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SleepSavvy

July/August 2010

The magazine for sleep products professionals

The cover story

Give your customers a retail experience they’ll rave about

RETAIL ROAD TRIP

Berkeley’s Ergo Sleep Systems caters to ‘green’ customers

BE MY GUEST

At great stores, it’s the experience that justifies the expense CONSUMER CHECK

Companies need to engage consumers on environmental, social issues


IN THIS ISSUE where to find it

14

THE COVER STORY

give your customers a retail experience they’ll rave about Customer experience authority Mike Wittenstein describes his undercover mattress shopping experience and shares his thoughts about how retailers can make it less confusing, more fun...and more successful.

3 5

WAKE UP CALL from the editor’s desk

Don’t let a dingy store environment come between you and your customers. There’s no excuse for not keeping up appearances.

SNOOZE NEWS stuff you can use

Heloise recommends buying mattress and box spring as a pair; Consumer Reports survey says new mattress improves sleep; industry sales fell 9.4% for 2009; rules for using social media...and lots more.

31

BACK TALK

33

BE MY GUEST

35

supporting customer dreams

Before resorting to surgery, back pain sufferers should consider less drastic options, including a new bed.

by Cindy Williams

Mattress retailers have to stop selling a commodity and learn how to “sell the dream,” says this retail design expert.

WHAT’S NEW for stores like yours

The spotlight is on beds and accessories introduced at the April High Point market—many of which will be seen again in Las Vegas this summer.

www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

39 43 48

CONSUMER CHECK profiling your customer

Consumers are giving businesses failing grades when it comes to engaging them in environmental and social responsibility, a Cone study shows.

SHOWCASE products & programs for success

What’s new and interesting from companies that market mattresses, components, accessories and retailer services? Take a tour!

CLOSING WORDS by Gerry Morris There are three levels of training for successful RSAs—and they’re all indispensable.

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RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene Berkeley, CA’s Ergo Sleep Systems caters to “green” customers with lines and a store environment that reflect its partners’ commitment to natural and organic products. SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

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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 Gerry Morris Cindy Williams Mike Wittenstein Creative Director 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. 9, No. 5 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: 126 Parkview Lane, Reidsville, North Carolina 27320. Phone 336-342-4217. Fax 336-342-4116. Subscription policy & rates Retailers: All U.S. retailers qualify for free subscriptions, up to 5 per location. In Canada, $10 per year; all other countries, $30. Manufacturers, suppliers and others: Personnel at ISPA member companies qualify for complimentary subscriptions, subject to restrictions. Nonmembers and all others: $30 U.S., $40 non-U.S. Please send subscription orders and changes to: Sleep Savvy, P.O. Box 4678, Archdale, North Carolina 27263 or fax 336-431-0317. ©2010 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.

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WAKE UP CALL from the editor

There’s no excuse for not keeping up appearances

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hen traveling, I often drop into a mattress store or two. Sometimes I end up chatting with an RSA or store manager; sometimes I just have a quick look around. And, in most cases, what I see is pretty discouraging—especially for someone with a passion for improving the mattress shopping environment. During one visit, I had a wonderful conversation with a very personable, very sharp woman. (That gets major points in my book, because female RSAs typically do a better job of engaging female shoppers—not that some of you guys don’t charm the heck out of us!) This woman knew her products...and her primary customer. But as we’re talking, I’m facing a white wall with a big, black scuff on it. Ugh. It’s not the only dingy element I notice as we walk around—an area of frayed carpet, foot protectors in need of washing or replacing. OK, I’m probably super-sensitive to store conditions. But most women are sensitive to details and notice when a store is unkempt, dirty or disarrayed. Consciously or unconsciously, the impression they get is the one this industry would like to leave behind— the one that makes it so hard to convince consumers that mattresses are more than a commodity to be bought at the cheapest possible price. What’s frustrating is that most of the problems I routinely spot can— and should—be easily taken care of. A little soap and water, maybe a little touch-up paint. There’s just no excuse for not keeping up basic appearances! In truth, I would change a lot more than just the upkeep in most mattress stores. Get rid of those white/beige

walls—there’s enough of that in the products. Add some color. Create some “sleep vignettes,” put in decorative accents such as plants, wall decor, bedside tables with glowing lamps. Add digital signage that combines facts about sleep with product benefits and lifestyle images. I could go on and on. The point is that not only are the mattress stores I visit often badly kept, they are frequently ugly and boring. A poor store environment contributes to a poor shopping experience. And that, folks, is arguably the single biggest obstacle to higher sales of better sleep products. If you don’t believe me, keep reading this issue. Mike Wittenstein’s cover story (page 14) offers a provocative look at how mattress shopping appears to someone who is both an industry “outsider” and an authority on improving the retail experience—together with some thoughts on what needs to be done. In “Be My Guest” (page 33), retail design expert Cindy Williams offers a captivating contrast between mattress retailers and those in other categories who create experiences that command higher prices for their products. I urge you to take their thoughts to heart. But meanwhile, just walk around the store and take note of where basic upkeep needs attention. Please! nbutler@sleepproducts.org SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

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SNOOZE NEWS stuff you can use

Hints from Heloise

Replace mattress and foundation as a matched pair In mid-June, popular syndicated column Hints from Heloise shared an important message from the mattress industry’s Better Sleep Council. A reader asked, “Is it necessary to replace the box spring when replacing the mattress?” Here’s Heloise’s answer: “Well, there is no law, but leading manufacturers of bedding advise that you should replace both at the same time. The box spring is built to work in conjunction with the mattress to give you your best night’s rest. According to the Better Sleep Council (www.bettersleep.org), the mattress and matching box spring work together. And putting a new mattress on top of an old box spring may void any warranty. It may seem like an added expense, but your sleep is important!” Heloise also offered some wisdom on mattress replacement: “When is the last time you replaced your mattress and box spring? The average life span of a bedding set is eight to 10 years. And yes, it might sound like a lot of money, but divide the cost by 10 years, then by 12 months, and it’s really worth the investment to replace it.”

Oregon retailer delivers mattresses by bike

I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying.

— Michael Jordan

The Mattress Lot in Portland, OR, is the latest company to tap into the trend of mixing bikes and business in this environmentally conscious city. Local freelance bike journalist and videographer Johnathon Allen recently visited the mattress retailer and put together a short video (link below). Not only will the Mattress Lot give shoppers a discount if they arrive on a bike, but the store will actually deliver the new mattress by using a specially designed cart and a bicycle built for two. Check out the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOv4r1NMuZA.

www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

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SNOOZE NEWS

stuff you can use

TRAINING TALK

Selling ‘sleep improvement’ By Michael Wright To ensure customer trust and create a good shopping experience, it’s important to avoid hard-sell tactics in favor of soft selling. Think like a “sleep improvement consultant.” This will help you to engage customers and have a natural conversation, to present the options that meet their needs, and to show how your mattresses and accessories can help them sleep better. It’s the delivery of the product information that will be the toughest part. You want a sale, but you must offer mattress and accessories information without seeming pushy— provide sleep solutions, not just focus on product features. ● Present a good-better-best story. Once you determine your customer’s needs, explain that there are products within a range of prices that can meet her needs. First, invite her to lie down on your best mattresses, including various levels of firmness and softness. This will validate your customer’s needs and preferences and help you determine where to go next. Move on to a mid-priced mattress. If you start at the top and go down on price (and comfort), you’ll eventually find the customer’s perfect fit. ● Let them experience the best. Every customer deserves to experience the finest mattress on your floor. Showing top-of-the-line products first enables customers to understand that the price tags are not arbitrary and truly reflect materials and manufacturing quality. Let them touch and feel the differences. Studies show that when a

consumer is able to touch and feel the product, she also is more likely to buy it. Don’t forget that this works well for accessories sales, too. ● Discuss accessories as you go along. As you take your customer through the mattress comfort test, make references to accessories that will help her better enjoy her new bed and maximize comfort. Talk about accessories one at a time during your presentation. Ask a simple question: “If I could show you a way to make this mattress even more comfortable, would you be interested?” Don’t bombard her with all of the accessory options at the end of your mattress presentation—you will look like you are trying to run up the ticket, which is likely to sabotage the whole experience. When you create a good shopping experience for your customers, they’ll feel that their time and money are well spent. Mastering the art of soft selling will bring you repeat customers as well as referrals—something we all need in this challenging economy. Michael Wright is a sales trainer with Leggett & Platt Consumer Products Group. He has been training in the furniture industry for more than a decade. Before becoming a trainer, Michael spent five years coordinating a program that uses outdoor elements such as rafting and ropes courses to foster team building and leadership.

NY has improved bed bug law, thanks to ISPA

T

he International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) recently won a victory for mattress retailers in New York. In an effort to control skyrocketing bed bug infestations, the state legislature had been considering a bill that would have prohibited new and used mattresses from being transported, stored or sold together unless the used mattress has been sanitized. ISPA argued that this provision would substantially increase retailers’ delivery costs because they would be forced to use separate trucks to deliver new mattresses and pick up used ones. The association worked with legislators to amend the final bill to allow used mattresses to be transported on the

6 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

same truck with new mattresses if the used products are placed in protective covering such as plastic wrap. It’s likely that packaging materials from the new mattress will be used to remove and transport the old mattress. Both chambers of the New York legislature passed the bill as amended in mid-June and it awaits the governor’s signature. “The change should advance lawmakers’ goal of controlling the spread of bedbugs without imposing significant new costs on retailers,” said Ryan Trainer, ISPA president. “The change is important not only for retailers in New York. The new law provides a ‘common sense’ model for other states that want to regulate how old mattresses are handled.” www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


SNOOZE NEWS

stuff you can use

Kimpton launches Sunday Sleep-In for Better Sleep Month

M

arking the Better Sleep Council’s annual “May is Better Sleep Month” campaign, Kimpton Hotels launched its new Sunday Sleep-Ins for guests in its 50 boutique hotels nationwide. The slumber service, which runs until the end of the year, lets guests check out at 2:00 p.m. on Sundays—two hours later than usual—so they can “enjoy extra winks on us.” In addition, during Better Sleep Month, guests who spent $200 or more at www.kimptonstyle.com, where you can buy a variety of luxury products used in the hotels, received a free Come On Down pillow. Several Kimpton hotels offer sleepinspired amenities year-round. At the Hotel Burnham in Chicago, you can browse a pillow library with eight options, from buckwheat to full-body to water pillows. The Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria, VA, offers teddy bears, books and midnight snacks—think warm milk and cookies—for kids and adults. “For the 40 million Americans who suffer from chronic, longterm sleep disorders, or anyone tossing and turning over economic woes or the dislocation of travel, we offer this sublime time as our contribution to your health and wellbeing,” Kimpton says. Two thumbs up from Sleep Savvy.

www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

btw:

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Company rules for social media

echnology forecaster Daniel Burrus says it’s important to determine why your company is using social media—is it to improve customer service or to talk about the company’s charitable efforts? Then create a clear-cut list of social media guidelines for your blogging and tweeting employees. ● Build trust. Employees should use their posts to build a reputation of trust with consumers. Take every opportunity to reach out in a credible, open, honest manner. ● Be transparent. When participating in any online community, employees should disclose their identity and affiliation with your company. When posting, they should use their real name, not an alias. But they should never use a consumer’s real name in a post unless they have written permission to do so. ● Be direct. Posts should be as informative and brief as possible, and written in a reasonable, factual tone. ● Give due credit. When posting copyrighted material—quotations, photos, videos—get permission and identify the original source. If that’s not feasible, it may be possible to simply link to the material. ● Self-edit. Don’t forget to spellcheck before clicking “publish.” Employees should carefully edit their copy for accuracy. If a glaring error is made, have the employee publicly apologize, correct the mistake, then move on. ● Take responsibility. Employees should understand they are responsible for what they write. Don’t tolerate negative or questionable posts. ● Be professional. Avoid comments on inflammatory subjects such as politics, sex or religion. Always be respectful and never escalate a conversation into a heated argument. ● Maintain privacy. Never disclose proprietary or confidential company information to the public. ● Obey the rules. Make sure employees are aware of and follow all local, state and federal laws, company policies and the rules of each social networking site. Burrus is founder and CEO of Burrus Research, www.burrus.com.

Sleep Stat

20%

reported they’ve fallIf you find yourself nodding off en asleep during today’s sales meeting, you’re or been not alone. According to a study seriously conducted by Stanford University drowsy in situations that require among nearly 9,000 U.S. adults, a high level of concentration.

SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

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SNOOZE NEWS

stuff you can use

Join the thousands who read Sleep Savvy digitally

T

housands of our readers now enjoy the convenience of reading every issue of Sleep Savvy in digital format, which is available on our website at www.sleepsavvymagazine.com. You don’t have to be a computer geek or have special software to read the digital platform—it’s easy and fun. And you can read each issue several weeks earlier than you normally receive it by mail. For the green-minded, we can switch your subscription to “digital only” on request and you’ll get a notification by email as soon as each new issue is available. Contact Mary Rulli, circulation manager, at mrulli@sleepproducts.org.

Coming soon: Store visuals on Google Maps

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oogle recently anounced that it has begun letting businesses add location photos to their Place Pages, which are accessible through search and Google Maps. Ultimately, this could mean customers will be able to quickly browse photos of retail environments from any Internet connection. That could be a really good thing or a really bad one, depending on the visual aesthetics of your store. Either way, it has tremendous power to make an impression on potential customers before they decide where to shop. The service is only in limited regions and select cities right now, and you have to apply to Google to schedule a photographer— you can’t just submit your own photos. How ready are you to showcase your business to the world? Here’s the link to apply: http://maps.google.com/ help/maps/businessphotos/.

Millennial workers have high expectations

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n four years, the millennial generation—born between 1977 and 1997—will account for nearly half the employees in the world. Do you know how they think? A Harvard Business Review survey of 2,200 professionals, published in the May issue, revealed that millennials have high expectations of their bosses, their companies and themselves.

8 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

What millennials want from their boss ● Help me navigate my career path ● Give me straight feedback ● Mentor and coach me ● Sponsor me for formal development programs ● Comfortable with flexible schedules What millennials want from their company ● Develops my skills for the future ● Strong values ● Customizable options in my benefits/reward package ● Allows me to blend work with the rest of my life ● Offers a clear career path What millennials want to learn ● Technical skills in my area of expertise ● Self-management and personal productivity ● Leadership ● Industry or functional knowledge ● Creativity and innovation strategies.

www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


SNOOZE NEWS

stuff you can use

Mattress sales fell 9.4% in 2009

I

t couldn’t get much worse for mattress sales than it did last year, when dollar sales plummeted by 9.4% industrywide, according to the 2009 Mattress Industry Report of Sales & Trends, recently released by the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA). Total shipments of mattresses and foundations reached $5.658 billion (wholesale) for the year, compared to $6.245 billion in 2008. Unit shipments fell by 8.6%, from 35.856 million in 2008 to 32.789 million for the year. Average unit price declined by nearly 1%. Specialty mattresses fared better

Good riddance to a bad year!

than innerspring from a unit standpoint, with a 6.8% loss, but dollars declined by 11.7% for an AUP drop of more than 5% in specialty products. The report showed that specialty mattresses accounted for 9.4% of total shipments in units

and 21.6% of total dollars. ISPA’s release of the 2009 report closed the book on two of the worst bedding business years ever recorded. The 2009 decline came on top of a 9.1% dollar loss and 11% unit decline in 2008. The good news is that ISPA has forecast a 7.5% dollar gain for 2010, with units predicted to show a 4.5% increase this year. The recovery is expected to be even more robust in 2011, with a 6.3% unit gain and dollars up by 10%. For information on obtaining a copy of the 52-page 2009 Mattress Industry Report of Sales & Trends, contact Jane Oseth by email at joseth@sleepproducts.org.

BEDDING BIZ BEAT The sales recovery continued in April, as wholesale dollars for mattresses and foundations rose more than 10%. Unit shipments rose 6.8% for the month, compared to last April, reflecting an encouraging average unit price increase (across all sizes and qualities) of 3.1%. The data is compiled from 20 producers participating in the International Sleep Products Association’s monthly Bedding Barometer.

Mattresses & Foundations in Millions of Dollars Sample of Leading Producers

$350

$356

$342

$384

$379 $321

$318

$350

Percent change +1.7%

Percent change +12.2%

Percent change +17.8%

Percent change +10.1%

January

February

March

April

■ 2009 ■ 2010

10 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

New mattress improves sleep!

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his little gem of information for shoppers was spotted in the July 2010 issue of Consumer Reports: “Our recent reader survey found that any new bed is apt to be better than the old one: 72% of respondents said their new mattress improved their sleep. And those who spent at least l0 minutes lying on showroom beds were more likely to be satisfied with their choice in the long run than those who didn’t.”

www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


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SNOOZE NEWS

stuff you can use

Sleep hours linked to stomach fat

Sleep Shorts

Two studies recently published in the journal Sleep continue to build a strong case for the relationship between too little sleep and too much body fat. Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that women who slept less than five hours a night showed a 32% percent gain in abdominal fat over a five-year period, compared to a 13% gain among those who slept six or seven hours. A similar study conducted at Sweden’s Uppsala University found that the waist circumference of women who slept less than five hours a night averaged more than 3.5 inches larger than for those who slept eight hours. This correlation was particularly strong among younger women. “Short sleep duration, short dream sleep and short deep sleep disturb the production of cortisol and growth hormones in a way that can contribute to driving body weight upwards,” said Jenny Theorell-Haglow, study author. “Sleeping less also means more waking time when it’s possible to eat.”

Turn off that iPad before bed Several studies have shown that people using electronic devices before bed feel less rested the next morning. But the newest research points the finger not at the mental stimulation of playing with the devices but at the glow of the screen. Light-emitting electronics, including laptops, cell phones and iPads, signal the brain to stay alert. Because you hold them so close to your face, the effect is greater than it would be for a TV across the room or a bedside lamp, according to Frisca Yan-Go, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center. The exposure to such abnormal light sources most likely inhibits the body’s secretion of sleep-inducing melatonin. A little light reading at bedtime is a better idea.

Poor sleep linked to earlier death Researchers at Britain’s University of Warwick and Italy’s Federico II University Medical School have concluded that there’s “an unequivocal link” between poor sleeping patterns

12 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

and premature death, according to a report in the journal Sleep. That’s based on an analysis of 16 studies of more than 1.3 million people from Europe, Asia and the U.S. Sleeping for less than six hours a night led to a 12% increased risk of premature death, compared with those who slept six to eight hours a night. Too much sleep—more than nine hours—was also a cause for concern, but for different reasons. “While short sleep may represent a cause of ill health, long sleep is believed to represent more of an indicator of ill health,” said lead researcher professor Francesco Cappuccio. “Consistently sleeping six to eight hours per night may be optimal for health.”

Brain builds memories by dreaming People who dream about a task they’ve just practiced get a major memory boost on the task when they awake, but those who dream about anything else have no such enhanced recall. Neither do those who stay awake, even if they think about the task, Harvard researchers report in a paper published online in Current Biology. Dreaming about a demanding undertaking doesn’t cause enhanced memories for that experience, says study co-author Robert Stickgold, a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School. Instead, he suggests, the dreams are caused by the brain’s memory-fortifying processes during sleep. In the study, 99 college students tried navigating a complex computer maze and were asked to remember the location of a particular tree. Then some took naps and some stayed awake and engaged in quiet activities. When they re-entered the maze at random spots, those who had dreamed of the task—four of 50 nappers—found the tree much faster than they had before.

Species’ sleep needs differ At 7.5 hours (give or take) human adults sleep less than many other species. Your cat, for example, sleeps more than 12 hours—or 50% of every day—as do mice. Your dog likes 10.6 hours of shut-eye. But many farm animals seem to need less than we do. Cows average 3.9 hours, sheep 3.8 and horses just 2.9.

www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


The cover story

Give your customers a retail experience they’ll rave I about

By Mike Wittenstein t’s well known that, all things being equal, a better customer experience means higher sales, increased customer loyalty, improved word-of-mouth, higher profits and a place that’s more fun to work. What’s not so well known is how to make that happen, especially in today’s tough marketplace. As buying patterns shift, mattress marketers need to explore new ways of being relevant and valuable to customers. The concepts in this story can help you transform the way you relate to your customers and to differentiate your store’s brand from others. My goal is to put you on the path to delivering a truly exceptional customer experience—one that your store’s customers, employees and stakeholders will rave about. But before exploring how to make the customer experience better, let’s review how customers see the mattress business right now.

14 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


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SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

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THE COVER STORY

a retail experience they’ll rave about In March of this year—in preparation for conducting a seminar at the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) EXPO in Charlotte, NC—I went undercover shopping at a range of Atlantaarea mattress, furniture and department stores. From bargain basements that smelled of mildew to high-end boutiques where the aroma of cappuccino met me at the door, I immersed myself in the mattress shopping experience. I paid careful attention to the ambience, signage, product presentation and store design, as well as to the way the sales associates informed and treated me. Here’s what became apparent when I stood in the customer’s shoes—and I imagine your mattress customers are sensing the same things. It’s all about price In mattress retailing, price is the loudest message. From the manufacturers’ and retailers’ print ads, billboards, radio spots, Internet banners and television ads, I learned that I could buy a mattress cheap. I was repeatedly told that price was not going to stand between me and my brand new mattress. So, before I even began my mystery shopping, that’s what was in my mind. As an aside, here’s a question for you: Are mattresses really cheaper if you buy them at a truckload sale? I don’t understand why mattress marketers believe that people who need new mattresses prefer to buy them off of a truck. It’s not an engaging image and definitely not one than instills confidence in the product. I bet that if marketers replaced copy about truckloads with copy about sleep benefits and performance, more customers would go shopping with a good night’s sleep in mind than with unrealistically low price expectations. Dumping

16 SleepSavvy •

July/August 2010

truckload sales is one change that could mean happier customers and richer retailers.

ence, but to the untrained eye, they all look the same (except for the branded foot protectors and pillows—which often don’t describe what they’re lying on). So the big question in my

Sold, but not served Shopping for a new Becoming a part of your customers’ mattress buying process rather than trying was like shopping for to squeeze them into your selling a used car. process is the new normal for retail. I felt sold, not served. I believe that’s how most customers feel. All I want- mind was, “Why is one white rected was a good night’s sleep at a fair angle $300 and another $3,000?” price. (OK, I’m a savvy customer, Many RSAs still respond to the so what I really wanted was 3,000 price question with, “Well, you get nights of restful, comfortable, wake- what you pay for”—often with a up-energized sleep at a fair price.) tone of condescension in their voices. While advertising and selling on That’s not an informative or helpful price seems to be the fashion right answer. It simply compounds the frusnow, it doesn’t add to the bottom tration shoppers feel. Did you know line for the long term and it hurts that most Internet-savvy consumers the industry’s ability to serve custrust the opinions and comments of tomers in the short term. It turns strangers more than what advertising what could be white-hot, healthand RSAs tell them? related products into lukewarm Comparing products, both in-store commodities. Advertising on price and online, was very difficult. It was makes it harder for RSAs to help even harder when I wanted to comcustomers evaluate their mattress pare products from different retailpurchase on the benefits and value ers. The names and SKUs didn’t of a better night’s sleep. Price-based match. Neither did the information ads make it harder for customers I got online, from ads, in stores and to appreciate that what they sleep from RSAs. There were differences on is intimate, personal and imporin the definitions of basic terms and tant. So they don’t respond as well characteristics of materials, and to messages about value, comfort, there was no standard for describsustainability and the useful life of a ing comfort. Even as a motivated mattress. shopper, I found it impossible to Emphasizing value over low cost compare products on value-for-awould make for a better buying expegood-night’s-sleep basis. rience, lead to more sales and help to reduce the consumer’s confusion. Can I trust you? Too little information breeds confuShopping is confusing sion, which can lead to a lack of When customers look across most trust. Halfway through my undermattress showrooms, they see a sea cover experience, I started to worry of sameness—one white mattress about being taken for a ride and to after another. You may see a differdistrust what everyone was telling www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


THE COVER STORY

a retail experience they’ll rave about me. There were times when I didn’t even believe what someone told me a mattress was made of and times when I wasn’t convinced that the mattress I was going to purchase had the same specifications as the one that would actually show up on delivery day. Without better labeling, a written assurance or a see-through side on every mattress, how can a customer really know what they are getting? I’m left with no alternative but to believe you when you say, “Trust me.” And based on my experience, I had serious questions about whether I had any reason to. Mattress retailers can do better Making the customer experience better for mattress shoppers is a business imperative. Experiences help differentiate brands. It’s important for retailers to own their own brands and not rely solely on manufacturers’ POP and co-op ads to do the job for you. Business is tough—now is the time for retailers to take charge of mattress retailing by developing new value propositions that connect, inform and create real value in customers’ lives. In my opinion, both mattress manufacturers and retailers must rediscover how to sell better sleep. That may mean less emphasis on that white rectangle. Let me share with you a few ideas that you can put to work in your store and in your branding efforts to help create a better customer experience. Replace selling experiences with buying experiences At many retail companies, attention is only paid to the customer experience if it can be proven that the new experience improves business. It either directly and immediately generates a sales lift or it improves www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

operational efficiency. That way of thinking can work if you, the retailer, own the selling process. The problem is that this model is officially out of date. Because of tools like Google Product Search, Kudzu, eBay, RedLaser and epinions, many customers have stopped participating in retailers’ selling processes. Instead, they are developing their own ways of buying and they’re looking for vendors that sell the way they want to buy. These consumers like the confidence they feel in knowing they are getting a good value, the assurance that comes with having access to as much information as the RSA and the freedom to control the process. Becoming a part of your customer’s buying process, rather than trying to squeeze them into your selling process, is the new normal for retail. Customer experiences have to be designed around buying principles instead of selling principles. Customers are not targets to shoot offers at. Like you and me, they are

human beings who prefer buying to being sold. Give them gold-standard service that helps them make the buying decision that’s in their best interests and you’ll earn a fan who raves about you. Manipulate them, withhold information from them or waste their time and you’ll get the opposite effect. See the people who come into your store not as wallets waiting to be emptied, but as individuals seeking your advice and guidance. These human beings need your help in getting a really good night’s sleep. They deserve an experience that informs and motivates, that simplifies their decision

The key differences between selling & buying Selling is about

Buying is about

Telling Speed Closing deals Control (of the customer’s behavior) Keeping more

Letting people make discoveries Helping people through their own decision-making process at the speed that’s right for them Finding opportunities to serve (which closes more deals) Design (improving the way an organization works based on the needs of its customers) Giving more value and service (which increases sales and profits)

SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

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THE COVER STORY

a retail experience they’ll rave about and their life. An experience they can share with their friends, colleagues and families. Great customer experiences happen by design A great experience doesn’t just happen. It happens on purpose and by design. You know you’ve got it right when your customers—and employees—start sharing their experience in a positive way with others. Start designing the customer experience around the story you want your customers to tell their friends about you. Think about what customers truly want and relate it as a story. Then, build the experience that fits that story. To find that story, you have to listen. Listening to what customers—and employees—want and need is the key to discovering where to focus the experience. If what customers want most is what your brand does best, you’ll succeed for sure. Listen for your customers’ reasons for purchase. In other words, why are they in the market? From your standpoint, the answer may be, “They need something to sleep on.” But your customer’s reason for purchase may be quite different. Maybe he wants to show his partner how special she is to him. Maybe she is trying to impress relatives when they visit in the summer. Maybe, just maybe, they care about getting a better night’s sleep, waking up without a backache, or feeling more refreshed and ready for the day ahead. The point is, you don’t know until you ask. Next, identify what outcome your store can authentically deliver that customers will truly value. Identify what annoys customers and employees the most. Use this information to focus on making improvements your company can afford to deliver and that your customers will value.

18 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

Consider these three key outcomes of offering true value: 1. Guiding customers to pick the right product—for them—through demonstration. 2. Allowing customers to discover for themselves what a better night’s sleep means for them. 3. Helping customers feel better about investing in a better night’s sleep. These outcomes are what you will promise, teach, promote and deliver. They define your brand and represent the target your company should be designed to hit. Selling mattresses and making money are simply the results of fulfilling this important mission for your customers. Create an ‘experience design’ for your store Start by focusing on one of the outcomes you’ve identified for your store. Then describe, in vivid detail, the ideal experience that delivers it. Perhaps you’re thinking of a “greeting station” where you can welcome your customers, learn about their objectives and/or share information, present online displays and demos —Apple stores are a great example of this. How about an iPad-enabled selling solution that compares multiple brands and products using a standard comfort-rating system? Maybe you simply want to improve the greeting customers get upon entering the store and do a more

consultative interview with them before showing products or provide more intuitive signage and displays that make that sea of sameness easier to navigate. As you tackle the design of a new buying experience, whether instore or online, consider that you are doing something for the people who come in the door, not to them. It’s your job to see them for who they really are—complex individuals with a lot going on in their very busy lives while juggling competing concerns for their time, money and attention. It’s your job to treat them the way they want to be treated. In thinking through the experience your customers want from you, consider their first impressions of your store. Find something that will make them say “WOW!” out loud. Use your environment, greeting, print displays, digital monitors, etc., to help people understand that the experience they are about to have is the one that matches what they want most. Here are some approaches that could have made my personal mattress shopping experiences better: ● Ask customers about their last mattress shopping experience—whether that was earlier today or 10 years ago. Either way, you learn about

See the people who come into your store not as wallets waiting to be emptied, but as individuals seeking your advice and guidance. These human beings need your help in getting a really good night’s sleep. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


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THE COVER STORY

a retail experience they’ll rave about how they want to be handled. ● Ask customers what they know about how mattresses have changed since they were last in the market. This gives them an opportunity to be in control at the start while giving you time to craft a “WOW” response that demonstrates your concern for their good night’s sleep. ● If you don’t have

20 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

the product a customer wants and can’t get it, send her to a place you know has it. I guarantee this approach will help to build your brand. (I learned it from the movie Miracle on 34th Street, in which Gimble’s customers were referred to Macy’s and vice versa. Sales in both stores soared.) ● Post positive customer reviews directly on the mattresses they’ve purchased or next to it on an information stand. Use customer names if they’ll let you and show the dates to bolster confidence. ● If it’s a couple making the buying decision, use a whiteboard to write down each partner’s “musthaves” and “nice-to-haves” so that they can see what each mattress offers them.

● Before customers stretch out, go through a pillow-matching exercise and invite them to take the pillow around with them from mattress to mattress. This builds confidence and adds value to your presentation by replicating the actual sleeping experience—and it can sell a lot of pillows, if you carry them. ● Offer a special testing area with light controls, privacy screens and home-like decor to encourage extended “sleep tests.” Circulate all of the ideas with the people on your team and with management. Get their input separately and fuse it into a design that works better for everyone—that’s the secret of extraordinary experience design. Be sure to separate ideas about the right things to do

www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


THE COVER STORY

a retail experience they’ll rave about from the right way to do things. Both are important when it comes to experience design. Be sure to leave a lasting impression Before you finish the design process, ask “What is the last thing customers will remember about their experience?” What can the experience include so that it’s memorable, stands out after customers have gone home and keeps your store in their minds? This is important because it represents the story they will tell their friends. And the story people tell about you becomes your brand. Here are a few ideas I had on ways to conclude—and continue— the experience:

www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

● Offer a nighttime-related snack in the store and make sure customers take some home—in a storebranded wrapper, of course. ● Give each customer a complimentary list of tips for getting a better night’s sleep—you can find great tips on the Better Sleep Council’s website at www.bettersleep.org— and create a simple handout that includes your store logo and location (and maybe your name as the customer’s personal RSA). ● Send an email follow-up with answers to some frequently asked questions about mattress care or pictures of new accessory products for the shopper to consider—with a preferred-shopper discount coupon. ● Set up a blog for customers to share how their sleep has improved

on their new beds—offering a small gift in return is a good way to invite and encourage participation. You’ll need to lay your customer experience design out from start to finish—in notes and sketches (if you or someone in your company can draw)—representing each stage so that everybody can see the entire experience. Double-check your work for quality, uniqueness, intelligent design and practicality. Think the design through to make sure your ideas are: ✓ Engaging ✓ Memorable ✓ Story-worthy ✓ Practical ✓ Affordable ✓ Profitable ✓ On-brand

SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

21


THE COVER STORY

a retail experience they’ll rave about ✓ Supported by management ✓ Supported by fellow employees. Keep in mind that the first and last impressions are the ones customers judge you on and remember you by. Make sure that any process you put customers through is consistent with the way you designed the first impression. If you go from kind and welcoming to hard sell, customers will notice the disconnect and resist whatever you tell them next. End to end, the experience must be consistent and authentic. Start with a great employee experience Behind every great customer experience there must be an equally great employee experience. A compelling employee experience prepares your team with the know-how, training, support, understanding and motivation to deliver the customer experience you’ve just designed in an on-brand way. You’ll have to test your new experience before you deliver it to your customers, so let your employees—and their family members—experience it first. Let them feel the experience for themselves so that they know what to do and how to impart those same feelings to customers. If possible, let your employees sleep on your best mattresses so that they can speak personally about the benefits. The conviction in their voices and eye contact will make all the difference. Employee comments and observations will help you perfect the design. And by asking them for their feedback, you also demonstrate respect. That leads to more good ideas, support for implementation and more willingness to change behaviors. The first step to building a great customer experience is to care about people and what happens to them. Care about customers and whether you’re helping them get those good nights of sleep. Care about employees by making sure they are growing in their profession and have the opportunity to enrich the lives of others. Remember that brands don’t offer experiences— people do. Brands make promises, but it’s people who keep them. Break your brand promise at the risk of damaging the company brand—and your own. Make promises that matter and keep the ones you make. Remember that people are not statistics, widgets, numbers or abstractions. People are rational, emotional, creative, learning, self-reflecting and unique beings. Design with those characteristics in mind. Don’t measure the value of a customer in dollars

22 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

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THE COVER STORY

a retail experience they’ll rave about only. Instead, understand what customers value, then connect to that through your experience design. Make sure that what you offer is what matters most to your customers. The triple bottom-line return As you implement the design, you’ll find that great customer experiences achieve a triple bottom-line return: 1. For customers: The shopping experience is a good one and people rave about it, which brings in new customers. 2. For employees: Store employees are happier, more fulfilled and feel like they’re engaged in the business because they’re helping people. No longer are they fighting the systems that are supposed to

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support them. 3. For stakeholders: The business makes more money because more products are sold, good word-of-

mouth brings in more customers, and because selling the right product right from the start reduces returns. ●

Mike Wittenstein is an Atlanta-based consultant specializing in guiding business leaders to differentiate their brands and improve their results based on a superior customer experience. Mike has worked with both established and emerging retailers, including Party City, Kinko’s, Best Buy, Alternative Apparel and SOHO Office. As an interactive agency leader, IBM e-Visionary, interim CXO (chief experience officer) and consultant/speaker, he has helped companies across the globe build their brands around unique value propositions. Mike holds an MBA from The Thunderbird School of Global Management and speaks four languages. He can be reached by email at mike@mikewittenstein.com, by phone at 866-770-9830 or visit his websites, www.mikewittenstein.com and www.storyminers.com. He is also a regular contributor to www.retailcustomerexperience.com.

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RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene

Ergo Sleep Systems

Ergo partners (left to right) Leonard Laxamana, Mark Thomas and Nel Laxamana

Sleeping ‘green’ is the focus of this Berkeley retailer By Nancy Butler Photography by David Toerge

www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

I

n the heart of Berkeley, CA’s trendy Fourth Street shopping district—which showcases the city’s eclectic mix of affluence, the arts and counter-culture—maybe the last thing you’d expect to find is a mattress store. But Berkeley, which draws much of its unique energy from a progressive university, is also something of a mecca for people committed to green living, right down to the beds they sleep on. That’s what attracted Mark Thomas, a 20-year furniture industry veteran who owns the Sleep City chain in the Bay area. Three years ago, he partnered with brothers Nel and Leonard Laxamana to

open Ergo Sleep Systems, a shop dedicated to selling natural and organic mattresses and sleep accessories. Ergo is different from traditional sleep shops in a number of ways. But perhaps the most striking is its almost total lack of visual focus on price. There are no “40% off sale” banners in the windows or the store interior. There are no price signs or tags on the beds (except during the occasional floor-model sale). When the issue of price comes up, Ergo has a printed price sheet to share with customers, says Nel. In this mattress store, healthy living is the priority, not price. SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

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RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene

Nel and Leonard, who handle the day-to-day operations at Ergo, started their careers working for Thomas in a now-closed furniture store that carried conventional mattresses. The three shared a mutual interest in eco-friendly products and routinely

26 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

kept the category on their radar screen when shopping the furniture markets for new products. “We wanted to open a green store as early as 2002, but organic raw materials were much more difficult to get at that time and availability made delivery on finished products too slow,” says Nel. “There were quality control issues and prices were really high.” It took them five years to sort through the thorniest of the supply issues, and they were finally ready to take the leap in 2007, opening the 2,650-square-foot shop in April. They began with green products veteran Natura World, added OMI/OrganicPedic two years ago, Magniflex and Sleep to Live a year ago, and most recently Pure LatexBLISS. Most of the beds they sell are specialty foams. Ergo’s price range in queen beds is $998 to $4,400. Before the reces-

sion, the opening price point was $1,298—and Nel still believes that’s a minimum for true value in a green mattress. Over $2,000 is the amount customers have to be willing to spend to really get into the organic category, Nel says. The store’s bestsellers are in the $1,298 to $1,598 price range. Natural and organic accessories include pillows from Natura and Latex International at $44 to $199; sheet sets from Gotcha Covered and DreamSack at $130 to $224; and mattresses protectors, toppers and some comforters from Natura, OMI and Sleep & Beyond. For Thomas, Ergo has been something of a green market “guinea pig.” Were there enough customers in this pricey segment to sustain growth? Even in the face of a harrowing recession, the answer so far has been yes. In fact, based on Ergo’s success, more green www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene

products are going on the floors at Thomas’ Sleep City stores. The green experience From the beginning, Ergo’s partners were committed to creating a green store environment, not just offering green product lines. Though not able to install solar panels on the exterior (due to regulations for businesses in Berkeley’s historic downtown), they flooded the store with natural light and heat using skylights. The flooring is a mix of hardwood and carpeting, both from sustainable sources. The carpet is made from fibers created out of recycled plastic bottles, and the processes to make it consume zero virgin petrochemical resources, according to Nel. The minimalist, contemporary interior is painted with low-VOC paints. A vaulted ceiling with unfinished wood beams adds to the natural ambiance. There are few POP materials, but lots of colorful touches, such as the decorative fabric banners suspended from the ceiling. When customers come through the door, they’re welcomed by the subtle aroma of green tea—from a scent machine discovered in a hotel, Nel says. The experience is also enhanced by the sounds of nature—birds, rainforest, babbling brook, waves—emanating from two sound machines that can be adjusted “depending on our mood for the day,” he notes. The customer will be greeted, though not necessarily right away so she doesn’t feel pressured. “The first thing we do is figure out whether a customer is a ‘green pundit’ or not. How natural does she want to be?” says Nel. “We ask lots of questions. Every question we ask is predicated on what the customer is saying and how she is relating to us.” Unless the opening conversation directs them elsewhere, “We typicalwww.sleepsavvymagazine.com

ly start at the top with the organic OMI and work down” says Nel. “We tell them why it’s organic and what is organic. We tell them how and where it’s made.” The green customer Ergo’s customers are a mix of ages and incomes, but they are almost always shopping for some level of green and tend to take green seriously. Though most customers live in the Berkeley area, Nel and Leonard have had customers come from as far away as 60 miles to find organic beds or 100% natural latex. Inevitably, green customers are well educated online before they come into the store. “The people in Berkeley keep us on our toes. They often come in looking for the greenest possible product—all organic,” says Nel. “We have to do our due diligence because we get

Pillows are part of the mattress presentation, says Nel (left).

questions like, ‘Where do the materials come from?’, ‘What about offgasing?’ and ‘Are the sheep ethically sheared?’” Price is not top of mind with these shoppers. But even “green pundits” are known to compromise their principles when they learn the cost. “While price is not the starting point, it’s often the stopping

point,” says a pragmatic Nel. But at Ergo, there’s no compromise on transparency. “We’re very sensitive to green vs. greenwashing. You have to peel back the layers to determine what’s really inside—what’s really green,” says Nel. The lack of definitions and industry standards make it tough, but he’s comfortable that they have been able to make the distinction SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

27


RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene

in purchasing their lines and can be fully transparent with customers. “It’s sad that so many will claim ‘it’s organic’ when it has some organic content,” Nel says. “We always inform our customers about what is organic and what is natural. We want to be totally transparent—here is exactly what is in this mattress.” The temptation to indulge in a bit of exaggeration holds no appeal. “We find that it’s easier to be transparent than not,” Nel says. “Ergo is committed to being a healthier alternative. Our reputation is based on it. We can be trusted.” Committed to soft sell Green customers don’t respond well to hard-sell tactics, says Nel. So he, Leonard and part-time sales associ-

ate Samantha Burant are strictly soft-sell specialists. No spiffs, no haggling, no pressure. “We are not out to get the ‘throw in a free pillow or pad’ customer— we aren’t a store for customers who want to wheel and deal. We don’t do high-pressure selling or negotiate,” Nel says. “And there’s no push to close the sale that day. We’re OK with the customer coming back three or four times if they need to. We know that every customer will feel well educated when they leave. And we often hold the door open for the customer to leave—ladies especially appreciate that.” While green attributes are the primary reason shoppers visit Ergo, other vital aspects of health are very much a part of the mattress

presentation. “We make the customer’s skeletal alignment and pressure relief the priority,” Nel stresses. “Without that, they won’t be comfortable— and they’re going to end up hating us.” It’s not always possible to get exactly the right match of comfort and support while holding to an individual customer’s strict green principles, he adds, so comfort and support needs have to come first. “Good sleep is the most important gift you can give yourself” is a message Nel believes in. Even the company’s marketing strategy has veered away from the more aggressive venues and messages traditionally used by mattress retailers. “Our advertising is now all done

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28 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

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RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene

on the Internet via SEO,” says Nel. “We started the business with traditional print ads, but today’s green customer is an online customer. That’s where they go to get all of their information before shopping.” Ergo is currently working to update and improve its online presence, as well as make the best use of social media, beginning with a company page on Facebook. Long term, the partners hope to open additional stores but are “hanging tight” until the economy strengthens. In the meantime, they’re always on the lookout for ways to improve the lineup and enhance the store environment based on their shared belief in the vitality of the green bedding market. “Our passion at Ergo is to sell something truly special,” says Nel. ●

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Surgery for back pain? First check the mattress!

Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on low back pain, the biggest cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. But back surgery should only be considered after nonsurgical options are tried for six months to a year, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Be sure to alert consumers in your area—and store customers—that a new mattress with the right comfort and support could make a big difference in their back health. Nonsurgical options to alleviate back pain are a popular media topic these days, including a recent segment on the nationally syndicated The Dr. Oz Show. Most cases of back pain are mechanical or nonorganic, meaning they aren’t caused by serious conditions such as arthritis or injury, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz. Poor posture and bad habits are often at fault. Women who wear heels higher than three inches put seven times as much pressure on their feet and throw their spine out of alignment, Oz said. And carrying a handbag that’s more than 10% of body weight poses serious risks, straining the back and throwing balance off. Extended bed rest is no longer a common recommendation for back pain—the muscles that support the back get weak and it’s even more difficult to heal. But Dr. Clayton Dean, a surgeon with the Maryland Spine Center and Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, says that replacing a mattress about every five to nine years is a good idea— especially for those waking up with back stiffness or pain. In a segment aired on the ABC station in Lexington, KY, Dean said that studies show a medium-firm mattress is probably best for people with back problems. “However, every mattress is different. So experts recommend shoppers take a mattress ‘test drive,’” he advised. “Try out several types of mattresses, making sure you lie in the position in which you typically fall asleep. You need to spend at least five to 15 minutes with each mattress to become relaxed enough to judge its level of comfort.”

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Back Talk sponsor Restonic and Sleep Savvy want to hear from those of you on the mattress sales floor. Let us know what you think about the information we’re presenting and what you need to know to help you sell more and better beds. Talk to us at talkback@restonic.com.

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Buying cheap panties. . . or why the mattress industry absolutely must change the retail experience The other day as I was pondering mattress retail—hey, everybody needs a hobby—I came to some illuminating conclusions. Consider lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret. If they displayed their panties and bras the same way that many mattress retailers display their mattresses and accessories, people would leave and go buy the cheap panties at The Dollar Store. Why? Because without the Victoria’s Secret “experience,” customers wouldn’t be able to justify paying $15 for a pair of panties. They’d spend $6 on The Dollar Store four-pack. In other words, desire for the product plus a great in-store experience can result in purchase justification at a much higher price point. Consider clothing stores. Why do they display fully dressed and accessorized mannequins? After all, one mannequin displaying a single outfit takes up the same amount of space as an entire rack of clothes. So why take up all that valuable retail floor space for one lousy outfit? Because clothing retailers have discovered that if they show the entire outfit, including shoes, purse and accessories, the consumer will be more likely to buy the entire outfit, including shoes, www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

purse and accessories. The truth is that when a woman walks into a clothing store, she has already visualized her purchase and has already thought about what jewelry she has at home to match it, which of her shoes will look great with it, etc. At that point, the retailer has the opportunity to expand her dream…or kill it. A properly accessorized mannequin can expand the dream and result in a happier customer—and a larger sale. Let’s talk fishing If you’re not a woman—or if you’re not married to one—maybe you can’t get your head around the whole “matching shoes and purse” thing. So, let’s talk fishing. You want to bag that ginormous big-mouthed bass. But you need a new rod and reel. You go to Bass Warehouse. You turn the corner and there before you is Bass Fishing Heaven... cherubs singing, shafts of illuminating sunbeams, winged angels in sheer robes…wait, that’s Victoria’s Secret. Anyway, you go in to buy a $50 rod and reel and come out with a Quantum Tour Elite Tommy Biffle Casting Rod, a Shimano Sustain FE Spinning Reel, a Flambeau tackle box and a spanking new Triton Skeeter bass boat officially blessed by the bass fishing gods. Why? Because your dream, plus the in-store experience, created value. And that made you let loose SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

33


BE MY GUEST

by Cindy Williams of way more money than you ever would have spent in Walmart. Get the point? Buying the kitchen Consider the evolution of appliance retail. In the old days, we drifted up and down a sterile row of white or almond appliances looking for the

big yellow starburst that shouted “ON SALE!!” We’d purchase our single on-sale item and leave. Then along came vignettes with expensive appliances set into gorgeous kitchens with all the trimmings. Vignettes sell, sell and sell appliances! Now even Home Depot and Best Buy have gotten it. Appliance retailers that effectively utilize vignettes sell appliances, and they sell more of them at much higher prices. Now the appli-

Safe Storage

ance customer buys an entire kitchen full of appliances. Even if they don’t buy them all at once, they come back over and over again to complete their collection. Appliance vignettes take up a huge amount of retail floor space, but retailers have learned that the sacrifice of floor space translates into higher volume, higher margin sales and much more satisfied customers. In the words of one of North Carolina’s most successful appliance retailers, “In addition to selling more, higher-priced appliances, vignettes lower my cost of doing business because I don’t have to carry as much inventory to meet my sales goals.” Now that makes sense! Selling the dream Let’s apply the same principles to mattress retail. What if you could truly place your customers in “the dream” of a great, luxurious night’s sleep? What if you replaced some of the SKUs on your floor with awesome vignettes? What if you displayed your accessories in a way that allowed your customers to really interact with them and experience them? What if you could create a fulfilling environment where your customers weren’t constantly demanding you drop your prices because the

in-store experience plus their dream truly justifies the price of your products? What we’re talking about is creating customers who would share their great mattress experience with all of their friends and social media networking buddies. If the mattress industry ever wants consumer purchase attitudes to change, retailers and manufacturers are going to have to be committed to changing the retail experience. Consumers everywhere are dreaming about getting a great night’s sleep. Does your retail experience expand their dream…or kill it? Are we talking about a yellow starburst single purchase or a relationship with you that keeps the consumer (and her friends) coming back for more? The choice is up to you. ●

Cindy Williams is vice president of retail strategy for Atlanta-based retail design agency Info Retail. She works with a multi-disciplinary team developing retail strategies for retailers and manufacturers who need help controlling the user experience in complex buying situations. For more information, visit www.inforetail.com or email Cindy at client.services@inforetail.com.

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WHAT’S NEW

for stores like yours The products featured here debuted at the spring High Point Market in April. Many can be seen at the summer Las Vegas Market, August 1-6.

Natura World Natura World has unveiled the NaturaLatex collection, offered in three groups with a range of constructions and feels. Lower-priced models, starting at $999 in queen, feature latex in the top layers and a polyurethane core with plant-based content. The top model (shown here), with a retail of $3,699, has a five-zone latex core plus latex in the quilt layer. All models feature coir and natural wool in the comfort layers. Also new at Natura: Effective June 1, all of the company’s mattresses are being treated with Natural Silver Technology, a hypoallergenic, non-toxic solution that both eliminates microbes and inhibits future growth. Contact Julia Rosien, communications director, by email at julia@naturaworld.com or call 519-651-2006.

Therapedic Sleep Products Therapedic has debuted its first encased coil collection, the five-bed Therawrap by Therapedic. Each bed features foam encasement and up to 2 inches of specialty foam—either viscoelastic or latex—in the comfort layer. The top model is a coil-on-coil construction. All models are upholstered in a silver, black and white cover with a metallic silver tape-edge. Retail prices range from $699 to $1,199 in queen. Contact Gerry Borreggine, president and CEO, by email at gb@therapedic.com or call 609-720-0700.

Paramount Mattress Paramount, a Comfort Solutions licensee based in Norfolk, VA, has introduced the Heavy Duty or “HD” mattress line. The beds incorporate high-end specialty foams, inner tufting, heavygauge innersprings and foam encasement. An extra-sturdy, all-wood foundation is made by Amish craftsmen in Pennsylvania. The four models in the line retail for between $999 and $1,999 in queen. Paramount’s product messaging for the collection revolves around comfort and durability rather than body weight. Contact Richard Fleck, executive vice president, by email at rfleck@kingkoilma.com or by phone at 757-855-332.

Zedbed Quebec-based Zedbed, a maker of mattresses and adjustable bases, has introduced the Flex collection, its first wrapped-coil offering, in three comfort levels. The top layer is memory foam, latex or a hybrid foam with characteristics of both latex and viscoelastic. The suggested retail price is $1,999 for a queen set (on a non-adjustable base). Also, Zedbed’s Black Label foam bed collection now contains a new generation of “nonthermosensitive” memory foam. Contact Pascal LaBrecque at plabrecque@zedbed.com or call 418-955-1441.

Information for What’s New is provided by the vendors. It is neither verified nor endorsed by the publisher. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

35


WHAT’S NEW

for stores like yours EcoSleep

Enso Sleep Systems

EcoSleep has expanded its line of compressed and rolled foam beds to include the Cool-Contour Deluxe, a memory foam construction sporting a moistureabsorbing Tencel cover. Retail is $1,299 for a queen set. Other additions to the EcoSleep line include a latex group priced at $699, $899 and $999. The three beds feature latex layers over an Acella-Flex polyurethane core with a portion of renewable content from castor oil. The beds are covered in super-stretch dimensional knits with contrasting, upholstery-style border fabrics. Contact Mike Schweiger by email at mschweiger@vymac.com or call 820-568-3125.

Enso, a division of Klaussner Furniture Industries, has launched its initial nine-model line of imported all-foam beds— eight memory foam and one latex. Most models feature zip-off top panels that can be cleaned or replaced. The Grandeur, a duvet-top bed with a high-end look (shown here), retails for $1,499 in queen. The mattresses are shipped rolled and in cartons from Klaussner warehouses in Asheboro, NC, and Kent, WA. Wood and wire foundations are shipped either assembled or knocked down. Suggested retails range from $299 to $1,999 (queen). Contact Chuck Fisher by email at chuckf27@comcast.net or call him at 303-748-6224.

International Bedding Corp.

Serta has unveiled the elegant Trump Home Luxury, a five-bed step-up addition to its Trump collection. Priced from $1,699 to $2,999 in queen, the beds feature specialty foams, foam encasement, wrapped coils and, in some models, coil-oncoil construction. The top model includes Serta’s Smart Support gel comfort layer. All feature golden damask fabrics embedded with Swarovski crystals. Contact the company through its website at www.serta.com or call 877-TRUMPHOME.

IBC has unveiled The Sleep Doctor bed in partnership with sleep expert and author Dr. Michael Breus. The all-foam line features proprietary Tempsense, a combination of phase-change ticking material and temperature-regulating Celsion latex in the top comfort layer. There are six beds in the group, each upholstered in white cover with deep French blue accents. Retail prices range from $1,499 to $2,999 for a queen. Contact Scott O’Bryant, marketing manager, by email at scottobryant@ibcgroup.com or call 623-478-7688.

What’s new with you? What’s New welcomes submissions of information on new products and services for mattress retailers. Email a brief description, photo and contact information to Nancy Butler, editor, at nbutler@sleepproducts.org.

36 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

Enso’s Chuck Fisher

Serta

Five Star Mattress Five Star, which has focused primarily on promotional beds, is reaching for the higher-end market with its new encased-coil mattresses, the True Luxury collection. The top model in the 14-bed line has 2½ inches of Talalay latex in a “super pillow-top.” All models feature knit covers in mocha and tan with scroll www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


WHAT’S NEW

for stores like yours Five Star’s Jim Nation

motifs, suede borders and thick tape-edges. Retail prices in queen range from $599 to $1,499. Contact the company by email at admin@ fivestarmattress. com or call 877-578-2752.

Sleep accessories Hickory At Home Hickory has introduced its Final Touch top-of-bed collection, emphasizing down fills. Luxury comforters and blankets Hickory’s Niles Cornelius are available in different weights and contain European goose down. Retail prices on comforters range from $599 to $699 (queen). Down-filled pillows in three firmnesses will retail at $199 to $299. Sheet sets made of long-staple cotton in 230- or 400-thread count will retail for $139 to $199. The collection also includes I-Care pillows at $49 to $99 retail. Contact Tracy Hamlin by email at tehamlin@hickorysprings.com or call 800-438-5341.

Pure LatexBLISS Pure LatexBLISS has expanded its collection of removable pillow-tops for mattresses with a model featuring temperature-regulating Celsion latex. It retails for about $350 in queen. Contact Kurt Ling by email at kurt.ling@latexbliss.com or call 404-260-7421. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

Leggett & Platt

Leggett’s Consumer Products Group has introduced a 400-thread count sheet set with RestAssured Easy-Fit Corner Pockets. The fitted sheet, in 100% Egyptian single-ply cotton, features a stretchy fabric mesh band that is guarLeggett CPG’s anteed to keep Herman Tam sheets snugly in place with any mattress up to 18 inches deep. A queen sheet set retails for $99. Contact Randy Long, director of sales, by email at randy.long@ leggett.com or call 856-371-0991. Leggett’s Southern Textiles brand has several new products, including an ergonomically designed contour pillow. The Cool Aire Memory Foam Pillow retails at $79 and a new line of microfiber polyester sheet sets with moisture-wicking properties retails at $79.99 in queen. The company’s new Mattress Cleaning Kit, with a suggested retail of $49, uses eco-friendly liquids to deal with a variety of stains and also includes a fabric freshener and deodorizer. The new Invisicase Surround Protector is a waterproof, bed-bug and allergen-resistant mattress encasement that retails for $89 in queen. The Platinum Surround Protector offers the same protection with a stretch, terry-top surface and a suggested retail of $139 in queen. Contact Bob O’Neill, senior vice president of sales, by email at bob.oneill@leggett.com or call 770-331-6600.

Jamison Bedding Jamison has unveiled its new branded line of pillows with latex on one side and viscoelastic on the other. The pillows are offered in three SKUs—for back, side and stomach sleepers—at a retail of $129. Contact Ken Hinman, vice president of sales and marketing, by email at khinman@jamisonbedding.com or call 800-255-1883. SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

37


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CONSUMER CHECK profiling your customer

Companies need to engage consumers on environmental, social issues

N

early 85% of Americans think that their feedback and ideas can help companies create responsible products and services that represent a win-win for consumers, for society...and for business. But only half (53%) feel companies are effectively encouraging them to speak up on corporate social and environmental practices and products, according to the 2010 Cone Shared Responsibility Study. A majority of consumers want to be engaged on four key responsiblebusiness pillars, including how a company conducts its business (85%), its products and packaging (83%), its support of social and environmental issues (81%) and its marketing and advertising (74%). Consumers are ready to invest time and money to help influence corporate social/environmental practices through surveys and research (70%), buying or boycotting products (44%), or through email, phone or employee communications (32%). Giving business a ‘C’ or lower When it comes to consumer interaction, most Americans say companies are not making the grade. Threequarters give companies a “C,” “D” or “F” on how well they are engaging consumers around critical business issues. This disconnect signals a lost opportunity for companies because consumers are prepared to reward them for engagement. If a company incorporated their ideas, consumers say they would be more likely to buy its products and services (60%), more loyal (54%) and more likely to recommend www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

the company (51%). “There’s tremendous opportunity to more actively collaborate with consumers and other key stakeholders to achieve mutually beneficial solutions,” says Jonathan Yohannan, senior vice president of Cone, a strategy and communications agency specializing in building brand trust. “We call this collaborative approach to addressing social and environmental issues ‘shared responsibility’ because diverse stakeholders each have a unique value, role and stake in solving today’s complex global challenges. Companies can’t go it alone.”

How well are companies engaging consumers? 7%

9% 18%

47%

19% ● Average job overall ● Below average job overall ● Above average job overall

● T errible job overall ● Exceptional job overall

Americans hold companies accountable for a range of global issues that may impact their business Ensuring product quality and safety (e.g., removing lead)

92%

Ensuring worker health and safety

92%

Ensuring proper product disposal/recycling

89%

Ensuring human rights (e.g. eliminating child labor)

87%

Reducing energy use and emissions to combat climate change Preserving natural resources (e.g. forests)

84% 84%

Ensuring availability and access to safe water

83%

Promoting diversity

81%

Protecting threatened and endangered species

75% 72%

Minimizing disease Improving nutrition and combating obesity Alleviating poverty

69% 62%

SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

39


CONSUMER CHECK

profiling your customer Holding companies accountable Americans are holding companies accountable for addressing a range of complex, global issues that may directly or indirectly touch their businesses, from ensuring product quality and safety to alleviating poverty. Environmental issues rank high— “Ensuring proper product disposal/ recycling” is third highest at 89%. The range of issues is complemented by an extensive menu of approaches consumers want businesses to use to solve them, including: ● Develop new products or services (89%) ● Change the way it operates, e.g., use only sustainable materials (88%) ● Use other company resources beyond charitable dollars to support a nonprofit or issue—e.g., employee volunteerism time, use of facilities, professional support or expertise, sponsoring an event (86%) ● Collaborate with nonprofits, governments, competitors or other groups to address issues collectively (86%) ● Educate consumers about the issues and how they can become

involved (86%) ● Educate employees to take action (84%) ● Make a charitable donation(s) to support a nonprofit or issue (83%). “Companies have a unique opportunity to address issues holistically, from the products they create to the partnerships they form to the dollars they give,” says Alison DaSilva, executive vice president of Cone. “And it’s this blend of both social initiatives and business operations—along with the sweat equity and ingenuity of diverse stakeholders—that stands to affect change. We all share responsibility for the issues at hand, and we all stand to benefit from the solutions.” Transparency key to building trust Not only do consumers want a voice in the issues, but they are overwhelmingly prepared to listen, according to the study. A full 92% want companies to tell them what they’re doing to improve their products, services and operations. But they also believe the communication is not entirely truthful and a major-

92%

Companies share the positive information about their efforts, but withhold the negative information

87%

I am confused by the messages companies use to talk about their social and environmental commitments Companies give me enough information about their practices to get engaged and voice informed opinions

40 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

The 2010 Cone Shared Responsibility Study presents the findings of an online survey conducted in the spring of 2010 by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) among a representative U.S. sample of 1,045 adults—507 men and 538 women. For additional information, visit www.coneinc.com. ●

Consumers say businesses can reach them with information about their social/environmental programs and products via these everyday channels

Americans want to hear about corporate efforts, but are confused by the messages I want companies to tell me what they’re doing to inmprove their products, services and operations

ity is confused by the messages companies use to talk about their social and environmental commitments. “Open, consistent lines of communication are the only way a company can effectively collaborate with diverse stakeholders for the long term and stay on top of issues that may improve or inhibit its business,” says Yohannan. “It doesn’t mean companies have to solve all of the issues on the table, but it does mean being transparent about their journey.” Consumers had a number of recommended channels for business to use in communicating their corporate responsibility, led by advertising at 64%.

Advertising (television commercials, newspaper and magazine ads, billboards, online banner ads, etc.)

64%

43%

In the store (e.g. conversation with an employee, in-store signage)

42%

Customer service interactions (e.g., 1-800 number, customer service desk, online help page, service visits)

67% 29% 47%

28%

Social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) Company-sponsored events (e.g. a walk or concert)

www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


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Cotton plays a critical role in the bedding industry. Much effort goes into developing a fiber comparable to cotton but this really has not happened. We are one of the few companies that garnetts our own raw cotton which also gives us a distinct advantage over most bedding manufacturers in maintaining our superior quality.

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42 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

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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 new and most exciting. Showcase appears in Sleep Savvy’s January/ February and July/August issues. Here are the contributors featured in this section:

America’s Mattress Arason CKI Sleep Solutions Ermcar InnoMax Latex International Leggett & Platt Mantua Natura

Pure LatexBLISS Restonic South Bay Spring Air Tempur-Pedic Therapedic Transfer Master XSENSOR

The NaturaProtect Deluxe Mattress Protector is the ultimate marriage of comfort, protection and convenience. We’ve combined Natural Silver Technology with wool to protect the mattress while providing your customers with a better night’s sleep. A wool core sandwiched between the waterproof barrier and cotton top buffers pressure points and supports joints to reduce tossing and turning. Wool wicks away moisture (including spills) to keep sheets dry, clean and just the right temperature—so no more, “My partner’s hot, I’m not.” ● No off-gassing ● Soft cotton top ● Prolongs the life of the mattress ● Natural Silver Technology in the top cotton layer ● Washable wool core in the top layer for added comfort ● Guaranteed for 10 years against fabric and manufacturing defects ● Waterproof protection on sides and top of mattress ● Thin, breathable barrier (polyurethane) is FDA compliant—safe enough for direct contact with food. Visit us in Las Vegas showroom A-950. Natura World Inc. One Natura Way Cambridge ON N3C 40A Phone: 519-651-2006 www.naturaworld.com

Ermcar is an industry leader in retail showroom design, branded shop concept development, graphics and fixture innovation. We offer our own component line of POP fixtures, including banner and sign stands, footboard signholders, modular vertical mattress displays and our newest, the custom graphic headboard (shown here). Using a sturdy tubular frame between the mattress and box spring for support, the Sintra is custom shaped and printed to customers’ own visuals, message or both. The face is removable for future updating opportunities. The Sintra provides a costeffective method for retailers and manufacturers to enhance their product, shopping environment and sales efforts. Call or email Marty Walker at mwalker@ermcar.com for more information. Ermcar Inc. 2252 Northwest Pkwy, Ste. F Marietta, GA 30067 Phone: 770-690-0023, x103 www.ermcar.com

Spring Air is embracing both specialty and traditional products with its Sleep SenseTM line, introduced earlier this year. Tagged as THE ULTIMATE BACK SUPPORTERTM, Sleep SenseTM combines traditional innerspring technology with maximum amounts of pressure-relieving specialty materials such as gel, latex and memory foam. Initial response and sales of Sleep SenseTM have been strong. Retail sales associates report that when they explain the unique selling proposition Sleep SenseTM offers to consumers…they get it! Sleep SenseTM is a winner for Spring Air and for you. Spring Air is expanding its assortment of Sleep SenseTM with the introduction of three new models at the Las Vegas Market. Visit Las Vegas showrooms B-1125 and B-1126. Spring Air International 70 Everett Ave., Ste. 507 Chelsea, MA 02150 Phone: 617-884-2300 www.springair.com

This information was provided to Sleep Savvy by the advertisers

SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

43


S howcase Are you a high-profile salesperson with strong business acumen? Are you currently running a sleep shop for someone else but know you could do it on your own? You can own your own business with the fastest growing sleep shop chain in the industry! America’s Mattress® is looking for potential candidates to open and run their own sleep shops in select markets nationwide. Our minimum market requirements for one-store operations could provide an aggressive operator up to $1 million in sales revenue, providing $50-$75k in owner’s salary. We provide a complete turnkey operation that includes: ● Serta partnership support ● Operations set-up ● Real estate selection/negotiation ● Complete retail support ● Advertising campaigns and creative ● National network membership and buying support of over 360 locations ● Up to $50,000 in capital to get started. Call 1-888-774-4448 or email kmackey@serta.com TODAY! Visit us in the Serta Las Vegas showroom, A-710. America’s Mattress 2600 Forbes Ave. Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 Phone: 888-774-4448 www.Americasmattress.com/business_opportunities

Want to sell more beds? Show customers they’ve come to the right place. XSENSOR provides pressure-imaging solutions to help mattress retailers and manufacturers find the right mattress for every consumer. Our Retail Mattress Systems are quick and easy to use. They allow RSAs to educate consumers about their pressure points and mattress support by showing them their pressure images. For retailers: ● Quickly builds trust and credibility with consumers ● Reduces mattress shopping time ● Increases revenue—higher closing rate and average ticket. For consumers: ● Improves knowledge about how to find the right mattress for their unique body shape ● Helps reduce confusion when searching for a mattress ● Enhances confidence in their mattress purchase and increases customer satisfaction. Visit us in Las Vegas at the Specialty Sleep Association showroom, C-1350. XSENSOR Technology Corp. 111–319 2 Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2P 0C5 Canada Phone: 866-927-5222 www.xsensor.com

Restonic is putting Marvelous back in the Middle with the New ComfortCare® line, featuring the New Marvelous Middle. The ComfortCare collection has been expanded to include a line focused at the $599 to $1,199 price points. The new line features a foam-encased 342/357/660 coilcount spring unit with special upholstery layers at each individual price point. The New Marvelous Middle features: ● Two Dream Beams™ for proper support ● Restonic AirFlow Edge™ for true edge-to-edge sleep ● Restonic AirFlow Base™, which provides interconnected support with channels for fresh airflow. Restonic is also offering special summer “Hot Buys” in our Healthrest and Grand Palais lines, with tremendous values from $999 to $1,400 to address renewed consumer interest in the upper end.

The Natural Reserve Line by InnoMax is where nature meets innovation! The consummate line for dealers who want to merchandise a powerful environmentally conscientious program, InnoMax Natural Reserve provides innovative products that are truly unique in the marketplace. Anchored by the flagship White Night™, which features certified organic cotton and wool and 100% natural latex support, all mattresses in the line include eco-friendly benefits like bio-based support cores and certified sustainable biodegradable foundations. Complementary Natural Reserve accessories provide customers with healthy bedding choices in overlays and a complete selection of natural breathe-easy pillows. The Natural Reserve line also offers nature’s finest sleep for the newest sleepers with the Baby First™ crib mattress.

Visit us in Las Vegas showroom B-0926.

See us in Las Vegas showroom C-1350, space C37.

Restonic 737 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14203 Phone: 800-898-6075 www.restonic.com

InnoMax 530 W. Elk Pl. Denver, CO 80216 Phone: 800-466-6629 www.innomax.com

44 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

This information was provided to Sleep Savvy by the advertisers


S howcase Latex International is expanding ComfortMatch with its new Pillows for the Body. ComfortMatch is a training system designed to help customers find the perfect Rejuvenite pillow for their size, comfort preference and sleep position. Pillows for the Body are resilient Talalay latex toppers—available in both plush and firm feels—wrapped in a luxurious, circular knit, zippered cover. Retailers can place them on any mattress to provide upgraded comfort, pressure relief and temperature regulation. Pillows for the Body guarantee exceptional, longlasting comfort and conforming body support without quilt materials, barriers and body impressions that tend to affect feel. Contact Kevin Stein, vice president of marketing and R&D, at kstein@latexintl.com.

Therapedic’s HourGlass Technology offers additional support where your customers need it most. The BackSense™ line of sleep sets by Therapedic features the exclusive HourGlass back support element. This custom-developed polypropylene element increases support firmness by 18% at the shoulders and hips, and by 13% at the lumbar area. The flexible technology can be combined with virtually any coil unit to offer improved performance and added value in a wide variety of mattress designs. The BackSense line also features: ● Open spring designs that provide progressive resistance as weight is applied to support where body weight is centered  ● Zoned coil configurations that provide variable density across the sleep surface to tailor support for every part of the body ● Cushioning comfort materials for optimal conformance and pressure relief in the upper upholstery layers of the mattress.

Visit Latex International in our Las Vegas showroom, B-945.

See Therapedic at the Las Vegas Market in showroom B-0822.

Latex International 510 River Rd. Shelton, CT 06484 Phone: 800-528-3987, x347 www.latexintl.com

Therapedic Sleep Products 103 College Rd. East Princeton, NJ 08540 Phone: 800-314-4433 www.therapedic.com

A true innovation in softness and support, the TEMPUR-CloudTM Supreme features an extra-thick layer of our new TEMPUR-ESTM to create a softer, more responsive sleep surface. TEMPUR-ES, the latest breakthrough in our collection of proprietary TEMPUR materials, will cushion customers in pillowy comfort, while the TEMPUR Support Layer conforms to and supports their bodies in perfect spinal alignment. A Dual AirFlow SystemTM Base Layer further enhances the sleep experience. Customers get the soft feel they want plus the added benefits of bodycontouring support, no motion disturbances and the relief from pressure points they expect from Tempur-Pedic. The allergen and dust mite-resistant cover features an ultra-soft, stretchable top, coordinated microsuede sides with stylish accent piping and it’s removable for easy washing.

Pure LatexBLISSTM builds natural Talalay latex mattresses to create signature feels that aren’t found in beds merely containing latex as a single ingredient. Our mattresses provide bottomless pressure relief and uplifting support. The natural benefits of latex rubber are truly discovered when you build a mattress that doesn’t have foam, fiber or quilting in the pressure-relief or support layers. Pure LatexBLISSTM has a different take on the traditional pillow-top mattress. Emulating brands such as Jensen in Europe, Pure LatexBLISSTM builds removable pillow tops. Available in 2-inch and 3-inch versions, the removable tops create a unique sensation—a new feel in the U.S. market. Pure LatexBLISSTM is also available in the UK and France.

See us in our Las Vegas showroom, A-1036.

See us in Las Vegas showroom B-930.

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

Pure LatexBLISS 11175 Cicero Dr., Ste. 100 Atlanta, GA 30022 Phone: 404-260-7421 www.latexbliss.com

This information was provided to Sleep Savvy by the advertisers

SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

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S howcase The Sleep Science Visco Supreme Comfort Memory Foam mattress is the crown jewel of South Bay International’s Sleep Science brand. It’s a luxurious, plush, 14.5-inch, premium visco/memory foam mattress. The three top layers feature the highest quality visco/memory foam currently on the market, in 7-pound, 6-pound and 5-pound densities. The configuration of these layers creates an incredible feel that is supported by the patented Wedge edge-to-edge perimeter support system. This exclusive feature provides 20% more sleeping surface, prevents sagging and extends the life of the mattress—and it’s only available as a feature of mattresses made by South Bay International. See us in Las Vegas showroom B-0860.

Transfer Master introduces the industry’s first practical, portable, easy-to-assemble adjustable bed. Targeted to the home market, the new adjustable bed offers ultimate convenience—oneperson assembly, virtually tool free, in 10 minutes. Lightweight, sturdy and constructed of high-grade steel, the bed is U.S. manufactured and features a high-quality, noninstitutional, attractive appearance for any bedroom. Transfer Master’s new bed offers simple shipping (FedEx Ground) for consumers—and significant energy, cost and labor savings for retailers. Considered the first portable, adjustable, cash-and-carry bed, it can be purchased from a local retailer for immediate setup. The innovative design offers practicality and cost efficiencies for additional appeal to distributors. Transfer Master offers a complete line of hospital and home-style adjustable beds, including hi-low, institutional and residential models.

South Bay International 2665 Pomona Blvd. Pomona, CA 91768 Phone: 909-718-5000 www.southbayinternational.com

Transfer Master 505 West Williams Postville IA 52162 Phone: 800-475-8122 www.transfermaster.com

The Create A King is a bedding accessory that significantly increases trundle set sales. A soft polyester sheepskin cushions the middle where beds join, while a simple belt buckles the two beds securely together. To return to the twins, simply unbuckle the strap.   Studies from mattress retailers using our product indicate a 40% to 50% increase in trundle sales when there is a safe and comfortable way to make twin beds into a temporary king. ● Great for twin beds, daybeds and trundles ● Ideal for guest rooms ● Important in older homes/apartments where stairs or elevators cannot accommodate a king size bed ● Appealing for timeshares and vacation homes with twin beds in one or more rooms ● Important to some cultural and religious markets that at times require separate beds. Call today for this and other unique patented bedding accessories. Ask about our free fixture program. CKI Sleep Solutions 3020 N. Federal Highway, Ste. 3 Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33306 Phone: 888-222-2217 www.ckisolutions.com

46 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

Millions of people of all ages suffer from ailments such as acid reflux, heartburn, hiatal hernia, ulcers and others that can be relieved by elevating the head of their mattress and box spring. Designed based on doctor recommendations, the Beds Up Insert by Mantua safely and securely elevates the head of the mattress and box spring by 2, 4 or 6 inches to allow for a more restful sleep. This eliminates the need for foam wedges, extra pillows, bricks or blocks and allows your customers to sleep directly on the mattress. The Beds Up Insert is adjustable to fit twin, full or queen size beds; two inserts are used for king size. Mantua Manufacturing Cleveland ∙ Houston ∙ Tampa ∙ Boston 7900 Northfield Rd. Walton Hills, OH 44146 Phone: 800-333-8333 www.bedframes.com

This information was provided to Sleep Savvy by the advertisers


S howcase The Havana queen-size cabinet bed from Arason/ ZzZ-Chest is a stunning combination bamboo veneer framed in espresso birch and featuring distinctive Asian-style hardware. A lightweight, ecofriendly honeycomb core is used in the construction. Closed dimension is 65w x 52h x 22d inches; it opens to 82 inches long. Perfect for: ● Smaller homes or vacation properties that need extra sleeping accommodations ● Empty nesters and others who have downsized ● Reclaiming space in an existing home. It’s free standing, has two roomy storage drawers, requires no installation, takes up little space and converts into a platform bed in seconds. The 18-inch-high sleeping platform is a practical option for most people.

Your customers use their beds for more than sleeping—from reading to web surfing to TV viewing. Shouldn’t mattress positions adapt accordingly? With the Leggett & Platt Prodigy power foundation, customers can tailor their mattress position to any activity. Through a two-way Wi-Fi remote or an iPhone/iPod Touch application that allows use of a mobile device to control the bed, Prodigy integrates digital technology into the bedroom. Moreover, users now can alleviate disturbing snores by repositioning their sleeping partners at the touch of a button. For customers who want to wake up on the right side of the bed, a patented, gentle wake alarm with light massage can calmly awaken them from a restful night’s sleep.

See the Havana in the Specialty Sleep Association’s Las Vegas showroom, C-1350.

Visit the Leggett & Platt Consumer Products Group in Las Vegas Market showroom B-1326.

Arason Enterprises P.O. Box 3274 Annapolis, MD 21403 East Coast phone: 410-703-4412 West Coast phone: 805-487-3330 (Pacific Mfg. & Distributing)

Leggett & Platt P.O. Box 674 Carthage, MO 64836 Phone: 417-358-8132 www.leggett.com

Sleep Savvy reaches the mattress market And we do it better than any other publication. Because 100% of Sleep Savvy’s 23,500 retailer readers sell mattresses. Kerri Bellias, Vice President of Sales 336-945-0265 kbellias@sleepproducts.org www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

This information was provided to Sleep Savvy by the advertisers

Nancy Butler, Editor in Chief 828-299-7420 nbutler@sleepproducts.org

SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

47


CLOSING WORDS by Gerry Morris

Teaching. Training. Coaching.

I

n the mattress business, there is nothing more important than sales training. The conversation between retail sales associate and shopper is the culmination and pinnacle of the efforts of our entire industry. Consumers are becoming more enlightened, empowered and discriminating. Are we becoming better prepared to be of service to them? Every retailer and associate must consider training as an ongoing process and should examine that process for its effectiveness. The investment in training can pay dividends for all participants. Consumers are the real beneficiaries. They are much more likely to buy better quality mattresses from competent RSAs and are more likely to be satisfied with their purchase. So what makes training effective? It’s the RSA’s degree and depth of involvement in the process that makes the difference. Effective sales training has different levels that progressively increase RSA involvement and participation. Teaching: Basic learning Teaching is the most basic. It is a linear method—information is given directly to the RSA and he or she must understand it, remember it and then apply it. It’s simply memorization, which is a passive type of learning. Teaching is effective for basic factual orientation on policy and procedure, such as writing a ticket, how to check the delivery schedule and inventory levels, etc. Most people can learn this type of information quickly. Usually there are manuals or other resources to make the information available until it is assimilated.

48 SleepSavvy • July/August 2010

Even product knowledge can be learned in a linear fashion through memorization. But applying product knowledge to the selling process is another matter. That falls into the area of selling skills. The problem with teaching selling skills is that the information is much more complex. Rather than straight facts, it involves concepts, ideas, hypothetical situations and problemsolving techniques. It’s challenging, at best, for a trainee to grasp selling skills by passive memorization. Interacting with customers is multidimensional, with incalculable possible scenarios. This requires that the RSA become actively involved in the process to become effective. Training: Active learning The first level of active involvement is what we call training. Typically an instructor gives the RSA information and demonstrates, by example, how to use it. Then the RSA performs the task with the help of the trainer. Roleplaying sessions can be used to reach a level of competence and confidence. As RSAs progress, they can begin using their new skills in actual selling situations—with supervision. It’s at

this point in the process that associates should spend considerable time on the sales floor observing the interactions between experienced RSAs and their customers. In time, with proper training, the RSA can go it alone in real selling situations with customers using his or her acquired skills. At this level, RSAs can begin to use their own creativity, intuition and problem-solving abilities. At this point, it’s common for the training process to diminish if the RSA is performing well. However, this is when the transition should be made to the top level of training. Coaching: Staying on top Coaching gives full autonomy to the RSA, but provides ongoing support, advice and motivation. Just as in professional sports, even top performers need a coach. Coaches stay involved from the sidelines to make sure that the RSA is performing up to his or her potential and to facilitate continued improvement. Remember, it’s likely that RSAs will be the only consumer touch point for our entire industry. That’s why it’s so important that we all stay focused on effective training. ● Gerry Morris is an author, consultant, training coach and a member of the National Speakers Association. With more than 20 years of experience in the mattress industry, Gerry has helped manufacturers, retailers and RSAs around the world increase their sales. To find out what Gerry can do for your company or just talk, call 903-456-2015, email gmorris@innerspring.net or visit www.innerspring.net. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com


The Right Support for Your Customers and Your

Bottom Line

The Sealy Posturepedic® bed frame, the world’s strongest and most technologically advanced frame, provides correct support for the mattress and box spring, extending sleep system life and performance. The Sealy Posturepedic® brand is recognized and preferred by consumers for its superior quality products. Contact Mantua Mfg. to learn more about the industry’s most successful branded bed frame program and how it can add to your bottom line.

ADVANTAGES • Patented level-design construction • Self-leveling legs • Brand recognition

Phone: 1-877-777-5593 (toll free) Email: info@sealybedframe.com Web:

www.bedframes.com

MANTUA MFG. CO. Exclusive licensed manufacturer of the Sealy Posturepedic® bed frame


TM

Profile for International Sleep Products Association

Sleep Savvy Magazine Jul 2010  

The magzine for sleep products professional

Sleep Savvy Magazine Jul 2010  

The magzine for sleep products professional