Bedding producers generally gave the recent premarket event in High Point, North Carolina, good reviews, and some said it portends a strong High Point Market in June.
More than 300 exhibitors participated in premarket, a record number. That included a handful of bedding producers. Premarket gives retailers an early look at upcoming market introductions.
“Enso enjoyed a very strong premarket,” said Mark Akerman, president of Enso Sleep Systems, a unit of Asheboro, North Carolina-based Klaussner Home Furnishings. “Being part of Klaussner and having participated in the prior First Tuesday events, we had our entire showroom set up and ready for the more than 125 dealers that came through.
“Enso made several new product introductions in our hybrid and memory foam assortments,” he continued. “We showed a complete underbed storage program, as well as several promotionally priced platform bases. The dealers that came to Enso came to see new product and we did not disappoint. Several new accounts were added this week. If this was only a Premarket, we can’t wait to see the full-blown event.”
AW Industries, a Landover, Maryland-based bedding producer, showed its Serta, Sleepwell and Silentnight brands, each in separate showrooms, and got a good response to all three lines, said Paul Kahl, vice president of sales.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people I saw,” he said. “We added two new accounts, and saw a lot of potential accounts.”
Colorful bedding lines by Sleepwell, which featured a lavender-infused model, and Silentnight, with new designs on latex and gel memory foam beds, were particularly well received, he said.
“Premarket was a very worthwhile event for us,” said Gerry Borreggine, president of Therapedic, a licensing group based in Princeton, New Jersey. “We saw some key dealers, and we also signed two new licensees there. With the June High Point Market coming hot off the heels of a stronger-than-usual premarket, many are expecting it to be less attended. Still, we expect to see different dealers in June than those we saw at premarket.”
Scott Carr, marketing director for Malouf, a furniture and bedding supplier based in Logan, Utah, said his company enjoyed a productive premarket.
“Our new product innovations were received very well at High Point Premarket,” he said. “In particular, we had a lot of interest in our new entry-level price point Weekender memory foam mattresses. This line includes eight all new mattresses, ranging from five- to 12-inch profiles. They’re designed to provide the perfect sleep setting. The gel infusion keeps customers cool and comfortable, and the activated charcoal removes excess moisture and keeps customers’ mattresses fresh. Our new CBD topper and lotion were also well received, and our line of smart adjustable bases continues to satisfy retailer demand in that rapidly growing category.”
Richard Fleck, president of mattress maker Paramount Sleep, based in Norfolk, Virginia, described premarket as “fair” for his company and praised the “high-quality customers” Paramount saw at the event.
“We had about the same amount of customers as we had at last premarket,” he noted. “It seems like traffic is getting ‘watered down’ due to the frequency of shows along with the timing of shows. The recent Las Vegas Market, the First Tuesday event in High Point, and this premarket and the June High Point Market are all within 60 days of each other.”
He said that supply chain disruptions in the industry have impacted his company.
“The foam and fiber allocations are creating major supply disruption issues, which are slowing down some of our line transitions,” Fleck said. “We have had to push our changeovers out since we have to focus on fulfilling customer sold orders.”
Borreggine said he thinks attendance patterns at markets could be changing.
“I am looking at all the markets a little differently going forward,” he said. “I’m not sure we will ever see that big rush of customers at any market as we have in the past. Instead, I expect to see a steady stream of fewer customers who are attending more frequently held events. These events could be held at High Point, Las Vegas or even smaller, private events, which could take place in hotels, factories or other third-party venues. Going forward, I don’t see our industry sustaining four major markets.”