Why Interior Designers and Kids Are a Focus for Mattress Makers

While the High Point Market isn’t traditionally known as a major bedding destination—that distinction goes to the Las Vegas Market—a handful of higher-end mattress makers brought their wares to the spring show, which convened this week.

The North Carolina market, which is held in April and October in High Point, has in recent years become a major draw for interior designers—more than half of this spring’s attendees were designers, according to High Point Market Authority attendance numbers. And for the premium mattress companies exhibiting at the show, those interior designers represent a valuable, largely untapped market.

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Connecting with those designers spurred direct-to-consumer luxury mattress maker Saatva to set up a showroom at High Point Market for the first time this spring. Along with an array of mattresses, visitors were able to get a first look at the company’s new rug line created in partnership with Jaipur Living.

The collection, which will be on Saatva’s website and in its 11 branded retail outlets in mid-May, includes six designs in a range of colors that coordinate with the company’s bed frames. The rugs build on the company’s recent expansion into furniture with 14 frame options, as well as chairs and benches for the bedroom.

“We are trying to help people create the perfect sleep sanctuary,” said Shari Ajayi, director of public relations, Saatva. “We have mattresses for every type of sleeper, we have the bedroom chairs, benches, beautiful beds, but what we were hearing was people were having trouble finding the complementing rug. So by partnering with Jaipur, we can now offer a full bedroom setup.”

Ajayi said Saatva chose Jaipur to create its rugs because they wanted to ensure the production process followed the same standards they hold for their mattresses.

“The rugs are Good Weave certified because we want to make sure that we’re being true to our clean, sustainable principles,” she said. “All our bedding is fair trade, and any product that we don’t make ourselves, we’re making sure everything’s made properly and fairly abroad—the rugs are made in India.”

Ajayi came to market after attending a launch party for the rug line at Saatva’s new Charlotte store, which opened earlier this year. The outpost is one of several the company plans to open this year, with additional locations slated to debut in Portland, Seattle, New York City and Paramus, New Jersey.

Bedgear, which originally launched as a performance pillow brand, showed off its full range of mattresses, pillows and bedding in High Point, adding new products such as its Night Ice 2.0 cooling pillow and pet beds.

But one of its biggest pushes during market was its crib and youth mattress line. Bedgear head of player development Holly Adorno said that with Bed Bath & Beyond’s bankruptcy meaning its BuyBuy Baby stores will likely close, there’s a larger void in brick-and-mortar retail for children’s bedding.

“Unfortunately today, there are very few places where you can find baby and kids beds,” she said. “This is something we’re really focused on talking to retailers about, and we feel it’s a huge area of opportunity. Parents are spending $99 on a mattress for their kid and not understanding the importance of the breathability and the technology of getting baby to sleep well.”

In their showroom, Bedgear set up a full-scale baby and kids’ display that can be replicated in retail outlets. Bedgear VP of marketing and sales Leslie Clay said the goal was to show retailers how they can easily incorporate this category on their sales floor and potentially unlock a new customer stream.

“What we’re trying to accomplish is to get the retailer to understand the importance of the category and put an area in their store or online,” she said. “Kids and baby is a huge opportunity because there’s not a lot of product out here, especially in the premium category, and it’s an opening to build the brand loyalty—as you grow in your life, you grow with the brands you love.”

Saatva also has added crib and youth mattresses to their assortment, and Ajayi said the closure of retailers such as BuyBuy Baby presents an opportunity for higher-quality bedding companies to appeal to consumers to make a larger investment in their child’s bed.

“The dynamic has changed because the cost of real estate has made it almost impossible for brands at the lower price point, where kid’s products tend to be,” she said. “Parents trust the brands that make their mattresses, especially with an eco-friendly philosophy, and they would feel comfortable giving the same type of sleep experience to their children.”

Adorno said the key to making that leap with parents is educating them on the value of spending a bit more on their child’s mattress. And if retailers are well-versed on the benefits of their brand’s adult mattresses, making the sale on a crib or youth bed will be easier.

“If you’re a Bedgear salesperson, and you know what you’re talking about, you can easily sell this category, too,” she said.

For both Bedgear and Saatva, High Point Market was an opportunity to not only introduce new customers to their traditional bedding products, but to also show they have something to offer in other categories, as well.

“In the old days, the bedding industry was sending the consumer to a mattress store to buy a mattress, but then we were sending them to Bed Bath & Beyond, Target or Walmart to buy a protector for the mattress and a pillow and bedding,” Adorno said. “Now we have a comprehensive program.”

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