Online mattress sales, high-end strength, retail optimism and sustainability stir industry discussions.
Bricks and clicks. Luxury sales. A positive retail outlook. And eco-friendly business practices.
These are key trends that we’re watching and talking about with industry leaders as we reach the closing stretch in 2022, which has been a challenging year in many respects with choppy business and a struggling economy.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these trends:
Online mattress sales remain on the ascent.
This segment now commands about one-third of the market in dollars, and an even higher percentage in units, according to my analysis.
The key issue here is the blending of online and in-store shopping experiences. I think direct-to-consumer sales will continue to grow, but digitally native brands can get a significant sales boost when those brands partner with physical retailers.
That blended approach works. A recent retail survey by Piper Sandler found that a large majority of retailers are carrying at least one DTC brand, with 75% of retailers carrying Purple (up from 45% a year ago), 63% carrying Nectar (up from 36% a year ago), and 25% carrying Casper (up from 18% a year ago).
Those figures aren’t surprising. What is surprising, in my book, is the significant group of retailers who are not carrying any DTC brands. In July 2021, 36% of retailers fell in that group. This past July, the figure was down to 25%. And that is still a sizable group of retailers who, somehow, have missed the reality that online mattress sales have reshaped the retail landscape.
The high-end market remains strong.
For a while now I’ve been hearing that high-end bedding models are outperforming lower-priced models. That’s good news when it comes to boosting sales tickets, but it’s not good news when it comes to keeping factories operating efficiently. Factories need steady unit production to stay on track.
Can lower-priced lines regain some momentum next year? That will be a key question to watch.
Retail optimism is up. That was one of the surprising findings that emerged from Piper Sandler’s August Mattress Retailer Survey. While retail sales were down in dollars and units in August, retailers were feeling better about business in the coming months.
Perhaps that’s because Labor Day sales showed marked improvement over the lackluster Memorial Day weekend, and because Labor Day — when sales were flat on a mean basis and up 5% on a median basis — matched a very strong Labor Day a year ago.
Following Labor Day weekend, 45% of the retailers surveyed by Piper Sandler said they were “more optimistic” about sales trends for the rest of the year. That’s welcome news.
Sustainability is a growing industry focus.
You’ve been reading more stories about sustainability in the pages of BedTimes as the industry has devoted more time and attention to this important subject.
A while ago some wondered if this sustainability talk in the home furnishings industry amounted to a fad. The answer is clear: It’s a key trend throughout the industry.
The International Sleep Products Association is doing its part to keep this dialogue going. ISPA is hosting a Sustainability Conference, Nov. 16-17, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Uptown in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can register for that event at ISPASustainability.com.
ISPA has a strong lineup of speakers and panelists set for the conference and a compelling message for attendees: “Leave the conference with a clear plan and a knowledge base.”
I look forward to seeing you in Charlotte later this month.