With fabric patterns and colors designed to stop shoppers in their tracks, Mike James, chairman of Kingsdown, aims to bring a kind of visual appeal and high-fashion design aesthetic associated with apparel runways to the bedding industry this Las Vegas Market.
“Our goal this Market is to help retailers add fashion to their retail floors to capture the attention and imagination of shoppers,” James says. “To accomplish that, we’re employing some pretty edgy fabrics in all of our refreshed product offerings. Along with the unique specs and tremendous values that dealers expect from us, our aim is to distinguish our brands in the marketplace with fashion-forward designs that simply cannot be found anywhere else.”
With a passion for fabric and color choices that will catch the eye of more “aspirational shoppers,” James has long been influenced by leading designers in apparel, furniture, floor, wall and window coverings.
Working together with David Ballantine, vice president of sales & product design, CA, and John Farnham, senior vice president of product development, James says a focus on aesthetics has always been a key to Kingsdown’s DNA as a brand.
“We’re always on the hunt for the innovative and unusual, the kind of looks that will evoke a visceral reaction in our retail partners,” he says. “We don’t accept the standard tickings offered to everyone by the fabric makers. Rather, we submit our own designs and inspirations to them, not only for covers but our borders as well, which few manufacturers pay any attention to.”
In fact, 80 percent of Kingsdown’s borders are designed by, and exclusively for, the company. “That way, when a customer walks into our showroom in Las Vegas, the likelihood of them having ever seen one of our patterns elsewhere is very, very low,” James says.
Among the changes to watch for this season, along with elegant new fabric selections and colors, the luxurious Vintage Collection which extends to retail price points of $10,000, has been expanded to five levels of product, including an entry-level model ($1,499 in queen).
James explains that this brings affordability to an elegant, tufted line known for luxurious natural materials like Alpaca, cotton, horsehair and latex.
“Most mattresses in the marketplace starting at that price point are fairly conventional, untufted, with neutral upholstery and conventional labeling I strongly believe there is an opportunity to grow our $1,499 to $5,000 business via improved style and presentation,” he says. “In expanding Vintage, we are offering truly aspirational looks and feels at a price point that is not out of reach for the average consumer.”
In Passions, all three cover and quilt packages have been changed to incorporate specialty foams “for a very distinctive look and more luxurious feel with the right heights and support levels,” he continued. “Now, where we have a more natural, tufted story within Vintage, we’re moving to a more technical memory foam/quilt story in Passions with cooling in the covers and the ticks and more fashion-forward designs throughout. All while keeping price points in the $1,299 to $3,999 range,” he added.
Additionally, the Insignia Hybrid has been updated with fresh new designs and more fashionable top ticks, while the Prime Collections’ borders now reveal a unique fashion-centric color scheme.
“It’s all about upping the ‘wow’ factor in our showroom and in the stores,” James says. “And a lot of thought has gone into differentiation and how to make it easy to move customers logically from collection to collection. With the support of the Kingsdown marketing team of Jacqueline Morton and Gary Towning, we illuminate these cross-collection options with our unique top-of-bed and point-of-purchase materials.”