Start by explaining to shoppers that a kid’s room is no place for an old mattress
Hand-me-down jeans and T-shirts are fine for most kids — though they may not relish the idea of wearing their big sister’s or big brother’s old outfits. Hand-me-down bed sets, however, are not a good idea.
“If a mattress is no longer comfortable for you, it’s not good enough for someone else — especially your child,” advises the Better Sleep Council, the consumer-education arm of the International Sleep Products Association. “As kids grow, they need supportive and comfortable bedding, as well.”
This is a key reason Sleep Savvy encourages retailers to carry at least a modest selection of youth bedding. If you’re selling a new sleep set to customers who mention that they won’t need you to pick up the old set and take it away for recycling because they plan move it into a child’s room, that’s an opening to discuss the need for all members of the household — no matter their age — to have a comfortable, supportive mattress that’s right for their body type and sleep needs.
Here are more tips for selling children’s mattresses and sleep accessories.
- Make youth bedding part of every conversation. Don’t limit potential sales by discussing youth bedding only with shoppers who specifically ask for it. Find ways to work the products into conversations with a variety of consumers. To avoid awkward assumptions, you can phrase your question in a general way, “Do you have any children in your home or children that you regularly buy for?” You can then follow up by asking if the child has any allergies, is sleeping on an old or hand-me-down bed set, etc. Never ask “Do you have kids?” as it can be a sensitive subject for some childless people.
- Court the grandparents. Grandparents love to shop for grandkids, and parents appreciate them buying both useful and pricier items. You can build business by marketing to this demographic.
- Go for fulls. Just as you’ll sell more adjustable bases if you show them, you can shift shoppers from twin to full size beds just by displaying and discussing them more. Full-size mattresses give children a bit more room to grow and, relatively speaking, don’t cost significantly more than a twin.
- Corner the gift market. Pillows, linens and protectors make great gift items and can boost sales during times that are traditionally slower for retailers, namely the winter holiday season. Again, think grandparents, but also godparents, aunts, uncles and everyone else looking for a practical gift to buy children and help out financially overburdened parents.
- Invest in POP. The need for attractive, informative point-of-purchase information is particularly important when you’re adding or expanding your youth bedding offerings.
- Build back-to-school sales. Late summer already is a nice time for mattress sales, especially in college towns. But you can remind parents that in addition to schools supplies and new outfits, a new bed set will get their kids off to a good start for the new school year. Highlight information about the importance of a quality mattress and adequate sleep to alertness during the school day.
- Share sleep tips for children. The BSC’s website at BetterSleep.org has a good “Children & Sleep” section under its “Better Sleep” tab that explains how much sleep children need at each age and gives tips for helping them get a good night’s sleep.