From Home Furnishing Business
A Bedtime Story
Once upon a time in a cozy home in the suburbs, there lived a consumer couple who was eager for a better night’s sleep. A busy couple—both hard-working and parents to 2.06 children—they craved a solid eight hours so that they could wean themselves from the three-cup-a-day Starbucks’ Venti addiction. Prescription sleep medications weren’t doing the trick, so the couple decided to follow the advice of a friend and visit the local bedding specialty store in seach of a better sleep experience. At the store, they found a knowledgeable sales associate who was patient, kind and completely understanding of their need for sleep.
The associate explained the benefits and drawbacks of the various types of beds from innerspring to gel to air to memory foam and beyond. The couple “rest tested” a number of options as the sales associate suggested and after not much time later, they had agreed on the best mattress for them. The sale was completed; delivery scheduled and off Mr. and Mrs. Consumer went to await the quick, same-day delivery of their new mattress. Once delivered, the couple fell quickly into the bed where they slept happily ever after.
If only every mattress transaction were as simple and easy as this fairy tale, the bedding retail business would be full of sunshine and kisses every day. According to Home Furnishings Business’ latest consumer survey on mattress purchasing, consumers are for the most part pleased with their latest buying foray into the category.
More than half (53.7 percent) of our consumer panel bought a traditional innerspring bed. That percentage was followed by memory foam with 37 percent opting for that construction. From there, the next closest sleep surface option was air, like Select Comfort’s Sleep Number beds at 5.6 percent. Most of our consumers bought mattresses for the master bedroom (77.4 percent) with guest bedrooms taking a distant second place at 20.8 percent. The top selling size? You guessed it, queen with 46.3 percent landing there.
Second in line was king with a third of the panel opting for the larger sleeping space. Bedding consumers are quite the price-conscious bunch. More than 77 percent spent less than $2,000 for their bedding purchase. In fact, price ranked as the most important factor in buying a mattress following by rest test options, brand and sales associate’s recommendation. Never underestimate the need for consumers to rest test a bed. More than 53 percent spend at least 10 minutes testing out a mattress in the store. Thirty-seven percent of them opt for 15 minutes or longer. A mere 13 percent—a surprisingly high number—shun the rest test completely.
While here in furniture land we spend a great deal of time talking about adjustable bases, temperature regulation and adjustable firmness, the consumer isn’t quite there—yet. According to the survey, those three functions got only a mediocre rating, and very few consumers ranked them “very important” in their purchase consideration.
As with newer trends, those perceptions could all change with education during the shopping experience. Price constraints were a drawback for consumers who considered a memory foam mattress but bought an innerspring instead. More than 35 percent said the price was cost-prohibitive. More consumers bought from a bedding specialty retailer (37 percent) than other retail channels. More than 22 percent bought their new mattress from a traditional furniture store, 16.7 percent bought from a department store and 13 percent opted for a warehouse club. Another 11 percent bought online.
Overall, our consumers were pleased with their shopping experience. More than 62 percent of our panel rated their shopping experience as “enjoyable” to “very enjoyable”. The sales associates’ product knowledge also pulled in kudos with 68 percent saying they were “satisfied” to “very satisfied” with the service.
One missed opportunity among our consumers is the high percentage of sales associates—68.5 percent— who didn’t mention that it can take up to 30 days for a body to adjust to a new sleep surface. That tidbit of information could possibly lower the 18.5 percent exchange rate of new mattresses.
What Retailers Say
Simmon’s Beautyrest Munising
“It’s extremely popular due to its ‘best of both world’ construction. With the
cool and conforming layers of Air Cool memory foam topping the trusted and battle tested Beautyrest pocketed coil, our sales force flocks to this bed time after time to appeal to customers from both sides, memory foam and innerspring. Add the fact that our sales force knows this product was built specifically for us and our customers, and you have a homerun collection and a No. 1 mattress.” Retail is $2199.99 for a queen set.
Art Van Furniture
Viva Sleep By Del Sol
“We created our own private label with a local vendor. We call it Viva Sleep by Del Sol. It’s great because it can’t be shopped, it’s a great value, and we offer a lifetime guarantee since it’s by ‘us’. “
Del Sol Furniture
Restonic’s Comfortcare Signature
The ComfortCare Signature Mattress is a multiple winner of both the Consumer’s Choice Best Buy Award and the Women’s Choice Women’s Certified Award. It’s one of Restonic’s best selling mattresses because it truly offers the best of both innerspring and latex. For the Women’s Choice Award, 96 percent of people who bought this mattress would buy it again. This mattress collection features a consciously casual Bur berry ticking over a layer of individually wrapped micro coils (as well as a layer of supporting individually wrapped coils in Restonic’s Marvelous Middle) along with Outlast technology, TempaGel and a unique Airflow edge for superior temperature regulation throughout the night.
The Beautiful Mattress from Pure LatexBliss
The Beautiful Mattress is the top seller for Pure LatexBliss because the 12 inches of latex is a unique and clear differentiator for the product. Not only does its construction and sleek design elements stand out on a showroom floor, but there is tradeoff between price point and the comfort feel consumers look for. The layers – a 6 inch Talalay Latex pressure relief layer and 6-inch Talalay latex support core – deliver unparalleled support and pressure relief at a competitive price. Suggested retail is $3,500 in queen.
Gold Bond’s Smart Series
This is the company’s first hybrid line and has an ultra-plush feel and contemporary look as well as the support of an innerspring system with the added comfort of a top layer of gel or gel-infused latex. Keeping with company’s mantra of high quality mattresses at lower price points, the collection will feature American-made gel and gel-infused latex components. It is successful because over-spacing the product gives retailers an advantage to operate at a higher margin, because they know Gold Bond’s sleep products are reliable and have consumer value.
Passions by Kingdown
One of the company’s largest lines, Passions offer a variety of constructions, comfort feels, and competitive price points ranging from $599 to $2,099 in queen. Passions boasts more coils than any other brand, more than doubling the number of earlier models to 1,791. With 18 innerspring and foam models, the line is designed to fill a void in the marketplace, offering high-performance mattresses at middle-market price points.
KLUFT’S PLATINUM PREFERRED COLLECTION
The Platinum Preferred Collection signature look and feel is unlike anything else on the market today. Featuring high-end materials that provide a luxuriously supple feel, the artisan handiwork Kluft is known for and the best in phase-change technology, the collection is consistently a winner for both retailers and their consumers. Suggested retail is $2,499 - $5,000 in queen.
The Terra is a unique four-sided mattress that offers a supportive plush feel and is favored by consumers for its comfort and versatility. Engineered with a medium firm base mattress and topped with a two-sided removable certified organic rubber 3-inch pillow top, consumers in urban areas have come to know this mattress as the “Guest Topper Mattress”—when they have visitors, they simply detach the pillow top and use it as a guest bed to save space in small apartments. Suggested retail is $5,795 in queen.