Page 1

January/February 2009

NEW research

Mattress Consumers Who they are, why they buy ... and why they don’t


Mystery shoppers give southern city stores high marks on experience RETAIL ROAD TRIP

Mealey’s Furniture creates store-within-a-store to showcase mattresses BE MY GUEST

Jerry Epperson finds some good news in bad times for mattress sales

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IN THIS ISSUE where to find it


NEW RESEARCH Mattress consumers

Exclusive research conducted by the Leo Burnett agency for the International Sleep Products Association identifies five mattress consumer segments, sheds new light on why consumers purchase mattresses and why they don’t.

3 5 7

WAKE UP CALL from the editor’s desk

Wonder why you’re losing mattress customers? Why people who need a new mattress postpone buying? What’s happening at retail plays a big role.

ON LEADERSHIP by Larry Wilson

Too often, childhood wounds create bad habits and bad attitudes that undermine our goals. Good leaders learn how to accentuate the positive.

SNOOZE NEWS stuff you can use

Consumer Reports poll shows 75% of new mattress buyers are sleeping better; don’t let customers see you idle, advises Steve King; 10 ways to spot credit card fraud; ‘Bedded Bliss’ to headline Better Sleep Council Valentine’s Day campaign; pull-out page on when to get rid of old mattresses and pillows...and more. Special Center Section



the customer experience

Mystery shoppers discover mattress retailers in a big southeastern city show strong performances in customer service.


23 39 44

BE MY GUEST by Jerry Epperson

Times are definitely tough in the bedding business, says the furniture industry’s top analyst, but there is good news if you look for it.

SHOWCASE products & programs for success

Here’s what’s new and exciting from companies that market mattresses, components, accessories and retailer services. Take a tour!

CLOSING WORDS by Gerry Morris Today’s customers want comfort, but it’s up to you to help them determine what that means for them. Asking the right questions is the key.


RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene Pennsylvania-based Mealey’s Furniture worked with a retail designer to create an inviting, spa-like, store-within-a-store environment to showcase the mattress catgeory. SleepSavvy • January/February 2009


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SleepSavvy The magazine for sleep products professionals

Editor in Chief Nancy Butler 828-299-7420 nbutler@sleepproducts.org Senior Writer Barbara Nelles 336-856-8973 bnelles@sleepproducts.org Contributors Jerry Epperson Karl Kunkel Steven King Craig McAndrews Gerry Morris Art Direction Stephanie Belcher The Jimmydog Design Group stephanie@jimmydog.com Vice President of Sales Kerri Bellias 336-945-0265 kbellias@sleepproducts.org Advertising Services Manager Debbie Robbins 336-342-4217 drobbins@sleepproducts.org Circulation Manager Mary Rulli 336-491-0443 mrulli@sleepproducts.org Copy Editor Margaret Talley-Seijn Vol. 8, No. 1 ISSN 1538-702X Sleep Savvy is published 8 times a year by the International Sleep Products Association, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, Virginia 22314-1917. Phone 703-683-8371, fax 703-683-4503. Website: www.sleepsavvymagazine.com. Sleep Savvy editorial office: 15 E. Hawthorne Dr., Asheville, North Carolina 28805. Phone 828-299-7420, fax 828-299-7490. Advertising services: 5603-B West Friendly Ave. #286, Greensboro, North Carolina 27410. Phone 336-342-4217, fax 336-342-4116. Annual subscriptions: Retailers in the U.S. and Canada qualify for free subscriptions. Sales personnel for ISPA members qualify for complimentary subscriptions, subject to restrictions. All other: $30 (ISPA members $15); non-U.S. $40 (ISPA members $20). Single copies: $5. Please send subscription orders and changes to: Sleep Savvy, P.O. Box 4678, Archdale, North Carolina 27263 or fax 336-431-0317. ©2009 by the International Sleep Products Association. No portion of the content may be reprinted without permission from Sleep Savvy. Printed in the U.S.A.


WAKE UP CALL from the editor

New research is a gold mine of insights for mattress retailers


o you want to know why consumers who need a new mattress don’t buy one? Why mattress customers leave your store without making a purchase? Or why some don’t even bother to shop for a new mattress? There are some terrific insights in the new consumer research, conducted by the Leo Burnett agency for the International Sleep Products Assocation, featured in this issue. You’ll want to read the whole story and take an especially close look at the findings illustrated on pages 34-35. Here are two revealing statistics: ● 31% of consumers who postponed a mattress purchase “dreaded the process.” ● 11% had a bad shopping experience and “gave up on the process.” Those numbers represent a lot of people who didn’t show up in your store or anybody else’s because of the retail experience – the reality or the perception or both. But the study, which involved 1,800 adults, also includes information that can help you change the experience. You’ll find rankings of factors that influence the mattress purchasing decision, what’s important in terms of product characteristics and, finally, what people look for when deciding which retailer to buy from. These charts are a gold mine of information you can use to determine where you need to put the emphasis, where you need to make improvements and maybe what’s missing in your customer service and outreach. For example, “demonstrations/ samples in the store” tops the list of

influencers. “Information I saw on TV” is at the bottom of that list, but “consumer review/rating websites” is second. That’s interesting. The charts show just how important the interaction with RSAs is: Very. Customers want you to be “polite” – the third most important factor out of 14 in picking a retailer – and “educated” – the seventh most important factor. The fourth most important may surprise you: Store cleanliness. It’s something that store managers and RSAs, particularly male, often underestimate. This brand new study confirms that cleaning up our act at retail, both literally and figuratively, is critically important. Maybe more important than ever at a time when there are fewer customers with fewer dollars to go around. When the customer comes through your door, you’ll need to wow her at every level. How do you do that? Keep reading. This issue is jam packed with handson ideas about how you can be the best at what you do – from contributors Craig McAndrews (special center section), Gerry Morris (page 34), retailer Kevin Mealey (page 17), RSA Steven King (page 8) and more. Enjoy, and as always, I welcome your thoughts.

nbutler@sleepproducts.org SleepSavvy • January/February 2009


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ON LEADERSHIP by Larry Wilson

Eliminate your ‘proud flesh’ fears


or 10 years, I owned the Pecos River Learning Center in New Mexico, a 2,000-acre ranch with 50 rooms and about 25 horses, plus a wrangler named Joe Garcia. On one occasion, as we gathered around the corral, one of the horses reared up with his front hooves high in the air. He had a startled look, but also an expression of what appeared to be arrogance or pride. Joe the wrangler calmly turned to me and said, “Proud flesh.” I had no idea what he was talking about, so he explained. Joe told me it’s not uncommon for a horse in the wild to get a splinter from a tree or a fence. Often times this will become infected and extremely painful. Over time, the infection heals itself, and the pain goes away. But what remains is the horse’s memory of the pain. What we had just witnessed was the horse’s automatic response to the memory of another horse getting too close to an old wound. The rearing up was not a sign of arrogance or pride. It was a sign of the fear of being wounded again. This horse had an attitude that said, “Don’t get too close to where I’ve been hurt in the past.” What makes this irrational is that the actual pain no longer existed, only the memory of it. What about us? We too are influenced by the wounds of our past. Most of these wounds occurred in our childhood and are out of our adult consciousness. Yet we create defensive strategies to avoid anything that gets too close to those pains of our past. Sometimes we call these old wounds “buttons,” as in “she really pushed my buttons.” Sometimes we call them land mines like, “Don’t ever bring up that subject; it’ll explode in your face.” Sometimes we call them personality traits like, “This is just me.” Seldom do we call them what they really are: Learned attitudes.

Accentuate the positive Attitudes are not who we are. Attitudes are beliefs and behaviors we have learned by practicing, over and over, a way to respond to a specific life situation. It becomes automatic, meaning we don’t have to think about what we’re doing. An attitude starts as a thought habit. It’s like driving your car so often you no longer have to think about how well you’re driving. Yet that’s different from knowing where it is you want to end up. Don’t be like the pilot who says, “Folks we’re lost, but we’re making really good time.” The big take-away here is that some attitudes are supporting your life’s goals and some are detracting. John Wannamaker, a famous retailer, was quoted as saying, “Half of my advertising isn’t worth a damn. I just don’t know which half.” A positive attitude can be your best friend, a negative attitude your worst enemy. Since an attitude is mostly an unconscious thinking habit, it means you don’t know what you don’t know. Not knowing is often the source of unhappiness, misery, worry, anger and pain. Those are the symptoms of something going wrong in life, but what’s causing these feelings is the bad-attitude thinking you and I carry around in our brains. As a leader, the most you can do is to influence others to make their best choices to lead their best life. And the quickest way to influence people is to let them see you with your best attitudes toward yourself, toward them and toward the world. Your followers may not have the words to define a bad attitude, but they’ll know one when they see it. As Johnny Mercer’s song says, “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don’t mess with mister in-between.” That’s leadership!

Larry Wilson is an internationally recognized pioneer in change management, leadership development and strategic thinking, and is the co-author of The One-Minute Sales Person. He has founded two companies, Wilson Learning Corp. and Pecos River Learning, and is currently establishing The Wilson Collaborative. Larry works with companies to help them “create the organization that, if it existed, would put them out of business.” His clients include major mattress manufacturers and retailers. Larry can be reached by email at larry.wilson@mac.com.


SleepSavvy • January/February 2009


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SNOOZE NEWS stuff you can use

Consumer Reports survey:

Nearly 75% say that a new mattress has improved their sleep

Any new mattress is likely to be better than an old one, according to a new study by the Consumer Reports National Research Center featured in the January issue of Consumer Reports. And if you “rest test” a mattress in the store, you’ll be especially happy, the influential magazine tells readers. Of the 5,900 people who bought a new mattress within the past five years, almost three-quarters said sleep improved. Among problem sleepers – those with back pain, anxiety or other conditions – 43% said their sleep improved significantly. In addition, 72% of respondents who spent at least 10 minutes lying on the mattress in the store were “very” or “completely” satisfied with their purchase, compared to 62% who spent little or no time lying down. The bottom line, says CR: “If your mattress is at least eight years old and you don’t sleep as well as you used to, consider a new one. And once you start shopping, lie down on the job.”

The most successful people are those who are good

at Plan B. — James Yorke

Professor of mathematics and physics

Angelina shells out $65,000 for a mattress With the recent birth of her twins and talk of adopting a seventh child with actor Brad Pitt, it’s no wonder that actress and activist Angelina Jolie is willing to spend top dollar for a good night’s sleep. Jolie reportedly spent $65,000 to buy a Vividus mattress, a brand made by luxury producer Hastens, based in Koping, Swe­ den. Vividus mattresses feature materials such as horsehair, cotton, flax and wool and take between 140 and 160 hours to make. “Angelina is hoping she can rest better now,” a source told China Daily. At $65,000, is there any doubt?


SleepSavvy • January/February 2009



stuff you can use Steven King’s


RSA idleness is a threat to shoppers

There is nothing more threatening to a potential customer than an idle sales associate – unless it’s two or three RSAs without a customer. A busy store attracts customers. When they look into a store full of busy people, they know it’s safe to enter. Things are happening. It’s all good. OK, so every mattress RSA has down time. You just want to make sure that you’re not spending yours doing any of the following: ● Standing near the door ● Standing just outside the door ● Hanging out behind the counter being idle

Chatting with two or more sales associates Talking on your cell phone Eating within sight of the public Doing anything unrelated to work in public. When you’re faced with down time, you can do any of these useful things: ● Tidy the store – a tidy, clean store is critical when selling to women ● Straighten the mattresses ● Role play and practice techniques with another RSA ● Review inventory ● Educate yourself by reading trade publications – like Sleep Savvy!

● ● ● ●

Steven King is president of Steven King & Associates, a sales training firm, and the author of Money in the Mattress: The Sales Associates’ Guide to Premium Mattress Sales. Contact Steven at moneyinthemattress@hotmail.com.

Credit card fraud: 10 things to watch for


f credit card losses are getting to be a problem for your store, here’s a checklist of tip-offs to watch for from Merchant Service.com, which specializes in protecting retailers from fraud: 1. Embossed numbers on the card aren’t straight or are badly spaced 2. Touch-up paint has been applied to the front of the card. 3. Signature space has been tampered with 4. Letters or numbers appear to be altered 5. Embossed numbers don’t match the numbers printed on your receipt 6. Customer takes extra pain signing, which may indicate forgery 7. Customer appears nervous or hurried 8. Customer arrives at closing time and tries to rush the pur­ chase 9. When asked for photo proof, the customer claims to have left it at home 10. Customer pulls a credit card from a pocket and not a wallet.

What is your ideal amount of sleep?


his past fall, the National Sleep Foundation asked visitors to its website, www.sleepfoundation.org, what they considered their ideal amount of sleep. Here are the results of the poll, which included more than 1,000 votes:


8-9 hours



more than 9 hours

7-8 hours

10% 5-6 hours


less than 5 hours NSF cautions that there is no “magic number” when it comes to sleep. Not only do different age groups need different amounts of sleep, but sleep needs are also individual.

8 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009



stuff you can use RealAge.com

10 foods for a good snooze


hanging what you eat before bedtime can make the difference between staring at the ceiling and sleeping like a baby, according to RealAge.com. Eating turkey used to be credited for Thanksgiving naps because it contains sleep-inducing tryptophan. But, in reality, turkey doesn’t contain enough tryptophan to put you to sleep, according to Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of The Food & Mood Cookbook: Recipes for Eating Well and Feeling Your Best . Light, high-carbohydrate snacks are a better bet. Carbs boost levels of serotonin in the brain without overloading your digestion. Wash them down with a cup of herbal tea (chamomile, lemon balm or valerian) or warm milk. Here are the 10 top items to snack on an hour before bed: 1. Half of a whole-wheat English muffin or raisin bagel drizzled with honey 2. Two cups of air-popped popcorn 3. A small slice of angel food cake topped with berries  4. A frozen whole-wheat waffle, toasted, with maple syrup 5. Half a cup of pretzels 6. Fresh strawberries dunked in a little fat-free chocolate syrup 7. Half a cup of pasta topped with marinara sauce 8. A 4-ounce baked potato topped with salsa 9. A handful of oyster crackers and a piece of fruit 10. Mandarin oranges sprinkled with crystallized ginger. The benefits of sleep go well beyond good moods and lots of energy, reminds RealAge.com. Getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night can make your real age as much as 3 years younger.

10 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

‘Bedded bliss’ to headline BSC’s Valentine’s Day campaign


he 5-year plan for the industry-supported Better Sleep Council (BSC) calls for the spotlight to be on sleep and relationships for 2009. So what better time could there be for a kickoff than February 14, Valentine’s Day! BCS is putting a lot of emphasis on its online outreach, targeting dating sites, relationship bloggers and online communities with its “better sleep, better relationships” messages, for both English and Spanish-speaking audiences. And to reach the newly single, BSC will focus on getting rid of the mattress that can evoke bad memories. Using a “Bedded Bliss” storyline, the campaign is targeting appearances on national news and talk shows for a segment on sleep, healthy relationships and what is (or isn’t) happening in the bedroom. To strengthen the impact of the mattress messages embedded in the Valentine’s Day campaign – and throughout 2009 – BSC is tapping into the latest round of research from Oklahoma State University, confirming the relationship between a new mattress, improved sleep and a reduction in daytime stress.

Stay tuned for the details of the newest OSU study in the March issue of Sleep Savvy.

Sleepy’s battles evil, raises money


leepy’s has launched an exclusive Marvel Comics book starring The Hulk, Iron Man and the Sleepy’s Man – in his red, white and blue nightshirt – as they battle evil in the name of a good night’s sleep. The comic book sells for $3 at all 700 Sleepy’s stores and the proceeds are being donated to the American Cancer Society. The comic was created in a part­ nership linked to the Universal Studios action movie “The Incredible Hulk,” which was released on DVD in October. Sleepy’s vendors contributing ads to fund the comic include Comfort Solutions, Kings­down, Miralux/International Bedding Corp. and Simmons.

Two Sleep Savvy thumbs up to Sleepy’s and its partners for this creative fund-raising program.


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stuff you can use

Sleep + exercise reduces women’s cancer risk


new, 10-year study of nearly 6,000 women under age 65 found that while regular exercise appeared to reduced their risk of cancer, this benefit was likely to be lost if they did not get enough sleep. “Sleep duration modifies the relationship between physical activity and all-site cancer risk among young and middle-aged women,” said Dr. James McClain, lead researcher

and cancer prevention fellow at the National Cancer Institute. “Short duration sleep appears to have opposing effects of physical activity on several key hormonal and metabolic parameters.” The study revealed a significantly lower risk of breast and other cancers among the women at the higher physical exercise levels. But among the physically active women, those

Workers sleepless over finances

who slept less than 7 hours a night had the higher overall cancer risk.

Just for laughs


ow badly are financial worries keeping people awake at night? According to a poll of employees by ComPsych, a big provider of employee assistance programs (EAPs), nearly 92% are having problems sleeping in the wake of economic uncertainties. Participants listed their biggest concerns as: ● 30% the cost of living ● 29% credit card debt ● 14% mortgage payment ● 13% retirement account ● 3% kids’ tuition ● 3% health care costs ● 8% “not worried”

“Right now I think the wisest strategy is to diversify among your mattresses.”


In the wake of a sharp drop in retail sales across all categories, mattress sales hit a new low in October, with a 22% decline in dollar sales (wholesale) and a 22.8% drop in unit sales, compared to October 2007. For the year-to-date, unit sales within a sample of leading producers were off by 10% and dollars by 9.8%.

Mattresses & Foundations - Millions of Dollars (wholesale) Sample of Leading Producers $406 $332









$319 $248

Percent change -9.1%

Percent change

Percent change

Percent change

Percent change

Percent change












Source: International Sleep Products Association Bedding Barometer

12 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

■ 2007 ■ 2008 www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


stuff you can use

From SixWise.com SixWise.com, a consumer information site dedicated to helping people “live longer and prosper,” has published an excellent article in its free Security & Wellness e-Newsletter on when to get rid of household items. Here is its recommendation for mattresses and pillows, developed with the help of the Better Sleep Council.


hen one day you realize that you can barely stay on your mattress without rolling off the edge or plunging into the soft spot in the middle, this may cross your mind: Is it time for a new one? The same goes for pillows that are so flat it takes two or three to get to the right height. But things are not always this black and white, and besides, we tend to get attached to our household items and delay parting with our favorite ones, even if they are “lovingly” worn. As a result, most of us hold on to things much longer than we should, perhaps to the detriment of our sleep and general quality of life. Here, once and for all, we have ended the mystery of how long is too long to keep certain household items and given concrete recommendations of when it’s time to replace them.

Your mattress How long your mattress will last depends to some extent on you and your sleeping partner. Your weight and your sleeping habits all play a part. Meanwhile, most people tend to require a more supportive, comfortable mattress as they get older, meaning you may need to replace your mattress more frequently as you age. Generally speaking, though, the normal lifespan of

14 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

a mattress is 5-7 years, according to the Better Sleep Council. They say, “In general, a mattress set that has been in use 5-7 years is no longer providing you with the best comfort and support.” They also point out that since mattress technology is constantly advancing, you may want to visit a mattress store more often than that to see whether a newer mattress could help you get a better night’s sleep. Often, it does just the trick. About 87% of people who purchase a new mattress say they are satisfied with their choice and its impact on their quality of sleep, the Better Sleep Council reports. If you’re in that 5-7 year timeframe, how do you know it’s time to start looking for a new mattress? According to the Better Sleep Council, “A good rule of thumb is to assess the condition of the mattress at least twice a year. If you’re regularly waking up feeling stiff and sore after a good night’s sleep, it may be time for a new mattress.”

Your pillows Most experts say two years is the magic number when it comes to pillows. After this length of time, the weight of you sleeping on them can make them flat, bumpy and uncomfortable. Pillows also harbor bacteria, mildew and fungus that can increase over time and cause trouble for people with asthma and allergies (washing your pillow will help with this). If you’re not sure your pillow needs replacing, here is the ultimate test: fold it in half. If it stays folded, it’s time for a new one.

Reprinted with permission from the free Security & Wellness e-Newsletter at SixWise.com.


When to get rid of your mattress and pillows

RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene

Mealey’s Furniture PA retailer, designer create eye-catching store-within-a-store to showcase beds By Karl Kunkel and Nancy Butler Photography by Jim Greipp


Dan (left) and Kevin Mealey


hen Kevin and Dan Mealey, co-chairmen of Mealy’s Furniture, decided to open a new store in the Philadelphia suburb of Warminster, PA, they wanted to take an entirely new approach to the bedding department – one distinctly different from those in the chain’s existing three stores. The checklist included ease of entry and shopping, a restful ambience, privacy and an effective way to present specialty bedding. They hired noted store designer Martin Roberts, president of GRID2 International in New York, to turn their vision into reality. The redesigned 84,000-squarefoot former department store reopened in July 2008 and includes a visually striking, store-withina-store environment to showcase mattresses. With the new store as a prototype for a chain-wide redesign, the Mealeys plan to boost the mattress category from 13% of total sales to the high teens across all four stores. SleepSavvy • January/February 2009


RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene

“The Warminster store design was a step forward for us,” Kevin says. “When you are doing a new store, you rethink everything.” Store-within-a-store The Warminster store’s separate outside entrance to the 5,000square-foot bedding department allows mattress customers to enter quickly from the parking lot without wasting time walking through the whole store. “We have learned that customers who prefer specialty stores often

avoid furniture stores because they perceive that it will take too long and become too much of a hassle being passed from one salesperson to another,” Roberts says. “There’s a perception that at a specialty store you’ll get special service.” The main area of the mattress department has a serene, spa-like feel, designed to put a customer at ease and encourage her to be more receptive to the sales associate’s suggestions. The layout emphasizes privacy to help the customer feel less self-conscious when trying out beds.

You can get it delivered today


ealey’s Furniture has created its identity in the market and established much of its reputation with a same-day delivery program. The company has set up its warehousing and distribution so that it can deliver sleep sets – and virtually every other home furnishings category – on the day it’s bought if the customer is within a certain distance of the nearest store. Quick delivery was part of Kevin and Dan Mealey’s game plan from the time they took over the day-to-day operations from their father. Initially, it was nextday delivery. When they built a state-of-the-art distribution facility a few years ago, they were able to extend the promise to same-day delivery. Mealey’s fleet of trucks covers the Philadelphia area and New Jersey, where they not only deliver home furnishings but also serve as billboards on wheels to promote their fast delivery. “This is really the core of our business,” Kevin says. “We focus on a strength that we have and we execute that strength, doing a really good job in that one specific area.”

18 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

To create that privacy and give the mattress department a look that would attract customers from elsewhere in the store, Roberts used clear acrylic rods that resemble high-tech stalks of grass or bamboo. “When we use a rushes-around-thelake effect, you’re able to see into the space, and when standing inside, you can be seen,” Roberts says. “But when you lie down on the mattress, the grass-like texture shields you.” The acrylic rods are on small platforms that can be moved around. By shining different colored lights on the rods, Mealey’s can alter the mood or change the whole look. The thin rods sway easily, adding the dimension of movement. “It’s a way that the decor can evolve and change over time without having to rebuild everything,” Roberts says. “The climate is very tough for retail. So we have to build things that are economic to do. It provides flexibility and reasonable cost.” To attract customer attention further, the bedding department features a lighted oval suspended from the ceiling. “It’s like a cloud hanging over the department, showing you where it is,” Roberts says. “It creates a destination.” Within the redesigned store’s floor plan, the bedding department is easily reached. The customer just follows an interior track, or the “yellow brick road,” as Roberts calls it. The bedroom furniture department – headboards, dressers and bedside tables – is located adjacent to the mattresses to facilitate cross-selling. Dedicated space and staff The presentation to the customer starts in a three-mattress test area in the center of the department. There, the customer can sample the three support systems – latex foam, memwww.sleepsavvymagazine.com

RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene

The mattress store-within-a-store has a separate entrance from the outside, as well as an eyecatching interior entrance (right). Pillows for bed testing, as well as for sale, are colorfully displayed in handy shelves (left).

ory foam and innerspring. Once the customer has selected a preference, the sales associate takes her to a gallery dedicated to mattresses with

that type of support. Each gallery has its own signage enumerating the features and benefits of the support system. Most of the signage is created by Mealey’s to reflect the store’s unique personality. The company follows a sales philosophy of finding exactly the right mattress for each customer – a philosophy that guided both the Mealeys and Roberts during the design stages for the Warminster store. “You really have to find the right bed so the customer is comfortable and able to make a deci-

Store signage goes digital


ealey’s Furniture is among the savvy retailers moving into the 21st century with the addition of electronic in-store signage. As costs of printed signs escalate and their messages become out-of-date faster than ever, electronic signage is becoming a major player in retail settings. Throughout the interior of Mealey’s new Warminster, PA, store, digital TV screens show customized promotional and educational messages that can be changed at a moment’s notice. These closed-circuit screens can be programmed to broadcast anything at anytime, from a simple brand logo


sion,” Kevin says. “You have to develop a successful selling process that is followed consistently with every customer so that you know you are finding the right bed for them.” The selection is made within the

to a full-action image. “If a brand has something to say, like a new suspension system or sleep approach, they can put it on the screen,” says design firm Grid2’s Martin Roberts. “It’s totally flexible.” Over time, Mealey’s can work with different vendors to personalize different areas of the store. “You have to build the store so that it can be personalized,” Roberts says. “You may be carrying several different brands and want to be able to promote those brands separately and be able to tell something about those brands.” Digital signage also gives a store an up-to-date, progressive look, Roberts adds.

SleepSavvy • January/February 2009


RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene

comprehensive lineups from Serta and Tempur-Pedic, Mealey’s two bedding brands. The strongest price points are in the $999 to $1,400 range, reflecting a strong perfor-

20 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

mance in a weak economy. A dedicated sales staff was created for the new self-contained mattress department in Warminster. Having a team of bedding specialists eliminates the need to train the entire retail sales force in the mattress category, Kevin points out. It also ensures that metro Philadelphia consumers receive topnotch attention when they shop this crucial category – instead of putting them in the hands of a furniture sales generalist. The dedicated staff participates in weekly training, concentrating on the importance of comfort and support. “It’s not like they are ‘one and done’ or that they go through a program and are certified,” says Kevin. “Training is continuous.” Kevin and Dan earned their train-


RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene

ing stripes from their father Jerry Mealey, who opened a small furniture store in northeast Philadelphia in 1970. The Mealey’s Furniture of 2009 has come a long way from the original 4,000-square-foot operation, with stores now located in Oxford Valley, PA; Bensalem, PA; and Moorestown, NJ, as well as the newest and largest store in Warminster. The Warminster store is still a work in progress, continuing to evolve as Kevin, Dan and their staff study and fine-tune each department. But already, the bedding departments in the other three stores are undergoing facelifts based on the successes and lessons of Warminster’s fresh approach to the mattress category. ●


Giving back gets noticed


hilanthropic efforts in the community have landed Kevin and Dan Mealey on television and other regional media, garnering important recognition for the Mealey’s Furniture name. Each year the chain sponsors several major programs, including giveaways to local charities. Mealey’s biggest annual event is the “Family in Need,” a contest held prior to Christmas to support a needy family. Launching the contest won Kevin an interview on “The 10 Show,” a Philadelphia daytime talk show. Mealey’s recently redesigned website serves as a means for entering the “Family in Need” contest and to publicize local activities. Often, the store parking lots are a staging area and collection point for donations to the American Red Cross and other agencies. The company has also hosted a “Household of Furniture” program to support U.S. troops. Most recently, Mealey’s gave new furniture to the family of a soldier serving in Iraq. “We give back to the community that has helped us be successful,” says Kevin.

SleepSavvy • January/February 2009


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the customer experience Retailers in southeastern city reflect improved approaches to serving mattress customers, closing the sale


By Craig McAndrews he latest Under Cover study – our 7th for Sleep Savvy – offers a close-up look at mattress retailing in a major southeastern metropolitan market. Our mystery shoppers visited 15 stores that included mattress specialty retailers, department stores and regional furniture retailers. In addition to store visits and telephone assessments, our team also conducted a small sample of in-store video shops to gather a complete picture of what consumers in this market encounter when shopping for a new mattress. Since our last Under Cover in the July/August 2008 Sleep Savvy, we’ve a launched a new enterprise, The Retail Institute, and expanded our ongoing research to discover new ways in which retailers can offer customers a better shopping experience. Let’s face it – there are a lot of people who look forward to sleeping on a new mattress, but not many who even like the thought of shopping for one. The good news is that our mystery shopping studies, including this latest one, are beginning to find some encouraging things happening on the retail selling floor – things that set the stage for truly improving the shopping experience. The most exciting finding in this latest field study is an improved focus on serving the customer. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

SleepSavvy • Special Section • January/February 2009



the customer experience In our exploration of the mattress shopping environment in the big southeastern city, the best indication of a positive customer experience overall is reflected this statistic: ➤9  3% of the shoppers

indicated they would have made a mattress purchase based on their shopping experience.

“It was not cluttered and easy to get around.” Our shoppers’ scores revealed that the first impression was strong and engaging. ➤1  00% of the sales associ-

ates were personable and likeable, and 93% greeted the shoppers within one minute of entering.

Here are some of the comments they offered:

Some of the shopper compliments to RSAs included:

“The overall experience was pleasant. It was not the highpressure sales experience I expected.”

“I was greeted warmly with a smile 25 seconds after I entered the department. He welcomed me to the store, introduced himself and asked how he could help me. He was friendly and seemed very interested in helping me.”

“I was very happy with my experience at the store. The associate was friendly and understood my needs in a mattress. She did not pressure me and she was empathetic about the economy when I told her I had to think about it. Not only were the associates helpful, but the store was very clean and easy to shop.

“The associate looked happy to be at work and he was eager to be of service.” “I felt like I had the associate’s full attention the entire time.”

Questions to help you stand out from the crowd


s we studied the shopper comments from this latest round of undercover retailer visits, we found that associates were asking a consistent set of questions. In more than 90% of the cases, customers were asked the same three questions: “What size are you looking for”, “Are you interested in a plush (soft) or firm (hard) feel?” and “Is this for yourself or for a guest room?” These are not bad questions. The problem is that everyone is asking them. If you want to differentiate your store from your competitors, try using different questions at the beginning of your presentation. Here are three to try: 1. “Do you have any trouble sleeping?” 2. “How long has it been since you last shopped for a mattress?” 3. “How comfortable are you with your understanding of mattresses and how to choose one that is best for you?” There are certainly other questions that you can use – the point is to move away from the standard questions and start the process in a way that sets the stage to talk about the customer’s sleep and not just about the product.

4 SleepSavvy • Special Section • January/February 2009

While many consumers expect the mattress shopping experience to be difficult, that was not the case with the majority of retailers shopped in this market. ➤ I n 87% of the store visits,

the shoppers rated the experience as “very easy” or “easy.”

Shopper comments showed a high level of comfort with the process:

“The associate led me to the bedding area, keeping conversation going the entire time. He made me feel very comfortable and at ease.” “Nothing was uncomfortable about the process. I would tell my friends that the experience was good because the associate allowed me to take my time and find a mattress that fit my needs. “ “I was easily able to get into the selection process because the associate was very knowledgeable about the mattresses and very friendly. I would have felt confident about my purchase had I made one.” Putting comfort first The retailers in this market were very successful in determining the shoppers’ comfort preference before discussing product features and benefits. ➤1  00% of the sales

associates started the conversation with the customer’s comfort and 87% started by conducting a comfort test.

Moreover, when they moved from comfort to product presentation, their knowledge of product was also very strong. Putting www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

Shopping experience by channel

Department stores get highest marks


or the first time since we have been conducting retail market studies, the department store channel – typically turning in the weakest performance – outperformed both the furniture stores and the sleep shops. The strong performance by our department store sample was driven by skillful execution in the qualifying step of the selling process. This group of well-trained associates did an excellent job of asking relevant questions and, most importantly, asking our shoppers about the state of their current sleep set.

➤1  00% of the department store RSAs asked about the customer’s current sleep set while many furniture store and sleep shop associates ignored it altogether. The department store RSAs were also the only group that mentioned and explained the services they offer their customers. What makes this so significant is that many of the furniture stores and sleep shops we sampled have a broader service offering, but are not emphasizing it at point of sale. What a missed opportunity! Each channel of distribution showed particular strengths. The furniture stores did an excellent job of greeting customers.

➤1  00% of furniture store RSAs quickly welcomed every shopper to the store, introduced themselves and, most importantly, impressed shoppers as personable and likeable. The sleep shop sales associates did a very good job of asking the shoppers if they were ready to purchase. They also provided a more unique and fun shopping experience overall.

Opening price points need attention The furniture store RSAs started our shoppers at the highest average price point ($1,841), followed by the sleep shops

comfort before product is by far the most effective approach because it makes it easier for consumers to become engaged and interested when you begin by talking about them. This market was also one of the top performing regions we have studied when it comes to asking for the sale. But more than that, the majority of these RSAs were adept at going for the close without pressuring the customer. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

($1,607). The department stores had a significantly lower average opening price ($1,232). What is significant is that only 50% of the furniture store shoppers felt the starting price point was higher than expected, while 67% of the sleep shop shoppers felt the starting price point was higher than expected. It appears that our shopper group expected lower prices from sleep shops than they did from furniture stores. This becomes even more meaningful when you consider that 67% of the shoppers at department stores, which started at the lowest price, felt this was lower than they expected. Our conclusion is that the furniture stores are starting at the right price point for their environment, while the sleep shops are starting a bit too high relative to consumer expectation and the department stores are starting too low. Aligning the actual experience with consumer expectations is a great way to improve the shopping process in your store.

Selling sleep needs work No Under Cover report would be complete without exploring how effectively retailers used the subject of sleep to sell mattresses. In this market, it was the furniture store group that performed best. However, before any of our furniture store readers pat yourselves on the back, let’s look at the actual numbers:

➤5  0% of the furniture store RSAs asked about the shoppers’ sleep quality, while only 33% of the associ-

➤9  3% of the associates

asked directly for the sale, and in 87% of those encounters, shoppers did not feel pressured.

While argumentative and high-pressure associates were the exception in this market, not all shoppers were able to avoid a more troubling encounter. Here’s an example:

“The associate clearly did not want me to leave without

making a purchase. He commented that once I left and did not buy, I would be less likely to come back. The biggest negative was when he was not willing to give me his last name. He questioned why I would even ask for his entire name. That put a damper on my experience.” Opportunities missed Within every great sales performance, there are always hidden

SleepSavvy • Special Section • January/February 2009


ates in the department stores and sleep shops asked this question.

the customer select a personal sleep solution instead of just selling a mattress.

Our research has proven over and over again that an effective presentation always includes a question about the customer’s current quality of sleep. This question should be mandatory for every mattress RSA in every channel of distribution. The reason this is so important is that it positions the associate as helping

For additional information on how to incorporate these consumer insights into your company’s strategies or to listen to audio coverage of the Under Cover project, go to www.retailinstitute.com/resources.php and click on Under Cover reports.

opportunities to deliver a more meaningful and engaging experience. Here are two we spotted in our latest round of shops: 1. A  sking about the customer’s sleep. A full 60% of the shoppers reported that their sales associates did not ask them about sleep quality. In the instances where the RSAs did ask about sleep, there was a clear difference in the consumer’s reaction. Here’s what two

of the shoppers wrote:

“The associate asked about my sleep habits and what I did physically each day. He explained that he asked these questions to help me better understand the mattress selection process.” “The associate asked what type of mattress I was in the market for and if I was currently having problems sleeping or if it

6 SleepSavvy • Special Section • January/February 2009

was just time to get a new mattress. He was asking questions to fit my needs in a mattress. He also asked if I was having back problems or if I wake up tired a lot or in the middle of the night.” Surprisingly, we also discovered that a full third of our shoppers were not asked anything about their current mattress. Clearly this question should always be part of any mattress sales presentation. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


the customer experience 2. D  elivering a fun and unique experience. More than half of the shoppers reported that there was nothing fun and unique about their shopping experience. Here’s what two of them said:

“Nothing was fun and unique. The associate was not personable and he did not smile or make friendly conversation. I felt he did not go out of his way to help me.” “Overall the visit was interesting and informative, but not unique. I was disappointed when the associate was interrupted by the phone in the middle of the presentation.” Delivering a more engaging customer experience will continue to be a critical area of improvement for retailers. It becomes even more critical in an economy where a more limited number of customers are willing to spend money on a new mattress. The experience matters Many of our shoppers offered insight into some of the things that make the mattress shopping experience – and the store – different and memorable. You might make it happen through a friendly and personable sales staff, you might explore new ways to get customers engaged with the products or you might think about a new way to help customers to make a selection. Here are a few of our shoppers’ experiences:

“The fun part was that the associate encouraged me to try the mattresses in my regular sleep position, and he gave me a pillow to use.” www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

“One of the most fun things was the massager on the adjustable bed. It could raise and lower in different sections, and it was wonderful.” “I had fun with the associate as I tried the different mattresses and he talked about different people and their preferences.” “It was very calm and relaxing as I tried the mattresses. I felt the associate understood exactly

what I would like and did not waste my time showing me every single mattress.” As you examine your business for areas of improvement and new opportunities, remember to think about the words “fun” and “unique” with regard to the shopping experience you offer your mattress customers.

For shoppers’ experiences on the telephone, turn the page.

Inaccurate information is a problem


uring this southeast field study, we partnered with Cricket Cox of Creative Retail Concepts to examine the accuracy of the information being presented by the sales associates. With more than 10 years of experience as a retail salesperson and manufacturing sales rep, Cricket knows the technical side of mattresses. What we discovered is that an alarming number of associates are presenting information about products that is everything from misleading to just plain wrong. While the average consumer may never know the difference, the point is that there is huge opportunity – and need – to improve the accuracy of what is being presented. Here are some of the key problem areas: ● Confusion about innerspring systems. We encountered associates talking to customers about the wrong coil systems for products. In one case, the associate said that the brand he was presenting had the same innerspring unit as the “bowling ball” bed, when in fact the system was a wire-tied unit. ● Lack of an accurate step-up story. Consumers regularly ask about the differences between one product and another. In this study, we found that associates often made up product differences. In one instance, the step-up story given was that the higher-quality model had more coils, when in fact the innerspring unit was the same in both models. ● Favoring one brand over another. Many of the associates clearly favored one brand over another, even to the point of touting that brand over one that a shopper was specifically interested in trying. While this approach may not involve inaccuracy, it doesn’t lend itself to a fair and balanced presentation to the customer.

SleepSavvy • Special Section • January/February 2009



the customer experience

On the telephone

A great opportunity to drive traffic


ecently, I read an article on Forbes.com in which the writer noted that, “Retailers whose management knows how to drive customers into the store while they are being bombarded with discounts from other retailers stand the best chance of survival when times are tough.” Driving traffic is a key challenge for any retailer, and the telephone represents the single best non-advertising way to do it. In our latest study of retailers in a big southeastern city, we saw some improvements in the approaches being used on the phone, but there is still plenty of opportunity. As we’ve found in the other markets, retailers that use automated phone systems typically are the most challenging for our shoppers. One wrote, “When I finally got a person on the phone, they put me on hold to transfer me, but no one ever came back.” Another noted that the associate “put me on hold and after a long period of time, the phone went dead.” Today’s retail climate makes the telephone a more critical tool than ever. At a time when many retailers are reducing advertising expenses, potential customers who call the store with questions

represent a vital sales opportunity. More than ever, extra time and extra training should be invested in equipping your team with ways to engage customers on the telephone and to entice them to visit the store. In our study, we discovered the following: ➤ 88% of associates did

not ask for the customer’s name. Working to make a personal connection and build rapport with a customer as soon as possible is key. A simple name exchange is the way to begin that process.

➤ 75% of associates did not

mention the current sale unless asked. Today’s con-

sumers are looking to save money. An enticing sale offer can be pivotal to driving people into the store. ➤ 88% of associates did not

provide any reason to visit their store today. A sense of urgency is one of the most

critical components of a phone presentation. Valid reasons to visit the store and a special offer to encourage the customer to visit as soon as possible will improve any telephone presentation. Overall, the telephone interactions in this market were not as bad as we have found in others. Many retailers answered the phone quickly and their associates expressed enthusiasm on the calls. Many associates also asked the shoppers questions that provided a great foundation for building trust quickly. Driving traffic is at the center of every retail operation, and unless your team is equipped to maximize every telephone call, you can be sure that legitimate sales opportunities are being missed. To learn more about improving telephone skills and hear examples of great phone presentations, visit www.retailinstitute.com/resources.php and click the podcast tab for access to Telephone Tactics.

Craig McAndrews is founder and executive director of The Retail Institute, which specializes in studying retail customers and designing training programs to create a more personal buying experience. Craig has written multiple articles about sales training and connecting with consumers, and he is a regular contributor to Sleep Savvy. His current clients include a variety of retailers and manufacturers. Craig can be reached by email at craig@retailinstitute.com. To learn more about the Institute, visit its website, www.retailnstitute.com.

Many thanks to NATURA for sponsoring this special section. 8 SleepSavvy • Special Section • January/February 2009


BE MY GUEST by Jerry Epperson

Good news may be hard to come by, but it’s there In some respects, the mattress business may be a victim of its own success. Since 1973, mattress sales have declined in only two years – and by less than 2% at its worst. Through the first 10 months of 2008 vs. 2007, dollar sales have declined nearly 10%, and October showed a devastating collapse of 22%. This magnitude of decline was not only unforeseen, it was unprecedented – never before experienced by anyone in our industry today. Other durables have experienced declines and upward swings cyclically every 5 to 10 years, but not mattresses. Thus, the mattress industry has less experience and is less prepared for any downswing, much less one of the current magnitude. Trying to find good news is a huge challenge, but it’s there if you are willing to use your imagination. Credit is missing, but demand remains First, consumer demand has not deteriorated. As Paul Broyhill told me during the 1974-75 recession, “Consumers’ wants change very little, but their ability to buy changes a lot.” Moving into this downturn, the mattress business was still showing gains in 2007, until the consumer credit contraction began. The real story of 2008 – before the shocking bailout announcements in late September – was the declining availability of incremental consumer debt. The lenders, primarily banks, had taken severe losses in consumer mortgage debt and did not want to get bitten again on auto financing, credit cards and other consumer loans. As liquidity declined, lenders raised lending standards and lowered lending limits. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

Even very credit-worthy households experienced bank reductions in credit card and equity line availability. The decline in credit availability would have been a sufficient negative to hurt mattress sales, but when combined with sharp stock market declines, a decrease in home values and a collapse in home sales, the result has been lethal. Mattresses will follow housing’s return The focus of our government’s recent massive efforts is to increase bank liquidity to assure Americans that our banks are safe and to restore their ability to lend. The next most important effort is to bring back the housing sector. Incentives are already in place to encourage the buying of existing homes, with more incentives now being considered. At least in theory, and based on history, mattress sales should be a direct beneficiary of these efforts. The industry will be stronger than before While the downturn is painful to the extreme, the mattress industry will emerge not only more efficient and lean, but also more appreciative of the opportunities open to it. I expect a period of significant product improvement and innovation, higher capacity utilization because the weaker factories will not survive and some creative new marketing initiatives. There is a high likelihood that many of the major manufacturers will have less indebtedness, too. Everyone should be more profitable than ever when the turn comes. When will that happen? Counting on the government to fix a problem may be proof of insanity, but the economists we respect see an improvement in some corporate loan SleepSavvy • January/February 2009



by Jerry Epperson

The stock market is not the economy


his is of no particular relevance, but one of my pet peeves is television’s talking heads discussing the stock market and the economy as if they are synonymous. First, the stock market is only the publicly owned companies. It does not reflect other parts of our economy, including the consumer, private companies, exports, government spending and other factors. Second, the stock market regularly swings up or down 10% or more (it’s off 49% in the past year), but a 5% swing in our economy is very large. We should not be scaring the American consumer by exaggerating the effect of the stock market.

availability, including commercial paper early this year, and slow but steady improvement in consumer lending as 2009 progresses. We continue to have hopes for signs of a recovery in the second half of 2009, but it may not feel much better until we reach September, October and November. Mattress sales during those months in 2009 should easily exceed those in 2008.

24 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

Unfortunately, we will lose retailers, manufacturers and suppliers who cannot adapt to lower revenues and an uncertain economy, or who are just frustrated and want to get out. Much of this recession is regional, with some states doing much worse than others. But the final good news, depending on where you do business, is that the states most devastated by this mortgage mess (California,

Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Ohio, Indiana and several more) will also see larger recoveries as value-seeking home buyers begin moving to where the home prices are 25% to 35% below 2005 levels. Home is where the heart is – and the cheaper, the better. ● Wallace W. (Jerry) Epperson is a founder and managing director of Mann, Armistead & Epperson Ltd., an investment banking firm based in Richmond, VA. His research in the home furnishings industry is recognized globally for its in-depth coverage of suppliers, manufacturers and retailers. Jerry is considered the leading analyst of the furnishings business and is widely consulted and quoted for his expertise. He can be contacted by email at: wwe@maeltd.com.


Leggett loves Sleep Savvy because it gives manufacturers a voice in the conversation taking place on the retail sales floor. “As a large supplier in the bedding game, Leggett & Platt knows that the retail sales associate is the most important link to consumers. It is essential to establish a strong channel of communication between manufacturers and retailers, and Leggett trusts Sleep Savvy to deliver important messages to its audience of more than 24,500 retail readers.”

November/December 2008

Mark Quinn

Group Executive Vice President Sales/Marketing, Bedding

The cover story

would you ever buy a Going Why Green Selecting and marketing eco-friendly beds BE MY GUEST

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Are your ads getting read? Advertise in Sleep Savvy. For information and rates, contact Kerri Bellias 336-945-0265 or kbellias@sleepproducts.org

NEW research

Mattress Consumers

Who they are, why they buy...and why they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Study reveals five key consumer segments, sheds new light on mattress replacement attitudes and buying behavior

26 SleepSavvy â&#x20AC;˘ January/February 2009



hen the door swings open and a mattress shopper walks into a retail store, the waiting sales associate may wonder, “What will make this customer purchase a mattress today?” While no one can read the consumer’s mind, the mattress industry’s International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) has brand new research that will help mattress professionals gain a better understanding of what drives consumers. The in-depth quantitative research reveals that consumers’ sleep quality and their level of involvement in the mattress category are primary factors in their perceptions and attitudes about mattress replacement. It offers insight into the reasons consumers do – and don’t – buy new mattresses, and what they expect from retailers. The research, involving 1,800 adults, was conducted by Leo Burnett USA, ISPA’s partner in the development of a proposed national marketing campaign to increase sales across


the mattress business. “The findings enable us to further recognize how people understand the mattress category,” says Shad Thomas, senior vice president and senior research director at Leo Burnett. “We are using the research to pinpoint the key audiences with the right messages for the proposed campaign.” Leo Burnett, an award-winning advertising agency with an impressive list of clients, previewed a creative campaign at ISPA’s Industry Conference and Exhibition in November. The campaign is designed to help consumers better appreciate the important role mattresses play in promoting sleep, health and a better quality of life. “In addition to guiding the development of the national campaign, the research findings provide both retailers and manufacturers with a better understanding of the factors involved in mattress purchase decisions for all consumers, regardless of their profile,” Thomas says.

SleepSavvy • January/February 2009



mattress consumers Segmenting the market In breaking down the findings, Leo Burnett was able to classify the mattress consumer market into five distinct profiles or segments that behave in similar ways or have similar needs. The segments that emerged are:

● Mattress Involveds ● Sleep Sufferers ● Healthy and Content ● Brand Selectors ● Apathetics Each segment has its own unique triggers for mattress replacement and

The segments by mattress involvement and sleep





● ●




NOT INVOLVED The segments by replacement cycle and spending % of people Average replacement Average price cycle (years) paid (dollars) MATTRESS INVOLVEDS




















28 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

those variables have a direct correlation to their respective replacement cycles. For example, the Mattress Involveds have the shortest mattress replacement cycle of 6.9 years. Apathetics have the longest replacement cycle of 13.5 years. The respondents’ overall perception of the mattress category can be characterized by two primary dimensions: 1) Category involvement and 2) whether falling asleep is easy or difficult. Involved consumers have a desire to get the latest and greatest products. They take pleasure in shopping for things in the bedroom and take pride in their mattress. These consumers view the mattress as essential to their sleep quality, health and well-being, and they want to learn as much as possible before making a mattress purchase. Consumers who are not involved believe that all mattresses are pretty much the same and they are generally indifferent toward the bed. Their attitude is characterized by a lack of interest in mattress stores, with the exception of a store with low prices. These consumers will be very pricesensitive shoppers. “Easy to sleep” consumers are satisfied with their sleep and with their beds. These consumers are confident that they made the right mattress purchase. “Hard to sleep” consumers experience sleep problems, frequent pain and an abundance of stress. They may brag to others about a lack of sleep and may regularly eat or drink in bed. These consumers may have had a negative shopping experience resulting from a lack of information, intimidating sales associates and a confusing purchase process. Ultimately, this may lead consumers to regret their last mattress purchase. These dimensions create a matrix for the five distinctive consumer profiles. Mattress Involveds, for example, www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


mattress consumers represent high involvement in the category as well as dissatisfaction with their sleep. Sleep Sufferers embody sleep difficulties and are slightly less involved in the mattress category. The remaining three segments are content with the quality of their sleep but are differentiated in terms of their involvement in the category. Apathetics are the least involved and are in direct opposition to the Mattress Involveds. “In terms of targeting, segments that are experiencing difficulty sleeping and/or are more involved in the mattress category are higher priorities ISPA’s marketing campaign,” says Thomas. “For that reason, the primary target for the campaign is the Sleep Sufferers, while a secondary target is the Healthy and Content segment.” Sleep Sufferers Sleep Sufferers are defined by their struggle to get a good night’s sleep. More than half (58%) say they “experience many sleeping problems.” Their difficulty in getting a full eight hours may be a result of their being generally stressed (70%), less healthy (74%), experiencing muscle and/or joint aches (67%) and having backaches and/or neck aches (70%).

Susan the Sleep Sufferer ‘I’m struggling through a lot in my life right now. I’ve got kids and am trying to juggle lots of things. Probably because of all of the stress in my life, my health and sleep are suffering. I dread shopping for a mattress. The last mattress I bought wasn’t right for me and I really regret that decision. I need the best mattress for the money that will alleviate my pain.’ www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

More than most, these respondents are “not satisfied” with their mattress and have a relatively short replacement cycle (9.2 years). Aside from life-changing events, they tend to purchase a new mattress to alleviate pain or because of an indentation in their mattress. When deciding which mattress to buy, the extent to which it alleviates or prevents pain is most important to them. Demographically, these consumers are more likely to be female and less educated. They are also slightly more likely to be middle-aged and have lower incomes. Perhaps as a result of their financial situation, Sleep Sufferers are sensitive to price, averaging $661 for a mattress purchase, and they believe that mattresses are too expensive (60%). Sleep Sufferers know the importance of replacing a mattress regularly but tend to postpone that decision (55%). One reason for this delay is that they have had a bad shopping experience that impacted their confidence in making an informed decision (33%). Furthermore, more than half (53%) are not certain that their mattress is the right one and more than a third (35%) regret buying their last mattress. “Given these factors, Sleep Sufferers are likely to be the most valuable customers for the mattress industry to target in a national campaign,” says Thomas. Healthy and Content Healthy and Content consumers tend to be over 60 years old and less likely to have children under 18 in the household. They are slightly more likely to be white and have higher levels of education. Compared to the overall sample, these consumers are off the charts when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle (70% vs. 45% of total sample). They eat properly (68%), actively manage their health (72%) and exer-

Peggy the Healthy & Content ‘My husband, Pat, and I are pretty lucky. We’re looking forward to entering retirement with good health. We do a good job of taking care of ourselves. We lead a healthy lifestyle by eating properly and exercising regularly. We’re sleeping pretty well, and our mattress that’s about a dozen years old or so seems to be serving us well.’ cise regularly (62%). However, consumers in this segment don’t make a strong connection between their mattress and a healthy lifestyle. Only about a third (36% vs. 46% of the total sample) believe that their mattress is the most important factor in how much sleep they get. Additionally, the Healthy and Content significantly trail the overall sample (27% vs. 42%) in recognizing that that they should purchase a new mattress if their sleep quality is poor. At the same time, they are much less likely to experience sleeping problems (11%). The Healthy and Content are the most likely to love their bed (71%) and to sleep easily (60%). They have a longer mattress replacement cycle (12.5 years) and tend to replace because the mattress has “reached a certain age.” The 33% who have not purchased a mattress recently tend to feel that their mattress is still good and they are happy with it. These consumers are less likely to be price sensitive, paying an average of $803 for a new mattress. They are also less likely to postpone their purchase (21%) or spend less for their mattress as a result of the challenging economy (28%). SleepSavvy • January/February 2009



mattress consumers When it’s time to shop, the Healthy and Content will value a mattress that can improve their health. They will also consult consumer websites more the next time they shop for a mattress. However, they are less engaged in shopping than the overall sample and technical innovation is much less important to them. Of particular interest to retailers, “Among all segments, Healthy and Content are most influenced at the point of purchase,” says Thomas. “While they are in the store, demonstrations, samples and sales associates most influence their mattress purchase decision.” Mattress Involveds The Mattress Involveds lead the pack with the shortest replacement cycle (6.9 years) and are willing to pay a premium for a mattress, averaging $905 for their last purchase. Demographically, they are slightly more likely to be younger and have higher incomes than the overall sample. “This segment is already a valued customer for the mattress industry,” says Thomas. “They are less likely to be influenced by ISPA’s national marketing campaign and won’t be a specific target.” But for individual mattress manufacturers and retailers, this is a critical target segment. The Mattress Involveds are very engaged in the purchasing process. They like to find out as much as possible before making a decision (76%), do extensive research (66%), take professional recommendations seriously and comparison shop. They also tend to make multiple trips (72%) and visit multiple stores (85%) before they purchase a mattress, and they are more likely to purchase accessories (pillows, mattress pads, sheets, etc.) when they purchase a mattress (55%). Mattress Involveds recognize the direct correlation between the quality

30 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

Eric the Mattress Involved ‘My wife and I are off to a good start in life. We’re younger but already making good money in our careers. Our health is really important to us, and I know that our sleep and always having a newer mattress (under 7 years or so) play a big part. I’m willing to invest quite a bit of time researching and comparison shopping to make sure that we get the right mattress for us. We don’t mind spending more money on our mattress because it is really important to us.’ of sleep and the mattress (64%) and understand that a mattress is essential to their health and well-being (84%). They are more likely to purchase premium mattresses (62%), especially from someone they trust (70%), and have a preference for the latest in new technology (63%). Natural and/or organic materials are most important to them when deciding which mattress to buy. Price is the least important. Not surprisingly, they are more willing to pay a small environmental fee to recycle their old mattress. The factors that drive their mattress purchase are a doctor recommendation, the desire for a different brand or an interesting mattress infomercial. Mattress Involveds also say they increasingly pay attention to retailer advertising and mattress brand websites. Interestingly, when it comes to selecting a retailer, the most important factor for Mattress Involveds is the company’s support of charity or philanthropy. Low prices ranks last.

Brand Selectors Brand Selectors see the sleep and health benefits of their mattress (51%) and are more likely than the overall sample to believe that a brand name is an indication of quality (36%). However, they are price sensitive, claiming they cannot afford to buy the mattress brand they really want (50%). With a focus on their wallets, Brand Selectors have a long mattress replacement cycle of 11.5 years. At the same time, they’re holding onto mattresses that they love (64%) and have paid handsomely for, averaging $902 for a purchase. When the 34% of Brand Selectors who have not purchased a mattress in the last five years were asked why, they said that they are happy with their current mattress, are confident in the warranty or believe their mattress is still good. They think they made

Betty the Brand Selector ‘I know I really should take better care of myself. I don’t watch what I eat as carefully as I should or get enough exercise. Thank goodness that I’m sleeping well enough right now. That’s probably because I make sure that I always buy the best mattress possible. Even though my bed is starting to get kind of old, I absolutely love it. I could feel a difference right away when I bought it over 10 years ago. I know it’s time to buy a new one, but I don’t want to compromise on the quality and can’t really afford to buy the brand I want today. I’m going to wait and save.’ www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

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mattress consumers the right decision on their current mattress brand (65%) and, while they believe replacing a mattress can help people sleep (70%), they themselves rarely experience sleeping problems (10%). When it comes time for Brand Selectors to replace their mattress, the primary factors are size, type or the fact that a mattress that has become too soft. Sales associates, demonstrations and samples most influence their mattress purchase decision, which makes the retail shopping experience very important. Apathetics The Apathetics have the longest mattress replacement cycle (13.5 years) and they tend to pay the least, averaging $644. Demographically, they are

more likely to be male and slightly more likely to have lower incomes. Apathetics don’t believe replacing a mattress is important to their health. They tend to sleep easily and generally feel that their mattress is not something that will make a real difference in their lives. They typically decide to buy a new mattress only under the most pressing of circumstances, such as children moving back in, a divorce or a catastrophe. Apathetics are indifferent when it comes to the mattress purchasing process. When deciding which mattress to buy, price is the most important factor and a large number (70%) believe that mattresses are too expensive. The Apathetics don’t represent a viable target audience for a national

Aaron the Apathetic ‘I can sleep anywhere, anytime. All mattresses are pretty much the same. I only buy a mattress when something big changes in my life – like when we moved or when we had a baby. When I do buy a mattress, I want the process to be as cheap and convenient as possible.’ marketing campaign, Thomas says. The toughest to win over, they are the least profitable customers for retailers and their mattress vendors. ●

Why they do – or don’t – buy


n addition to consumer segmentation, Leo Burnett used the research for the International Sleep Products Association as an opportunity to gather general insight on mattress purchasing factors and influences. Respondents were asked to think about the last time they purchased a mattress and the reasons for that decision. People were most likely to agree that they bought a mattress for two reasons: 1) They wanted to upgrade the quality of their existing mattress or 2) their existing mattress was too uncomfortable. Apart from life-changing events (divorce, children, fire, etc.), people were least likely to say it was due to seeing an infomercial or to the fact that the warranty had expired. Respondents whose mattresses were more than 5 years old were asked to think about the reasons they had not purchased a new mattress in the past few years. They

32 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

Why did consumers purchase their last mattress? I wanted to upgrade the quality of my mattress. My mattress was uncomfortable. My mattrress had reached a certain age. My mattress had a body indentation. I was trying to alleviate pain. My mattress had become too soft. I wanted a different type of mattress (air, foam, etc.). I moved to a new home or residence. I wanted a different brand of mattress. My mattress was not big enough. There was a significant change in my physical health. I moved my old mattress into another room. My mattress had become too dirty. I was renovating a bedroom. My income changed. My mattress had become too noisy. My mattress was too firm. My doctor recommended I get a new mattress. I passed my mattress on to someone else. I got marrried. My job changed. The warranty had expired on my mattress. I saw an infomercial and purchased the mattress. I became responsible for a relative’s living situation. I inherited money. I got divorced. I had a new baby. I inherited furniture that I didn’t want. My child/children left for college or moved out. There was a catastrophic fire. There was catastrophic weather. My child/children moved in.

23% 22% 22% 22% 20% 18% 17% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 11% 10% 9% 9% 9% 8% 8% 8% 8% 8%

31% 31% 28% 27%

38% 37% 36%


60% 57%


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mattress consumers were most likely to agree that they did not want to spend the money right now and that a new mattress would be too expensive. Some also said that their mattress is still good and they are happy with it. The respondents who postponed their decision to purchase a mattress (32%) were asked what influenced that decision. They were most likely to agree that they wanted a new mattress but didn’t need to act

quickly or that they had to use the budgeted money for another purpose. Others attributed the delay to the fact that they’re saving money to buy the preferred mattress or had more important things to buy for the home. When it comes to making the mattress purchasing decision, respondents were most likely to be influenced by samples or demonstrations in the retail store, followed by

Why have those with a mattress over 5 years old not purchased a new one? I don’t want to spend the money right now. 45%

My mattress is still good.


I am happy with/used to the mattress I have now.


I intend to purchase a new mattress but always seem to put off the decision until a later time.


The mattress I wanted was too expensive and I’m saving money to get the one I really want.


I had more things to buy for my home.



I dreaded the process of purchasing a mattress.


My bed was not in great shape, but wasn’t that bad.

28% 12%

My warranty had not technically expired yet.


I had a bad shopping experience and gave up on the process.

What influences consumers’ mattress purchasing decision? Demonstrations/samples in the store


Consumer review/rating websites


Sales associates in the store Information presented in the store (signage, booklets, etc.) Medical or chiropractic recommendation



What product factors are important to the mattress purchasing decision? 90% 83%

82% 72%








Mattress brand websites



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Online articles about how to buy a mattress


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Discussions with friends and family

34 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009



My mattress is still under warranty so it must be fine. 7%

Information I saw on television


Something came up, and I had to use the money I budgeted for something else.

How it

Replacing my mattress is not something that will make a real difference in my life so why bother? My spouse or significant other doesn’t think we need a new one.

I wanted one but didn’t need to act quickly.


Replacing my mattress is not a concern I have.

I don’t like the process of shopping for a mattress.

Of those who postponed a mattress purchase, why did they do so?


It would be too expensive.

reviews in respected media (such as Consumer Reports) and the guidance of the retail sales associate. They said they are least influenced by information they see on TV. In assessing the most important factors in deciding which mattress to buy, respondents put comfort ahead of quality and support. The least important variables overall were mattress brand and natural/organic materials. ●



mattress consumers

What is important when deciding which retailer to buy a mattress from? By the five consumer segments 100%

■Total Sample ■Sleep Sufferers ■Healthy and Content ■Mattress Involveds ■Brand Selectors ■Apathetics 80%







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SleepSavvy • January/February 2009



mattress consumers

Mattresses: High risk, low reward


n analyzing the research findings for the International Sleep Products Association, Leo Burnett used its proprietary It DependsSM tool, which measures and distinguishes different kinds of product categories using two overarching dimensions: ● Risk - The amount of risk involved in brand choice within the category. ● Reward - The extent to which engaging in the category is rewarding. The process results in a unique perspective on how consumers perceive a particular category. “From a messaging standpoint, it is very important to understand how rewarding and/or risky people think of the category,” says Shad Thomas,

36 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

Leo Burnett senior vice president and senior research director. “Once we understand that, then we can design our advertising messages in ways that are far more relevant for people, which will increase the likelihood that they will listen to what we have to say.” The mattress category falls in the high risk/low reward quadrant of the It DependsSM matrix. High risk products are expensive and/or lock consumers into a time commitment, so consumers want the product to be “just right” for them. Wrong choices have major consequences. Decisions require thoughtfulness, an investment of time and an information search. There are a number of points during the learning

process at which people actively seek opinions, help and additional information from other sources. Examples of other high-risk categories include cars, vacation destinations, video game systems and fine jewelry. Low reward products are an essential part of life, but they are not enjoyable. Consumers dread shopping for them and seek ways to simplify the decision-making process. To the extent that the category offers a lot of choice, the brand decision task becomes mind-numbing. Price or convenience can become the default decision criteria because they simplify and shorten the process – or convince consumers that the product is actually low risk. Examples of other low-reward categories include



mattress consumers washing machines, credit cards, banks and tires. Among the five mattress consumer segments (see main story), Sleep Sufferers are most likely to consider the mattress category low reward. Mattress Involveds are the most likely to view mattresses as high risk. Apathetics, the most differentiated, view the category as low reward and low risk. Information, please Based on the high risk/low reward dynamic, Leo Burnett is recommending that ISPA use an “Information Relevance Model” of advertising for its proposed national campaign. “Consumers feel constantly bombarded by too much mattress advertising. They are more likely to pay attention if it has some real


About the research


hicago-based advertising agency Leo Burnett USA conducted two quantitative consumer studies for the International Sleep Products Association. The research began in August 2008 with an exploratory mini-segmentation study using a sample of 300 respondents who participated in a 15-minute online questionnaire that included attitudes toward sleep, health and mattresses, as well as advertising concept tests and demographics. A more in-depth segmentation study was conducted in September, employing 45-minute interviews with 1,500 respondents who are either the primary or joint decision makers for future mattress purchases. This questionnaire included a variety of concepts designed to capture extensive data about consumers’ purchasing and shopping behavior, and shape the ideal advertising model for an ISPA campaign.

information to convey, it simplifies things and makes decisions easier or quicker, and if it is authentic and transparent with straight, honest answers,” says Thomas. Consumers place a lot of value on mattress brands and retailers that go out of their way to help make

peoples’ lives easier, help them overcome the challenges and barriers they associate with the category, and provide innovative solutions. More than anything, consumers are looking for mattress brands that show how the products are relevant to their needs and lives. ●

SleepSavvy • January/February 2009


S howcase In each issue distributed at the Las Vegas Market, Sleep Savvy offers our advertisers an opportunity to contribute information and photos showcasing their products and services, with an emphasis on what’s exciting and new. Product Showcase appears in Sleep Savvy’s January/February and September issues. Here are the contributors featured in this section:

Barber Mfg. Flex-A-Bed Gotcha Covered E.S. Kluft Latex International Leggett & Platt Natura Restonic Sleep Trust

Spring Air Storis Tempur-Pedic Therapedic TruckSkin Universal Bedlegs Las Vegas World Market Center Xsensor

Natura’s Organic Dream Mate Pillow is constructed by hand from granulated natural latex covered with 100% organic cotton and organic wool. NaturaWool™ naturally regulates temperature, wicks away moisture and leaves the face and neck cool and refreshed. The Dream Mate’s cover is organic velour. All materials are organic – free of chemicals, pesticides and dyes. See the Dream Mate pillow and Natura’s line of natural and organic mattresses in Las Vegas, Building A, showroom A-950.

Do your male customers complain that a mattress sleeps warm? Do your female consumers hate being cold? Latex International now offers CelsionTM, patent pending Talalay latex that helps regulate body temperature to create a more comfortable sleeping environment. It acts like a sponge to absorb heat energy released from the body and re-uses a person’s own body temperature to help cool down a warm body and warm up a cool body. Celsion can be used on top of innerspring, visco-elastic, polyurethane foam and latex support cores. The product, which comes in various thicknesses and firmness levels, feels plush and silky like classic Talalay latex, but has a step-up story with its phase-change capabilities. Contact Kevin Stein, VP Marketing, at KStein@LatexIntl.com. Visit us at the Vegas Market, showroom B-930. Latex International 510 River Rd. Shelton, CT 06484 Phone 800-528-3987 x34 www.latexinternational.com

Inspired by the groundbreaking technology of the Starry Night bed, Leggett & Platt’s newest adjustable bed will be unveiled at the Las Vegas Market, delivering on your request for affordable technology. Are you planning for your store traffic to grow in 2009? More than ever, it is critical that we deliver compelling products to the consumers walking through your door. Leggett & Platt’s most recent innovation not only allows your customers to sleep better, but will wake them with a gentle nudge instead of the sound of a blaring alarm clock. For your customers that are kept awake by snoring, they will now have the ability to minimize that problem and get the rejuvenating rest they need. In addition, a new “smart” feature has been added that will allow your customers to set a sleep timer, adapting the bed to their nightly routine. Adjustables by Leggett & Platt give you the unique opportunity to build more value in the benefits of good sleep. Build more value…grow your sales. Visit us in the Fashion Bed Group showroom, World Market Center, space B-1326.

Natura World Inc. One Natura Way Cambridge, ON N3C 40A Phone 519-651-2006 www.naturaworld.com

This information was provided to Sleep Savvy by the advertisers

Leggett & Platt P.O. Box 674 Carthage, MO 64836 Phone 417-358-8131 www.leggett.com

SleepSavvy • January/February 2009


S howcase At Tempur-Pedic, we do more than simply bring you a bed to sell...we believe a bed should do more. Every day more people are starting to realize that a really good bed might just improve the way they sleep and feel. We’re reaching these consumers with a message that’s meaningful and persuasive. We’re raising their expectations for what their bed should and can deliver. A Tempur-Pedic is more than just a bed — it’s therapy. And the promise of Night-time Renewal for body and mind™. When you sell Tempur-Pedic, you get more: ● The biggest tickets to boost your top and bottom line ● The highest customer satisfaction to increase repeat customers and referrals ● The lowest returns in the industry to safeguard your sale. See us in our Las Vegas showroom, A-1036.

Restonic is extending the price points of its ComfortCare line to include $599 to $999 beds. The $599 price point is a new entry that was developed in order to meet the everyday demands of today’s diverse consumers. All price points feature firm, plush and pillow-top choices. All 2009 ComfortCare products contain the Restonic Marvelous Middle™ technology, featuring a 5-zoned coil unit to enhance support in the middle third of the mattress. Complete foam encasement provides support throughout the line for added durability and tailoring, allowing for 100% sleep surface from edge to edge. The ComfortCare line has been rated a Consumer Digest “Best Buy” for six consecutive years. See us at the Las Vegas Market, showroom B-0926.

Restonic Mattress    737 Main St., 3rd Floor Buffalo, NY 14203-1335 Phone 800-898-6075    www.restonic.com

Tempur-Pedic 1713 Jaggie Fox Way Lexington, KY 40511 Phone 800-416-9618 www.tempurpedic.com

pressure imaging systems, including the X3 WIRELESS, are used in mattress stores as a fitting tool to help customers get a better night’s sleep. With the portability of XSENSOR’s wireless system, salespeople can easily compare mattresses from any location in the store. X3 WIRELESS systems enable you to: ● Visually show customers their pressure points that can cause tossing and turning ● Fit customers to a mattress, based on their unique body profile ● Show customers the value of a mattress, rather than just tell them ● Help customers purchase a comfortable mattress the first time, decreasing customer returns. X3 WIRELESS is straightforward to use and easy to incorporate into your sales process. To find out how you can make X3 WIRELESS part of your sales and marketing program, contact Stephen Anstey at stephen.anstey@xsensor.com.

SleepTrust Guarantee, the industry’s first complete customer care program, is a powerful new way to sell more beds. Designed by retailers and treasured by customers, the SleepTrust Guarantee eliminates service challenges with comfort exchanges and mattress replacements due to stains or accidental damage. SleepTrust’s proven merchandising strategies are helping retailers and manufacturers generate increased bedding sales with significantly improved margins. See what hundreds of customers have already discovered: There really is A Better Way to Sell a Bed. Visit www.SleepTrust.com.

XSENSOR Technology Corp. 111, 319-2nd Ave. S.W. Calgary, AB T2P 0C5 Phone 866-927-5222 (in North America) 0011-800-5913-4444 (International)

SleepTrust Guarantee 1065 Clarke Rd. London, ON N5V 3B3 Phone 866-784-3996 www.SleepTrust.com


40 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

This information was provided to Sleep Savvy by the advertisers

S howcase Whether it’s a physically demanding job or a strenuous recreational activity, statistics show that people are using their backs more than ever. The Spring Air® BackSupporter® mattress collection is designed to provide comfort and the proper support needed for your back. BackSupporter® mattresses are zoned in the center and constructed with high-quality foams to help relieve pressure. Since 1926, the Spring Air Mattress Company has been providing value, quality, service and a great night’s sleep. For more information, visit www.springair.com. See us at the Las Vegas Market, showroom B-1126. The Spring Air Mattress Co. 500 S. Falkenburg Rd. Tampa, FL 33619 Phone 866-338-1447 www.springair.com

If you could imagine the perfect pillow, what would it be like? Plush, breathable, pressure relieving, dust-mite resistant, personalized, eco-friendly? Made from the world’s finest Talalay latex, Latex International’s lineup of RejuveNiteTM pillows feature all these benefits and more. The ComfortMatchTM pillow personalizer fits consumers to their perfect pillows based on their size, comfort preference and sleep position, while optimizing the mattress selling process and enhancing the total body support story. Contact Kevin Stein, VP Marketing, at KStein@LatexIntl.com. Visit us in Las Vegas at showroom B-930 – and see our new natural green innovation. Latex International 510 River Rd. Shelton, CT 06484 Phone 800-528-3987 x347 www.latexinternational.com

Gotcha Covered’s new Pure Collection includes 100% certified organic mattress and pillow protectors and sheet sets. The collection offers a clean, healthy way of protecting the bed, body and earth. The 300-thread-count sheets are combed cotton, single pick, single ply and have absolutely no chemical dyes. The cotton is grown without any genetically modified seeds and the land has not been exposed to any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides for 3 years. The protectors are 100% certified organic cotton jersey, imported from Canada and fabricated in the USA. The waterproof polyurethane backing is composed of recycled materials and does not emit any chemicals harmful to the body. Both the protectors and the sheet sets are packaged in earth-friendly biodegradeable bags. Visit us in Las Vegas, Building C, space C-1278. Gotcha Covered 274 W. Spazier Ave. Burbank, CA 91502 Phone 818-848-5656

TruckSkin provides retailers with the added value of using their trucks or other vehicles as an advertising medium, creating their own billboards instead of paying for billboard space. Each truck is two full-size billboards traveling to the customer and through the neighborhood. The opportunity to use service vans, salespeople’s cars, SUVs or other vehicles as advertising is a tremendous boost to a retailer’s ad budget. A billboard can cost $600 to $10,000 a month or more in dense metropolitan areas. But with TruckSkin, a store can cover a truck, van or car for an average of $2,800. It will virtually pay for itself in recouped savings in as little as a month and reap benefits for years to come. Visit us at the Retailer Resource Center in Las Vegas, Building A, 16th floor. TruckSkin LLC 2807 Cass Rd., Ste. B-1 Traverse City, MI 49684 Phone 231-932-0287 or 616-648-6993 www.truckskin.com

This information was provided to Sleep Savvy by the advertisers

SleepSavvy • January/February 2009


S howcase Made with earthfriendly materials, Natura’s Eco Transcend organic mattress guarantees healthy, comfortable sleep. Eco Transcend features an all-natural, 8-inch Talalay latex core atop flexible ash-wood dual slats for a supportive feel that adjusts to the curves of the spine. Constructed by hand, it provides deep, whole-body support with contouring comfort. The removable, ultra-plush cushion top is filled with 2 inches of natural latex and a layer of organic Natura Grow WoolTM for comfortable, temperaturecontrolled sleep. Covered in luxurious, 100% organic cotton, Eco Transcend is free of chemicals, pesticides or dyes and features a 100% organic wool fire barrier. Visit Natura’s Las Vegas Market showroom, A-950. Natura World Inc. One Natura Way Cambridge, ON N3C 40A Phone 519-651-2006 www.naturaworld.com

Welcome to the New World! The Las Vegas Market is the mattress and bedding industries’ huge and thriving home. This turningpoint marketplace is all about innovation, convenience and choice — showcasing the newest developments and designs from a full range of mattress, futon and bed manufacturers, including the latest top-of-bed and soft-good fashions and textiles. For a complete picture of bedding’s best — from high-end to affordable — come to Las Vegas and help yourself to the expansive opportunities in home furnishings’ bright new world. To register for the winter and fall 2009 markets, visit: www.lasvegasmarket.com. World Market Center Las Vegas 495 S. Grand Pkwy., Ste. 2203 Las Vegas, NV 89106 Phone 888-WMC-SHOW www.lasvegasmarket.com

42 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

If your customer is searching for a perfect night’s sleep, the answer is the Flex-A-Bed Premier. Hand built by expert craftsmen in LaFayette, GA, using the same principles of care and consideration that we have built our reputation on since 1969, our quality beds are welcoming, durable and comfortable. They are your customer’s bed for life. With just the touch of a button, the Flex-A-Bed Premier precisely adjusts to achieve the perfect sleeping position, enabling every sleeper to wake refreshed and rested. And they wake with peace of mind, knowing that the Premier comes with a lifetime warranty. For Flex-A-Bed additional information on P.O. Box 568 our full line of products, LaFayette, GA 30728 please give us a call at Phone 800-421-2277 800-421-2277. www.flexabeddealers.com

Comfort3 – “comfortcubed” boasts three times the comfort and offers three times the flexibility and innovation. Twinspring’s® 3-Layer Sleep System can be injected into any new or existing mattress line for complete customer satisfaction. What can this sleep solution do for you and your customers? Both you and your customers need the peace of mind that you have invested in a product and process that possess extraordinary quality, superior comfort and dramatic support. The 3-Layer Sleep System markedly improves the appeal and value of your mattresses, comfortably setting your mind at ease. Diamond-shaped openings on every single spring provide enhanced performance and perfectly tuned spring resilience for all body sizes and shapes. Would you like to learn more? Visit www.barbermfg.com. Barber Mfg./Diamond Spring Co. 1824 Brown St. Andersen, IN 46016 Phone 765-643-6905 ext. 219 www.barbermfg.com

This information was provided to Sleep Savvy by the advertisers

Showcase STORIS Management Systems, an IBM Business Partner, provides leading retail solutions and world-class services to big-ticket retailers. Over 350 retailers, small and large, have installed STORIS Solutions worldwide to integrate operations, streamline processes and outperform the competition. Vision R8, STORIS’ powerful software solution, provides best-of-breed features built for complete integration, unlimited scalability and easy, secure processing. At the foundation of Vision R8 lies a real-time system that integrates all of the essential aspects of retail operations, from point-of-sale, customer service and business intelligence analytics to in-touch CRM, financial management and e-commerce. And unlike alternative enterprise systems, Vision R8 delivers far-reaching functionality with the system scalability to grow with your business, backed by STORIS’ expert service personnel to support you. Contact Carolina L. Van Winkle at 888-4-STORIS or sales@storis.com.

E. S. Kluft has created the next generation of luxury mattresses, with designs that allow the sleeper optimum pressure relief, luxury and support. E. S. Kluft crafts America’s only naturally enhanced, luxury handmade mattresses (Aireloom Bamboo mattress shown) with sustainable raw materials, Oeko-Tex certified fabrics, natural eco-friendly upholstery and bio-based luxury foams. And with pricing from under $1,000 to over $35,000, E. S. Kluft can provide incredible value in today’s cost-conscious world. Leading retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Sit ‘n Sleep, C. S. Wo and Haynes have hailed these mattresses as exciting, fresh and setting new standards. For more information, call 909-373-4211 ext. 229 or visit aireloom.com and kluftmattress.com. See E. S. Kluft at the Las Vegas Market, showrooms C-1532 and C-1536.

STORIS Management Systems 400 Valley Rd., Ste. 302 Mt. Arlington, NJ 07856 Phone 888-4-STORIS www.storis.com

E. S. Kluft/Aireloom   11096 Jersey Blvd., Ste. 101 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730-5103 Phone 909-373-4211 www.kluftmattress.com 

Universal Bedlegs offer a strong, durable and safe bed support system that provides direct support to the box spring and mattress. Available in four heights – 3”, 5” ,7” and 10” – Universal Bedlegs easily screw into a threaded base plate, which attaches directly to the box spring with a power screwdriver for quick installation. By replacing the conventional metal bed frame, any unsafe protruding sharp edges are eliminated. The Universal Bedlegs system allows the complete mattress and box spring unit to be rotated, extending the life of your mattress and box spring and reducing the need to flip the mattress as often. Universal Bedlegs has been serving the hospitality industry for over 40 years. See us in Las Vegas, WMC Building C, showroom C-1350.

Therapedic is unveiling its new proprietary feature, HourGlass Back Support, at the Las Vegas Market. The patented feature has been designed and tested by Therapedic and Leggett & Platt. The polypropylene mesh overlay is designed to increase firmness in the critical support areas of the mattress at the shoulder, hip and lumbar zones by 18%, giving the retailer a very demonstrable and effective selling story to present at the point of sale. See our new support feature in the Therapedic showroom at the Las Vegas Market, B-0822.

Universal Bedlegs 625 Du Bois St., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94902 Phone 866-313-5347 www.universalbedlegs.com

This information was provided to Sleep Savvy by the advertisers

Therapedic Sleep Products 103 College Rd. East Princeton, NJ 08540 Phone 800-314-4433 www.therapedic.com SleepSavvy • January/February 2009


CLOSING WORDS by Gerry Morris

Comfort is questionable “ W hat kind of mattress – or feel – are you looking for?” This is one of the most common of all qualifying questions and, up until a few years ago, “A good firm one” was the most common answer. But recent studies show that more than 85% of consumers list comfort instead of firmness as the most important mattress quality. How can we use this new paradigm of comfort to better help our customers and increase our sales? To start with, we need better qualifying questions. The standard “what feel?” question doesn’t solicit adequate information to help us recommend the right mattress. In fact, it actually limits our ability to show – and the customer’s opportunity to try – different comfort styles. Imagine that the customer does answer with “firm.” Even if you are just trying to be helpful by showing a plush or pillow-top set, many consumers will think, “I said firm. Why are we looking at soft?” Most people have no idea how to define comfort and what comfort choices are available. Their only frame of reference may be the mattresses they are replacing. Even less helpful, their answers may be based upon information they have read or heard from someone else: “My friend just loves her pillow-top.” Either way, this puts you into a reactive role by having to respond to an uninformed answer. Take charge Instead of letting that happen, give these questions a try: ● “Are you looking for something comfortable?” Few people will say no.

34 SleepSavvy • January/February 2009

● “Did you know that comfort is defined as physical ease and a sense of well-being?. I can help find a mattress that provides that to you.” ● “Are you familiar with the various types of comfort choices? This is a pillow-top /plush/firm. It is important to lie down in the position you normally wake up in and stay there long enough to really get the feel of each one.” Most people will agree to lie down on top-quality models, thus setting an objective new standard for comfort. ● “Which is most like your current mattress?” and “Which comfort level do you prefer now?” From the answers, you should know what comfort category to show. ● “How do you feel when you lie on this one?” Switching the focus away from how the mattress feels to how the customer feels on the mattress is the real definition of “comfort selling.” Mattress comfort is subjective; customer comfort is not. ● “Which one gives you that sense of physical ease and well-being?” This information is vital to finding the right product.

If you discover the customer likes one that is different from what they are sleeping on, be sure to ask these follow-up questions to avoid returns: ● “How long have you had your current mattress?” and “Did you sleep well on it for the first few years?” If so, it may be best to recommend a more similar model. Maybe the old mattress is just worn out. ● “Have you ever slept on a plush or pillow-top mattress before?” Always ask this question of shoppers that announce they are looking for a pillow-top. A surprising number have not. ● “Did you know that you sleep on a firm bed but you sleep in a soft one?” Use this as an opportunity to show the comfort layers to add value. ● “Would it bother you to see indentations where you sleep?” Use the comfort layers to explain body impressions. Confronting the impressions issue upfront is critical to avoid unwelcome surprises later. Not only do these questions help you gather valuable information, they also communicate genuine concern for your customers’ well-being, which is the greatest selling tool of all. Adding them to your selling process will put you in the driver’s seat and your customers in the right bed. ● Gerry Morris is director of training and development for SleepTrust. As a bedding sales rep for more than 20 years, Gerry has shared his insight with thousands of bedding sales professionals. He is also the author of Spring Training: A Supplementary Guide to Mattress Sales and Sell More Bedding…Guaranteed. Contact him at Gerry.Morris@SleepTrust. com or by cell phone at 903-456-2015.


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Profile for International Sleep Products Association

Sleep Savvy Jan/Feb09  

The magazine for sleep products professionals

Sleep Savvy Jan/Feb09  

The magazine for sleep products professionals