Under the covers: Exploring key findings in the bedding industry

Every industry needs solid research to stand behind, and our latest Consumer Insights Now survey revealed some interesting findings that the industry can use to plan for the next few months.

However, research alone isn’t always enough. Interpreting what it means and how you can use the information is the most important part.

Here is a breakdown of some of these numbers as well as insights into what they might mean for retailers today:

  1. One out of every four furniture shoppers plans to purchase a mattress for their primary bedroom during the first half of 2024. This represents a huge opportunity to make the most of each customer in a way retailers haven’t necessarily had to in a while. Even two years later, the Covid hangover is still hindering retailers from selling as much as they could. So at a time when foot traffic is down, maximizing tickets is essential.

    If 25% of furniture shoppers are looking for mattresses, that gives retailers more than enough opportunity to offer them exactly what they need. It can also help your RSAs to know that these don’t have to be “cold” sales — people are on the hunt for mattresses and simply need an educated salesperson to find them the best fit.
  1. Younger millennials (ages 28 to 35), Generation X (ages 36 to 43) and baby boomers (ages 60 and older) plan to buy at the highest rates. Gen X is proving to have more power than the industry gave them credit for. While boomers and millennials were the primary talk of marketing tactics for years, Gen X seemingly snuck up and has been surprising retailers with multi-item high-ticket purchases. It may not be the largest generation or the highest earning, but it has a strong collective spending power.

That’s not to say boomers and millennials are unimportant. Boomers still have the most spending power of all the generations, and millennials have the largest. Together, they make up a large majority of the market, and they’re buying habits have their similarities. However, Gen X has been neglected for too long, and the sooner retailers embrace this generation they’ll be one step closer to boosting sales. 

  1. Twenty-eight percent want to buy an adjustable base. This is a telling number in this industry because it’s so low. If 28% want to buy it, we can estimate that perhaps half of them will. That means the attachment rate of adjustable bases is still extremely low relative to other accessories. According to retailers and manufacturers I’ve spoken with, that’s something the industry has been working on collectively, so this statistic drives home how low the attachment rate really it.
  2. Nearly half plan to buy a queen-sized mattress and 32% want a king. One out of three shoppers plans to purchase memory foam. While the mattress size that shoppers want may be unsurprising, it’s the material choice that threw me for a left turn. While at the Las Vegas market in January, everyone had a latex story in at least one mattress. It was being touted by many as the next big thing. It’s not that memory foam is bad, it’s just that if you ask any mattress executive what type of bed they sleep on, there’s a 90% chance it’s latex. 

However, the lack of education about latex could very well be a reason consumers don’t buy those models. If they knew that for just a little more money they could have something with several more benefits. With so many models coming up, it will behoove retailers to train their staff on what the material is and what it offers. 

  1. Support is the most important benefit to shoppers, followed by pressure relief and cooling. While comfort may have once been the thing everyone wanted in a mattress, aging generations and innovative new materials have given way to mattresses that support the body better than ever before. These models benefit the wellness of a person by giving them proper support and pressure relief, and this all ties in to the rising health and wellness trend that’s taking the mattress industry by storm. 

Bedding manufacturers and retailers have the opportunity to tap into today’s wellness trend, as sleep is a top-of-mind occasion when it comes to wellness. 

Some in the industry agree that retailers today have many opportunities as long as they’re willing to step up to the challenge. That’s true. However, it’s what you do with the opportunities presented to you that matters most.

Alex Milstein

Alex Milstein is the Editor in Chief of Casual News Now and Bedding News Now. He previously served as senior editor of both Casual Living and Designers Today, and covered technology for Furniture Today, with a focus on augmented reality, e-commerce, and 3D visualization.

View all posts by Alex Milstein →

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