Mark Kinsley and I just recorded another podcast for sleep-geek.com that should publish in a few weeks, and in it we make some bold predictions for 2017. Making predictions is really pretty stupid when you think about it because there is very little upside to getting it right and when you get it wrong; well, your wrong. The fear of looking stupid has never stopped me before so here it goes, one bold prediction for you on what the mattress industry is going to do this year.
Once again my good buddy Dave Perry delivers an article that we are going to use as the foundation for this blog post. Furniture Today says that units will be up 2.4% and dollars will be up 4.2%. ISPA says that units will be up 3.5% and dollars up 6%. I say they are both under stating the year by a few points and we have a shot at high single digit growth. Here are a few of my reasons:
- I think that 2016 was a hot mess. Assign whatever meaning you want to that but it was tough on many fronts wouldn’t you agree? Consumers didn’t really react to our category the way many of us thought so I believe there is some business that is going to come to us that was waiting on the sidelines.
- The election is over and there seems to be some boost in consumer confidence hitting a 13 year high with this post election bounce. “Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 16.4 percent to 23.6 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen declined from 9.9 percent to 8.7 percent.”
- From what I am hearing, some of the traditional big brands are coming out with new marketing campaigns that will continue to shine a light on the category. They are going to spend some money and the messaging is good from what I’m told. Add to that the e-commerce guys and what they are spending, the increase in “voice” should push us along.
- The focus on sleep as a “health thing” will not hurt us either. Arianna Huffington is doing some great work on sleep awareness with this new book The Sleep Revolution which puts a solid focus on how sleep connects to quality of life. I am also seeing my friend The Sleep Doctor Michael Breus, everywhere in the media lately so keep it up Michael. TESTIFY.
Maybe these things drive us to great heights and maybe not, but I like the optimism behind it. If you want to be one of the people taking advantage of the upswing I offer you this opinion.
Many of us are going to Las Vegas market in a few days. If you are a retailer my question for you is what are you looking for on your trip? If we buy the same products that everyone else has, bring consumers into a store that pretty much looks like every other store, run advertising that resembles what the competition does, and deliver a similar selling experience as the guy down the street, then we are going to get THE SAME RESULTS we have always gotten. (My pitch/solution follows so look out.)
If you want to WOW your customer with a mattress line that feels unlike anything else in the market, has a selling story unlike anything else in the market, delivers BIG margin, has a best selling SKU that retails for $5,000 in queen, and brings with it some of the most innovative selling tools ever created in our industry, then send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want good partners that are looking for great results and don’t want to do what everyone else is doing, so if you know anyone like that send them my way please. I have enjoyed the last few months traveling around the country, meeting with some of the top bedding retailers out there, and I am happy to say that Spink and Edgar has some big stuff happening. If there is a fit, we would love for you to be a part of it.
For everyone else not retailing beds I say go for it this year. Push harder, and do things that your customers aren’t going to expect. If you bring the same old game nothing will change. Be bold this year and you can make the kind of impact that your shareholders will love you for.
Can’t wait to see everyone in Vegas so safe travels and put on those walking shoes, it’s going to be a long but great week!
PS If you are in the market for great adjustable bed bases then give my friends at DK City a look. They just announced a partnership with one of the leaders in the category, Leggett and Platt. I have been working with both groups for the last several months and this is going to be great for retailers so check it out in the Leggett and Platt/Fashion Bed space B1396 or DK City space at A934. They are showing some bases that fold up and are perfect for e-commerce, great for storing in a warehouse and very easy to install.