HIGH POINT — Bedding exhibitors reported a lightly attended market, with some saying their traffic was down 50% to 75%, but they said the buyers who came were serious shoppers.

Several new bedding lines were launched in High Point, giving retailers new options in high-end beds, boxed beds and in new bedding brands.

Elements International Group, entering the bedding arena, showed its first models, all memory foam offerings, and AW Inds. brought its new Silentnight line to market for the U.S. debut of that well-known U.K. brand.

AW Inds., the Maryland-based bedding maker that is a Serta licensee, made the biggest splash at the market, with separate showrooms for its three brands: Serta, Sleepwell and Silentnight. Paul Kahl, vice president of sales, said each of those lines drew positive responses.

He said retailers “loved the new look and feel” of the new Serta Perfect Sleeper line, which was shown at market for the first time. Sleepwell’s Lavender bed, the company’s first zippered cover hybrid, was a big hit, as was its Cherry Blossom II line. And retailers “loved the color-coded story” in the Silentnight line, with the orange-accented memory foam line emerging as a market standout, Kahl said.

The Serta Perfect Sleeper line features an exclusive, anti-microbial technology found on the surface of the mattress that kills 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria on contact.

Bedgear did well with its airflow introductions, said Eugene Alletto, CEO.

“Given the pandemic, of course we saw lower attendance than previous years,” he said. “However, the highlight of Bedgear’s showroom for attendees was our Performance Glacier and Cosmo pillow collections that feature our patented air vent design. An air vent is soft, circular fabric with a mesh center, which is about the size of a nickel, that allows hot air from the head, neck and shoulders to be directed away from the body. And airflow is so important nowadays to create a clean and healthy sleep environment.”

“High Point was a big success for us,” said Scott Carr, Malouf’s marketing director. “We were grateful to meet with so many of our retail partners over the extended market. While traffic was only 25% of what we normally experience in High Point, the in-person communication with our partners that were able to attend was extremely valuable.”

He said Malouf’s new M455 and S655 adjustable bases were “highly popular.”

“Overall, we were pleased with market based upon the positive reactions to our new Paramount collection and revised Back Performance collection,” said Richard Fleck, president of Paramount Sleep. “We had high quality meetings with the customers who did make the commitment of showing up to market.”

He said the company had 50% of the appointments or walk ins versus a normal October High Point. “The retailers who came into our showroom were buyers and we had the highest closing ratio of prospects and new product lines in our company history.”

Other bedding producers agreed that the retailers who attended market were in a buying mood.

“We have seen some significant players,” said Brad Rogers, Ashley’s senior vice president. “Everybody who comes in buys.”

“We wrote orders,” added Mark Akerman, president of Klaussner’s Enso Sleep Systems division. “This market was about serious buyers.”

“The retailers we met with were serious about being there to conduct business,” said Stuart Carlitz, CEO of Eclipse International. “Our extensive boxed bed lineup was a hit for many of them given that consumers have made a monumental shift to shopping online, and we provide a comprehensive program that gives them a well-merchandised lineup. The additions to our Eastman House collection were also well-received. We opened several new accounts and have a number of serious discussions underway with other retailers that we could partner with.”

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