We might be a little biased but one of the biggest industry news stories of the era 1991-2015 was the launch of Sleep Savvy
Since its first March/April issue in 2002, the magazine has been devoted to educating bedding retailers about how to sell more and better bedding by providing practical, useful information on topics ranging from merchandising and consumer trends to sales techniques and employee training. Sleep Savvy’s readers—today more than 25,600, mostly in the United States and Canada—include furniture and department stores, sleep shop chains, catalogs/online vendors and independent sleep shops. (And we appreciate them all!)
In some ways, Sleep Savvy was the resurrection of Bedding Merchandiser, a retailer-focused magazine published monthly by the trade association from 1945 through 1957.
Both publications were designed to help bedding retailers advance their business practices and sell more bedding by providing practical, useful information on topics including sales techniques, merchandising, employee training and consumer trends.
But, from the start, Sleep Savvy was its own magazine—and the only home furnishings publication dedicated exclusively to educating retailers.
Initially, the magazine was published six times a year but, in 2005, expanded to eight issues, with on-site distribution at furniture markets in High Point, North Carolina; Las Vegas; and Tupelo, Mississippi.
The magazine also has expanded far beyond print. SleepSavvyMagazine.com debuted in 2005 with digital editions of the publication following in 2009. Today, Sleep Savvy reaches its audience through social media like Pinterest and Twitter, too.
SINGLE-SIDED BEDS PUT A STOP TO THE ‘FLIP’
As their components evolved, mattresses needed less frequent maintenance, but manufacturers continued to recommend a regular schedule of turning and rotating, though they knew that fewer and fewer people—particularly those buying bulky queen- and king-size bedding—were likely to follow their recommendations.
The industry rapidly abandoned two-sided mattresses after Simmons introduced its first single-sided (or “no-flip”) bed in 2000. The mattresses made bedding maintenance easier for consumers.
(For manufacturers, the change had an equally obvious benefit—lower costs for ticking and comfort-layer components.)
By 2015, a few manufacturers remained committed to producing two-sided products, but the vast majority of mattresses sold were single-sided. A change indeed.
SHOPPING ENTERS THE INTERNET AGE
In 2007, the Internet passed “looking around in stores” as consumers’ primary source of information about mattresses, according to an article in the April 2008 issue of BedTimes magazine. That year, about 40% of consumers turned to the Web for product research, up from less than 10% in 2000.
During that same time, the percentage of shoppers investigating mattresses in stores fell from nearly 55% to 40%. The percentage of consumers turning to newspaper advertisements declined in a similar fashion, from 30% in 2000 to about 15% in 2007.
CHANGING MATTRESS DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS
Source: August 1997 BedTimes, the percentage of mattresses bought in each type of store