Five bedding producers joined the bedding contingent at the recent High Point Market, sparking talk of a sleep products comeback in the Furniture Capital of the World.
Two of those new bedding exhibitors — Shifman Mattress and Mlily USA — had exhibited in High Point but took a break in recent markets. The newcomers — GhostBed, Resident Home and Palmetto Pedic — all made their High Point Market debuts.
The Las Vegas Market remains the home of several dozen bedding and sleep accessory producers, while the High Point Market hosts a more modest bedding contingent of more than a dozen companies. The addition of new bedding players in High Point is seen by existing bedding exhibitors as a positive development, one that will draw more attention to the bedding category in High Point.
The bedding newcomers cited a variety of reasons for their presence in High Point.
Alan Hirschhorn, executive vice president of direct-to-consumer company GhostBed, which is adding brick-and-mortar retailers with a wholesale line, says he’s a proponent of markets.
“We need to collectively support our industry,” he says. “It’s not too much to ask for a bedding presence here. High Point is High Point, but not everybody on the East Coast goes across the country to the Las Vegas Market.”
GhostBed, which also shows in Las Vegas, wanted to follow up its success at the recent Las Vegas Market by entering the High Point Market now, Hirschhorn adds.
Resident Home, another direct-to-consumer brand adding brick-and-mortar retailers, remains on a fast-growth track and looked to High Point to see retailers it doesn’t see at its Las Vegas Market showroom, says Shawn Slattery, vice president of sales.
Resident showed three of its beds in the Classic Brands space, and plans to return to the High Point Market, Slattery says.
High-end bedding producer Shifman Mattress, based in Newark, New Jersey, took a Covid-19 break from the High Point Market for the last few markets, returning now with a two-story showroom in a historic downtown High Point building.
“I love it here,” says Bill Hammer, president. “This industry is High Point. This is a wonderful place to come for work, networking and to take part in everything this market offers. There is no question this is the national furniture market. For independent furniture stores, this is where you need to be.”
Mlily USA, a mattress and pillow producer based in Knoxville, Tennessee, returned to High Point in a temporary space, saying it picked October to return because it felt that retailers who don’t want to fly during the pandemic would be more comfortable driving to the High Point Market.
The company said it took a “brief hiatus” from High Point in order to focus its efforts on its expansive Las Vegas showroom. Mlily says it plans to lease a permanent space for future High Point markets.
“Our return to High Point will open the door to new opportunities for us and our East Coast dealers,” notes Stephen Chen, president of Mlily USA.
Also joining the bedding mix was Palmetto Pedic LLC, the 2-year-old foam manufacturer owned by global fabric and home fashions manufacturer Home Furnishing International. Palmetto Pedic unveiled a new line of conventional foam and memory foam for use in mattresses, foundations, upholstery and accessories in its market showing.
Palmetto Pedic, based in Gaffney, South Carolina, is targeting the line to major U.S. bedding producers and upholstered furniture manufacturers.
“We are offering leading U.S. bedding and furniture manufacturers a viable, low-cost alternative to imported foam and mattresses,” says David Li, chairman and CEO of both Home Furnishing International and Palmetto Pedic. “We are offering an expansive selection of made-in-America products that will give major U.S. bedding suppliers innovative and sustainable choices and at the same time alleviate many of the supply chain difficulties that have plagued the bedding market in recent months.”
The company currently has the capacity to produce 3,000 mattresses per day, and the recent purchase of a 350,000-square-foot plant in Blacksburg, South Carolina, will increase that capacity to 8,000 mattresses per day. The new Blacksburg plant is located just down the Interstate 85 highway corridor from the Gaffney plant, which will enable both plants to easily and efficiently collaborate on production runs, the company says.
Li was pleased with the company’s inaugural High Point showing.
“We have received better responses than expected,” he says. “We left High Point with large programs committed from one of the largest players in the industry.”