First of all, I would like to say that there are a LOT OF GREAT PEOPLE working at Serta/Simmons Bed (SSB), so if you’re not the ones making the decisions that have brought things to where they are today, then this is NO reflection on you. Keep working hard, that’s all you can do.
So what are the facts and perceptions out there around SSB? I’ve had many discussions with large retailers and other industry insiders about this topic so I thought I would share some of those insights plus a few of my own.
- Furniture Today announced that SSB was cutting more than 160 employees as part of a corporate restructuring that says it will better position the company for long-term success. Really? They want to be a “lean, more nimble consumer-focused organization which is even easier to do business with.” So how does that work? Does this really mean that they are right-sizing to get more aggressive with their direct to consumer business? They want to be more consumer-focused, how about customer-focused meaning their retail base?
- There have been many complaints about the service level already coming out of the SSB factories so how is this cost-cutting exercise going to help that get any better?
- In the press release, they say, “We are proud of our leadership position and look forward to continuing to create great sleep and shopping experiences for consumers.” Based on the conversations I’ve been having, there aren’t too many that consider SSB to be leading anything. Just because you are big, doesn’t make you a leader.
- The product launch for SSB in Vegas was not received well. Not the right time to hit a single if you’re them.
I’m not entirely sure how things got to where they are, but I am pretty confident about the fact that when companies try to “cost cut” their way to success, it rarely ends up the way they want it to. For the retailers out there that have been suffering from lackluster product and service, I think it’s a hard sell to convince them that any of this is in their best interest.
What do you think, can they pull out of it?
Mark Kinsley and I talk about this in a podcast we will publish next week available at dosmarcospodcast.com or you can watch the live video of that below.
For the record, we look better on the podcast.