Fresh Starts

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What will 2022 bring? It’s difficult to predict anything after the last two years

There’s just something about January, isn’t there? We flip the calendar to a new year, and 12 fresh, shiny months stretch out before us. Depending on whether you’re a glass half full or half empty person, they can be beacons of promise or signposts of slog.

Last year, it felt as if everyone believed turning the page would erase the difficulties of 2020. Little did we know what the year would bring. It held the promise of a vaccine but brought with it coronavirus variants and supply chain headaches. We have more freedom than in 2020, but we’re still living in uncertainty. 

Julie A. Palm captures this well in her article on retail trends (see story on page 18): “Consumers are starting out 2022 stressed out. They’re tired and frazzled. They need to recharge and want to stay healthy. And we know a good night’s sleep can help with all of that.”

She goes on to quote Andrea K. Leigh, a business consultant, speaker and adviser: “To speak to these consumers, consumer brands need to understand the consumer headspace and their need for convenience and safety, certainly. But on a deeper level, finding ways to appeal to consumers’ self-improvement, self-actualization and need for higher-order fulfillment is key.”

That feels like the right message — especially in the month of fresh starts and resolutions to make improvements in health and well-being. Let’s help consumers access the tools they need to make sleep a priority and a joy.

Retailers also can help their customers in this unpredictable time by continuing safety protocols started at the beginning of the pandemic. Connecticut Mattress by Tom Wholley prioritizes comfort and safety by placing hygienic sheets on mattresses and gives shoppers a free pillow to use while rest-testing various beds. The pillow then goes home with the consumer. See more about how Connecticut Mattress focuses on the customer in this month’s Retail Road Trip, starting on page 8.

Speaking of fresh starts, this is my first editor’s column for Sleep Savvy. You may not have seen my face before, but I’ve been behind the scenes for seven years making sure you get the information you need in this magazine, in our e-newsletter Shop Talk by Sleep Savvy and on SleepSavvyMagazine.com. I haven’t had the opportunity to meet many of you face to face, but I hope that will change in the year to come. 

In the meantime, feel free to reach out and let me know about your business. Have you changed the way you do things in the past two years? Do you have plans to make some changes in 2022? What kind of information would help you connect with consumers? Contact me at
benglish@sleepproducts.org.

Here’s to 2022!