Mattress Dollars and AUP Up, Units Down to Close Out 2021, Survey Finds

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Retailers say hybrids enjoyed strongest sales growth for the year, rising 33%

U.S. mattress retailers saw single-digit dollar growth in December, while unit sales remained in negative territory. But the average unit price was up by double digits, a survey says.

Looking ahead, retailers see 2022 as a year of above-average growth, according to Piper Sandler’s December Mattress Retailer Survey, which presents a snapshot of retail performance around the United States.

Retailers reported December sales growth up by a mean of 9%, while unit sales in December were down by a mean of 9%. But the AUP continued its strong performance, posting a mean increase of 15% to close out the year.

New York-based Piper Sander says the retail outlook for the first quarter of 2022 has weakened, but the outlook for the full year is strong.

“Looking forward,” the firm says, “retailers expect (sales growth) deceleration in Q1 to 6% to 7%, likely due to the near-term impact of omicron on traffic trends. Importantly, the full-year 2022 forecast calls for growth of 10% to 11%, representing an above-average growth year for the mattress industry.”

The survey shows that retailers enjoyed fourth-quarter growth in 2021 of a mean of 14%, but they are forecasting first-quarter 2022 sales growth of half of that — a mean of 7%.

For all of 2021, retailers reported hefty sales increases of a mean of 30%. A year ago, retailers were only predicting sales growth of a mean of 12% in 2021. Halfway through 2021, they were more bullish, but still aimed below final numbers, expecting mean growth of 21% in the June 2021 survey.

Looking at sales growth in 2021 by mattress type, retailers reported strong sales performance of hybrids (up by a mean of 33%) and foam mattresses (up by a mean of 21%), followed by innersprings (up by a mean of 15%).

But when breaking down the entire sales mix by mattress type, innersprings continued to lead other constructions in 2021, accounting for a mean of 39% of sales, followed by foam mattresses (31%) and hybrids (30%).

Asked about their biggest concerns for 2022, 58% of the retailers said they worry about weakening traffic, consumer demand and unit sales. A third are concerned about inflation pressures and a quarter are worried about supply chain pressures.