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From Home Furnishing Business

What sells: No Counting Sheep, Just Better Sleep

Consumers today are taking a peaceful night’s sleep very seriously. One of the only furniture categories with a substantial focus on scientifi c research, facts regarding sleep are fl ashed across TV screens and promoted on virtually every app and internet page. Knowing that sleep plays an active role in overall health, the consumer heavily researches their next big purchase that will directly impact their goal of a more restful night of sleep. Perhaps they simply need a new mattress to pair with an updated bedroom set. Either way, you can bet that this purchase is backed by hours of online research and product reviews.

Based on Consumer research conducted by FurnitureCore, Inc., the research arm of Home Furnishings Business, consumers were asked ‘how long did you shop before making a matt ress purchase.’ The study found that only 36.36% of consumers made a matt ress purchase in less than a week, while 54.54% of consumers made their purchase in under a month. 9.09% of consumers pondered their options before their purchase for up to 3 months! Clearly, this purchase decision came with a lot of thought. Bearing in mind that there are endless options in the category, from manufacturers promoting organic product to hybrid solutions and beyond, there is a lot to consider.

Manufacturers are aware of the time consumers spend assessing their matt ress purchases and are actively working toward solutions for quality rest at varying price points. Says Jon Stowe, managing director at E.S. Kluft & Company, “Consumer awareness of the role sleep plays in well-being continues to grow and with that, so does interest in high-end bedding. We see consumer interest in quality craftsmanship, innovation and exceptional materials continuing to grow in 2020. That’s good news for consumers and also for retailers who have the opportunity to boost their profi t margins if they have more luxury product on their floors.”

While off ering luxury items is appealing to some consumers, Onney Crawley, Serta’s vice president of marketing, advises against alienating other consumers by instead off ering a wide range of options to the sales fl oor. She says, “The matt ress category is a rapidly evolving and competitive space, with both traditional manufacturers and direct-to-consumer brands competing to understand consumer’s needs. It’s important now more than ever that matt ress retailers adopt a consumer-centric business model in order to deliver innovative products that appeal to a broad range of people.” This mattress merchandising strategy is sure to bring customers to the sales floor to test the product variations; however, retailers will use varying strategies based on their targeted markets.

In a time in the industry where traffic counts are not what they used to be, boosting profit margins at every available opportunity should be seized. For this reason, Eric Holmstead, national sales manager at Malouf, believes, “The mattress category is the most important in the industry. It gets the highest average ticket price, creates the most noticeable improvement in your customer’s sleep, and allows for high margins. A real opportunity comes from attaching product like adjustable bases and accessories to the purchase.” Higher average tickets will make up for fewer customers shopping in stores.

In this highly competitive category, manufacturers are working hard to create solutions for consumers of every body type, preference, and price point. Read on to see the creative solutions sure to satisfy your customer’s need to stop counting sheep and drift off to sleep.

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