Shining A Light


Feature articles in this month’s issue illuminate the importance of being open to change

For most of us, there comes a time when we know we need a change, when we realize our current situation is not working and we’re dissatisfied. For me, the feeling builds, just a glimmer at first that something is not quite right, a gleam that grows brighter and more focused, until I see a spotlight illuminating a new direction.There have been times the spotlight has led me to something as simple as a new hairstyle and, at other times, it has directed me to a new job or, not long ago, a new home.

What I have learned over the course of my life is that I need to keep my eyes open to those first faint flickers of discomfort to see where they will lead. In this issue, we have three articles that speak to the need for retailers to not only be open to change, but to shine lights into the dark to illuminate new paths and opportunities.

For this issue’s Undercover, a retired couple visited three Gulf Coast mattress retailers to report on what they are doing right and what can be improved. They found a great selection of quality mattress sets, yet also encountered pillowless beds, confusing sales presentations and, in one store, a stained ceiling and bugs. If you are struggling with sales, it might be time to bring in a secret shopper for a clear-eyed assessment — and be prepared to address the issues the undercover customer finds.

Mary Best square headshot
Mary Best
Editor in Chief

Riley’s Furniture & Mattress, the subject of this month’s Retail Road Trip, is never afraid to try something new. Riley Griffiths, the store’s founder and president, empowers managers and employees to think creatively and take chances, even if their efforts fail. “He always says, ‘If it doesn’t work, we’ll learn from it,’ ” explains marketing director Kyle Baker.

As Griffiths has demonstrated, successful retailers cannot be complacent, and that’s never been truer than today, when retail is undergoing rapid changes. In our cover story, writer Julie A. Palm explores how several trends are pushing retail forward and explains ways mattress retailers can take giant steps to keep up.

What changes are afoot in your business? Send me an email ( I’d love to hear about the new directions you are taking.


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