Hey, hey! We had a market, a real market. It just wrapped up the first of the month in Las Vegas, and the energy throughout the mattress floors was palpable.
Yes, the winter edition tends to be the busier of the two Las Vegas events, and the West Coast event has become known as the go-to market for mattresses. However, this one was different.
Retailers were out in full force with sightings of Houston-based Mattress Firm; Darvin Furniture & Mattress of Orland Park, Ill.; Pearl, Miss.-based Miskelly’s Furniture; Trent Bedding out of Bowling Green, Ky.; Sleep Sanctuary of Taos, N.M.; Tamarac, Fla.-based City Furniture; American Furniture Warehouse of Englewood, Colo.; Furniture Mart USA of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Steinhafels of Waukesha, Wis.; Manchester, Conn.-based Bob’s; Macy’s; and more.
Perhaps. No more so, however, than mattress makers who are excited about the prospects of returning home with a healthy list of retailers who were out at marketing doing more than kicking tires in the bedding category.
While everyone acknowledges retail business is slow, few were pouting about it. Instead, they showed up and showed off. Retailers came in search of new product, and with the Tempur Sealy acquisition of Mattress Firm on the horizon, some admitted to looking for new partners.
And, mattress vendors were ready for the onslaught of buyers. Some were armed with their largest product introduction in history – yes, I’m looking at you Serta Simmons Bedding – and other companies added new product while also redesigning existing lineups. It was mattress palooza in Las Vegas.
While I’ve been trying to reconcile the strategy of pulling out all the stops on huge introductions at a time when retail is sluggish, I will admit that it was refreshing to see new, innovative goods in showrooms.
The rub for me is the expense involved in designing, creating and bringing new product to market. Sample making can be expensive and time consuming; add that cost to trucking product to market and the overhead spent on showrooms, and the bill adds up. It’s not cheap.
It seems as if the bets may have just paid off.
By all accounts, retailers were on the prowl for fresh, new product to promote and sell. As of late, consumers have been slow to swing doors, and retailers saw market as an opportunity to freshen floors, create some excitement for their retail sales associates and push out new goods via marketing and social media to entice consumers in to buy.
So, if the week at Las Vegas Market pays off, we’ll see a slew of happy mattress producers and sleep retailers clicking their heels in excitement as beds begin flying out of warehouses and into consumers’ homes.