furnituremarketingmattressesproduct development

What happens in bed(ding) in Vegas

As I write this, we are days away from the first furniture market of the year. Some great things happened in 2011, and I think 2012 is going to be very exciting for the mattress industry.

From Serta, Tempur-Pedic, Simmons, and Sealy, here are my thoughts on what to watch for in Las Vegas:

  • We will start with the guys that have the most momentum. For once, I don’t really think it’s Tempur-Pedic, although the company is in great shape. I am talking about Serta and all of the excitement around its iComfort product. I would imagine representatives are going to be busy sharing their success story with current and prospective dealers, as well as launching the new hybrid product, iSeries. Given what Serta did with iComfort, I think people are excited to see the follow-up.
  • Speaking of Tempur-Pedic, it continues to be the company to watch and the bedding producer with the most leverage. There have been several conversations by people anticipating it will merchandise its line with a lower-cost product. There is one school of thought that says it would be a bad idea to introduce a lower-priced offering because it would look like a reaction to Serta, or harms the exclusivity of the brand. I am guessing Tempur-Pedic will have something BIG to show us given recent advertising that says, “EVERYTHING CHANGES.” New mattresses, new adjustable beds, new marketing approach, new point of sale? Does that cover “EVERYTHING”?
  • Simmons is also making a HUGE move. Its ads promise a “TRANSFORMATION.” This is a company that has shown us more than once it can bring innovation to our industry. The textbook definition of transformation is “a dramatic change in appearance or form.” So, I think it is safe to assume there is something major cooking for Simmons. It has strong offerings in specialty and hybrid products, as well as Black, its luxury line. Will Simmons tweak something in-house, or will it blow it up and really TRANSFORM itself?
  • Sealy just posted some bad news for Q4 2011, so there is a good chance it is going to be charging hard in Vegas. According to the analyst reports and the company’s own recent announcements, specialty is high on the list of things to do. It currently has products in this category, but is making plans for something bigger and better. Mark Delahanty, the person leading this initiative, is a great guy and very capable of delivering something impressive. We will see if his team can break through in what promises to be a very exciting market.

I have to stop here because there are too many producers to mention. Rest assured, if there is a wow moment happening in Las Vegas, I will be reporting back with interviews, photos, and video to tell you as much of the story as possible. Is your company attending or planning a big launch at market? Tell me about it in the comments section below.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the thinking of the company I work for, or anyone else with whom I am affiliated. Except my wife of course, who is good at telling me what not to say.

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