HIGH POINT – Retail bedding business has been strong this year, and retailers shopping bedding showrooms here are hoping to keep the momentum rolling.
Bedding producers are obliging with a wide assortment of new products and programs. Not surprisingly, gel beds are in the middle of the action.
Southerland enters the High Point Market with its first gel entry, the Omni line, which combines gel and memory foam. “Gel is the logical evolution of memory foam,” said Steve Russo, CEO.
Southerland, which is testing the waters in High Point, is also showing its Refresh latex line, Russo added.
Jamison is doing well with its expanded gel offerings, which include a gallery program, a gel topper and a gel pillow. “Gel resonates with consumers,” said Ken Hinman, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
Captain Cool, the penguin figure who serves as the mascot for Jamison’s Gel Comfort line, is featured in the new retail display and marketing materials. Shown in a surfboard setting, Captain Cool is “surfing for cool comfort,” Hinman said.
“You don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” commented Therapedic CEO Gerry Borreggine, referring to the gel boom. His company is showing a new Blue Paradise Eco-Gel bed cushioned with three inches of gel and three inches of memory foam, retailing at $2,299.
Stylution is entering the gel category here with two beds, retailing from $999 to $1,299.
“The foam category is doing well,” said Ed Scott, a veteran Stylution executive. “Gel combined with visco gives you the benefit of visco and the benefit of a cooler night of sleep.”
Scott said he hasn’t seen as much excitement about a new bedding feature like gel since much of the industry switched to single-sided beds a decade ago.
Bedding producers are also showing new promotional models here and introducing lines targeting specific niches.
Paramount Sleep’s new Boutique Hotel line features encased coils and better grade upholstery materials, said Richard Fleck, chief marketing officer. “I am pleased with our initial results at market,” he said.
Carolina Mattress Guild is showing its G-Whiz bed, which features an eight-inch memory foam mattress. It retails at $599.
“Retailers are here and they are buying,” said Paul Sullivan, vice president of Five Star Mattress, which is showing its new TLC and Essential Elements lines.
Reverie is emphasizing technology with its market introduction. Exclusive Reverie technology gives consumers the power to control all of the functions of the bed and other appliances in the room with a range of smartphone and tablet devices, the company says.
“The products we’re featuring represent Reverie’s focus on integrating our sleep systems into today’s technology-driven lifestyle,” said Lisa Tan, Reverie’s marketing director.
Sleep accessories providers say they are looking for a good High Point Market.
Fabrictech is introducing its new Pure Care Plush pillow line, offering a variety of popular pillow filling materials. “We are focusing on health, wellness and comfort,” said Sean Bergman, vice president of sales and marketing. “Our customers get it.”
He noted that even though retail is improving, it’s important for retailers to maximize the size of their sales tickets with the addition of sleep accessories to the mattress sale.
Originally written by David Perry and published by Furniture Today on 4/23/2012