Dream Makers has new owners, and more news

Ex–retailers buy into Dream Makers

Steve Lytell and Sam Katz, the founders of retailers Mattress Discounters and Mattress Giant, have purchased a majority interest in Dream Makers Sleep Products, a mattress manufacturer based in Miami. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Dream Makers, started in 2003 by President Brian Sherebrin, serves Florida and the Caribbean, producing primarily mid–range and promotionally priced bedding.

With the acquisition, Lytell will be chief executive officer and Katz will be involved in strategic planning, as well as serving as a consultant.

“Our goals will be to expand our base of business both in and beyond Florida, to be a product innovator and to help our dealers grow their bedding business while enabling them to increase both sales and profits,” Lytell said. “With our unique backgrounds both in the retail and manufacturing sides of the mattress business, we are looking to establish important relationships with our customers and we will use our design, merchandising and marketing know–how and expertise to help our customers become stronger at what they do.”

U.K.’s National Bed Federation restructures

The National Bed Federation, an association representing bedding manufacturers and their suppliers in the United Kingdom, has elected a new president and announced a reorganization.

Peter Keen, chairman and managing director of bedding maker Hypnos, has been elected to lead the association. He succeeds Stephen Yates of Airsprung.

Keen will be running a distinctly different association.

Its headquarters have been moved from Taunton to Skipton, North Yorkshire, and Jessica Alexander, who has been running The Sleep Council under the federation’s umbrella since 2005, now also provides administrative services for association as a whole. Patrick Quigley, who had been serving as chief executive, has left the association.

The restructuring is part of an ongoing, comprehensive review of all aspects of the association, including its membership structure, governance and services. As part of that, the federation expects to become an active member of the newly formed British Furniture Confederation, which will lobby the government about flammability regulations and other issues.

Other changes planned for 2007 include a single tier of membership that will replace the current two–tier system. Manufacturers and suppliers will pay the same fees, based on turnover, and will have equal status within the association.

“The NBF has the potential to become an even stronger voice for our industry in the U.K.,” Keen said. “But we need to improve our communication skills and we need to work more closely with other industry bodies so we can pool resources and expertise and have a greater influence on standards and legislation.”

Bragada adds adjustable to lineup

Bedding maker Bragada now is offering Adjustable Power Beds as part of its line of visco–elastic mattresses and pillows.

“We have had such a demand for adjustable beds from our current customers that we knew in order to continue to grow our company into the world’s largest specialty sleep company, we needed to provide them to the public,” said Vincent Simmons, president of the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., firm.

Bragada is offering two models. The first has “unlimited independent head– and foot–position adjustability.” A second has three preset “comfort positions,” as well as a “wall hugger” feature that keeps a person close to a wall or nightstand while the bed coverts to another position.

More growth planned for Las Vegas Market

The World Market Center, organizer of a biannual furniture market in Las Vegas, has earned approval for Phase 3 of its complex. That news came as a competing developer announced plans for furniture showrooms in a tower complex of condos, office and retail space just a mile south of the World Market Center in downtown Las Vegas.

The City of Las Vegas has approved plans for Phase 3 of the World Market Center campus—a 16–story home furnishings showroom building and nine–story parking garage.

Building 3, at 2.1 million square feet, will be the largest planned for the 57–acre complex. It will include a design center, home accents, seasonal goods, lighting, floor coverings and home furnishings, particularly high–end and contemporary goods, officials say.

World Market Center authorities plan to break ground in late 2006, with construction completed 18 months later. The market has begun leasing Building 3 and about 15% of the space is committed to tenants.

Phase 2 of the complex is under construction and will be open for the January 2007 market, according to officials. When all complete, the World Market Center will be a complex of eight buildings with 12 million square feet of showrooms.

The competing 1–million–square–foot project, called World View Towers, is being planned by Pierce Development and Merrill Companies, which have combined for the project to form Wall Street Nevada.

The project’s price tag is estimated at $700 million. Craig Katchen, Pierce Development’s chief executive officer, has said the company still must secure financing and win government approvals for the showroom complex. Approvals already have been granted for other parts of the project, the developers say.

Bodet & Horst opens in Slovakia

Bodet & Horst, a supplier of knitted mattress fabrics based in Elterlein, Germany, has opened its newest manufacturing plant, this one located in Vrbove, Slovakia, near Bratislava.

The plant employs some 270 people and has 60 state–of–the–art knitting machines. In addition, the company now has its own textile facilities, which will provide about 35% of the company’s total elastic fabric.

The new plant is managed by Simone Flechsig, who says that the strengths of the facility include its in–house backstitching and sewing departments.

“This enables Bodet & Horst to now also offer ready–made, finished mattress covers and tricot wraps to customers,” the company says.

In addition to its facility in Germany, Bodet & Horst also has a plant in High Point, N.C., that opened in 2004.

IDM revamps Web site

IDM Instruments, a manufacturer of testing and measuring instruments based in Victoria, Australia, has redesigned its Web site.

The site has been reconfigured for easy navigation. It provides photos and information about the company’s testing and measuring equipment, with all instruments categorized by industry and testing type.

Visitors can download data sheets and request catalogs, a newsletter and other information. The site, at www.idminstruments.com.au, can be read in English and Mandrin.

Shifman introduces Beau Rêve bed

Shifman Mattress Co. has unveiled its Beau Rêve bed, available exclusively at Bloomingdale’s stores.

The bed features an independent pillow–top, a hand–tufted cotton mattress and an eight–way hand–tied, upholstery coil box spring. Comfort and support layers include natural latex foam, cashmere, silk and wool. The support system includes titanium edge guards in the mattress and titanium cross supports under the box spring. The Holland Maid free–end offset innerspring features alternating–turn coil construction and flexible coil action.

“In all, Beau Rêve is a 22–inch plush cloud of natural ingredients,” the company says. It is handmade at the company’s headquarters in Newark, N.J.

All Beau Rêve pillow–tops and mattresses are double–sided and are offered in three firmnesses: firm, plush and ultra plush. A dual–comfort king option features zippered mattresses under one king–size independent pillow–top. The beds have a suggested retail price of $7,999 for a queen.

Spring Air reaches for Infinity

Spring Air has launched its Infinity collection of mattresses combining latex and visco–elastic foams.

“We expect the Infinity collection to be a very appealing choice,” said Jim Nation, president and chief executive officer of the company, based in Elk Grove Village, Ill.

“The first foam mattresses developed were similar with no options because the industry had a one–size–fits–all mentality. Each had a foam core and visco topper. Now with a broadened consumer market, Spring Air has helped the foam mattress evolve with quilted and nonquilted versions, and plush euro–top and box–top options.”

The Infinity beds incorporate the company’s Comfort Progressions system, which includes multifoam zoned cores, along with the company’s Foam Encased Wireless Edge, which is designed to expand the usable sleeping surface.

Mattress Firm buys Metropolitan Mattress

Bedding retailer Mattress Firm has purchased Chandler, Ariz.–based Metropolitan Mattress. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Metropolitan Mattress has 26 stores in the Phoenix metro area.

The acquisition of Metropolitan Mattress, combined with Mattress Firm’s 14 existing locations, makes Mattress Firm the largest mattress retailer in Phoenix with 40 stores. The addition of these locations brings Houston–based Mattress Firm’s total store count to more than 340 locations in 32 markets across 19 states.

Mattress Firm will revamp the Metropolitan Mattress locations with new signs, its signature store format and expanded product selection.

“This acquisition is a great fit for Mattress Firm and allows us to achieve a leadership position in the Phoenix market—a market where we’ve already built a strong customer base over the past seven years,” said Gary Fazio, Mattress Firm chief executive officer.

He added: “This acquisition underscores our strategy to grow both organically and through acquisitions as we strive to become the leading specialty mattress retailer in all of the markets in which we operate.”

High Point seeks more financing for marketing

The High Point, N.C., furniture market will get $1.75 million in funds from the state—$1 million more than last year—to be used for promotions of the biannual market and to improve services for attendees, but is still hoping to get commitments for big influxes of cash from area cities, including Winston–Salem and Greensboro.

The International Home Furnishings Market Authority had hoped to secure $20 million—or $4 million a year over five years—from the state and local municipalities for marketing. So far, only the city of High Point has agreed to provide funding the authority says it needs. In addition to asking for city and state funding, the authority will get about $1.65 million from increased furniture showroom taxes.

In other news, High Point city officials have awarded a $6.8 million contract to build a Plexiglas canopy that will cover the furniture market’s transportation center on East Commerce Avenue from Hamilton to Wrenn streets.

Also, the International Home Furnishings Center, High Point’s largest showroom building, is getting dressed up, with a multimillion renovation that includes remodeled corridors and bathrooms, new carpet and new sign.

Simmons joins jump into gel

Simmons has added a bed with gel technology to its BackCare line, introducing the new Technogel product during the summer market in Las Vegas.

The Atlanta–based bedding maker introduced the gel bed as part of a larger rollout of new products, including a high–end Beautyrest line and an expansion of its all–latex Natural Care collection.

It is not the only company adding gel to its offerings.

Thurmo–Pudic USA recently began manufacturing a gel bed made of visco–elastic foam that incorporates gel. The bed was introduced during the April furniture market in High Point, N.C., where the company is based. Similarly, Serta, with headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill., slipped a gel layer into a super–luxe Perfect Day bed it unveiled in Las Vegas in summer 2005.

NEWS SHORTS

New Dormia store opens

Bedding maker Dormia has opened its second store in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park region. The store is in the Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh. Its first retail outlet in the area is in a mall in Cary. Dormia manufactures and sells its own line of high–end visco–elastic and latex foam mattresses. The new store is using concepts from home furnishings and retail designer Connie Post. It features lavender walls, deep purple carpeting and soothing wall decor with beds placed in “home–like settings.”

Diamond Needle moves

Diamond Needle, having outgrown its previous facility, has relocated to a new headquarters with larger offices and a bigger warehouse. The new facility is at 60 Commerce Road, Carlstadt, N.J. 07072. Phone numbers are 201–507–1771 and 800–221–5818. Email is [email protected]–needle.com.

Aero adds to offerings

Aero Products, a maker of portable air mattresses, has added two models to its lineup. The AeroBed Premier Classic with Comfort Zone technology is zoned to provide increased support for the head and shoulders, hips and heels. The bed has received a Seal of Approval from the Orthopaedic Research Institute. The company, based in Schaumburg, Ill., also is offering the AeroBed Premier DuraSuede. The bed has a microsuede top and a DuraTec bottom to provide greater durability for families with children and homes with hardwood floors.

Lady Americana expands plant

Bedding maker and licensing group Lady Americana has expanded its headquarters, adding 65,000 square feet to its plant in Oklahoma City and bringing the facility to 125,000 square feet. It employs 80 people, who make roughly 1,000 mattresses a day. The company produces both innerspring and specialty sleep products. Lady Americana has 11 factories in North America and eight in other countries.

French fair sold

Exposium, an organizer of trade shows, has taken a 65% ownership stake in the Paris furniture fair, which previously was owned by the French Furniture Federation. Under the new arrangement, Exposium will manage and develop the Salon du Meuble de Paris. The next market is Jan. 20–25, 2007. Exposium is part of UNIBAIL, France’s largest owner of offices and commercial centers.

Kessler earns honor

Kessler, a supplier of ergonomic machine stands, sewing machine pedal systems and components, recently was honored for an ergonomic worktable that is electrically adjustable in both height and tilt angle of the work surface simply by pushing a button. The Innovations Awards were presented during IMB 2006—World of Textile Processing in Cologne, Germany. Kessler is based in Nusplingen, Germany, with other offices in Przeworno, Poland; and , Georgia, United States.

Costs of counterfeiting

The U.S. government estimates that piracy and counterfeiting cost U.S. industries as much as $250 billion a year. China accounted for nearly 70% of all pirated products seized at U.S. borders in 2005—some 10 times more than other trading partners.

 

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