Despite the sluggish environment, bedding manufacturers debuted innovative new lines at the summer Las Vegas Market, from accessories to technology to mattresses.
Yes, it was hot. Yes, traffic was slower at the summer Las Vegas Market, July 30–Aug. 3, then at the January winter market.
What wasn’t slow? The abundance of new products from more than a dozen mattress manufacturers, who remained upbeat despite the high temps and the low buyer turnout.
“I’d say compared to January, it’s certainly slower,” said Steve Sciortino, chief financial officer at Bedding Industries of America. “But we’ve had consistent steady traffic. And Jared (Carlitz) and I have had phenomenal news as far as potential new customers, and it looks like we’re going to open a very large new account.”
Carlitz, chief operating officer for BIA, added, “Volume of traffic doesn’t always equal success; sometimes it’s the quality of traffic. I think we’re having a really successful market.”
With attendance representing nearly all 50 states and 49 countries, buyers from around the world converged at Las Vegas Market to shop more than 1,000 suppliers of furniture, decor and gifts, according to show organizer Andmore (formerly International Market Centers).
While most attendees came from the West and Southwest, the summer show also recorded a double-digit increase in buyers from the Southeast. In addition to interior designers and retailers, the market hosted 12 nationwide buying groups. And nearly 100 bedding and mattress exhibitors convened across 10 floors at the World Market Center, Andmore officials said.
“We’ve had great traffic,” said Nick Bates, president of Spring Air International. “In the wintertime, we’re getting 100 people walk through the door. We’ve had 70% of that come through. It’s been a consistent flow. Even though the hallways look a little dead, we’re getting amazing people walking through the door. And, by the way, the volume is there. It’s not one retailer coming in with multiple people. It’s actually been retailer, retailer, retailer.”
Mark Kinsley, president and CEO of Englander, echoed the overarching sentiments: “Summer markets are historically slower, no doubt about it. But this market, we’re finding ways to bring people together and end up doing some good business.”
While productive appointments and meetings took place throughout the World Market Center, the stars of the show were the various products on display. Throughout the market, clear trends began to emerge. Some products took a stylish turn with touches like eye-catching mattress fabrics in damask prints, snowflakes and even plaid.
Manufacturers also emphasized natural materials, with CBD-infused pillows, sheets made with rayon from bamboo, hemp-infused foam and unbleached cotton mattresses on display in various showrooms. On the sustainability front, companies showcased products with circular design, constructed with recycled materials and shipped in bio-based packaging. Even displays were made from 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard.
“Sustainability aspects are something that are a big driver in any category but especially furniture and furnishings. I think healthy sleep is becoming not something that people desire, but what people expect,” said Gary Towning, vice president of marketing for Kingsdown.
While parts of the industry make strides toward the future by focusing on sustainability, others plan ahead by incorporating technology. High-tech features ranged from integrated, in-bed massage to remote-controlled adjustable bases. And perhaps most fitting for the Las Vegas heat, a handful of launches centered on cooling technology through inventive phase-change materials or unique inner layers of graphene strips.
For the full scoop, scroll down to review our market report, full of highlights, including new launches and refreshed versions of existing collections. There are plenty of exciting things to note, and the upcoming January market promises to be packed with even more debuts.
South Bay International introduced three new products: an Active line of mattresses, The Vault battery backup bank for adjustable bases and Allerknit sleep products, which repel 99% of dust mites, according to Toby Konetzny, CEO of the Rancho Cucamonga, California-based company. “Allerknit is made with a plant-based fiber made from three different plants,” he said. “It eliminates dust mites by not allowing them to reproduce.” The line includes a mattress protector, pillow protector, duvet insert and zippered mattress cover.
Adjustable Curves Ahead
Bedding Industries of America debuted its Eclipse Curve series, designed specifically for adjustable bases. The company carved slits in the bed’s foam core, a patent-pending “CurveCore,” that contours to the shape of the base without compromising the integrity of the mattress. “At a time like this, when consumer demand is a little bit softer … we want to give dealers outstanding value and unique stories they can offer, and also, alternatives to some of the majors where maybe they can’t make quite as much margin,” said Jared Carlitz, chief operating officer for BIA, based in North Brunswick, New Jersey. The series includes three models — Relieve, Relax and Rest — and retails from $1,999 to $3,299.
Sleep accessories brand Pure-care, headquartered in Phoenix, unveiled four new bundles for retailers, including the Cooling CBD bundle which features two Suncliff CBD SoftCell Chill pillows, a refreshing sheet set and a cooling five-sided mattress protector. “It’s a great deal for retailers that helps us move additional SKUs together,” said Sarah Bergman, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of product development. “It makes sense for us to offer a bigger deal to our retailers and, in the end, a bigger deal to the customer.”
Therapedic International soft-launched its new Agility hybrid collection in a nod to the trend toward health and wellness. The line is designed to drive sales with its sporty, fashion-forward, contemporary cover design in Therapedic brand colors; specialty materials (copper memory foam, microcoils and natural latex); and three models, each with a distinct feel. “A lot of people like the name ‘Agility,’ and it has good cachet to it,” said Gerry Borreggine, CEO and president of the Princeton, New Jersey-based licensing group. “This is the test pilot program, and we’ll have a grand unveiling in January.” The collection comprises six models, and the top three feature cooling technology in the cover. Retails start at $999.
A Mattress for Every Season
Spring Air International lured select dealers down the hall from its showroom and into a special space devoted to the return of its iconic Four Seasons collection, complete with marketing materials based on classic ski resorts. The flippable mattresses feature Joma Wool on one side for fall/winter, and cooling fibers on the other for spring/summer. “Every buyer we’ve had walk in here is like, ‘This is perfect,’” said Nick Bates, president of the Woburn, Massachusetts-based licensing group. “Literally, you can pick this up and put it in your store. We’re taking orders for this right now.” Retails start at $1,599.
Keeping It Cool
Mebane, North Carolina-based bedding producer Kingsdown brought a bit of chill to hot Las Vegas with the debut of its K2 by Kingsdown line. Among its ventilated layers of foam and K2 Air spacer fabric, the mattress also contains the company’s proprietary centi(GR)ade technology, with graphene strips to draw away heat. “You sit down, and you can feel the cool just come into your body,” said Craig Wilson, vice president of sales and training for Kingsdown. To top it off, phase-change material on the cover further heightens its cooling effects, and the bed features multicolored ticking that evokes a mountain range. Available in eight models, price points range from $1,799 to $2,799.
DreamFit — the Cullman, Alabama-based purveyor of sheets, pillows and mattress protectors — has added a calming sage green color to its product lineup. Other colors include sand, gray, ecru and blue. DreamFit also unveiled its Quilted Sleep set, revived by popular demand since its discontinuation. The set — which features a blend of rayon from bamboo and cotton — is lighter than a duvet but heavier than a top sheet. “Our Enhanced Bamboo is our top seller but it’s also our most premium product,” said Rachel Gomez, vice president of marketing for DreamFit.
Back in Black
Not only did Serta Simmons Bedding update its Beautyrest Harmony collection, the Doraville, Georgia-based company also expanded Beautyrest Black. The improved Harmony line features increased coil counts and a cover made from as many as 100 ocean-bound plastic bottles. In response to dealer feedback, the company also introduced the Beautyrest Black B-Class line. “B-Class allows us to reclaim a critical price point in the market, which is sub $2,000,” said Chris Callahan, senior vice president of marketing for SSB. “The engine of the Beautyrest Black collection has always been the T3 coil. We’ll continue to have the T3 coil in this opening line, as well as plant-based cooling … but at a lower price point to help trade up consumers into the premium level.”
Paramount Sleep Co. showcased its refreshed Kiwi collection. The base layer is still made with New Zealand’s Joma Wool, known for its resilience, liquid repellence, flame resistance and thermal regulation. Handcrafted and hand-tufted in Norfolk, Virginia, where the mattress producer is based, the mattress now features a gray, damask-style pattern on the cover. Retailing between $2,499 to $3,499, the line includes extra firm, luxury, firm and euro-top models. All are finished with leather-like labels and pulls for an elevated touch.
Split the Difference
Englander Sleep Products made a splash with the debut of its Flex Head sleep system, a split-head, adjustable bed. Both sides come with remote controls so that each sleeper can dial in their preferred position. But in a unique twist, a switch allows for control of the opposite side of the bed. “The remote relinquishes control back to the other side after a few seconds, so it gives you a lot of flexibility to adjust your partner and, hopefully, get a great night’s sleep,” said Mark Kinsley, president and CEO of the Chicago-based licensing group. For added comfort, the Flex Head sleep system is cloaked in a Polar Touch cooling cover with phase-change material.