Matt Firm ‘considering’ bankruptcy filing

HOUSTON – Mattress Firm “is considering a potential bankruptcy filing,” a Reuters story says.
The story says Mattress Firm is considering the move as it seeks ways to get out of “costly store leases” and shut some of its 3,000 locations “that are losing money,” according to “people familiar with the matter.”

The sources said Mattress Firm and its parent, Steinhoff, are working with consulting firm AlixPartners LLP, a company often brought in to lay the groundwork for bankruptcy, Reuters reported.

Reuters noted that its sources said that Mattress Firm has not made any final decisions and its plans could change.
A Mattress Firm spokesman had no immediate comment on the Reuters report.

Key purchase prompt for consumers? Health concerns

HIGH POINT — Health concerns are a
key purchase prompt for consumers,
according to an adjustable bed base
study conducted by Furniture Today.
And most consumers say their adjustable
bed bases have helped them
with their health concerns.
Those findings underscore the importance
of making a better health connection
with consumers when they are
shopping for adjustable bed bases.
The study examines key views held
by retailers and consumers, thereby
helping savvy retailers do a better job
of meeting their shoppers’
needs.
Purchase prompts, a key
issue addressed in the consumer
portion of the study,
are important because they
help retailers zero in on the issues
that motivate consumers
to take action.
“Health concerns” were cited by
39% of the consumers surveyed,
about the same percentage (38%) of
consumers who cited “increased comfort”
as their purchase prompt.
The third most important purchase
prompt is a desire to better enjoy
watching TV or reading. That was
cited by 16% of consumers.
Recommendations from family or
friends prompted 6% of consumers to
purchase an adjustable base, the survey
found.
What are consumers looking for
in their adjustable bases? The survey
laid out a laundry list of key features,
with durability leading the list, cited
by 95% of consumers.
Price, cited by 88% of consumers,
and warranty, cited by 87% of consumers,
were next on the list, followed
by the number of position functions,
cited by 77% of consumers, safety
features, cited by 66%, and the fact
that the bases are made in the United
States, cited by 58% of consumers.
Brand names were well down the
list, cited by 54% of the consumers.
The survey also found that a majority
of consumers — 65% — purchased
their adjustable bed bases in a
store, with 35% buying online.
Three in 10 of in-store buyers
said they researched the products on
their smartphones while shopping. Of
those, most — 82% — were looking
at prices.
The survey also found that satisfaction
rates for adjustable bed bases
are very high, with 95% of consumers
saying they are satisfied or very satis-
fied with their adjustable bases.

Mattress retailers see more growth ahead for adjustable bases

HIGH POINT — Looking for a hot sleep
accessory to add sales zip to your bedding
department? Look at adjustable
bed bases.
That’s one of the key findings of
a new research study conducted by
Furniture Today that examines the
adjustable bedding segment, noted by
bedding veterans as one of the industry’s
fastest-growing categories.
The study confirms that thinking,
noting that about 80% of the bedding
specialists and furniture stores responding
to the study said adjustable
bases are, indeed, the fastest-growing
sleep accessories segment on their
sales floors.
And, significantly, the retailers
overwhelmingly said they expect the
growth parade to continue this year;
79% of the furniture stores and bedding
specialists say they expect their
2018 sales of adjustable bed bases to
be higher this year than last year.
The category was a big winner
for those retailers last year, they said.
Almost seven in 10 furniture stores
(67%) and 100% of the bedding specialists
said their adjustable bed base
sales last year were higher than in the
previous year.
The survey found that furniture
stores are doing a better job of adding
adjustable bed bases to their mattress
sales than are bedding specialists.
While the adjustable bed attachment
rate was a very respectable 50% at
furniture stores, the attachment rate
was somewhat lower — at 38% — for
bedding specialists.
The survey lays out a roadmap for
adjustable bed base best-sellers.
It reveals that the lowest-reported
best-selling price point for furniture
stores was $599, with a median of $899
and with the highest-reported bestselling
price point at a hefty $2,199.
Bedding specialists, meanwhile,
did better at lower best-selling price
points but not as well at higher price
points. The lowest-reported bestselling
price point for bedding specialists
was $799, with a median of $899,
and the highest-reported best-selling
price point landed at just $1,000, far
below the high-end performance generated
by the furniture stores, the survey
said.
The survey also identified keys to
selling adjustable bed bases.
Among the keys cited by furniture
stores: demonstrate the benefits without
trying to push the sale and position
the products as “power bases.”
Among the keys cited by bedding
specialists: address health and lifestyle
issues and explain how adjustable
bases meet those needs, and advertise the category “relentlessly.”

Casper Mattress Grows

 

Buying a mattress sucks. The salesmen talk fast, the choices (Tempur-Pedic? Visco-elastic memory foam? PrimaCool gel?) are overwhelming, and the prices are hefty. Yet everyone needs a mattress, meaning the $14 billion industry was ripe for reinventing. Enter Casper, the online bed-in-a-box maker that launched in April 2014. The concept was simple: Produce the best mattress possible at an affordable price, sell a single model, and deliver it quickly, for free, with a 100-day trial period. It worked: Casper had sales of $1 million in its first month. The New York City company has since raised $70 million in venture capital, grown to 120 employees, and hit $100 million in cumulative sales. Co-founder and COO Neil Parikh tells Inc. about solving the problem of friction beneath the sheets.
–As told to Liz Welch
Reinventing Sleep
In the beginning, it was “Let’s disrupt the mattress industry. It’s broken.” That quickly morphed into “Let’s invent an industry around sleep.” My father is a sleep doctor, and I went to a year of medical school. The mattress industry is a racket. You walk into a store expecting a confusing experience, but you don’t expect the 35 models offered to be basically the same product with different labels. It’s worse than buying a used car–at least there you have data points like horsepower, air conditioning, and a Carfax report. But who knows how many springs are good for you?

Casper ships its mattress in a box roughly the size of a mini fridge.CREDIT: Courtesy company
After eight months of testing hundreds of mattress types, we learned that people need similar things, like back support, so we decided to make one mattress. Memory foam is super supportive, but it gets hot and it’s not very bouncy, so we added a layer of open-cell latex foam, which keeps you cool and adds just the right bounce. We’re the first company to put memory foam and latex together and have a patent pending.
Luke Sherwin, Casper’s chief creative officer and one of our co-founders, and I lived in a fourth-floor walkup and realized there was no way to get a queen-size bed up our stairs easily. We said, “What if we could compress a mattress to fit into a box the size of a dorm refrigerator?” This way, we can deliver it via UPS so it costs us a 10th of the price to ship. Plus, people can test the mattress in their homes. You have 100 days to try our mattress. If you don’t like it, we’ll come get it for free. Now, a few companies do this, but not long ago most stores required a several-hundred-dollar restocking fee.
Early on, a couple made a YouTube video about how our bed wasn’t exactly right for them but the experience was amazing. That is the goal. Those customers are still going to talk positively about our company and might even buy our sheets and pillows. Our return rate is low, and we try to donate those mattresses to a local charity, which is more cost-effective than taking them back halfway across the country to refurbish and resell.
Catering to Customers
People usually buy a mattress about every eight to 10 years. Most companies don’t care who you are–they’ve made their sale. For us, that’s the start of a long-term relationship. Half of our customers talk to someone in-house. The questions are technical, as in “Do I need a box spring?” (No.) “Does it work on this type of bed frame?” (Yes.) We use every conversation to learn something about the customer. We know how long you’ve had your bed, and if you have kids or a pet. We keep track of all that, and then send people anniversary gifts, or dog beds. It’s not about just selling you a bed. It’s “How do I make this person our biggest advocate?”
Casper Labs came from that customer database. We have 15,000 customers who are part of our product-development process. They come to events, and test prototypes. Many are obsessive about sleep. They send us sleep tracker data and say, “I tested this product versus this one, and here’s what I found.” That process has helped us build a group of evangelists.
We consider ourselves a tech company first. We’ve created software that lets us know exactly where our raw materials and mattress components are and how to forecast what and when to build. If the UPS truck is delayed, we can reach out to the customer and say, “Hey, we’ve been tracking your order and noticed something has gone awry.” If you’ve bought a mattress, instead of having to find your order number, our customer-care expert knows who you are without even asking.
By selling directly to customers, we don’t have the same cost structure. We thought about how much we needed to spend on the materials as well as service and returns. There’s a psychological barrier around $1,000, and most people spend $500 on their first bed. We had to be affordable enough so they could feel that they could reach up.
More Than Just a Bed
There are many more ways to create an ideal sleep environment. The day after we launched, we started working on pillows and sheets. We questioned how both are produced and then made prototypes. We tried 100 different densities of materials for pillows, including buckwheat, and had cus­tomers try many of them. It took 16 months to come up with one pillow that works for everyone. We did a similar process with our sheets and found most people want them to breathe well and last a long time. We’ve been taught to believe that 1,000-thread-count hotel collection sheets are what everyone wants. It turns out, the more threads, the more filler fiber, which means the sheets are going to sleep really hot. Our perfect balance is 90 threads one way, 110 the other. We haven’t decided what the next product is. Customers have asked for everything from lights to sleep trackers. But we do know the category is enormous.
Whole Foods helped shape the healthy-foods movement. We want to do the same for sleep.
Spring Awakening

Casper co-founder Neil Parikh.CREDIT: Courtesy company
While still small, direct-to-consumer mattress startups like Casper (co-founded by Neil Parikh, left) are keeping the sleep giants up at night. Mattress Firm, which in November announced it would acquire Sleepy’s, making it the largest U.S. mattress chain, has launched an online bed-in-a-box arm called Dream Bed, and it’s not the only incumbent to pull a copycat move. Given that in 2014 some 35 million people bought mattresses in just the U.S., many potential converts remain.

King Koil opens company-owned factory in Arizona

David Binke, left, joins new King Koil employees at the company’s new Avondale, Ariz., facility.
AVONDALE, Ariz. – King Koil opened a new company-owned factory here, one that officially launches King Koil’s new domestic manufacturing business model.

The 90,000-square-foot factory, located in this growing Phoenix suburb, is already producing bedding for King Koil customers in the Western United States.

Local civic and business leaders joined with King Koil executives recently to unveil the newly opened facility, already home to 50 employees.

“This is an exciting day for King Koil as we officially dedicate our own plant with our people already producing high-quality products for our consumers,” said David Binke, CEO of King Koil. “It is part of our historic transformation into a direct-to-retail strategy that we kicked off at the Winter Las Vegas Furniture Market only a few months ago.”
In a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the plant, Binke thanked local officials for their support in quickly bringing the new plant online.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Wholesale Mattress Warehouse would like to wish every mother, a Happy Mother’s Day. We are so thankful, for all the awesome mother’s in our lives.  Mother’s are such a beautiful gift from God. What would the world be like without our Mom’s?  I can’t imagine, life would definitely be different than we know it.

Happy Mother’s Day

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