By most accounts, the mattress industry is enjoying a mighty sales surge — at least since May — as pandemic-weary consumers are investing in their homes and domestic comforts. But, based on the industry news that has arrived in my inbox lately, I think the pandemic must be speeding up the speedy “takeout” version of mattress shopping.
What I’m talking about is beds in boxes, not just for the online channel, but for in-store sales. (Is it safe to speculate that roll-pack equipment suppliers are doing cartwheels?)
I remember the year when roll-pack machinery was the hottest thing at ISPA EXPO, but I never thought it would be so widely used across the bedding industry. I’m not sure if the pandemic is accelerating the inevitable, or causing it. But I do think it may be evidence of a sudden transformation in the way people shop for beds.
To cite a few recent examples of manufacturers’ growing focus on boxed products: Corsicana Mattress announced it will open a new plant solely for boxed beds, and rumor has it another big manufacturer is doing the same. In addition, Eclipse International just launched a dozen roll-packed models, and Spring Air International added a batch of boxed beds.
Mattress makers are offering retailers a range of logistical options for these collections. Some even offer drop-shipping to consumers. But the goal is to get roll-packed beds where consumers want to find them —online AND in stores.
I think this is because many consumers feel comfortable going out shopping again, but they want a simple, quicker buying process that allows them to maintain social distancing and reduce contact with delivery people. Ideally, you rest-test a bed in a store, then wheel it out to your car to take it home with you. Then there is no home delivery crew to deal with, and less likelihood you’ll need to make a return since you tried the bed in the store.
I, personally, find this grab-and-go mattress shopping appealing. It’s a convenience much like the takeout food my husband and I enjoy for dinner on many nights. But the rewards are much greater — a better night’s sleep!