When I first got into this business, I worked for Stearns & Foster, which at the time was owned by Sealy but had its own sales force and product development team. We sold Correct Comfort products with 390 12¾-gauge innersprings. This was a problem because at the time, Sealy (our sister company) and other leading brands were selling mattresses with 660 coils, although the gauge of wire was much thinner. In training meetings with RSAs, we used to say, “stronger wire, less coils is just as good as thinner wire, more coils; it really is six of one, half-dozen of another.” Then the industry moved away from any conversation around spec or coil counts with Nat Bernstein’s Comfort Selling program, which we launched at Sealy. (There may have been other similar training out there or people doing it before we did, but Sealy was THE leader back then so I am pretty confident this led the rest of the producers.) With this approach, we took as much focus off the components as we could and simply sold the comfort of the product above all else. It was easy. It was effective. It worked.
Times have changed. Consumers are not as easy to sell to; they are more educated than ever with the Internet, they are sick and tired of the lack of transparency in our industry, and selling comfort only just won’t get it done in many cases. All of that to say, COIL COUNTS MATTER! Yes, I work for a spring producer, so it won’t surprise you that I am taking this position, but hear me out on my list of seven reasons to focus on the count and construction of the innerspring: Continue reading
Whenever you are having a really bad day, I have a way for you to break through and get yourself back in a good groove. I bring this up as we approach one of my favorite holidays – Thanksgiving.
Stopping to reflect on what you are thankful for can act like armor. It can protect you against resentment, greed, envy, and even materialism. No matter what mood you are in, if you really spend some time thinking about all the great things going on in your life, the sense of gratitude can kick a lot of butt for you and get rid of the negative stuff. I realize this is easier for some to do than others. You might be reading this and find yourself in the middle of a divorce or dealing with some kind of family health issue. Maybe your business isn’t good or your financial position is giving you reasons for stress. Stop what you are doing right now and create a list of things you are thankful for and I promise it will make a difference. So here goes mine: Continue reading
In a past blog post, I talked about consumers using their mobile devices to shop for mattresses on the internet while looking at the actual product in the store – or “show-rooming,” as many call it. I want to shift gears today and talk about the mattresses being bought online instead of in your store.
When I worked for Serta, I actually had a very close look at some large companies that sold online and know what they did in volume. Companies like Sam’s Club, Target, Amazon, US Mattress, Shop NBC and HSN, just to name a few. I would never give up those numbers, of course, but I can tell you they were substantial. And that was seven years ago. I realize I am going way out on a limb here, but I don’t think I would be crazy to suggest that the amount of mattresses being sold digitally (either online or by television) is something over $600 million. If you consider we are close to $13 billion at retail and then figure that e-commerce accounts for about 10% of all retail, and then back it down because a mattress is a big ticket item that is hard to ship, do you think I am far off? Continue reading
Have you ever worked retail? I have, and I waited tables and bartended for years in high school and college. Didn’t you just hate it when a customer gave you attitude, was rude, and acted like you were the cause for all of their problems? I used to get so annoyed but there was almost always someone that came in after them who was so nice they made up for the other moron. So my question is, what kind of customer are you?
There is no doubt I have been that moron serving up attitude if the order took too long, or if I saw the store only had one person on register, creating a long line I had to wait in. How about outside of your personal experience though? What kind of customer are you in your business? When I was working as a bedding producer it always befuddled me when I would sit down with a retailer who decided it was their job to intimidate me and do everything in their power to make sure the deal of the day would in no way benefit my company. There was no such thing as the win/win to them. Continue reading
It is time to start gearing up for one of my favorite events of the year – the Seena Magowitz Golf and Spa weekend. First I will be attending the Furniture Today Leadership conference in Florida to conduct some business and learn something new!
Ray Allegrezza always does a fine job putting that on. But as soon as it is over, we are heading west to the incredible Arizona Biltmore Resort for some golf and fellowship with friends.
It’s not that other industry events aren’t enjoyable, but this one is different. Special. You can ask just about anyone that goes how much fun it really is. The nice thing here is that there is no work agenda, unless you want to extend your network of industry contacts – the who’s who of our business will be there. The weekend is all about having a great time and raising money for a very worthy cause, which I will talk about in a minute. Continue reading