“Take 5 with Dave” – Stuart Carlitz Sees $1,000-Plus Bedding Opportunities

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The chief executive officer of Bedding Industries of America says higher-end consumers are still buying, notes the growing importance of higher retail prices, and shares his take on business prospects next year.

Transcript

Stuart Carlitz
It’s going to be a long afternoon.

Dave Perry
Yeah, you can tell. All right. We’re going to have…

Stuart Carlitz
Off to a great start.

Dave Perry
We’re going to need some pizza in here. And vodka and vodka.

Dave Perry
Hey, it’s Dave Perry. Welcome to “Take 5 With Dave”. I’m with Stuart Carlitz, CEO of Bedding Industries of America. Stuart, how are you today?

Stuart Carlitz
I am well, thank you. How are you, David?

Dave Perry
I am doing well. The topic today is affordable luxury. What you got for us?

Stuart Carlitz
Well, we have our Lifetime Collection, which is a brand that was reinvigorated in the last several years. It’s actually a brand that the Eclipse portfolio has held since the 1940s and was featured in Life Magazine. We actually have that right here, but I’ll hold that for another time.

Dave Perry
Wow. Interesting. Interesting. Now, the price points here are basically $1,000 to $2,000. Why are those price points really growing more important?

Stuart Carlitz
Well, the affordable luxury category is one that we have been focusing on for the last several years. Today, with the recession and what the American consumer is facing, with increased interest rates and a high cost of living, people are looking more toward greater value. And the Lifetime Collection fills that niche. It’s also giving the retailer the ability to sell into some higher price points, whereas it’s always been a hurdle to get above $999 because of the last rounds of price increases from the industry during COVID $999, $1,199, $1,499 have become critical price points on the floor, and this fills that niche with high-quality bedding.

Dave Perry
You talked about some macro bedding issues. If we look at the outlook for 2023. What’s your take on that?

Stuart Carlitz
Well, I feel the beginning of ‘23, we’re going to find more of the same what we’re experiencing right now, which is a general slowdown. However, the upper-middle and upper-end consumer is still out there and they’re still purchasing. So I feel the first half of ’23 will be more of what we are experiencing now, but I think it’s going to open up in the second half.

Dave Perry
And I like to end on a fun note and ask people about their own sleep and their own sleep advice. What’s your best advice for getting better sleep?

Stuart Carlitz
Cut down on the coffee.

Dave Perry
Okay.

Stuart Carlitz
Eliminate the phone calls after 6:00 pm.

Dave Perry
You’re killing me at 6:00. Okay.

Stuart Carlitz
And certainly, put down the phone and electronics.

Dave Perry
Okay. Well, on that note, hope you have a great year.

Stuart Carlitz
Thanks, David. Thank you. Hope the same for you.

Dave Perry
Great seeing you. Thank you.