The cover story
A category on the move RETAIL ROAD TRIP
Goodnight & Sweet Dreamzzz focuses on selling sleep to Toronto area customers MARKET SCENE
Gel foams, stylish details & innovative display ideas stand out in Las Vegas
KNOWING WHAT MATTERS MEANS SUCCESS FOR YOU!
FLEXIBILITY MATTERS. • FLEXIBLE & RESPONSIVE • BRAND RECOGNITION • COMPREHENSIVE POP SUPPORT • EXPERIENCE AROUND THE GLOBE
We know what you need to be successful in today’s marketplace. Our network of local factories epitomize the entrepreneurial spirit and will do what you need, when you need it, and how you need it to get it done.
WE KNOW WHAT MATTERS. visit us at THERAPEDIC.COM for more information about our brand.
IN THIS ISSUE where to find it
THE COVER STORY
Dream machines: Adjustable bases enjoying sales gains
Once relegated to the back of the store, adjustable bases are moving front and center as their flexibility, comfort and high-tech features draw consumers to this red-hot category.
WAKE UP CALL
from the editor
Savvy retailers understand that adding adjustable bases to their product mix is a good way to “wow” shoppers and increase average tickets.
stuff you can use
Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Mehmet Oz reveal secrets to a good night’s rest; sleep disorders are common among police officers; Ohio cows sleep on waterbeds; retailing in the age of smartphone shoppers…and more
CONSUMER CHECK profiling your customer
According to a recent survey, consumers of luxury goods aren’t as conspicuous in their consumption as they once were, but they’re still out there and ready to buy if the purchase gives them enough bang for their buck.
BE MY GUEST by Don Hutson The chances of pursuing your goals are substantially greater if you write them down—and then harness the power of perseverance to achieve them.
29 30 36
HER BED POST selling to women
By the time a woman walks through your doors, she’s already juggling a host of work and family responsibilities. Give her a break by making her purchasing decisions easier.
MARKET SCENE Las Vegas highlights
The mood at the winter Las Vegas Market was upbeat as vendors rolled out a bevy of new products—many featuring gel components on the inside and high-fashion styling on the outside.
CLOSING WORDS by Gerry Morris For more effective customer care, focus on the goal of the sales process rather than the process itself and use a powerful selling technique called guided discovery.
RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene
The owner of Goodnight & Sweet Dreamzzz, an inviting boutique near Toronto, created the kind of store she always wanted to visit.
SleepSavvy • March 2012
Powered by Ergomotion.
SleepSavvy The magazine for sleep products professionals
Editor in Chief Julie A. Palm 571-482-5442 email@example.com Associate Editor Barbara Nelles 336-303-1114 firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Mary Best 571-482-5432 email@example.com Contributors Don Hutson Gary James Gerry Morris Dorothy Whitcomb Creative Director Stephanie Belcher The Jimmydog Design Group Vice President of Advertising Sales Kerri Bellias 336-945-0265 firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Production Manager Debbie Robbins 571-482-5443 email@example.com Circulation Manager Mary Rulli 336-491-0443 firstname.lastname@example.org Copy Editor Betsi Robinson Vol. 11, No. 2 ISSN 1538-702X Sleep Savvy is published eight times a year by the International Sleep Products Association, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1917. Phone 703-683-8371; fax 703-683-4503; website: www.sleepsavvymagazine.com. Advertising services: 1613 Country Club Drive, Reidsville, NC 27320. Phone 571-482-5443; fax 703-683-4503. Please send subscription orders and changes to: Sleep Savvy, P.O. Box 4678, Archdale, NC 27263 or fax 703-683-4503. Subscription policy & rates Retailers: All U.S. retailers qualify for free subscriptions, up to five per location. In Canada, $10 per year; all other countries, $30. Manufacturers, suppliers and others: ISPA member company personnel qualify for complimentary subscriptions, subject to restrictions. Nonmembers and others: $30 U.S., $40 non-U.S. ©2012 by the International Sleep Products Association. No portion of the content may be reprinted without permission from Sleep Savvy. Printed in the United States.
WAKE UP CALL from the editor
There’s money under that mattress
t wasn’t that long ago when adjustable beds were a niche product, sold by a small number of retailers to a customer base of mostly older people with health problems. How times have changed. At the winter Las Vegas market, adjustable bases were featured prominently in the showrooms of all the bedding majors and throughout the market. Companies that specialize in adjustables rolled out a host of innovative new features. (See more about the Vegas market in our coverage starting on Page 30.) The numbers really are astounding. Some players in the category report that attachment rates for retailers who understand how to merchandise and explain adjustables are as high as 30%. Some predict attachment rates will reach 50% in the not-so-distant future. With average retail prices for adjustables ranging from $1,000 to $2,000—and often much higher— that’s a significant boost to an average ticket, all without devoting additional floor space to displaying products. As Niles Cornelius, general manager of Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. in Hickory N.C., says in our cover story starting on Page 12, “If you’re selling a $2,000 mattress with a conventional foundation, when you add an adjustable base that price tag goes to $3,500 to $4,000. You’re making a lot more money with exactly the same real estate.” The growth in this category has been remarkable and our story lays out in detail what’s driving the sales gains. Some of the factors include changing lifestyles—people like to
multitask in bed: they watch TV, work on their computers, read. And improvements in base designs and features make adjustables attractive additions to the bedroom. Also contributing to the growth is consumer interest in memory foam, latex and pocketed coil mattresses that work well with adjustable bases. At Sleep Savvy, we generally emphasize the importance of talking to consumers about the benefits of a particular mattress rather than its features. Mattress construction is important and mattress technologies have gotten quite advanced but every retail sales associate has seen a consumer lose interest the moment the talk turns to coil counts or foam densities. But when it comes to selling adjustables, it’s OK to highlight features. These are cool, high-tech products. Consumers get excited hearing about dual massage, wall-hugging engineering, under-the-bed night lights, iPod and iPad docking stations, and easy-to-use programmable remotes. These are features they can see and easily understand. Ask your customers to lie on the bed, place the remote in their hands and let them put the bed through the motions. They’ll experience in minutes all the ways an adjustable can enhance their lives and make that new mattress even better. ● Julie A. Palm, editor in chief
SleepSavvy • March 2012
SPRINGAIR introduces ®
The world’s 1st certified asthma & allergy friendly ™ mattresses
Fact: 1 in 3 children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with asthma, allergy or a respiratory ailment.
Over 50% of American households has someone living there with asthma or allergies.
In 2012, consumers will spend more than $10 billion to improve their indoor air quality.
Become a part of the breathe™ network and claim your share of this “recession proof” market. www.springair.com
©2012. SpringAir® International
SNOOZE NEWS stuff you can use
Improving sleep Better Sleep Council’s mattress tips featured
A recent article on Oprah.com, the official website of media mogul and cultural icon Oprah Winfrey, focused on ways to get a good night’s sleep. Posted Jan. 17, “14 Reasons You Still Can’t Sleep” addresses reasons why people aren’t getting an adequate amount of sleep, even if they follow “all the sleep rules to the letter.” The story includes tips from the International Sleep Products Association’s Better Sleep Council and highlights the BSC’s educational message. “If you can fit three fingers between your lower back and the mattress, then it’s not giving enough support,” said Karin Mahoney, BSC director of communications. She also suggested readers rotate their mattress 180 degrees every six months. To check out the entire story, visit www.oprah.com/health/reasons-you-cant-sleepsurprise-sleep-disruptors/3#ixzz1lKFlcxG0.
(And speaking of Oprah . . .)
ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as
— David M. Ogilvy
Resting easy with Dr. Oz
r. Mehmet Oz knows the importance of sleep. In an article on Parade.com posted Jan. 20, the cardiothoracic surgeon, author, host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and Oprah Winfrey pal confessed that 25 years ago, when he was a surgical resident, he conditioned himself to sleep only three to four hours a night. Over the years, his bad habits have changed and today, he acknowledges that a good night’s sleep is crucial to a healthy life. “Inadequate sleep can lead to serious health problems and shortened life expectancy,” he wrote on Parade.com. That’s why Oz posted a four-week plan for people wanting to create better sleeping habits. On Week 1, go mattress shopping, he advises, because sleep is often interrupted by allergies and asthma, conditions exacerbated by little critters like dust mites that can accumulate in mattresses. “The older the mattress, the more likely that mites have taken up residence,” Oz wrote. “If yours is more than 5 to 7 years old, it may be time for an upgrade. (If your mattress is newer than that, consider buying a mite-resistant casing instead.)”
SleepSavvy • March 2012
stuff you can use
Listening to the consumer
Phoning it in
hoppers breeze through your store, check out the merchandise and head out the door. As for making a purchase? They’re buying it on their smartphone from some other company. When shoppers ask their smartphones where to find the best buy, we, as retailers, get angry. We wonder, “What about all the time and money I invested in this store? What about the people I have to train and manage? What about the inventory I’ve warehoused for shoppers’ convenience?” I have to confess: On Black Friday last November, I did my share of browsing retail locations where I viewed and touched items that I ultimately purchased using my smartphone. Didn’t you? Your spouse? Your daughter? There’s a name for this new consumer behavior: “showrooming.” On Cyber Monday last November, online sales were up about 33% over the same day in 2010, and e-commerce rose 26% for the year. Mobile devices with online access are driving one of the largest shifts in consumer behavior in the past 40 years. The rate of mobile adoption is outpacing the personal computer revolution of the 1980s and the Internet boom of the 1990s. The result is an incredible volume of purchases now being made from smartphones and tablets. Even retail giant Target is admitting that online and mobile purchasing is impacting its bottom line. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, the big-box retailer demanded that its vendors create products that can’t be shopped and purchased online. Really? Gregg Steinhafel, Target president and chief executive officer, said his company isn’t willing to allow online retailers to use Target stores as their showroom. His message: No
showrooming for us. But it seems to me that “we’re only doing it our way” may not be the best strategy for retailers. Mobile commerce sales are predicted to rise from $6.7 billion in 2011 to $11.6 billion this year—and that’s just in the United States. People are adopting smartphones and tablets at four times the rate of PCs. By the end of 2012, some estimate that more than 1 billion iOS (Apple’s mobile operating system) and Android smartphones and tablets will have been activated. And consider this: According to a recent study, the average smartphone owner spends 94 minutes a day browsing the Internet on her mobile device versus 72 minutes a day browsing on a PC. If you think the difficulty of understanding and employing mobile-shopping technology will deter Average Jane Shopper, think again. Smartphones and tablets come loaded with broadband connectivity right out of the box. Ping! Instant access to the Web and unlimited mobile applications that are easy to download. The day is coming when shoppers will demand that any company they do business with have a digital channel optimized for mobile devices—not a clunky link to a clunky website, but a mobile, interactive shopping channel. Consumers want shopping and buying to be easy. They don’t care about your retail difficulties. They’re “smartphoning” it in. Your only choice is to take the call. Cindy Williams is vice president of client services at Atlanta-based Info Retail, a strategy and design firm that helps retailers and manufacturers improve customers’ buying experiences. Contact Cindy by phone at 770-953-1500, Ext. 16 or through www.inforetail.com.
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know what half.—John Wanamaker
6 SleepSavvy • March 2012
stuff you can use
Got waterbed? Got milk!
n Wellington, Ohio, humans aren’t the only mammals more productive after a good night’s sleep. According to farmer David Conrad, since his more than 200 cows started curling up each night on sawdustcovered waterbeds a year ago, the quality and quantity of their milk has improved. The rubber mattresses are 7 feet long and 4 feet wide and hold about 14 gallons of water. “These waterbeds offer a clean, low-maintenance bed for
the cows to lie in,” Conrad told CNN in January from his farm an hour southwest of Cleveland. Each waterbed is valued at $300. According to Conrad, the investment has paid off. “We do the very best we can to keep the cows happy and content and, in return, they will take care of us,” he said. “We’ve noticed in the last five months or six months our milk quality has gone up quite a bit.” No wonder Conrad Farms is known as the “Spa for Cows.”
Gen Yers not shopping online as much as we think
oung consumers may not be as dependent on technology as some analysts have estimated. In fact, more than 68% of 18- to 25-year-olds say they “prefer to shop in stores than online for apparel and shoes,” according to a recent online questionnaire of 310 young people. Students from New York’s LIM College and members of the school’s National Retail Federation Student Association conducted the survey. “We have read and observed what industry leaders had been saying about our use of technology for shopping and it did not match our own habits and preferences,” said Alexis Michaelides, leader of the student group. Other findings about the shopping habits of Gen Y: ● While 68% prefer to shop in stores, they use the Web to gather information—with 66% using the Web to browse and compare prices. ● Only 23% shop from a tablet or smartphone. ● 66% like to think about their purchase before buying. ● 56% pay for most of their purchases with debit cards rather than cash or credit cards. ● Only 20% shop from flash sale sites such as Rue La La and Gilt Groupe. The majority of those surveyed were not familiar with the sites. ● These consumers will “like” a brand on Facebook, but more than 88% do not want to shop through Facebook or Twitter.
Are 90% of managers actually ineffective?
re the least effective executives the ones who appear to be doing the most? That’s the question Heike Bruch, a professor at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, and Sumantra Ghoshal, a professor of strategic and international management at the London Business School, have asked in their research and resulting book A Bias for Action: How Effective Managers Harness Their Willpower, Achieve Results, and Stop Wasting Time. For 10 years, the scholars studied the behavior of managers in about a dozen companies, including Sony and Lufthansa. Their findings were startling: “Fully 90% of managers squander their time in all sorts of ineffective activities.” Specifically, they identified four types of managers: ● 30% are procrastinators, having little focus and energy, two critical traits for an effective manager. Their fear of failure keeps them from showing initiative. ● 20% are disengaged, meaning they’re focused but lack energy. ● 40% are distracted. They’re bubbling with energy but are directionless. They come across as frenzied. ● 10% are calm, determined, focused and energetic, achieving “critical, long-term goals more often.” How can the 90% learn to be more effective? According to the authors, it “can only happen with vision, oversight and commitment from the top.”
SleepSavvy • March 2012
stuff you can use
Well, if you don’t have time to do it
you think you’ll have time to do it over?
JUST FOR LAUGHS
right, what makes
“I don’t think Bob quite understood me when I said I wanted our sleep products to be more ‘green.’ ” BEDDING BIZ BEAT Mattress sales finished 2011 on a high note, according to Bedding Barometer, a monthly report of U.S. mattress sales published by the International Sleep Products Association. Unit sales of mattresses and foundations in the United States gained 7.6% over December 2010, while the wholesale dollar value of those units increased 20.2%. The average unit selling price rose 11.7% in December over the prior-year period. Initial statistics for 2011 indicate the U.S. mattress industry saw unit sales increase 2.1% over 2010. Dollar values and AUSP were up 10% and 7.8%, respectively.
Mattresses & Foundations in Millions of Wholesale Dollars Sample of Leading Producers
Percent change +6%
Percent change +12.3%
Percent change +12.6%
Percent change +12.5%
Percent change +14.4%
Percent change +20.2%
■ 2010 ■ 2011
8 SleepSavvy • March 2012
stuff you can use
Poor sleep takes toll on the body, research shows
People who don’t get adequate sleep are at major risk for obesity, diabetes and coronary artery disease, according to research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. By analyzing the health data of more than 130,000 people, the study indicates general sleep disturbances—difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, sleeping too much—may play a role in the development of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. The study was published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of Sleep Research. “Previous studies have demonstrated that those who get less sleep are more likely to also be obese, have diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and are more likely to die sooner, but this new analysis has revealed that other sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or even too much sleep, are also associated with cardiovascular and metabolic health issues,” says Dr. Michael A. Grandner, research associate at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania and lead author of the study. Researchers examined associations between sleep disturbances and other health conditions, focusing on perceived sleep quality rather than sleep duration only. After adjusting for demographic, socioeconomic and health risk factors, patients who suffered from sleep disturbances at least three nights per week were 35% more likely to be obese, 54% more likely to have diabetes, 80% more likely to have had a heart attack, 98% more likely to have coronary artery disease and 102% more likely to have had a stroke.
Lack of rest makes your brain hungry As if there aren’t enough reasons why sleep deprivation is bad for you, there’s more research to indicate that sleep loss can make you fat. A new study from Uppsala University in Sweden shows that insufficient sleep may stimulate a person’s appetite and, over time, poor sleep habits can affect a person’s risk of becoming overweight. The findings are published in the January issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Uppsala University researchers Christian Benedict, Samantha Brooks, Helgi Schiöth and Elna-Marie Larsson,
10 SleepSavvy • March 2012
along with researchers from other European universities, examined which regions in the brain that control appetite sensation are influenced by acute sleep loss. Using magnetic imaging, the researchers studied the brains of 12 normal-weight men while they viewed images of foods. The team compared the results after participants had a night of normal sleep with those obtained after a night of insufficient sleep. “After a night of total sleep loss, these males showed a high level of activation in an area of the brain that is involved in a desire to eat,” Benedict says. “Bearing in mind that insufficient sleep is a growing problem in modern society, our results may explain why poor sleep habits can affect people’s risk to gain weight in the long run. It may therefore be important to sleep about eight hours every night to maintain a stable and healthy body weight.”
Sleep troubles put cops at risk An extensive survey of police officers indicates that about 40% have a sleep disorder that increases the risk of adverse health, safety and performance outcomes, according to a study in the Dec. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. “Police officers frequently work extended shifts and long work weeks, which in other occupations are associated with increased risk of errors, unintended injuries and motor vehicle crashes,” the authors say. “According to data through the year 2003, more officers are killed by unintended adverse events than during the commission of felonies.” Between July 2005 and December 2007, Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Shantha M.W. Rajaratnam and colleagues examined U.S. and Canadian officers through online or on-site screening and monthly follow-up surveys. The average age of participants was 38.5 years, with an average of 12.7 years of police service. A total of 4,957 officers participated in the study. According to researchers, 40.4% screened positive for at least one sleep disorder, 33.6% screened positive for obstructive sleep apnea, 6.5% screened positive for moderate to severe insomnia and 5.4% screened positive for a shift-work disorder. Positive screening for a sleep disorder was associated with increased risk of selfreported health- and safety-related outcomes, including depression, burnout and falling asleep while driving.
The cover story
A category on the move
By Gary James parked by growing consumer awareness, changing lifestyles and a variety of upgraded, easy-to-use features, adjustable bases are poised for another round of substantial growth this year. Retailers who carry adjustables— sometimes called “motion” or “power” bases—find that they can offer their customers an exciting lifestyle product while boosting their own average tickets—all without taking up additional showroom space. According to leaders in the category, adjustable bases—motorized foundations that move a bed into a range of positions via remote control—have been red hot for the past two years. And they are continuing to gain momentum as more retailers devote space to the category and mattress majors, such as Tempur-Pedic, Sealy, Simmons and Serta, spread the word about the benefits of adjustable bases through national advertising programs. At the recent winter Las Vegas Market, adjustables could be found in the showrooms of major bedding producers and many smaller players, as well. Manufacturers and suppliers of adjustables say attachment rates at retailers who carry the bases can average 10% to 20%, and, in some cases, reach 30%. The evolution of a category Once sold mostly to older consumers seeking relief from a major health problem, adjustable beds
12 SleepSavvy • March 2012
have steadily expanded beyond that narrow niche. Now, they appeal to consumers of all ages who are attracted by their flexibility, comfort and high-tech features, such as massage therapy, wireless controls, and iPhone and iPad docks. Enhancements in the construction and design of adjustables have replaced the hospital-bed appearance of the past with a look that fits into today’s home decor. The rise of memory foam, pocketed coil and latex mattresses also has made adjustable beds more relevant to a greater number of consumers. “Buying adjustable beds has become a lifestyle choice,” says Patti Ark, U.S. general manager of Reverie in Silver Creek, N.Y. “Consumers like the fact that they make it much more comfortable to sit up and watch TV, read or work on their laptops. They also enhance the resting and sleeping experience because of their multiple adjustments. And for anybody who has a health challenge—anything from a hernia, acid reflux and circulation issues to something more serious—an adjustable bed provides a very soothing surface.” Until quite recently, adjustables had a minimal presence on most retail floors, with specialists offering a limited selection and conventional furniture stores largely ignoring the category. Profit potential At Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. in Hickory, N.C., unit sales of adjust-
able beds were up 50% for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 31. While sales this fiscal year haven’t been quite as robust, general manager Niles Cornelius say he believes the category is in for “exciting times” in the coming few years. “In the past two years, we gained a lot more placements on retail floors,” Cornelius says. “If a retailer has 30 beds on a floor, as many as half might have an adjustable base underneath them now. Since they don’t take up any more floor space than a conventional foundation, it’s a huge opportunity to up-sell the customer and make a much better profit.” Any resistance retailers might have about the higher investment it takes to floor adjustables—roughly 2 to 2 ½ times the cost of conventional box springs—is generally www.sleepsavvymagazine.com
Above Leggett & Platt’s Designer Series sports enhanced styling details, including four upholstery options with matching headboard and squaretapered, furniture-style legs. Other features include dual, variable-intensity massage with wave movement; one-touch ‘flat’ button; programmable custom positions; and preset TV and zero-gravity positions. A queen-size Designer Series adjustable base retails for about $1,600. Right Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. has added the iCare 6 to its growing line of adjustable bases. The model combines an adjustable motion power base with a modern, modular cushion/comfort deck support in six sections. Other features include an accessory utility pocket, adjustable headboard brackets and a therapeutic dual-body massage, as well as three preset memory positions. It retails for $1,999 in queen.
outweighed by the greater profit potential, Cornelius says. “If you’re selling a $2,000 mattress with a conventional foundation, when you add an adjustable base that price tag goes to $3,500 to $4,000,” he says. “You’re making a lot more money with exactly the same real estate.” Hickory Springs has five models in its current iCare line of adjustable motion power bases. The lineup includes a new model—iCare Base 4—introduced at the winter Las Vegas Market. The model features deck-on-deck construction, in which a slender adjustable base floats within an upholstered outer base, providing a fashion-forward, finished-bed look. Like other beds in the iCare line, the new model features a “wall-glide” design that keeps the headboard at a constant distance from the wall as the bed articulates, therapeutic body massage, a gravity-release safety feature and wireless hand remote with a variety of personalized settings. Later this year, Hickory Springs expects to introduce at least one more model in the promotional range. “We’re rounding out our offerings because we want to be the go-to source for adjustables,” Cornelius says. According to Cornelius, Hickory Springs’ line is distinguished by its heavy-duty chassis with steel legs for secure weight support. Two of the models—iCare 3 and iCare 6—feature a modular deck design with a footlowering function for lounge positioning and relaxation. The iCare 6 offers headrest adjustment.
On the cover Series 100, Ergomotion’s entry-level adjustable base, features a rugged, powder-coated frame; heavy-duty DC motor; and wired control. The base is designed to work with traditional headboards and bed frames, providing an opportunity for personalized style. A queen-size model retails for $999. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com
SleepSavvy • March 2012
THE COVER STORY
adjustable bases: a category on the move ‘We don’t see this as a fad’ At Carthage, Mo.-based Leggett & Platt Inc., adjustable bed sales grew at a “high double-digit rate” in 2011, says Jay Thompson, president of the Adjustable Bed Group. For 2012, he expects unit sales of adjustable bases to continue to be strong and run higher than “normal mattress growth,” although he doesn’t expect the pace to be quite as brisk as last year. “Adjustable bases will continue to gain a bigger share of the market,” Thompson says. “We are seeing much higher attachment rates, especially in specialty stores.” According to Thompson, until only a few years ago, adjustable beds were a product relegated to the back of a store, if a retailer carried them at all. “It was seen as a medical bed with a very limited appeal,” he says. Today, with enhanced styling and a host of features, adjustable beds are
becoming a very visible—and viable— option for consumers. “Retailers have seen the success that the category can offer and they want a piece of the action, too,” Thompson says. “RSAs are now presenting this product early in the sales process. We don’t see this as a fad. This category is going to continue to grow more important as the industry innovates and improves the range of features that are offered.” As a percentage of total mattress foundations sold, adjustable bases still account for less than 5% of the total, by Thompson’s estimate. “But that is still a large—and growing—number,” he says. “Certain retailers may see attachment rates as high as 10% to 20% or even higher.” L&P’s line—previously referred to as “power foundations” but now marketed as adjustable bases, similar to most of the industry—includes seven models.
Helping RSAs make the sale
o maximize retail sales associates’ success in the adjustable foundation category, vendors are stepping up their training and communication efforts to provide more detailed product information. At Ergomotion, the focus is on expanding the in-store training of store managers and brand managers. “We talk to them in-depth about product features,” says Kelly Clenet, president of the company, which has headquarters in Santa Barbara, Calif. Since the best way to attach an adjustable base to a mattress sale is to get the product properly presented, Ergomotion works hard to provide key staff the information they need “to educate and excite their sales associates and consumers,” Clenet adds. “Our goal is to make adjustable bases a part of every sales conversation,” he says. “Once consumers test one, they immediately see the difference.” Carthage, Mo.-based Leggett & Platt, which launched a major territory sales training initiative several years ago, now has about a dozen full-time trainers in the field. The trainers work closely with store managers and RSAs to explain the features of adjustable bases and the ways they
14 SleepSavvy • March 2012
The line starts with ShipShape, designed to be easily shippable via overnight carrier and tops out with the elegant Prodigy, which has an abundance of features, such as iPhone and iTouch apps, a wireless remote, a gentle-wake alarm and snore control. One of L&P’s most popular models is the S-cape, which features wallhugger engineering, variable height options, one-touch “flat” button, dual full-body massage and 600-pound lifting capacity. (The “flat” button returns the bed quickly to the flat position.) This year, L&P continues to look for ways to improve the styling and functionality of its adjustable base line, Thompson says. Those efforts included the introduction of an eighth model—the Designer Series—at the winter Las Vegas Market. With a more contemporary style, the model is “aimed at younger consumers with more active lifestyles,” he says.
can help consumers. “This isn’t a simple product to sell,” says Jay Thompson, president of L&P’s Adjustable Bed Group. “It takes some explaining and demonstrating. For the best results, we provide a proven system of easy-to-follow steps that RSAs can use.” In addition, L&P is planning to enhance its website this year to make it an even more effective tool for RSAs, as well as consumers. At the winter Las Vegas Market, Reverie debuted a point-of-sale education system that enables sales associates and consumers to access video demonstrations and other information about the company’s adjustable bases through a QR (quick-response) code on product labels. This will be “an assist” to RSAs to make sure they cover all the bases during their presentations, says Patti Ark, U.S. general manager of the company, which is based in Silver Creek, N.Y. “In many cases, bedding is one of many products that a salesperson has to keep up with,” Ark says. “They’re also selling tables, chairs, beds and more—it’s amazing they can keep up with it all. With our new QR-enabled system, they can show customers quick videos about our bedding on a smartphone or tablet that highlight the main features in a consistent manner.” www.sleepsavvymagazine.com
THE COVER STORY
adjustable bases: a category on the move Feature-filled bases At the luxury end, Reverie also is seeing strong growth in adjustable bases, with its large dealers steadily growing the category at a 20% rate for the past two years, Ark says. “The business really started to take off for us about two years ago,” she says. “And it’s become huge in the past year.” She estimates that attachment rates for adjustable bases now run between 10% and 20% for retailers who carry the category, compared with just 2% to 3% a few years ago. For retailers who carry TempurPedic, a pioneer in pairing its mattresses with adjustable bases, attachment rates are approaching 30%, says Mike Mason, director of brand development and integration for the Lexington, Ky.-based company.
Reverie, an OEM producer that also offers its own branded product, recently streamlined its adjustable base lineup from four models to two—a basic model and a step-up version. Part of the Reverie Sleep System, both models feature three memory positions, an emergency power-down function and dual-wave massage function. Accessories include a deluxe, wireless backlit remote control. “We wanted to make it easier for consumers to choose the right base for their needs,” Ark says. “We’ll continue to offer a range of accessory options on the step-up model for those consumers who want all the bells and whistles.” At the winter Las Vegas Market, Reverie introduced a new remote for the Deluxe Adjustable Base with added features, such as antisnore and programmable memory. The company also showcased its
According to Ark, selling an adjustable bed requires sales associates to quickly “drill down” in their discussions with consumers to uncover insights about their lifestyles. “Some want to be able to watch TV and read; others are more interested in working on their laptop,” she says. “For others, the massage aspect may be the key driver. Each consumer is unique and it’s up to salespeople to create an atmosphere where the consumer feels comfortable sharing
new iPad and iPhone apps, which enable consumers to adjust their bedding, as well as their room appliances, with a phone or tablet. “We are focused on using technology to enhance the consumer’s experience with our Reverie Sleep Systems,” Ark says. “We keep pushing the envelope with innovation, because we don’t want our products to ever become a commodity.” Rooted in health care Before they made their way into consumers’ bedrooms, adjustable bases were first used in hospital settings. Transfer Master in Postville, Iowa, still produces adjustable beds for hospitals and sleep labs, but also markets models for home use. It offers three beds in its consumeroriented Hi-Low line. They include the Original Transfer Master, a fully upholstered model with three func-
their perspective.” And, while consumers are much more savvy about adjustables these days, some still view them as something to be used only when a person is in poor health. “They’ll say, ‘Why do I need that? I’m not sick,’ ” says Ark, pointing out that it’s up to the RSA to then show those dubious consumers the benefits adjustable foundations provide for healthy consumers of all ages. In addition to providing more in-store information, vendors are using the Web more actively to educate and motivate consumers. For example, Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. in Hickory, N.C., has posted on its website a link to a printable PDF brochure that highlights each of the models in its iCare line. The brochure includes details on features, sizes and warranties, along with photos.
To provide sales associates and consumers with easy-to-access information about its adjustable bases, Reverie is using QR (quick-response) codes on labels and promotional materials. Readable by smartphone or tablet computer, the codes provide instant access to videos and other product information.
SleepSavvy • March 2012
THE COVER STORY
adjustable bases: a category on the move
South Bay International’s Motion Trend Adjustable Bed base is a streamlined, wall-hugger unit. According to the company, the bed boasts one of the quietest motors on the market, with a reinforced steel frame for extra strength and durability. The backlit remote control features three preprogrammed positions. A queen version, paired with an 8-inch Sleep Science memory foam mattress, retails for $1,999.
tions and a super-low setting; New Valiant, with five functions and an easy-to-clean deck; and Night Rider, a promotional model with three functions. The company also offers the entry-level Oasis model, which has similar functions but without the lift capability. Made in the United States, all of the bases are available in standard industry sizes or custom lengths, widths and heights. Paired with one of the company’s orthopedic mattresses, the typical price point for a queen system is $5,000, says Aaron Goldsmith, Transfer Master president. “Our focus has moved away from the commodity segment to creating attractive beds with more medical function and a greater range of controls and options,” he says. Goldsmith describes Transfer Master’s bases as having more of a true medical bed design. They can handle high-capacity weights—up to 750 pounds—and have specialadaptation controls, including a joystick. “We’ll be enhancing the feel and functionality of our Hi-Low line in
16 SleepSavvy • March 2012
the next several months,” Goldsmith says. Planned features include a built-in night light, new massage functions and dual controls. According to Goldsmith, the line between the medical market and home market is blurring. “Many retailers don’t understand the great opportunity that exists in accommodating ‘soft’ medical needs,” he says. “There are many, many people in wheelchairs or with back problems or sleep disorders who would benefit greatly from having our type of Hi-Low adjustable bed in their home.” Focusing on ease of use South Bay, an OEM supplier of viscomemory foam bedding for leading manufacturers and major retailers, has one core adjustable bed in its lineup called Motion Trend. The model features a sleek, stylish design of reinforced steel. The base has a massage feature with three levels of intensity that is available on the head, feet or both and three positions— zero-gravity, reading and flat. The backlit, wireless remote has a
simple design with large raised buttons. A queen set with adjustable base runs $1,799 and a king split set is $2,599. “Our base was designed for ease of use, because when you are relaxing, you don’t want a lot of complications,” says Daniella Serven, vice president of operations for South Bay, based in Pomona, Calif. At the winter Las Vegas Market, South Bay showed two new bases that are under development. One features a skirt around the base that hides the mechanism; the other sports bettergrade fabrics to match the company’s mattresses. Refinements on the drawing board include a base that lights up the floor and a simpler remote. “We’re working hard to make our adjustable bases blend more seamlessly into the home,” Serven says. “We also want to make things easy for the consumer. They don’t want tons of programmable positions and settings that they have to navigate.” During the past six months, South Bay has seen a steady rise in its sales of adjustable bases. For January of this year, sales were three times the level the company had projected. “For 2012, we expect unit sales of adjustables to rise 30% to 40%,” Serven says. “Last year, we were up 20% to 30%. It’s incredible how this segment is taking off.” In January, the company had back orders through April. Serven estimates current attachment rates for retailers who sell adjustables at around 10%. That level should grow “to a solid 20% to 30% in the next few years, and perhaps as high as 50% over a longer period,” she adds. Serven attributes the segment’s growth to two factors: lifestyle and health. “Consumers like the fact that these beds enable them to read, watch TV or work on their laptops much more comfortably,” she says. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com
The massage maTTress evolution conTinues SEE US AT THE LAS VEGAS MARKET – SHOWROOM C-1538 Introducing
Powered By Brookstone® Massage
The perfect marriage of quality, comfort and technology, Vivon Prestige features a built-in massage system from Brookstone, the recognized leader in massage products. • A luxury mattress collection created with top-of-the-
• The six-motor Brookstone massager built seamlessly into every Vivon Prestige delivers a massage
line materials, fabrics and detailing. • Developed with body-mapping technology, the Vivon Proprietary Layering System helps relieve pressure
experience that can only be described as “incredible”. • The internal massager is there when you need it. When you don’t need it, you don’t see it and you don’t feel it.
that disrupts sleep. • Exclusive BioSense® memory foam made with green tea, natural seed oil and charcoal to help neutralize odors.
brookstone.com I vivon.com
THE COVER STORY
adjustable bases: a category on the move “Once you try one, you never want to go back to propping yourself up with a bunch of pillows.” Big growth ahead Ergomotion, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., has offered adjustable bed systems since its founding in 2006. Its current line features five models, including the entry-level Series 100 and, at the top end, the Series 500 and 600. The Series 500 features a sleek modern design with removable legs and solid skirt, as well as a preset zero-gravity position that the company says aids blood circulation and reduces back pressure. Retail prices for the Ergomotion line range from $1,500 for a starter queen set to $7,000 for a top-of-the-line king set. At the summer furniture market in Las Vegas, Ergomotion plans to enhance its wired and wireless remote controls to make them even more consumer-friendly. “We believe this category will continue to have huge growth—we’ve only scratched the surface,” says Kelly Clenet, Erogmotion president. “If you look at the entire mattress category, specialty sleep is gaining share across the board. Adjustable base attachment rates now are around 5%, and we’re looking forward to that share rising close to 50% in the next three to five years.”
Though it has deep roots in the medical markets, Transfer Master offers several models for home use, including the Original Hi-Low and Oasis. The top of the Original Hi-Low mattress sits just 18 inches from the floor in the deck’s lowest position and the unit can be raised up to 12 inches. The Oasis is similar, but without the Hi-Low function. A queen-size Original Hi-Low retails for $7,399, with mattress.
After several years of steady 20% growth, Clenet says that Ergomotion’s sales of adjustable bases grew at a torrid 420% pace in 2011, thanks to successful partnerships with Simmons’ new iComfort gel memory foam mattress line and other OEM programs. The company looks to double its business in the category this year. “The smaller retailers jumped on board early with this product and now the larger retailers and chains also are dedicating more space to it,” Clenet says. “Our job is to convince management to put more higherend products on their floors with
adjustable bases under them. They’re reluctant to make that investment, but once they do, they quickly see the benefits in terms of increased profits.” In Clenet’s opinion, the key to continuing to grow the adjustable bed segment rests in changing the consumer’s mindset about how these products look and function. “We want consumers to think about adjustable beds as a wellness choice rather than something they buy only when they are infirm,” he says. “The major bedding makers are doing a good job of this right now and are spending a lot of marketing dollars to build awareness of the category. They’re reaching out beyond baby boomers to appeal to Generations X and Y, as well.” Leo Vera, who recently joined Ergomotion as chief operating officer, says the impact of the company’s partnerships with the bedding industry’s major brands is similar to what happened in the snowboarding industry in the 1980s. “Rather than being a sport for teenagers, snowboarding grew into the mainstream and has revitalized many aspects of how people view snow sports,” Vera says. “Adjustable foundations are now having the very same inspiring effect in people’s homes and in how we see the mainstream lifestyle choice for the bedroom.” ●
- Product Friendly Surface for Mattresses and Materials - Large Openings for Sprinkler Water Flow - Ergonomically Designed ®
Open Area Rack Deck
DACS 18 SleepSavvy • March 2012
TIME WELL SPENT. We spend nearly a third of our lives in bed. Dare we suggest to your customers that they spend even more? To them, there’s simply no better place to catch their favorite shows, chill out with great tunes, curl up with compelling reads, or fine-tune those reports. That’s what makes the Designer Series™ so perfect. Brought to you by Leggett & Platt® – where the innovative products come in a steady stream – these elegant and modern adjustable bases are completely customizable to suit their style. Choose among four upholstery options, each with matching headboard available. Contact your Leggett & Platt® representative today to learn more about this and the rest of our adjustable bases.
AdjustableBases.com © 2012 Leggett & Platt Adjustable Bed Group, a division of Leggett & Platt, Incorporated
Your body is made up of many movable, adjustable parts. Now the bed on which your body rests can be too. Our exclusive “iCare 6” has an industry ﬁrst with six movable panels that work independently to provide comfort other beds can’t imagine. Our other models feature movable panels that work independently to provide maximum relaxation. Move up to our exclusive new line of adjustable bed bases. Join the movement and raise your bed to the next level of comfort.
High Point Market Spring - April 21st - 26th Main, 5th Floor, Space #508A (828) 328-2201 x 4555 www.hickoryathome.com www.icaresleepproducts.com www.hickorysprings.com
RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene
Goodnight & Sweet Dreamzzz
Owner Debi Chewerda (right) and store manager Carolyn Menezes say Disney’s Princess bed draws attention when featured in the store window.
Owner of boutique near Toronto creates the kind of store she always wanted to shop By Dorothy Whitcomb Photography by Richard Emmanuel
hen Debi Chewerda opened her sleep shop in June 2009, she was determined that the store would upend the negative impression many consumers—including Debi herself— had about buying a new mattress. “I knew that I didn’t want my store to be anything like what was already out there,” she says. Debi set out to create an inviting boutique that focuses on selling sleep over features and helps shoppers turn their bedrooms into sleep sanctuaries. The name of the store, located in an affluent suburb of
Toronto, says it all: Goodnight & Sweet Dreamzzz Mattresses & More. Learning from experience Debi discovered through personal experience what kind of mattress retailer she didn’t want to be. As a consumer, she had been put off by warehouse-like showrooms and high-pressure sales tactics from retail sales associates. She also spent three years as owner of a franchise mattress store near Toronto, where she saw firsthand what she calls “a race to the SleepSavvy • March 2012
RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene
The store carries a selection of children’s beds and shows movies to entertain younger shoppers.
As much as 25% of the retailer’s sales come from sleep accessories, furniture and other products.
bottom” pricing among competitors. “I used to sell promotional circular advertising and one of my customers was a mattress store owner. First, he asked me to do marketing for him and then, in 2004, he sold one of his locations to my husband, Ed, and me as a franchise,” she says. Without prior retail experience and lacking the support she felt she needed from the franchising company, Debi and her husband eventually got out of the deal. Debi’s first foray into mattress
22 SleepSavvy • March 2012
retailing may not have gone well, but she emerged from the experience with a clear vision and a new set of skills. Despite some of her frustrations, she enjoyed the industry, had developed good working relationships with vendors and wanted to try again—opening her own store, her way. Creating the right environment Debi started with the store’s design. “I knew that I didn’t want a mattress lineup that looked like rows of coffins,” she says. “Most mattress
stores are so blah—just a sea of sameness.” She also knew her limitations. “I didn’t know how to merchandise and I certainly didn’t know how to design a store,” she says. For guidance and inspiration, she turned to mattress and furniture industry trade publications. In fact, it was an item in Sleep Savvy that led her to Connie Post International, a retail design firm with headquarters in High Point, N.C. Working together, Debi’s vision of “a warm, unique, homey environment” began to take shape. First, they banished the idea of dropped ceilings and florescent lighting. Also off limits: the color white (except, of course, on mattresses). A color palette of earth tones, accented by vibrant blues and greens, unifies the 4,400-square-foot store in Newmarket, Ontario. The Test Rest Centre in the middle of the store anchors the floor and provides an attractive focal point. There, four beds are placed back-to-back, like spokes on a wheel. The display always includes an innerspring, memory foam and latex mattress set, as well as a featured bed, which most often is a new model or special that changes frequently. Sheer curtains provide privacy for customers while they rest-test. Adding to the warm, inviting feel of the store are a fireplace and a table and chairs where interior designers, who frequent the store, often sit with clients. Videos about individual mattress brands and the importance of sleep run on a flat-screen TV. “We also show movies to keep children busy so they don’t drag their parents out of the store,” Debi says. Because it’s the corner unit of an upscale retail plaza, Goodnight & Sweet Dreamzzz is flooded with light. To promote a clean, uncluttered look, signage and other point-of-purchase displays are kept to a minimum. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com
RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene
The center of the store is anchored by the Test Rest Centre.
“Before we even open our mouths to talk to customers, the look of the store sets us apart,” Debi says. The ‘female factor’ Although she owns the store with Ed, Debi’s husband generally limits his involvement to helping with deliveries when necessary. The store is run entirely by women and right now that’s Debi and Carolyn Menezes, her store manager and longtime friend. Call it the “female factor,” if you will, but both see advantages to being women in a retail sector dominated by men but mostly shopped by women. “Men tend to be very black and white in their approach to things,” Carolyn says. “We’re all about shades of gray. We’re both moms and we tend to be very nurturing. I love to decorate, so I’ll take people around the store and help them put a whole room together. That’s just fun.” A conversation, not a sales pitch At Goodnight & Sweet Dreamzzz, the emphasis is on educating customers www.sleepsavvymagazine.com
about sleep and helping them to select the mattress that best fits their needs. The education process starts at the Test Rest Centre. After being greeted in a friendly but low-key way—there’s no overly enthusiastic “pouncing” in this store—customers are taken to the center so they can rest-test mattresses and learn how various constructions feel. Debi and Carolyn find that a lot of customers come to them already frustrated by the mattress-buying process. Empathy for shoppers guides the conversation. And it is a conversation. “We try to get to know our customers and put them at ease,” Debi says. “Our style is consultative. Questions about health issues, how they sleep and how long they’ve been on their current bed come up as we go along. We pay attention to the position of their bodies as they try beds and blend the importance of sleep all through the conversation. ‘Aha moments’ take time.” Price doesn’t enter the conversation unless a customer brings it up. Debi
and Carolyn also don’t spend a lot time talking about product features. “Features have to correlate to benefits,” Debi says. “The number of coils doesn’t matter if comfort isn’t there for the customer.” In fact, Debi says, dealing with customers who can’t get past price or who are focused on features is one her biggest challenges. “Often, customers come in with pages and pages of information that they’ve printed out from online research,” Debi says. “They’re thoroughly confused, and we have to help them sort it out. If a customer keeps focusing on price, I know that I have to start over again. I’m not going to try to sell someone a $2,000 bed if she can’t afford it, but we’re selling a good night’s sleep. I try to have the best beds at different prices for different budgets, but it still comes down to how well she will sleep.” Pushing price points higher Goodnight & Sweet Dreamzzz carries five mattress lines: Carpe Diem, Kingsdown, Natura World, Serta SleepSavvy • March 2012
RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene
and a private label made by Strata, a small, family-owned Canadian manufacturer. There currently are 36 models on the floor. Retail prices for a queen set open at $799 and top out at $17,000. (All prices are in Canadian dollars.) “Our best-selling price point is about $1,500, but we sell a lot of beds under $1,000 and a lot over $2,000,” Debi says. “Because each square foot costs me money, I’m always evaluating what works and what doesn’t. There’s pressure to move lower, but we refuse to join the race to zero.” In fact, during the past year, Goodnight & Sweet Dreamzzz has gone the opposite direction, moving to higher price points. “Adding Carpe Diem and Serta’s iComfort gel memory foam collection really raised the bar,” she says.
24 SleepSavvy • March 2012
Goodnight & Sweet Dreamzzz is the only Carpe Diem dealer in Canada. Debi first learned about the high-end Swedish manufacturer through articles in trade publications. She was particularly struck by a story about Jeff Klein, a Connecticut retailer who credited sales of Carpe Diem with getting his two Sleep Etc. stores through the recession. After securing the rights to the line, Debi and Carolyn traveled to Connecticut to train with Klein, whom Debi calls “very generous with his time.” Building on the success of its luxury brands, Debi is adding Viking Beds, another Swedish manufacturer, to her product mix. Viking fills two needs: It augments the store’s offering of natural and organic mattresses and also bolsters its array of beds in price
points from $3,000 to $7,000. Goodnight & Sweet Dreamzzz’s merchandising strategy seems to be working. Annual sales for 2011 were up more than 20% over 2010, better than the national average, Debi says. More than mattresses There’s a good reason why the store’s full name includes the phrase “Mattresses & More”: A full quarter of the store’s revenue comes from sales of pillows, bed linens, protection products, bedroom furniture and other accessories, such as cleaning, home fragrance and body care products from Caldrea. It’s everything a shopper needs to create a bedroom perfect for sleep. Products like these bring people into the store and boost sales during slow mattress-buying periods. They
RETAIL ROAD TRIP the selling scene
also foster repeat business and take advantage of a consumer’s tendency to buy new pillows, bed linens and protection products when they buy a new mattress. “If we can be a one-stop shop, people won’t take their business elsewhere,” Debi says. “Why should I send money out the door?” The store carries a number of pillow brands—Leggett & Platt, Natura World, Serta and Villsam— and its pillow-lending program is particularly popular. Because pillows aren’t returnable in Ontario, the store allows customers—for a $50 deposit—to keep trying pillows until they find one they like. “The things come in and out of here like library books,” Carolyn says. The program has caught the atten-
tion of chiropractors and massage therapists, who refer their clients to the store. It also provides Debi and Carolyn the opportunity to talk about mattresses. “A lot of people have a closet full of pillows that aren’t ‘right’, when it’s really the bed that’s the problem,” Carolyn says. Bedroom furniture also has become a draw. The store carries metal beds and upholstered headboards from L&P’s Fashion Bed Group and wooden bedroom furniture, such as bed frames, dressers and nightstands, from Eztia Furnishings. About a year ago, Debi added a line of Disney furniture for children. The Cinderella carriage bed is the most popular item and has literally stopped traffic outside the store.
Plans for expansion After finding success with her vision of what mattress retailing should be, Debi is ready to open additional locations. She is looking for space in downtown Toronto for a boutique version of Goodnight & Sweet Dreamzzz and is considering expanding into another affluent suburb. Although the product mix or store layout might need tweaking in a new location, Debi and Carolyn’s attitude toward the business and their customers won’t change. “We call ourselves the ‘solution girls,’ ” Carolyn says. “We specialize in specializing. If we can’t solve a customer’s problem, the solution probably doesn’t exist.” ●
GET SMART. GET SAVVY! ➤ Our magazine reaches
more mattress retailers than any other publication ➤ Our features, tips and ideas are designed to make retailers smarter ➤ Our retailer readers rave about Sleep Savvy
The smart read for retailers The smart place to advertise To subscribe, go to www.sleepsavvymagazine.com—subscriptions are FREE for U.S. retailers. For advertising information and a copy of our 2012 Media Kit, contact Kerri Bellias, sales director, at 336-945-0265 or email email@example.com
SleepSavvy • March 2012
CONSUMER CHECK profiling your customer
Unity Marketing Luxury Tracking Study
Consumers favoring ‘inconspicuous consumption’
n recent weeks, some of the leading beacons of luxury indulgence—notably jeweler Richemont, high-end designer Hermes and Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, the prestigious manufacturer of luxury labels—announced remarkable revenue and profit growth for their brands. French conglomerate and Gucci owner PPR reported similar results for its largest luxury brand. And some producers of super-luxury mattresses say their business has been stronger than ever, despite the slow economic recovery. While such reports lead many to proclaim a renaissance of the luxury market, findings from a study of U.S. luxury consumer confidence by Unity Marketing show these experiences may be isolated. The research firm’s tracking survey was conducted Jan. 7-18 and polled 1,333 affluent consumers—shoppers with an average annual income of $286,300. “Luxury consumer confidence took a deep dive to levels not seen since the recessionary period from 2008 to 2009,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of the book Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury. Corresponding with the sharp dip in luxury consumer confidence was a decline of nearly 15% in the average amount consumers spent on luxury goods in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the company’s Luxury Consumption Index, which tracks luxury consumer sentiment and helps market-
ers anticipate consumer spending in coming quarters. “The LCI has been on a topsyturvy course since 2010: One quarter it went up, the next down. But looking over the last two years, the LCI lost more than it gained. At the start of 2012, the percentage of luxury consumers expressing a definite willingness to spend more on luxury (one of the major components of the index) was down,” Danziger says. “Does this mean that these luxury consumers will not buy? No— it’s a matter that they are noncommittal,” says Tom Bodenberg, Unity Marketing’s consumer economist. “Why are they noncommittal? There appears to be a trend of nonconspicuous consumption—perhaps as fallout from the Occupy Movement among North American luxury consumers.” On the future of the luxury mar-
ket, Bodenberg predicts, “the buying behavior will shift to an almost ‘hidden’ form of consumption of luxury goods—where ostentation is minimized.” “The new affluent customer is keen on finding value when they shop, so they look to maximize their investment in spending,” Danziger says. “They expect the goods and services they buy to deliver the maximum return on their ‘luxe’ investment. Luxury marketers must make sure their brands give these customers a high yield when they buy. Otherwise, they’ll turn to competitive brands that still deliver high quality without an extravagant investment.” For more information about the survey, visit www.unity marketingonline.com/cms_ luxury/luxury/pr_main/LCI_for_ january_2012.php. ●
‘Luxury marketers must make sure their brands give these customers a high yield when they buy.’
SleepSavvy • March 2012
BE MY GUEST by Don Hutson
Harnessing the power of perseverance to reach goals The first step toward your goal is having the courage to get fired up about it.
Patrick House, a winner on the NBC television series “The Biggest Loser,” lost 200 pounds during one season of the weightloss competition. Asked about the most important factor in reaching his goal, House said, “No. 1 is perseverance. Too many people give up too quickly.” Why do people give up easily? Are you motivated to get serious about a goal? If you can articulate what you want, put it in writing and fine-tune it, you’re on your way. Studies show that goals barely exist until they’re written down. That’s when they become real and viable. You can see them, show them to others or display them on your refrigerator as a reminder. Here are six barriers that keep us from achieving our goals, along with ways to overcome them:
Lack of clarity. The more
detail you write about a goal, the more likely you are to see it through. Describe why you want to accomplish the goal and when you plan to complete it. Also note what your situation is now and what you hope the end game will be.
Lack of commitment. When you’re serious enough to write down goals and share them with others, it’s your way of making a commitment to the process. You’re also putting the universe on notice of your plan. The German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too.”
28 SleepSavvy • March 2012
Lack of belief. Human behavior
is based on a belief system. If you believe your goal is doable, believe you have the right strategy and believe in yourself, you can’t miss. If you are doubtful or timid, you won’t keep going. Be bold.
Lack of passion. The first
step toward your goal is having the courage to get fired up about it. Even a marginal amount of progress can inspire you to continue.
Lack of congruence. Your
goals need to be in sync with your belief system, other goals and capabilities. If they’re too outlandish or unrealistic, the incongruence will short-circuit your belief in your ability to succeed.
Lack of focus. Keep focused on the goal you initially outlined. Cavett Robert, founder of the National Speakers Association, defined character as “the ability to carry out a worthwhile plan long after the mood in which it was made has left you.” ● Don Hutson is an acclaimed speaker, co-author of the bestselling book The One Minute Negotiator: Simple Steps to Reach Better Agreements and chief executive officer of U.S. Learning, a training and marketing strategies company in Memphis, Tenn. Contact Don at 901-767-5700. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com
HER BED POST selling to women
Helping the deciders
oday’s woman remains the agenda-setter in most American households. She is the family visionary who keeps the big picture in mind, while also plotting the day-to-day course for the household.” That’s from Wave Four of the Women, Power & Money survey commissioned by PR firm FleishmanHillard and Hearst Magazines and released in January. According to the survey, two-thirds of married women say overall purchasing decisions are shared with their husbands, but the other third describe themselves as having the primary or final say. Some 70% of those women say being the main decision-maker is stressful and 66% call it tiring. Keep this in mind when the next woman walks into your store: By the time she arrives there, she’s already made countless decisions for her household that week— from what toothpaste to buy to what smartphone plan to select to what landscaper to hire. As a retailer, it’s your job to help make her mattressbuying decision easier. That doesn’t mean talking down to her or rushing her into the purchase of a mattress you’re featuring that week. It means asking good qualifying questions: What type of mattress are you sleeping on now? How are you sleeping? Are you suffering any physical discomfort in the morning? It means listening carefully to the answers so you can help her narrow her choices to the right bed for her. As the survey authors say, today’s woman “makes decisions based on information and collaboration. She carefully considers a wide range of data, and then performs a complex calculus of price and value, expert and consumer reviews, spousal considerations and family preferences. Last, and least, come her own needs, which she habitually puts behind the needs of her family. Help her put herself first—you’ll be one of the few.” ●
Brought to you by restonic® Restonic is proud to have been awarded the Women’s Choice Award by WomenCertified, which is given to businesses and brands that meet a higher standard of customer experience among women. Sign up for Twitter and follow Restonic at www.twitter.com/restonicbeds#. See how Restonic is helping you to reach your retail sales dreams!
SleepSavvy • March 2012
MARKET SCENE Las Vegas highlights
Gel foams, stylish detailing, creative display ideas abound By Barbara Nelles
he happy mood and optimism were hard to miss at the introduction-filled Las Vegas Market, held Jan. 30-Feb. 2 at the World Market Center. At a show that appeared to have more traffic and order writing in bedding showrooms than since before the recession hit, Sleep Savvy editors spotted these trends in products and point-of-purchase displays: ● Inviting showroom makeovers that created bright, open spaces for showcasing beds and high-tech POP materials—from interactive iPod stands to illuminated headboards. Savvy retailers could pick up plenty of ideas for their own stores. ● Mattress displays that allow shoppers to watch a product video and rest-test a bed with more privacy. (Flipped bed sets put shoppers’ feet toward the wall instead of out in the open—an idea to try in your own shops.) ● More foam and encased-coil mattresses merchandised with adjustable bases. Meanwhile, adjustable base producers continued to pile on consumer-friendly features. ● Mattress covers with more color and contrast across all price points. Moderately priced beds are being upholstered with better fabrics and dressmaker details, such as satin ribbons inset in borders. Borders featuring two and three fabrics in arches, angles, stripes and diagonals demanded attention. ● “Made in the USA” tags, cards and sewn labels on beds throughout the World Market Center. A special market space devoted to American-made furniture included several bedding vendors. ● Gel, gel and more gel. Swirled-gel memory foam is playing a bigger role in comfort layers. It and gel bead-flecked memory foam are sweeping across entire mattress lines—from all-foam to innerspring-core constructions. In accessories, there were new pillows inlaid with colorful, solid gel panels and even an all-gel mattress pad. On the following pages, Sleep Savvy looks at a sampling of new products shown at market:
Leggett & Platt Consumer Products Group The company, based in Whittier, Calif., enticed retailers with Las Vegas-style games and prizes and displayed a range of contemporary new Leggett & Platt Fashion Bed headboards, footboards and platform frames. The Brisa Gel memory foam pillow with bright blue gel inset retails for $120. The cooling gel side can be flipped over for a pure memory foam experience.
E.S. Kluft & Co. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.based company unveiled Airegelle “multidensity” gel-infused memory foam technology as part of a range of product enhancements. It was added to models across several collections. The most striking product on the floor in Vegas: AireloomKing, an oversized square mattress with “49 square feet of sleeping luxury,” priced at $8,000* and shown with a glamorous base and headboard by designer Michael Amini.
* All prices are manufacturer’s suggested retail for queen size, unless otherwise noted.
30 SleepSavvy • March 2012
Simmons Bedding Co. Backed by an upcoming, hefty national ad spend, Atlanta-based Simmons unveiled a Beautyrest “brand transformation,” many new or redesigned models and a fresh tag line, “Living Life Fully Charged.” On display were the new ComforPedic by Beautyrest, Beautyrest Black and Beautyrest TruEnergy—a hybrid pocketed coil and memory foam group that replaces Beautyrest World Class. TruEnergy beds are dressed in spacer fabric with picture-frame knit panels. All the collections share the Beautyrest Recharge Sleep System—a host of technologies designed to promote temperature regulation and air flow. Nine Beautyrest TruEnergy models are priced from $1,599 to $2,799.
Kingsdown Inc. The Mebane, N.C.-based company added new opening price points to its foam Blu-Tek collection. Now starting at $1,299, Blu-Tek beds include Snow and Sub-Zero models. Four new MySide foam models combine “a progressive foam core” and layers of gel, latex and visco-elastic in the top comfort layers. MySide beds retail from $1,599 to $3,999.
Tempur-Pedic The Lexington, Ky.-based producer broke into new territory with its lower-priced Simplicity collection. Available in three comfort levels, the beds feature a Tempur-Essential visco-elastic support layer over a SimplicitySupport foam core and retail for $1,499. The collection captures a new market for the company—the “$1,000 to $2,000 mattress shopper”—and has “all the basics that you need in a Tempur-Pedic,” said Mike Mason, Tempur-Pedic director of brand development and integration. Product shipments begin in April, backed by national 30- and 60-second Simplicity TV spots.
Magniflex In its first private Las Vegas showroom, the Prato, Italy-based company launched a new “American look” in its Memoform Snooze collection. The higherprofile mattress sports temperatureregulating, quilted covers with Outlast yarns and the company’s exclusive “water-expanded” memory foam core. The beds have a dual-core design, allowing a couple to customize their sleep experience by zipping off the cover and flipping the single cores to soft or firm sides.
SleepSavvy • March 2012
Las Vegas highlights
Spring Air International The new Back Supporter Breathe is a seven-bed group that promises a sigh of relief for allergy and asthma sufferers and a healthier sleep environment for all. It’s certified “Asthma & Allergy Friendly” after an assessment by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America in Landover, Md. The new collection from the Boston-based mattress licensing group includes LFK, pocket spring and foam cores. A zippered cover acts as an allergen barrier. Models are priced from $999 to $2,499.
Boyd Specialty Sleep A human-powered adjustable base was one of many product rollouts at St. Louisbased Boyd Specialty Sleep. The new manual, adjustable platform base is geared toward younger consumers and has suggested retail prices of $349 in queen, $249 in twin XL or $199 with mattress purchase. Boyd rolled out a range of other platform bases, with styling from contemporary to classic. The company also redesigned its high-end Natural Flex Ultra latex collection with a cooler, vented core and striking tailoring.
Comfort Solutions The Willowbrook, Ill.-based licensing group redesigned its showroom, adding a brightly lit gallery to showcase the new Dr. Breus Bed. Another new offering was the iMattress. It comes with either an innerspring or foam core and features the company’s cooling AirFlo system, memory foam
32 SleepSavvy • March 2012
embedded with “gel spheres” and more specialty-foam comfort layers. iMattress models are priced from $799 to $2,499. The show-stopping Charlemagne bed (shown here) is part of the new Royalty collection—one of several high-end King Koil-branded groups introduced at the show. Retailing for about $12,000, the bed features coil-on-coil construction, sumptuous fabrics and shirred borders.
Anatomic Global ANEW is a nonmemory foam mattress for consumers who “prefer a foam bed with a more resilient feel,” said Diane Adams, senior vice president of sales and marketing for parent company FXI. Featuring the Media, Pa.-based company’s Activus fast-recovery foam, the three beds are priced at $2,400, $2,700 and $3,400 and have “four, five and six layers of anatomically designed resilience for more restful sleep.” Other Anatomic Global mattress collections were refreshed with new covers and point-of-sale materials and were displayed in a redesigned showroom.
Therapedic International The mattress licensing group headquartered in Princeton, N.J., showcased new point-of-sale materials for its EcoGel beds, as well as new lifestyle posters and a refreshed company logo. Therapedic also updated its TheraWrap encased coil collection with a layer of signature EcoGel, a swirled-gel memory foam. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com
Las Vegas highlights
Serta A new top bed in Serta’s iComfort gel foam collection—it has a pillow-top—drew lots of attention in the showroom of the Hoffman Estates, Ill.based manufacturer. The new model has Cool Action Gel memory foam and other premium comfort layers. It retails for $3,999. Serta also remerchandised its Perfect Day (shown here) and Trump lines, adding its iSeries technology, which includes Cool Action Gel memory foam over a EuroCoil individually wrapped coil-in-coil system.
Sealy Shipping to retailers in April, Optimum by Sealy Posturepedic, a new specialty sleep collection, has OptiCool gel memory foam with temperature-regulating Outlast material. The Optimum collection retails from $1,299 to $2,999. Some models were merchandised with the Sealy Reflexion adjustable base, and the Trinity, N.C.-based company has created an in-store program to support the collection that includes a lighted headboard, coordinated pillows and streamers. Also new: the innerspring hybrid Sealy Posturepedic Gel Series, dressed in silver and cream with floral motifs.
Restonic In a redesigned showroom, licensing group Restonic announced the national rollout of TempaGel, its foam bed with “gel thermocules” in www.sleepsavvymagazine.com
the bed’s top comfort layer. The knit cover is woven with temperature-regulating Outlast yarns. The line is supported by an array of point-of-sale materials, from headboards to interactive videos and TempaGelbranded iPad stations. Four models are priced from $1,299 to $2,499.
Comfortaire The Greenville, S.C.-based airbed maker reconfigured its collection with new aesthetics and components, including a boxtop and green tea-infused foams. The company displayed several new models with adjustable bases. The new top bed, the EC3, retails for $5,399. It has “edge-to-edge” air chambers layered with a gel foam on the top. At the core is Energex, a synthetic latex base foam.
Englander Clustered beneath an illuminated canopy in the licensing group’s redecorated showroom were new and improved E-gel memory foam beds, which offer a different take on gel memory foam—they are injected with CoolBlue solid gel “cylinders,” 4,000 of them in the top bed. Englander calls the beds “gel posturized.” They retail from $1,499 to $2,999. Also new: the BodiForm Gel line with swirled gel foam in the comfort layer. Three models are priced from $799 to $1,499.
SleepSavvy • March 2012
Las Vegas highlights
Pure LatexBLISS This display unit holds four latex toppers, as well as pillows, and is available to retailers for $625 from the Atlanta-based company. Doing a rest-test is easier, too, in the BLISS Theater. The mattress display turns shoppers toward a wallmounted video monitor to provide more privacy and educate them about BLISS benefits.
Sleep Harmony by Glideaway Bed Carriage Mfg. Co. In addition to new mattress protection made with Tencel yarns and expanded pillow offerings, the St. Louis-based company launched the CG Series of gel memory foam mattresses. Made in the United States, the three mattresses come in heights from 7 inches to 9 inches and retail from $599 to $949. Sleep Harmony added five colors—orange, purple, black, red and yellow—to its collection of velour-covered memory foam mattresses for kids. Mattressonly suggested retail is $295 in twin and $395 in full.
34 SleepSavvy • March 2012
Sleep Inc. The Corsicana, Texas-based producer holds licenses to produce Englander, Spring Air and Therapedic brands, but in Las Vegas it rolled out the banner “Dream Big” and launched four Sleep Inc.-branded collections—Bodycomfort encased coil, Bodycool with gel-infused foam, Bodyrhythms with natural latex and Bodycontours memory foam. Zoned Bodycomfort retails from $599 to $999 and has a high-end look with a blue and gray plaid border and coordinating knit panel fabric. Bodycool uses swirled-gel memory foam in its top layer and retails for $799 to $1,199. Also on the floor: a collection of two-sided Sleep Inc. beds for the contract market.
Las Vegas highlights
Fabrictech International Mattress protection supplier Fabrictech in Cedar Grove, N.J., launched a pillow collection—10 SKUs in four color-coded product groups. The group includes Talalay latex and “temperature-neutral” memory foam pillows in various shapes and comfort levels; down pillows featuring Ultra-Fresh, an anti-bacterial cleansing treatment; and a Cuddle Me body pillow. All pillows have sealed inner linings to keep dust mites and allergens out.
South Bay International The Pomona, Calif.based company gave its Advanced Sleep 100% natural latex bed a makeover with new ticking. It was displayed on the new Motion Trend adjustable base with a “super quiet” motor that fits within most decorative bed frames. The latex mattress and adjustable base retail for $2,999 in queen size.
Reverie The adjustable bed importer with headquarters in Silver Creek, N.Y., held the official launch of its flagship product, the patented Dream Sleep System, which boasts a host of features. As an Apple licensee, Reverie’s exclusive technology allows users to download a Reverie control app from the www.sleepsavvymagazine.com
Sleep Savvy caught more new products at the Las Vegas Market. See our video slide show, produced by Associate Editor Barbara Nelles, online at www.sleepsavvymagazine.com.
iTunes store onto an iPad or iPhone, turning those devices into a remote control for the Reverie sleep system. The system, which retails for $4,000, comes with anti-snore and programmable-memory functions.
Dormeo Octaspring An unusual “foam spring” bed, the Dormeo Octaspring collection was rolled out to the U.S. market by global marketing group Studio Moderna. Four beds retail from $1,399 to $2,800 and contain one to three layers of honeycomb-cut polyurethane foam “springs” of differing densities sandwiched between flat foam panels. The beds are cool, conforming and relieve pressure points, the company says.
Carolina Mattress Guild The Thomasville, N.C.based company introduced Fresh Touch, a collection with what the company calls “the perfect blend of natural latex and Cool Breeze Gel memory foam.” Foam cutouts on foot streamers illustrate the yin-yang, or complementary, nature of the two foams. The company also restyled its memory foam G collection, adding a layer of gel foam to each bed. Three models retail from $699 to $1,299. SleepSavvy • March 2012
CLOSING WORDS by Gerry Morris
Slight adjustments take selling steps to next level “Salesmanship has been a game of manipulation. Countless seminars and tons of money are spent to train people how to sell. The ‘Greeting,’ the ‘Presentation,’ and the ‘Close’ are three main parts of the ‘Sale.’ ” — Peter Cancelli, author of The Mattress Expert Blog
long with product knowledge, selling steps (greeting, qualifying, close, etc.) form the foundation of retail mattress sales, giving structure and direction to the process. While not inherently bad, a one-size-fits-all approach is often perceived by shoppers as canned, pushy and, as the opening quote proclaims, even manipulative. There is a better way: Guided discovery is a powerful, relational and consultative approach that engages the shopper in meaningful conversation. It focuses on the goal of the sales process rather than the process itself. People want their voices heard, their concerns addressed, their needs considered and their decisions validated. That’s what guided discovery is all about. It recognizes and uses the unique personality, intuition and creativity of both buyer and seller. Guided discovery makes each interaction more enjoyable, while increasing sales, improving customer satisfaction and reducing mattress returns. The good news is that it’s easy to transform a selling-steps system simply by making slight changes to the standard questions and statements that most retail sales associates use. Guided discovery slows the process. RSAs ask thought-provoking, openended questions, listen carefully to the answers, pause and then consider
36 SleepSavvy • March 2012
their response before moving forward. Enlightening dialogue will follow. For instance, if the customer asks “How many coils?”, the savvy RSA would give the coil count, but would follow the answer with “What’s important to you about coil count?” Here are some other examples:
Greeting An exchange like this helps shoppers let their guard down: RSA: “Before we get started, let’s talk a little about you. How do you feel about buying a new mattress?” Shopper: “We’re not sure where to start.” RSA: “I understand. I know how to help you find just the right mattress.”
Qualifying Try replacing the standard question, “What size are you looking for?”, with “What size mattress have you been sleeping on?” This makes it easier to suggest stepping up to a larger size. Instead of asking “What type of feel are you looking for?” try asking “Are you familiar with the different comfort levels?” This gives you the opportunity to introduce shoppers to top-quality mattresses: “I’ll show you and then we can find which one you like the best.” Follow up with these questions: “Which of these is most similar to yours?”, “Which one do you like the most now?” and “What do you like about your current set?” Shoppers who say, “We’re looking for a pillow-top,” should always beg the question: “Have you been sleeping on one?” A surprising number of people will say, “I’ve just heard
they’re comfortable.” It’s a common cause for returns.
Selection As shoppers test various models, switch from asking “How does this mattress feel to you?” to asking “How do you feel on this mattress?” People don’t like shopping for mattresses, but they do like feeling good. To help customers discern the differences between models, ask “Did you know that most people don’t really get the feel of their mattress until it’s in their home?” Then ask them to lie in the position they normally wake up in. “That’s how you probably slept most of the night.” Finally, ask one of the most powerful questions of all: “Did you know that each month you spend the equivalent of 10 days on your mattress?” Transforming selling steps into guided discovery can turn wary shoppers into happy sleepers. (What about the final selling steps of overcoming customer objections and closing the sale? Watch for my “Closing Words” in the April Sleep Savvy to find out.) ● Gerry Morris is an author, consultant, training coach and member of the National Speakers Association. With more than 20 years of experience in the mattress industry, Gerry has helped manufacturers, retailers and retail sales associates around the world increase their sales. To find out what he can do for you, call 903-456-2015, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his new website and blog at http://sellmorebeds.com. www.sleepsavvymagazine.com
HYBRIDS the best of both worlds
Perfection doesn’t just happen. It’s carefully orchestrated. Hybrids are nothing new. Cars, electronics, even pets have all been lent a helping hand on the road to perfection. And the bedding industry, too, is reaping the benefits of an innovative generation with hybrid mattresses. Visco alone sleeps hot. Solid latex beds are heavy and can cost up to 20% more than other mattresses. But by pairing specialty sleep materials with innersprings, we create a better solution. Introducing the Ultimate Hybrid – specialty sleep combined with Leggett & Platt’s® Comfort Core™ fabric-encased coils. Comfort Core™ is engineered for minimized motion disturbance, superior support, and the ultimate in cool comfort. And the quality of Comfort Core™ is unmatched by any fabric-encased innerspring in the industry. Reap the benefits of a better solution and increase your profitability.
Give your customers perfection. Give them the Ultimate Hybrid. Ask for Leggett & Platt® Comfort Core™ fabric-encased coils. Learn more at: Ultimate-Hybrid.com BODY PRINT® • BODY PRINT® ADVANCED • BOLSA™ • COMBI-ZONE™ • HI-LOW™ • JOEY™ • QUANTUM™ • SOFTECH®
The magazine for sleep products professionals