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Why are mattresses and bedroom furniture sold separately?

Why are mattresses and bedroom furniture sold separately?

As we get closer to Las Vegas Market, I’ve been receiving product submissions for Bedding News Now’s upcoming preview slideshow. 

Although I only accept mattresses and bedding products like pillows and sheets, I still get sent plenty of bedroom furniture.

This got me to thinking about why bedroom furniture isn’t sold through mattress shops and what opportunities this could present.

One obvious opportunity: more money. If you sell a mattress and a bedroom headboard set, you double the ticket.

“It’s a tremendous cross-marketing opportunity for both categories,” says Therapedic International CEO Gerry Borreggine. “It’s an additional sale opportunity for that retailer, and I think that’s really critical for the sleep retailers because in order for the regional players to survive they need to expand their product offerings to compete in the marketplace with these big-box guys.”

In fact, Magniflex has approached this idea from a wholesale perspective over the past two years by partnering with Copeland Furniture at the High Point Market to put their beds on Copeland’s bedroom furniture.

Together, the products create a true bedroom scene and one that, if seen in a retail store, could attract consumers more than a simple mattress.

Magniflex National Sales Manager Billy Curtright says the grouping gives a furniture dealer an idea of what it could look like in their own showroom. 

“For a lot of furniture stores, mattresses are an afterthought,” he explains. “But there’s also such an opportunity to sell a mattress at the same time — it’s a nice and fairly easy add-on sale. If you’ve got that, that captive audience and they’re shopping for beds or bedroom sets, there’s no reason to let them forget about the mattress.”

He adds that three out of four couples who are shopping for a bedroom set are also in the market for a new mattress whether they even realize it or not.

“How we train retailers to sell our product is, we tell them to go ahead and just ask a couple of basic questions instead of ignoring the issue of how old the current mattress is, and what they like or dislike about it. It’s just such an opportunity to sell a mattress in that environment.”

Furthermore, I think there’s a chance to transform how beds are merchandised in mattress stores — something that hasn’t been truly updated in decades. 

Furniture stores often have the advantage of being able to show a mattress with a beautiful piece of bedroom furniture. It helps bring the room scene, and two high-priced items, together in synchrony. 

But think about the common mattress store setup — a sea of white boxes in tight rows and flashy advertising on the walls. 

That’s not to say merchandising is not done well by various retailers, and manufacturers have aided that effort.

BedGear is a great example, as the company’s expert merchandising doesn’t just entice people visually, it also challenges them to think about what mattresses are and how they affect our bodies. They’ve also developed mattress-matcher technology that scans the body and gives the retailer a customer experience they can sell off of. 

Yatas Bedding also exemplifies this well, as displays it has at Las Vegas Market — which include headboards, lighting, foundations and more — can be translated to a retail setting. Plus, they’re bold and eye-catching.

“Retailers are paying X amount of dollars per square foot per month or year on their property, and they want to get the best return on investment,” Yata Bedding brand manager Jason Kennedy explains. “So the more value you have built into each foot of your floor space.”

He also says that bringing bedroom furniture into a mattress store is a useful way to diversify their target customers and bring in a new crowd.

“It kind of creates another dimension, but it’s still in the sleep and bedding realm,” he adds. 

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You don’t have to become a full-fledged furniture store to bring bedroom furniture into the mix. These products are simple items that can be integrated with your existing product.

I understand the need to put multiple mattress models in a store and have enough room for all of them, but bedroom furniture — and the margins it can make you — could warrant taking a bed or two off your floor to make room.

Borreggine adds that cross-merchandising these products presents an opportunity online in addition to in-store. Retailers may only be able to put maybe one or two pieces of a bedroom suite in the store, but online they can show multiple products and recommend accompanying pieces. 

“They can create a bedroom right on the spot,” he adds. “They can embellish their in-store presentation and blow it up big time online.” he says. 

Of course, there are challenges that would accompany this, too, like the upfront cash needed to purchase said furniture pieces and the sales knowledge to sell the furniture in addition to the mattress. 

There could also be a hump that consumers need to get over when it comes to purchasing a mattress and bedroom furniture together. Some might think the mattress comes free with the purchase of furniture even though the mattress costs as much or more than the bedroom set. 

But that’s not an impossible idea to conquer by any means, and I think there’s a lot that can be done for the mattress industry, and sleep shops, specifically, when it comes to aesthetically pleasing merchandising.

In a recent press conference call with Bob Maricich about the rebranding of International Market Centers to AndMore, he said that he believes that every business and industry must at some point undergo a transformation in order to succeed and move forward. 

That echoes true in the mattress industry as much as any. 

Have thoughts? I’d love to discuss. Please reach out at alex@homenewsnow.com

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