Execs say bedding poised for growth after High Point Market

Posted in USA on Tuesday, 03 May 2011. Print

Bedding producers showing at the High Point Market said the mattress industry has recovered from a downturn earlier this year and is poised for growth in the months to come.

Execs say bedding poised for growth after High Point Market

HIGH POINT - Bedding producers showing at the High Point Market said the mattress industry has recovered from a downturn earlier this year and is poised for growth in the months to come.
And those producers are hoping that business they picked up in High Point will help spark solid gains on retail sales floors. Recent retail reports are positive, they say.
The latest figures from the International Sleep Products Assn. show the bedding industry mired in an unexpected downturn, with unit sales slumping 3% in February and registering a 0.1% decline for the first two months. The dollar value of bedding shipments, on the other hand, grew 4.9% in February and is up 4.1% for the year.
Those ISPA figures, released on the eve of the High Point Market, reported the first monthly decline in units in four months, fueling fears that bedding's rebound could be short-lived.
But  bedding producers showing here noted that the industry is up against strong comparables from the first quarter last year, and faced significant challenges with bad weather in key markets earlier this year. And, more importantly, they said business in March was good.
"When you factor in March, the industry will be up," said Jim Nation, president of Five Star Mattress. "We were up strongly in March."
"I bet that March was positive for the industry," said Gary Fazio, CEO of Simmons. "It was a good month for many retailers."
Noting that the average unit price is up 4.2% through February, according to the ISPA sample of leading producers, Fazio said retailers are selling a better mix of beds and better beds - good signs for growth this year.
Serta President Bob Sherman said he believes the industry shook off its slow start in March.
"I think the industry had a good first quarter," he said. "I'm guessing that sales were up 6% to 7% in the first quarter, with units up 1% to 2%."
"March has been good," said Dan Hige, president of International Bedding. "It was a better month than I had expected. The feeling at retail was more upbeat than downbeat."
Some producers said their business this year hasn't shown the declines seen in the ISPA figures.
"We've seen unit and dollar increases for the last 10 months," said Dave Roberts, president of Comfort Solutions.  "I'm still very optimistic about business. We are going to keep doing what we are doing."

Added Jamie Diamonstein, president of Paramount Sleep: "We are not seeing downturns in our business. Consumers are definitely buying again."

Therapedic President Gerry Borreggine put the industry's ups and downs in context.
"We haven't experienced a legitimate recovery," he said. "A one-month unit decline in February doesn't indicate we are in a recession. Business has been sporadic and inconsistent in the recovery. It's a compromised recovery."
Bedding execs said they see a number of positives this year, including the return of consumers interested in higher end goods. Those consumers are buying better beds, helping boost sales tickets, the execs said.

Tags: Bedding

Advertisement

Banner
The International Alliance of Furnishing Publications (IAFP) is an association of the foremost trade publications from each country, based on quality editorial content and on circulation.
{column_width:30,column_count:24,column_gutter:10,subcolumn_count:0,align:'center'}