BY BETH ENGLISH AND BARBARA T. NELLES
After touring sleep products showrooms at the quietly interesting High Point Market Oct. 22-26, we bring you this series of vignettes filled with some intriguing finds–from two-sided mattresses to pillows with springs.
Gold Bond thinks young
Mattress and futon manufacturer Gold Bond, with headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut, rolled out an innerspring juvenile collection called Natural Support. The beds use premium components. In addition to a durable spring unit, other components include high-resiliency foam, gel memory foam, latex and wrapped microcoils. Six low-profile mattresses are 8 inches thick, making them compliant with federal law on mattress heights for the top bunk bed. Two additional models have an 11-inch profile and are two-sided. Twin-size mattresses retail from $299 to $549; queens are from $749 to $899. The entire group is available in twin, full and queen.
The collection’s styling strikes a playful note with a tape-edge in lime green. (Bright pink, purple and blue also are available.) The tape-edge color pops against the charcoal border with white stitching and the plush, white cotton knit panel. The panel fabric tells a health and hygiene story as it uses a percentage of “copper-infused” yarns.
“We have considered every safety angle when developing this youth line because, as parents and grandparents, we know providing children with a safe place to slumber is top of mind when shopping for a mattress,” said Bob Naboicheck, Gold Bond president. “This collection will provide retailers looking for a safe, well-rounded line of juvenile mattresses with options that currently don’t exist in the marketplace. In addition, the mattresses provide a significant level of support and durability growing children need, while offering a great deal of comfort.”
Gold Bond drew foot traffic with social media-based giveaways. Retailers who followed the company on Facebook and Twitter earned the privilege of spinning a wheel at the showroom for the chance to win gold-wrapped chocolate bars, phone chargers, floor samples or 10% off a future order. Recipients of the chocolate bars also received a scratch-off ticket giving them the chance to win a premium Gold Bond futon.
“We’ve been taking steps to increase our online presence, and social media adds a new platform to help us reach our target audience,” said Skip Naboicheck, vice president of sales. “Engaging our retailers at market is an added bonus.”
Sleepwell brand from AW Industries makes High Point Market debut
Major regional manufacturer AW Industries Inc., a Serta licensee, opened its first High Point Market showroom, which it filled with new, mostly two-sided mattresses under the company’s proprietary Sleepwell brand.
Exhibiting at High Point Market is part of expansion plans for the Sleepwell brand, said Paul Kahl, vice president of the Landover, Maryland-based manufacturer. “We’ve decided to manufacture and market a new group of better, two-sided beds. Our strategy came together after we experienced such success at the recent All American Furniture Expo in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.”
The new Sleepwell Contourpedic Gold collection is made up of seven beds that use Leggett & Platt Inc.’s Verticoil Edge open, offset innerspring unit, and is paired with an all-wood foundation. The new step-up Sleepwell Platinum Hybrid Elite group is six models using a foam-encased, wrapped-coil core. The beds sit on a wood and steel-grid base that the company calls its Steel Semi-Flex Foundation.
Comfort-layer components include zoned, convoluted foam and gel memory foam. The collections are available in tight-top and pillow-top and three comfort levels. Prices for the Gold and Platinum beds open at $499 and top out at $1,099.
The beds’ fabrics and trim carry through on the precious metal themes. Gold uses a golden-tan border inset with metallic-gold ribbon, and Platinum has silver-gray borders with shiny silver ribbon. The beds’ knit panels are white with respective tan or silver accents.
Also new in the Sleepwell showroom were three one-sided, specialty-sleep models using gel memory foam and sporting a one-piece knit cover. These are expected to retail from $799 to $899.
Kingsdown showcases traditional craftsmanship with Vintage collection
Kingsdown Inc., with headquarters in Mebane, North Carolina, tapped into traditional materials for its elegant five-bed Vintage collection. Ranging from 13 inches to 16 inches in height, Vintage mattresses use classic, natural ingredients such as cotton, silk and wool, combined with zoned, wrapped coils.
Covered in champagne-white Belgian damask fabrics that use a Kingsdown crown design on the panel, the collection also features unusual inverted seams, as well as hand tufting and an overstuffed, vertically quilted mattress border.
Mattresses in this collection retail between $1,799 and $3,999 and come in a tight-top, a pillow-top, two Euro-tops (one plush; one firm) and a box-top.
Kingsdown also launched modern, all-wood point-of-sale headboards inset with illuminated displays that can be programed for different models.
“The Kingsdown brand is focused on crafting mattresses that offer timeless luxury and exquisite comfort,” said Frank Hood, Kingsdown president and chief executive officer. “Our Vintage lineup provides an immense amount of opulence for a decadent night’s sleep with a fantastic construction story using our new Kingsdown styling.”
Shifman revamps opening price points, broadens marketing reach
Luxury manufacturer Shifman Mattress Co., with headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, updated its opening Quilted collection with new fabrics, corner guards and labels—new aesthetics designed to make the beds stand out on retail floors.
Other features of the two-sided mattresses include white damask upholstery, up to 47 pounds of natural cotton in the top comfort layer, a heavy-duty Bonnell innerspring unit and what the company calls “real working box springs”—a wood and steel grid-top unit. Prices for the Quilted collection range from $799 to $2,250.
The company also unveiled a multipronged marketing strategy to enhance plans to broaden its distribution. With the help of a new advertising agency, Shifman launched a new website, ShifmanMattresses.com, that emphasizes dealers by providing an easy search function and dealer landing pages. It also has produced new sales literature, launched a multimedia co-op advertising strategy that includes search-engine marketing, and said it is building participation in a variety of social media channels.
While Shifman remains an exclusive premium mattress brand, the company aims to make its product line accessible to a wider swath, company executives explained.
“We have a wonderful story, and we want to tell it to consumers and expand our distribution throughout the country,” said Tim Wade, Shifman national sales manager.
Shifman President Bill Hammer added: “We believe that these marketing initiatives will help make our products accessible to consumers who might not otherwise have seen our messaging in traditional print media. It’s important to get the word out that we have affordable lines that offer a tremendous amount of value.”
Malouf spreads out in new 7,000-square-foot space in Market on Green
Logan, Utah-based sleep accessories supplier Malouf expanded into a 7,000-square-foot showroom at Market on Green. With a concrete floor and overhead track lighting, the contemporary space had an open feel with plenty of room for in-store retail displays.
“High Point continues to be an important market for us to connect with key customers and keep momentum for new business,” said Mike Douglas, vice president of sales. “The new showroom creates a better customer experience. It’s easier to locate and the increased size makes it easier for us to help customers build a complete bedding accessories program.”
The company added the Five 5ided Ice Tech mattress protector, priced at $280. It features cool-to-the-touch fabric and protection from fluids, stains, dust mites and allergens.
“The smiling, wide-eyed look that follows when someone feels its cooling effect for the first time is priceless,” Douglas said.
Vispring has ‘event-full’ show with stitching demonstration, pet beds
Ultra-premium mattress maker Vispring hosted two events at the fall High Point Market. One was a live demonstration of side stitching by expert craftsman Mark Clapton, who flew in from company headquarters in Plymouth, England, to demonstrate the level of detail and care that goes into each handmade Vispring bed.
The second event was a champagne reception in celebration of a series of custom-designed pet beds. Vispring toasted seven well-known interior designers who created custom beds for their favorite pooches—ones that reflected each pup’s personality. The results, on display at the Vispring showroom, ranged from enameled pagodas to minimalist Lucite boxes.
After the market, the chic dog beds were donated to Companion Animal Alliance, the adoption arm of the Baton Rouge Animal Shelter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The shelter will auction off the beds at its annual Fur Ball to help raise funds that were greatly depleted following devastating flooding in the state.
Paramount solves sleeping-partner conflicts
Mattress manufacturer Paramount Sleep, with headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, added a customizable king to the A.H. Beard Classic collection. Couples can now select their personal comfort in a twin XL and the two beds can be zipped together to make a king. Mattress rotation is simple as the two mattresses can be unzipped, turned and zipped back together on their opposite edges.
The bed features a host of high-end components, such as silk and wool fiber in the comfort layer, a zoned layer of Talalay latex in the bed’s center third, the five-zone Quantus wrapped-coil unit and outer hand tufting. Its suggested retail is $2,000.
Therapedic International adds a touch of jazz to its newest beds
Mattress licensing group Therapedic International, headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, continued bringing a musical flair to its latest line of mattresses. It extended the Bravura line, originally introduced at the Summer Las Vegas Market, with the hybrid Jazz collection. It’s an adjustable base-friendly mattress with more than 1,000 pocketed coils topped with latex.
Mattress names are pulled from the works of George Gershwin—“Lullaby,” “Summertime” and “Rhapsody in Blue.” The mattresses are priced from $1,999 to $2,999.
Each is marked with a large taupe medallion in the center of the bed and a scalloped waterfall edge. If you look closely, you can see G clefs woven into the medallion.
The original classic rock-themed Bravura beds got a small cosmetic change on the border—black denotes memory foam and gray signifies latex.
New pillow, protectors spring up at Protect-A-Bed
Chicago-based sleep products supplier Protect-A-Bed launched two innerspring pillows in three comforts to accommodate any sleep style.
Called Zefiro, the memory foam or fiber-fill pillows are handcrafted in Italy, at the former Soff-Art pillow plant acquired by Protect-A-Bed. Products are stocked and distributed out of Chicago.
Each pillow contains 60 fine-gauge pocket springs. Those wrapped with memory foam retail for $159. The fiber-fill version retails for $119. All have breathable cotton covers with colored piping and are available in queen size only. The piping color denotes the comfort level—soft, medium or firm.
Rolling pillow carts to hold four floor samples are free with qualifying orders.
Protect-A-Bed also added two mattress protectors to the Naturals collection. Both use the company’s Miracle Membrane and have a flat knit fabric surface—one is a cotton knit; the other is a bamboo-viscose knit. Suggested retail for the cotton version is $90, and the bamboo-viscose protector is $100.
Savvy Rest makes bedtime comfortable with topper, duvet
Savvy Rest, a natural and organic bedding producer, highlighted two fluffy, wool-filled toppers with a tack-and-jump quilt pattern. They debuted in Las Vegas but recently began shipping.
“The reception from retailers has been great,” said John Howard-Smith, chief executive officer of the Charlottesville, Virginia-based company. “The 3-inch-thick toppers have a plush, new feel and contain either domestically sourced natural wool or 100% organic wool.”
The natural wool version retails for $649; the organic topper is $849. Both have 100% certified organic, cotton sateen covers.
Savvy Rest also added a 1-inch, all-season duvet. Just like the new toppers, it has either natural wool fill ($479) or organic wool ($549).
Fashion Bed Group showcases new beds, boxes and beds in boxes at HP
Most of the focus at Fashion Bed Group, part of Carthage, Missouri-based Leggett & Platt Inc., was on products that rolled out earlier in the year. A new wall of shelving was devoted to displaying slick, color-coded packaging for the company’s large sleep accessories lineup, while the front of the showroom held displays of its easy-ship, e-commerce-friendly bases and frames.
A new decorative bed stood out in the middle of the showroom. The platform Oliver bed retails for about $899, is upholstered in “gravel gray,” and has a sleek, contemporary look and plenty of underbed storage with two large drawers.