13229 Thu, 12/06/2007 - 12:50pm
By David Gill
NEW YORK— When it comes to selling mattresses, the saying, “to each his own,” certainly applies, as recent visits to retailers in northern New Jersey revealed.
HFN visited two full-line furniture stores: a Macy’s Home Store and a Raymour & Flanigan, and two mattress showrooms, a 1800mattress.com location and a Sleepy’s store. The stores are located on high-traffic thoroughfares and surrounded by many chain and single-unit retailers in a variety of product categories.
The two full-line furniture stores offered contrasts in their approach to mattresses. The Macy’s Home Store placed its mattresses in the back corner of the store, next to the rugs and carpets. The store used no signs or any other means to draw customers to the mattress area.
The Raymour & Flanigan, on the other hand, let its guests know about its mattress offerings even before they entered the store. Clearly visible from the highway is the Sealy Sleep Center logo, and the sleep center is also clearly visible from the moment you enter the store. The Raymour & Flanigan Bedroom Gallery, where its non-Sealy products are displayed, is also easily visible from the entry.
In addition, customers walking in immediately see a sign that reads, “Buy your mattress today & we deliver tomorrow.”
Both stores were well stocked in merchandise from the S’s—Sealy, Serta, Spring Air and Simmons. Macy’s Home Store featured eight beds from Sealy Posturepedic, priced between $499 and $899 for queen size. It also had seven beds from Stearns & Foster’s Nature’s Home and Catalonia collections, priced from $1,449 to $3,299. Stearns & Foster was also featured in two beds from the Hotel collection, which are made exclusively for Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. The Hotel collection display included signs and fronted the mattress section.
Simmons Beautyrest was represented by 11 beds from its Vanderbilt collection and one bed from the Better Sleep line. Spring Air appeared in three beds from its Ambiance collection, and two beds from the Chattam & Wells line.
The Sealy Sleep Center in Raymour & Flanigan displayed 14 Sealy Posturepedic beds, ranging in price from $599 to $2,499. There were eight beds from the Dynasty collection of Stearns & Foster and one bed from the brand’s Golden Elegance grouping. In addition, the section had a Stearns & Foster display that showed the construction of the mattresses’ interiors, and a TrueForm display highlighted the foam construction on that line of Sealy Posturepedic mattresses.
Raymour & Flanigan’s Bedroom Gallery is set up to get the consumer thinking about furnishing the whole bedroom. It includes mattresses and other furniture pieces in the bedroom, and it pulls the visitor through the section so that he or she sees all of the merchandise before exiting.
What customers see in the gallery are Tempur-Pedic mattresses including the Celebrity, the Rhapsody, the DeluxeBed and the ClassicBed. There are also three Sealy Posturepedic TrueForm beds and five beds from Body Rhythms under the Natural Comfort brand.
A Tempur-Pedic display greets the visitor to the 1800mattress.com showroom in East Hanover, N.J. This is a fixture made of wood and including a bed, shelves and signage reflecting the company’s new marketing campaign launched earlier this year, along with models of the ClassicBed and the DeluxeBed.
The showroom’s layout is basic, with beds lined up in rows ranging from the front of the showroom nearly to the back. Other than the Tempur-Pedic display, brands are scattered among the rows rather than being collected into brand groupings. Curiously, there was no signage in this showroom for 1800mattress.com’s Web site and phone-ordering capability, which are the focus of 1800mattress.com’s business.
The largest manufacturers and their most prominent brands are represented at 1800mattress.com; there are several models in the Posturepedic and Beautyrest collections, along with Serta Perfect Sleeper. The Sundance pillow-top mattress from Comfort Solutions by King Koil can also be found here.
The Sleepy’s store has a two-floor layout with beds lined up in horizontal rows. Near to the entrance were seven beds from the Stearns & Foster Plaza collection, along with offerings from Simmons Beautyrest’s Shakespeare collection and Sealy Posturepedic. Three Tempur-Pedic displays were situated to the left of the front entrance. One is the Grand Bed display, which includes a bed and signage, followed by a fixture including the CelebrityBed, the ClassicBed and the DeluxeBed. Then there is a BellaSonna bed with a display.
Simmons is also featured in two beds under the ComforPedic by Simmons brand. This is the label that was born in June, with Simmons’ acquisition of ComforPedic, the specialty-mattress manufacturer based in Seattle.
In a far corner is a section devoted to Kingsdown’s Body System program, with seven beds. Kingsdown is also seen on the opposite wall with a Body Diagnostics area, which includes a test bed and a video. Serta’s Vera Wang collection gets plenty of play in this store with three beds and signage. Comfort Solutions by King Koil had three beds in its Comfort Expressions line.
On the second level are twin-size versions of several of these models, in an area geared toward providing mattresses for children’s bedrooms.