“Inside the Mind of Today’s Mattress Shopper” – Mark Hobson Dishes on the Importance of Sleep Accessories

0
397

Industry consultant Mark Hobson, a former member of the Better Sleep Council, offers his take on BSC research that reveals the most-purchased sleep accessories, discusses the challenges of mattress retailers selling sheets, and comments on some consumers’ plans to hang on to their pillows for years.

Transcript

Dave Perry
It’s Dave Perry. I am here with Mark Hobson, who has been a member of the Better Sleep Council for some time. And Mark, we’re talking sleep accessories. The BSC has done some interesting research on sleep accessories. Want to get some of your takes on that starting out, let me give you a little quiz. What is the most purchased mattress accessory, would you think?

Mark Hobson
I would have to guess that sheets.

Dave Perry
You’re looking at the research sheets purchased by 83% of the consumers. Pillows – number two, mattress pads, protector – number three at 47%, and toppers 37%. Are you surprised, Mark, sheets are number one? I might have thought pillows, but what do you think?

Mark Hobson
I am actually surprised the gap between sheets and pillows is as much as it is. I’m not surprised sheets were number one because, clearly, nobody can use a mattress without a sheet on it. Excellent point. I suppose you could, but I’m not sure I would. As for pillows, everybody has a very personal taste in terms of the pillow they want for the bed.

So I would have thought it would be very close, but I’m not surprised that both of them are in the top two categories.

Dave Perry
So speaking of that, I know a major mattress retailer that recently added sheets for the first time. Shouldn’t all mattress retailers carry sheets based on this study alone?

Mark Hobson
Well, I would definitely say it’s an opportunity for all mattress retailers to sell accessories. And there are plus and minuses with everything, but sheets clearly are purchased by everyone who purchased a mattress, as are pillows. So there’s an opportunity there. And maybe the downside difficulty is the sheer selection that you might have to get into from a sheets and pillows standpoint because they are so personal, whether it’s fashion on sheets or personal comfort on pillows.

But clearly, any accessory is an opportunity to upsell the sales ticket on a retail floor.

Dave Perry
One of the interesting things is that something like 23% of consumers expects their pillow to last more than five years. I think that’s too long. What do you think?

Mark Hobson
Five years for a pillow is a long time. I’d like to know whether they really meant to expect it to last or wished and hoped it lasted because there’s no more personal item than the pillow in terms of comfort and getting a good night’s sleep. So maybe they’re really saying they hope it would last five years, and we know they really don’t.

Dave Perry
Let’s talk about toppers, too, for a second. Interestingly, toppers are – some people think toppers actually can cost mattress sales. What’s your take on that?

Mark Hobson
Well, personally, I think that they are a very large market in mattress toppers out there and very concentrated on online sales. I’d like to see the data between those who bought a topper online versus those who bought a mattress topper in-store. Reason being is that I just don’t believe that when people have decided, they’re not sleeping well and that it might be the mattress, I don’t believe they go for the most expensive solution first, and a mattress topper would be an inexpensive solution to the mattress and easily bought online.

But once they’re in the store, they should be committed to buying a mattress if they made the journey to get into a mattress store. And while they’re there, we know they also should be committed to buying accessories, toppers, and others. So it may have an impact, but I’d like to see the data of how many are buying online versus in-store.

Dave Perry
Okay.

Mark Hobson
Thank you.

Dave Perry
Thank you.