Broad offerings in bedding set stage for year

Buyers react favorably to new flagship lines, accessories


Terry Brophey of Tempur Sealy International sits near a display in the Stearns & Foster showroom that saluted the history of craftsmanship that she said is embodied in the line.

LAS VEGAS — Retailers embraced the launch of new bedding flagship brands here, setting the stage for a strong year for the mattress category, exhibitors reported.In what key producers described as the industry’s broadest offering ever of flagship bedding lines, niche lines and a range of sleep accessories, retailers reacted enthusiastically to the full slate of introductions, exhibitors said.

Simmons President Tony Smith said the market was a good one for his company.

“Between a six-story battery on the front of the World Market Center, to the largest product launch in company history, to a blowout concert with rock legend Billy Idol, we kicked off our Beautyrest 90th anniversary year with a bang,” Smith said. “Now with our Beautyrest brand unification we will continue to lead on three fronts: innovative new product, breakthrough advertising and best in class digital sales tools. Our dealers have embraced this new direction with enthusiasm, and we look forward to working in partnership with them to leverage a stronger brand story at retail.”

Brent Pfister, vice president of Tempur-Pedic, said the new high end Tempur-Flex line, which features innersprings and a new type of proprietary Tempur foam, is positioned for a strong year.

“The reaction has been phenomenal,” he said. “We’ve gotten orders from all of our major customers. Demand is significant.” He also offered this prediction: “This is going to be very big.”

The new Flex line features more than 2,000 coils in a queen sized sleep set, placed under layers of specialty foams. The line is designed to give Tempur-Pedic a “third feel,” one its research says the company has not previously provided.

Sealy’s four new flagship Posturepedic lines, shown in a new Sealy showroom near the other Tempur Sealy showrooms in Building C, also did well, said Dan Calderwood, vice president of marketing for Sealy.

“We had buyers from the moment we opened the doors,” he said. “The response has been much better than even I could have anticipated. The lines have been extremely, extremely well received.”

Also getting good reviews were new high-end Stearns & Foster beds, shown in a new S&F showroom that spotlights the heritage of that brand. Terry Brophey, vice president of integrated marketing for Tempur Sealy International, said the presentation, which includes bed-making tools and materials used in vintage S&F models, saluted the “iconic craftsmanship” the brand represents.

Serta President Michael Traub said the company’s early planning and rollout of the new Perfect Sleeper lines is paying dividends. The line was shown to retailers in November and December before its market rollout.

Tempur-Pedic executive Brent Pfister sits on the new Tempur-Flex line the company introduced in Las Vegas.

“Retailers are prepared for the line,” Traub said. “Our conversations here are more marketing driven than product driven, which is nice. Our retailers will have our products to make full use of the year.”

And it should be a strong year, Traub added. “We are bullish on 2015,” he said.

King Koil made a strong statement in the natural and organic bedding category with its new Natural Response collection, which includes latex, all-natural and organic-certified offerings.

“There is a niche there,” said Dave Roberts, president of King Koil. “Smart retailers will respond to it.”

Kingsdown, with a major product offering, was rewarded with robust interest in its new models, said Frank Hood, CEO. “This feels very strong for us,” he said.

Retailers were pleased to see Kingsdown’s new luxury bedding lines, which included the Diamond Royale line, which retails from $10,000 to $20,000. “Retailers are looking for high-end products,” Hood said.

Customatic Adjustable Bedz, showing in its first Las Vegas showroom, did well, officials said.

“We had moderate expectations as this was our first market here,” said Phil Sherman, a partner in the company. “The right people came through. There is a lot of interest in adjustable beds.”