wright of Thomasville Area Account Executive 800-678-9019

Lenzing Fibers Inc. Nina Nadash 212-944-7898


62 | BedTimes | September 2010


Classifieds For Sale TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, MULTINEEDLE AND SINGLENEEDLE QUILTERS, long-arm label machines, sergers, etc. Contact Victor LeBron, American Plant and Equipment. Phone 864-574-0404; Fax 864-576-7204; Cell 864-590-1700; Email; Web REBUILT AND RECONDITIONED MULTINEEDLE QUILTING MACHINES. Specializing in PATHE precision parts and service. Technical consultants. SEDCO. Phone 201-567-7141; Fax 201-567-5515. TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, QUILTERS AND MISCELLANEOUS SEWING MACHINES. Contact Frank Carlino, U.S. Mattress Machinery. Phone 815-795-6942; Fax 815-795-2178; Email

Business For Sale FACTORY DIRECT FOR SALE IN SOUTH-CENTRAL U.S. Well-established factory direct with a more than 50-year track record for sale. Focus on handcrafting and custom bedding for both wholesale and retail sales has resulted in 30% growth this year over last—even with the tough economy. Asking price of $450,000 includes all equipment for making a finished mattress. Real estate and 12,000-square-foot factory showroom with additional furniture showroom are owned and also available for sale or lease. Seller financing available. Potential growth for business is limited only by energy of owner.  Possibilities include opening additional locations, increasing wholesale business, increasing Web sales with e-commerce, etc.  Owner wishes to protect privacy as this is a successful, ongoing business. Serious inquiries only. For more information, email or call 202-681-1919.

Gribetz DG 5500 Lock-stitch QUILTER with panel cutter in excellent condition. Computerized settings, thread rack, catwalk, tack and jump. Well-maintained. Contact Ali at Dream Star Bedding. Phone 416-245-3226 or 416-523-1281. MCO 90-INCH HIGH-SPEED QUILTING MACHINE. Computerized 9000-plus series; 1994 model. For details, call Thomas at 601-693-3875.

Business Opportunity

Pacific Spring Inc.

Novel Heating & Cooling Mattress with huge potential market. Its simple design makes it low cost, while providing high comfort. No hoses or hardware inside the mattress. An efficient comfort zone is created without compressor motors. Patent pending. Interested manufacturers or investors may email Jacob at

An American company importing springs from Cambodia

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 336-342-4217; Fax 336-342-4116; Email

6.5” H 312 Bonnel units 7” H 336 Bonnel units 8” H pocket units

Pacific Spring Inc. Victor Nguyen, VP of Marketing & Sales 6418 E. Washington Blvd. Commerce Ca. 90040 Tel: (626) 272-8882 • Fax: (626) 226-4166 Email:

BedTimes | September 2010 |


TheLastWord vs.


Americans sleepier than Europeans

early one in five Americans (19.5%) experiences moderate or excessive sleepiness, according to new research. And more than one in 10 (11%) reports severe sleepiness, with women (13%) more tired than men (8.6%). The research was presented in abstract at SLEEP 2010, a meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies held in June in San Antonio. “The prevalence of excessive daytime sleepiness is very high in the American population, much higher than what we observed in the European population,” principal investigator Dr. Maurice Ohayon told the Sleep Review journal ( In a study published in 2002, Ohayon found that about 15% of the population in five European countries suffered exces-

N.Y. throws big bucks at bedbugs


ew York City has allocated $500,000 to combat growing infestations of bedbugs. The city promises better coordination of efforts between agencies, a new health department task force and a Web site that will show residents how to prevent and treat bedbug infestations, provide tips for hiring an exterminator and explain how to dispose of contaminated household items. Bedbugs have been found throughout New York City—in apartments, stores, schools and hospitals. According to an Associated Press report, the city received 537 complaints about bedbugs in fiscal 2004. In fiscal 2009, that number rose to nearly 11,000. Because of its dense population and robust tourism industry, New York City may be particularly susceptible to bedbugs, but it is not alone. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the number of bedbug infestations throughout the country tripled from 2005 to 2009.

64 | BedTimes | September 2010

sive daytime sleepiness, according to Sleep Review. “The number of individuals sleepy or drowsy during situations where they should be alert is disturbing,” Ohayon told the journal. “Sleepiness is underestimated in its dailylife consequences for the general population, for the shift workers and for the people reducing their amount of sleep for any kind of good reason. It is always a mistake to curtail your sleep.” Ohayon is professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and director of the Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research Center in Palo Alto, Calif. In the recent research, a representative sample of 8,937 adults living in California, New York and Texas were interviewed over the phone about sleep habits and health issues.

BIG number



That’s the number of American workers who admit to taking office supplies home for their personal use, according to the OfficeMax Workplace Undercover Survey conducted in May. One-third say they’ve “borrowed” items, with plans to return them. Onequarter say they don’t think their employers miss what’s taken.

Not everything that’s a hit overseas will be one here, but Cold Seal Technology will be.

The ME-104 wrapper, which already has the seal of approval around the world, is ready to score in the U.S. market. GSG partner Merello has developed Cold Seal Technology for the ME-104. That means no more premature melting that ultimately compromises the plastic and results in bag seams coming apart. For your customers, that means no more soiled, damaged mattresses that usually end up in the

“cost of returns“ account on your books. The ME-104 is made in Spain and backed by Gribetz service. Now it’s no longer the best-kept secret in the U.S. market. Take advantage of this hot-selling wrapper at current favorable dollar/euro exchange rate savings that we are passing on to you.

More features: • New optional mattress-stacking mechanism automatically loads finished product onto cart • Self-adjusting system – accepts mixed product length, width, and thickness, in any sequence • Smooth and fast movement – over 3 mattresses can be packaged in under a minute • Side-compression system results in tight, secure film-encased mattresses • All seals are formed at the base of the wrapped unit, allowing clear view of your product within

Seal a bargain with the ME-104 wrapper from GSG.

800-326-4742 or 954-846-0300

Nobody dreams in black and white.


Why sleep that way?

ECo Fa B R I C S ,

CoT To N S ,



P o Ly E S T E R S ,


ST I TC h B o N d S ,

Wa R P k N I T S ,


Tietex International Ltd., 3010 North Blackstock Rd., Spartanburg, SC 29301, Ph. 864.574.0500, Fax 864.574.9490,

BedTimes Sept 2010  

The business journal for the sleep products industry

BedTimes Sept 2010  

The business journal for the sleep products industry