THE STRONG, GET STRONGER…..

Art Van’s PureSleep hires Sleepy’s Zimmer

WARREN, Mich. — Art Van Furniture here has hired former Sleepy’s executive Neil Zimmer as vice president of merchandising for its Art Van PureSleep business.

He reports to PureSleep President David Van Elslander and will be responsible for overseeing all buying and merchandising activities and managing the company’s buyers and support teams.

“We welcome Neil with an eye toward growth,” Van Elslander said in a release. “Neil’s reputation as a creative and strategic leader, coupled with his specialized expertise and proven track record in the retailbedding space, will add the needed horsepower to help us expedite our already aggressive growth plan.”

Zimmer is coming to PureSleep from Sleepy’s, where he was vice president and general merchandise manager and “played an instrumental role in product and business development, as well as the growth of the retailer to more than 1,000 stores,” according to the release. No. 12 on Furniture/Today’s Top 100, Hicksville, N.Y.-based Sleepy’s was acquired by the larger Houston-based Mattress Firm in February.

Zimmer began his career in 1993 by launching his own futon and mattress business with five locations, which he operated for 10 years before taking on a merchandise and operations analyst role with upscale department store chain Fortunoff.

The seven-year-old Art Van PureSleep has been on an aggressive growth track since launching, with 46 freestanding locations and 56 in-store departments to date, “and Zimmer will play an important role in the brand’s continued expansion,” Art Van said.

Among the brands PureSleep carries are Simmons Beautyrest, Stearns & Foster,Tempur-Pedic, Serta and Serta’s iComfort, Sleep to Live, King Koil, Reverie and 37.5.