Excerpt from BedTimes magazine, “Mattress showrooms mellow, upbeat at High Point Market”: The fall weather at High Point Market Oct. 18-23 was gloriously sunny and warm, perfect for leisurely strolling. “Leisurely” also is a good way to describe the tenor of the fourth major mattress market of 2014. This was…
New lines, fresh looks, streamlined displays and more dotted the bedding showrooms at North Carolina’s biannual event and even a hurricane couldn’t keep us away.
The Fall High Point Market Oct. 13-17 in High Point, North Carolina, was punctuated by Hurricane Michael barreling into the Florida panhandle and making its way up through the Carolinas. Many in the area lost power for several days. Fortunately, at the market, it was business as usual.
For bedding, that meant a sleepy but productive show. The halls of the International Home Furnishings Center were quiet — many said even quieter than usual. However, it’s what they’ve come to anticipate from the show.
As expected, manufacturers offered a few style tweaks and some new product lines that were fun to check out. Take a look at what the editors found when walking the show.
Everything was coming up cherries in the Sleepwell showroom. To celebrate its new Cherry Blossom collection, male employees wore pink cherry blossom ties, and showroom visitors were offered cherry-themed desserts. Paul Kahl, vice president of the Landover, Maryland-based A.W. Industries Inc., a Serta licensee that also makes the proprietary Sleepwell brand, said the beds were a big hit. Retailing for $899 in plush and firm and $999 for pillow-top, the collection of two-sided hybrids is dressed with a blush border and a white knit panel with a pink design motif and cooling story.
Adjustable base supplier Ergomotion, with U.S. headquarters in Santa Barbara, California, was looking at the lighter side of things with its new Motion Pure base. It’s significantly lighter than previous similar models and offers a host of benefits. It’s easier to manage, move and ship; less likely to get damaged; and less likely to cause structural damage to existing bedroom furniture. Motion Pure, which retails between $799 and $1,499 depending on which feature sets are included, can be used with or without the 3-in-1 polymer adjustable legs.
Bed maker Spring Air Mattress Corp., the oldest licensee of the Spring Air brand, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, enjoyed robust customer traffic from its four-state service area — North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Visitors to the company’s large factory showroom got their first glimpse of the new Back Supporter Royale line, designed by Meredith Chilton, marketing coordinator, and Vice President David Grove. The beds are a departure for the company with their two-sided construction and heather gray panels with contrasting cobalt borders. Five beds are priced from $799 to $1,099. “And they’re not just beautiful,” Grove said. “We like to say they’re as comfortable as your favorite pair of slippers.” Depending on the model, there are specialty foams inside, as well as an All Season cover, with wool fiber-fill on one side and silk on the other.
Oh, My Stars!
In its newly painted and carpeted showroom, licensing group Therapedic International, with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, continued to showcase its American Glory beds but with a tweak. At the line’s introduction at the Summer Las Vegas Market, each of the three bed models had a unique panel. Now, the look is a clean, all-white knit with stars and stripes quilted into the ticking. The beds retail for $799, $999 and $1,199. A USB port embedded into the foundation has been well-received by retailers, said Gerry Borreggine, president and chief executive officer.
At Storis, a retail software supplier headquartered in Mount Arlington, New Jersey, showgoers learned about new customer experience management software, or CXM, meant to energize brick-and-mortar sales. Shawn McKnight, director of product management, demonstrated some of its features on an in-store kiosk, as well as his smartphone. The app is part of Storis’ Unified Commerce Solution and can be accessed from any device. Are products in stock? When can they be delivered? Retail sales associates can answer these and other questions without leaving a customer’s side. At the same time, RSAs can input key customer information and, hopefully, close a sale.
New Look for a Classic
Premium bed maker Shifman Mattress Co. showcased its refreshed Vintage line. The Newark, New Jersey-based company updated its three-bed Vintage collection, making it a little taller and bringing in new covers and styling. Replacing the former striped damask panel with a soft ivory damask top embellished with scrollwork, the refresh gives the beds a more fashion-forward look but still keeps the vintage feel, said Bill Hammer, Shifman president. The border also is new, with a pale gray
European box quilted look. Even with the new appearance, the fundamentals remain the same: Beds in the line are hand-tufted and two-sided with eight-way hand-tied box springs. A tight-top in firm or plush retails for $3,299 and the pillow-top for $4,499.
Corsicana Mattress Co. touted the “unprecedented success” of Renue Performance, a fashion-forward hybrid collection in shades of charcoal. Launched in January at the Winter Las Vegas Market, it’s priced from $599 to $999. “This is an enhanced look for the price,” said Eric Jent, vice president of sales for the Corsicana, Texas-based producer. “You don’t often see these kinds of treatments at these price points; you’re getting something of very high quality. (Renue) is performing extremely well for us on retail floors, (yet) is priced above our typical bread-and-butter price points.” Higher-end models in the 12-bed group use pocket coils, premium foams and ticking with phase-change material.
The Malouf showroom reported unusually heavy traffic the week before the market’s official opening, and all those visitors to the Logan, Utah-based company’s spacious High Point showroom were greeted by this new neat and tidy wall unit for displaying duvets. Jason Cale, Malouf territory manager for the Northeast, explained how the new lighter-weight, woven duvet made with bamboo viscose yarns uses Malouf’s patent-pending Duv8t Fastening System, with eight corner and side loops to keep the comforter flat and smooth. Depending on how you pair them, a duvet and insert range in price from $149 to $499 for a queen set.
The news at the Paramount Sleep showroom was its first showing of the Pure Talalay Bliss collection. The Norfolk, Virginia-based company is working in partnership with North Brunswick, New Jersey-based Eclipse International, which manages the brand’s design, marketing and manufacturing. Four Bliss models in different heights are packed with layers of Talalay latex and priced from $2,999 to $3,999. The beds are wrapped in a wavy blister knit in pure white, with coordinating pillows available from Bliss parent company Talalay Global, said Mark Dentale, Paramount business developer.