High Point Market highlights the changing landscape of the mattress industry

An interesting dynamic has occurred in the industry between full-line furniture stores and specialty sleep stores, and the High Point Market makes this very clear. 

While the interior design channel makes up a majority of attendees to the High Point Market, they’re still a relatively small customer base for mattress manufacturers. Full-line retailers and big-box stores are the ones spending the big bucks at these shows, yet I can nearly count the number of mattress companies that exhibit in High Point on one hand. 

That said, here’s a quick shout-out to those who are there:

  1. Legends Furniture featured its innovative Good Vibe Sleep mattress, which has audio-haptic technology embedded into the adjustable base. A subwoofer is built into the head and foot of each side of the base, and this also offers rhythmic massage — vibrations from sound that have relaxing effects and help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Because the mattress and base work together, this helps the retailer sell both at once without having to put in effort to attach a base. 
  2. DreamFit unveiled a custom-fit sheet set for American Leather’s sofa-sleepers in the company showroom. While sheets for sofa-sleepers may not seem like a lucrative business, DreamFit is filling a void for retailers who can offer sheets with the sofa-sleepers, and there’s essentially a 100% attachment rate. 
  3. The Fab 5 collection from Bedding Industries of America offers five simple mattress options with different feels. Instead of asking a customer which feel they like, the program allows retailers to start a customer in the middle and work up or down. The program has been extended from the Eclipse line to also include an Eastman House Durobuilt line that was on display this market. 

So why do so few show in High Point?

In short, there are many reasons. And I’m not advocating for bedding manufacturers to have a big presence at High Point Market — because it doesn’t make sense for a lot of them. But for the ones that have made it work, they’re doing big business with furniture retailers. And that points to the larger trend of furniture stores also selling mattresses.

It makes sense: Beds are a high-margin sell and for furniture stores, they can seriously improve the bottom line. A similar thing is happening in the outdoor furnishings industry between specialty stores and bigger retailers, and in the bedding world, it’s going to continue to change how the landscape of the business looks.

My prediction is that sleep shops are going to be true specialty locations — ones where sleep experts can solve even the toughest of consumers’ sleep problems with product that is catered to their specific needs. This quality service and expertise will gain them customers and likely higher-priced tickets.

And for full-line stores — many of which already carry mattresses in some capacity — they’re going to be ramping up their efforts with the category to upsell customers who are already in there for furniture. 

The line between the two types of stores will be drawn, and while independent sleep shops fulfill the needs of hefty spenders, furniture stores will capture the middle-price-point customers, effectively giving each store its own niche. Online companies offering boxed beds will be divided evenly across the three-pronged pricing spectrum. 

While this will keep competition strong among retailers in the industry and give each type of store a specific customer to serve, there’s no telling how things might change over the next few years. More online brands could merge with legacy brands and try to take the middle ground. Or furniture stores could decide they want to offer luxury bedding and hit the high end.

The possibilities are vast, but one thing is for sure: The landscape of the mattress industry is continuing to change at a rapid pace.

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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