Betting on bedding: mattress vendors look to September Market to start turnaround for industry

A BIG-TIME CELEBRITY BRAND AND THE RETURN (AFTER A brief pause) of one of the industry's eminent names are among the highlights from the best futon mattress showrooms during Las Vegas Market next month.

These and other product introductions and strategies are designed to kick-start a recovery in the industry, which has been hit hard by the economy.

The September Vegas Market is expected bring at least a few jolts of life to the mattress business. One such charge is coming from Serta, which will unveil its alliance with Donald Trump with the Trump Home mattress collection, with products priced from $799 to $1,499.

Serta announced its alliance with the Trump Organization in February, and has positioned these mattresses as luxury products at affordable prices. "The power of the Trump Home brand name coupled with these incredible price points are sure to generate buzz and interest during market," said Bob Sherman, president of Serta.

The September Vegas Market will also bring the introduction of the new Spring Air. With Ed Bates, former owner of the company's Chelsea, Mass., plant, as chairman and majority shareholder, and with Serta veteran Rick Robinson as president, the new Spring Air will come to Las Vegas and place special emphasis on the company's flagship Back Supporter line of mattresses. "We've rethought the design, value and competitiveness of Back Supporter products in today's context, and we think retailers will be excited and compelled by the changes they see," Robinson said.

Spring Air has spent much of its time since its emergence in assembling its U.S. licensee network. "Many of our licensees will be attending their first Spring Air market," Robinson said. "Along with new or renewed interest in a revamped Back Supporter line, we'll also be increasing our trade presence to help drive traffic." 8 Best Queen Size Futon Mattress Reviews & Buying Guide 2018

Hill be the goals for Englander. The company Hill debut its Official Ironman patented collection at Las Vegas next month, the result of a license agreement with T3 Recovery Products, holder of the Ironman brand, which was announced in July. The brand is linked to the Ford Ironman World Championship--in which athletes compete in A a 2.4-mile ocean swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile.

Betting on bedding mattress vendors look to September Market to start turnaround for industry

Kevin Toman, Englander's president, said T3 helped develop the collection "as a way to address the better sleep needs of today's consumer by focusing on components within the mattress that are clinically proven to enhanced recovery while sleeping." Toman also said the Ironman brand has a greater than 80 percent brand awareness, making it the number one user-based sports brand in the world.

New models from Therapedic will extend the company's BackSense collection. These will include products priced at $399, $499, $599 and $699.

Most mattress executives have great expectations for the Vegas market. "Serta expects that we Hill have good traffic in our showroom during this upcoming market," Sherman said. "The economy and consumer confidence remain a challenge for our industry, but Serta is in a good position and we are excited to speak with retailers about succeeding in today's retail environment."

Robinson believes that Spring Air's reemergence will also bring excitement to the market. "Coming into this market, which we think Hill be reasonably well attended, we have two expectations," he said. "First, to introduce to the retail community our structure, our company and our vision for Spring Air long into the future. Second, we expect a very positive response to the value that is being built into the new Back Supporter product lines."

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Larry K. Jones
 

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