Here are some of the things I liked at the recent High Point Market:
I liked the extended visits I had with bedding executives. The market was lightly attended, but that gave me plenty of time for market visits. I always learn something from my meetings with bedding leaders. Those meetings shape my thinking, and candidly, Zoom calls can’t compete with a day of making the rounds in mattress showrooms. Market is a master class in mattress marketing. (Say that five times.)
Second, I liked the impressive showing of AW Inds., the Maryland-based Serta licensee that is extending its wings with new bedding lines. Its private-label Sleepwell line has caught my eye in the past with its strong colors and dynamic graphics, and the new Cherry Blossom line kept that tradition alive. I also liked Sleepwell’s new Lavender bedding line.
AW Inds.’ new partnership with Silentnight of the United Kingdom produced three colorful lines, accented in orange (memory foam), electric blue (gel-infused memory foam in a hybrid design) and plum (latex).
And let’s not forget the company’s showing of the new Serta Perfect Sleeper line, which features a strong lineup of new foams, features and aesthetics.
I also liked the promise that the new Silentnight brand, the most trusted bedding brand in the UK, offers to U.S. retailers. Bedding veteran Mark Hobson, whose British heritage and U.S. bedding experience make him the ideal ambassador for that brand in the U.S., says the line offers a prestigious brand with strong profit potential. AW Inds. is Silentnight’s first U.S. partner, and Hobson is looking for other partners.
I was impressed with the enthusiasm that Elements International Group is bringing to the bedding category. Mike and Susie Wurster are jumping into bedding, bringing on bedding veterans Josh Micklos and Jeff Quinn to launch a domestic bedding line. Look for a big launch at the January Las Vegas Market.
Also notable at market was the new Paramount line introduced by — who else? — Paramount Sleep. That high-end line is loaded with premium features, including natural silk, wool and cashmere, copper comfort quilt foam, encased coils in two different gauges and Talalay latex. The Art Deco-inspired designs add a classy touch. Paramount also introduced its first dog bed and added furniture blankets to its portfolio.
Bedgear is always an interesting stop, and I liked the new clean-sleeping Germ Shield technology introduced by Bedgear, whose Sleep Napkins already give consumers peace of mind when shopping.
Eclipse International introduced a new high-end Chittenden & Eastman bed and a broad new line of boxed beds in a nice showroom presentation.
Finally, I liked the fact that the industry could come together safely during the pandemic. The market’s safety protocols were well thought out and were effectively employed. “Remix, Refresh, Reimagine” was the theme of this market, one that encompassed our need to adapt to the new realities in our world these days.
While this market was reimagined along safety lines, it still delivered on its critical mission of bringing buyers and sellers together. And you have to admit: High Point in autumn is beautiful.
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