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Bedding action ranges from light to busy

David Perry — Furniture Today, August 18, 2015

LAS VEGAS — Bedding producers offered a mixed bag of reviews for the recent market here. A handful of producers described their results in glowing terms, but many others reported light traffic in their showrooms.

Adjustable beds and hybrids, two of the hottest categories in the industry these days, were among the best-received products here, producers said.

The producers agreed that they had plenty of time for good meetings with their key dealers.

“This was a very productive market for Serta,” said Andrew Gross, senior vice president of marketing at Serta. “We had great conversations with our retail partners about plans for the second half of 2015 and 2016. The response to our Perfect Sleeper relaunch continues to be very positive, and we have strong momentum behind iComfort and iSeries for the balance of the year. We are looking forward to successful events for Labor Day and Black Friday while we continue to plan for some truly exciting things in 2016.”

Simmons offered a similar assessment.

“We had great meetings coming out of market and we’re very happy with the success of the Beautyrest Recharge Hybrid line,” said Jeff Willard, executive vice president of marketing at Simmons. “Our ‘Get Your Beautyrest’ campaign is breaking through to consumers because we’re seeing record growth in Beautyrest’s brand awareness and consideration, not to mention over 2 million YouTube views on the campaign in the past 90 days. This proves that our innovative storytelling approach is working and that Americans are ready to Get Their Beautyrest.”

“Traffic was down significantly,” reported Owen Shoemaker, COO and executive vice president at King Koil. “The response to our programs was very positive.”

“It was a lightly attended retail market,” said Gerry Borreggine, president of Therapedic. “We saw a lot of vendors and suppliers and some of our bigger retailers, but not all of the ones we would usually see. Some key retailers were not here.”

Therapedic showed two lines of “concept” beds to get retail reaction. “The lines were embraced as they were introduced, with minor adjustments,” Borreggine said.

Five Star, which has been on a growth track in recent years, had a quiet market. “For the last two years, we’ve been up at the summer and winter shows, because our line has been very hot and we’ve been opening a lot of new accounts,” said Paul Sullivan, vice president. “This summer, we are seeing fewer people than last summer.”

“Retailers are saving as much money as they can,” noted Walt Bader, chairman of OMI. “Las Vegas in the summer is not a big draw. If retailers are looking to save money, Las Vegas in the summer is an easy elimination.”

On the positive side, Bader said, “Everybody who is here is serious. The questions they are asking are very informed. They are taking the organic segment and recognizing it is a true differentiating strategy to pursue that segment.”

“Despite everyone saying it was slow, we’ve had a steady flow of traffic, including our smaller and bigger dealers,” said Carmi Fredman, president of Glideaway, which introduced a new line of pillows.

Boyd Specialty Sleep, with a broad slate of introductions, saw its key customers, said Denny Boyd, president. “The summer market is always lighter than winter, and this one was slightly lighter than last year,” he said.

“We had 50% of the traffic we had in January,” said Jon Stowe, CEO of Dormeo N.A. “But we did see a number of Top 100 retailers. We had extra time with them we wouldn’t have had if it was busier, but I would have liked to have seen more retailers.”

Despite the reports of modest results in many bedding showrooms, there were exceptions.

Ashley’s Sierra Sleep line had a breakout market, said Brad Rogers, senior vice president of the Ashley Sleep/Sierra Sleep division. “This market was better than our wildest dreams,” he said. “Our value proposition gets better and better.”

Action in the Ashley Sleep showroom was also good. “It was a tremendous market for us,” Rogers said.

E.S. Kluft & Co., which introduced a 75th anniversary Aireloom line, had a good market, said David Binke, CEO. “It was better than my expectations,” he said. “A lot of new retailers came in. I would give this market an ‘A.’ ”

Credit: Furniture Today