The Business Journal for the Sleep Products Industry August 2011
Uncovering innovations in foams & springs
from struggling ones
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W O R L D W I D E
PO Box 819 • Hickory, NC 28603 • (828) 328-2201
Editor in Chief
Julie A. Palm
Ar t Director
of Adver tising Sales
Ad Production &
Volume 139, Number 8
BedTimes (ISSN 0893-5556;
Permit 047-620) is published monthly
by the International Sleep Products
Association. Periodicals postage paid
in Philadelphia, PA.
Administrative and ISPA offices
501 Wythe St.
Alexandria, VA 22314-1917
Postmaster: Send address changes to
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Contents © 2011 by the
International Sleep Products
Association. Reprint permission
obtainable through BedTimes.
| Patricia Fripp
Patricia Fripp is a certified speaking professional,
executive speech coach and sales presentation
skills trainer. She’s earned the Council of Peers
Award for Excellence and been named to the
Speaker Hall of Fame by the National Speakers Association. She is a past-president of the
association. Fripp works with companies large
and small and individuals from the C-suite to the
work floor. She builds leaders, transforms sales
teams and delights audiences. She is the author
of Get What You Want!
and Make It, So You
Don’t Have to Fake It!
To learn more about
email [email protected]
| Stuart Morley
Stuart Morley is founder and master strategist
of Jump, a division of Morley & Associates Inc.
He has worked with more than 300 mid-market
clients to facilitate companies transitioning for
growth and profitability. Morley is author of
Weather the Storm: A
Survival Guide for MidMarket Organizations.
For more information, email [email protected]
| Rhonda R. Savage
Dentist Rhonda R. Savage is an internationally
acclaimed speaker and chief executive officer of
a well-known practice management and consulting business. Savage also is a noted motivational
speaker on leadership,
women’s issues and
more information on
her speaking, check
mentu.com or email
| Dorothy Whitcomb
Dorothy Whitcomb is a freelance journalist and
editor whose work has appeared in a wide range
of business and general interest publications.
Her primary focus for the past 25 years has been
the home furnishings industry. She writes about
businesses, trends, products and design, specializing in profiles of
companies and industry leaders. She wrote
about Tietex International Ltd. in the July
issue of BedTimes. She
can be reached at
BedTimes Supplies Guide
If you are an industry supplier who wants
to be included in the annual print edition
of the Supplies Guide, you need to make
sure your information is correct in the
online guide at www.bedtimes
suppliesguide.com. The information we
have online on Sept. 23 is what will be
published in the December BedTimes. To
update or upgrade your listing, contact
MultiView, our Supplies Guide partner, at
[email protected] or 972-402-7000.
Editorial deadlines for the News and
Newsmakers sections of the October issue
are Thursday, Sept. 1. Email news releases
and photos to Julie Palm, BedTimes editor
in chief, at [email protected]
Questions? Call 571-482-5442.
BedTimes strives to present accurate information and we take mistakes seriously.
When an inaccuracy is brought to our
attention, we will correct the error in the
online edition in which the error occurred
(www.bedtimesmagazine.com). We also
will run a correction—typically on this
page of the magazine or in the News section—in the next print edition. To report an
error, email Julie Palm, BedTimes editor in
chief, at [email protected]
August 2011 BedTimes
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9 | Brief Sheet
■ Consumers like ‘Made in America’
■ Poet takes on ‘hell’ of mattress shopping
■ Cost of flying soars & more…
13 | Profile
Niles Cornelius After years with mattress
manufacturers, the industry veteran finds he
enjoys selling other sleep products, too.
17 | Skills
Taking the stage Run through this checklist
before giving any presentation.
21 | Family Biz
At work & at home How to ease the
difficulties of working with relatives.
47 | News
■ Culp posts gain in mattress fabric sales
■ Mattress Firm plans IPO
■ Dutch Craft inks licensing deal & more…
63 | Newsmakers
■ FXI has new leadership
■ Hickory Springs promotes three
Foams are increasingly feature-filled while
innersprings seek to solve problems. BedTimes
examines trends in the components that are at
the center of virtually every mattress.
company & more…
A consultant lays out 10 differences between
companies that thrive and those that don’t.
Which side of the line is your business on?
07 | Note
68 | Calendar
67 | ISPA
■ BSC to aid teenage ‘zombies’
se Cost Survey to evaluate your
Success & failure
execs & more…
70 | Advertisers
71 | Classifieds
72 | On Sleep
■ Should mattresses rock?
■ Hotel quiets sounds of snoring & more…
August 2011 BedTimes
PATRON: HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES
in a new
What does it mean for you?
Julie A. Palm
Editor in chief
t’s almost become common wisdom that any
company that’s still in business after the Great
Recession is, by its mere existence, a success.
There’s something to that. The bedding
industry was already in a period of not just
consolidation, but contraction, when the recession
began in 2007.
The sharp downturn only accelerated those
trends. Dozens of small—often family-owned—
mattress makers have shuttered their doors after
decades in business. Some well-positioned large
enterprises have found opportunities to expand by
buying up competitors. Lots of longtime names in
the bedding business are gone.
So, to those still standing, congratulations are
certainly in order.
The recession is officially over. And, according to
the Bedding Barometer, the monthly U.S. sales report
from the International Sleep Products Association,
the U.S. mattress industry is experiencing slow, if
sometimes unsteady, growth.
Unit sales (mattresses and foundations) are up
2.2% for the first five months of 2011 when compared to the same period in 2010. The wholesale
dollar value of those units is up 6.7% and the average unit selling price has increased 4.4%.
If, for the past few years, success has meant
merely survival, what does it mean now?
In our feature story, “Winners & Losers: Is Your
Company Flourishing or Foundering?”, strategist
Stuart Morley looks at 10 traits that determine
which side of the line a particular company likely
falls on. (See story on Page 40.)
In short, he says, successful companies:
n Cross boundaries into other industries
n Focus on customers
n Emphasize value
Listen to their employees
Prepare for the best and worst of times
Focus on forward-thinking projects
Find things they can stop doing
Live comfortably at the edge of chaos
Share financial and other important
information with workers
n Encourage time off.
want to thrive,
than ever, need
to be flexible and
ready to change
To me, there are two items, in particular, that
stand out on that list: That successful companies
“prepare for the best and worst of times” and that
they “live comfortably at the edge of chaos.”
I’m tired of the tough times. And after the upheaval of the past few years, the last thing any of us
wants is more chaos.
Security. Stability. Certainty. Good times. That’s
what I’d like.
Unfortunately, I think Morley is right.
The “new normal” is unpredictable and unsteady,
with rapid cycles of good times and not-so-good
times. Companies that want to thrive, now more
than ever, need to be flexible and ready to change
Better times are ahead—but they may feel so different from the past that we don’t recognize them. n
August 2011 BedTimes
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Poll: ‘Made in America’
is a real money maker
Cost of air travel adding up fast
f you’re flying often for business, you’ve likely found your expenses rising
sky high. It’s not just pricey air fares hurting business travelers. A June 13
Time magazine article, “Skyway Robbery! Add-on Charges Take Over the
Airlines,” tallied up all the “extras” airlines now charge for and found they
could equal as much as 50% of the ticket price.
We’ve quickly gotten used to baggage fees ($25-$45) and tabs for
meals ($5-$10). Some newer charges: getting to put your bags in the
overhead bins first ($10-$35), Wi-Fi access ($5-$15) and seats in the
exit row or elsewhere with extra legroom ($9-$35).
Your company may want to revise its travel policies to specify which
extras are justifiable business expenses.
The 10th circle?
he process of mattress shopping
has made its way into plenty of
movies and television programs
but this may be the first time a poem on
the subject has been penned. BedTimes
wishes only that former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins had enjoyed his experience a bit more.
he majority of Americans (60%) say seeing a “Made
in the U.S.A.” claim while shopping influences their
purchasing decisions across a wide range of product categories, including home furnishings/appliances and “home
Why does a “Made in the U.S.A.” label or signage
spur shoppers’ interest in a product? Consumers want
to “help the economy,” according to Perception Research Services International, which polled 1,500 shoppers age 18 and older.
“Marketers of products made in America
would do well to prominently highlight
that fact, especially during these challenging economic times,” says Jonathan Asher, PRS senior vice
president of the consumer research firm in Fort Lee, N.J. “In
addition to the overt indication
of helping the economy, our
research also revealed a subtle
sense that ‘Made in the U.S.A.’
provides a reassurance of quality and safety. This suggests a
benefit that could resonate
even in a rosier economy.”
By Billy Collins
I have a feeling that it is much worse
than shopping for a mattress at a mall,
of greater duration without question,
and there is no random pitch forking
here, no licking flames to fear,
only this cavernous store with its maze
Yet wandering past the jovial kings,
the more sensible queens,
and the cheerless singles
no scarlet sheet will ever cover,
I am thinking of a passage from the
Inferno which I could fully bring to mind
and recite in English or even Italian
if the salesman who has been following
us—a crumpled pack of Newports
visible in the pocket of his short sleeve
shirt—would stop insisting for a moment
that we test this one, then this softer one,
which we do by lying down side by side,
arms rigid, figures on a tomb, powerless
to imagine what it would be like
to sleep or love this way under the
punishing rows of fluorescent lights,
which Dante might have included
had he been able to lie on his back
between us here today.
“Hell” from Horoscopes for the Dead:
Poems by Billy Collins. © 2011 by Billy
Collins. Used by permission of Random
House Inc., New York.
August 2011 BedTimes
Mattress sales up
Anything but tuned in
If you’re advertising your mattress brand on TV, you’ve got more
to worry about than DVR systems
that let people fast-forward past
your commercials. Only 14% of TV
watchers say they give a program
their undivided attention, according
to a new Adweek/Harris Poll.
nit sales of mattresses
(mattresses and foundations) rose 0.6% in May when
compared to the same month in
2010, according to the Bedding
Barometer, a monthly snapshot
of the U.S. mattress industry.
The wholesale dollar value of
those units increased a more
robust 5% over May 2010. The
average unit selling price also
was up—4.3% in May 2011
compared to the same period a
■ The real competition
go to the fair
f they looked among the
cotton candy vendors
and livestock displays,
fairgoers at the San
Mateo County Fair could
check out handmade
mattresses produced by
McRoskey Mattress Co.
The company showcased its high-end
mattresses as part of the
“Make It in America” exhibition held June 11-12
during the fair.
“As a local manufacturer, we create jobs and
fuel the growth of the local economy. What we do
is essential to our country’s economic recovery,”
says Robin Azevedo,
(McRoskey is smart to tout
“Made in America.” See
story on Page 9.)
BedTimes August 2011
rug and energy drink companies sell short-term solutions for a problem consumers have. They’re not sleeping well so they’re taking sleep
aids at night and pumping themselves up with energy drinks during
the day. We need to spend time as an industry, not competing against ourselves, but getting consumers to realize that if they have the
right bed/sleep system, they will get a good night’s sleep and
not need to medicate themselves for rest.”
Lee Hinshaw, senior vice president of global brand management for Kingsdown,
a mattress maker based in Mebane, N.C., being interviewed June 20 on “Fox
News Live” on the Fox News Digital Network.
Consumers to companies: Be nice or else!
early half of Americans say they encounter
incivility when dealing with companies—
and they are increasingly likely to take
their business elsewhere because of it.
More than two-thirds (69%) of those say they
have chosen not to buy from a company again
because someone from the business treated them
rudely. That’s up from 56% just a year ago, according to a new poll.
The same number (69%) say they’ve
re-evaluated their opinion of a company because
its tone or conduct was uncivil, up from 55% in
a similar 2010 survey. And more than half (58%)
have “advised friends, family or co-workers not to
buy certain products or services” because they felt
a company representative was uncivil, an increase
from 49% last year.
The online survey was conducted among 1,000
U.S. adults to assess attitudes on civility in business, the work force, classroom and politics. It was
done by Washington, D.C.-based KRC Research on
behalf of Powell Tate, a strategic communications
and public affairs firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., and Weber Shandwick, a global public
relations agency with offices in 74 countries.
“The risk of companies losing business because of
incivility is startling
and growing,” says
Weber Shandwick chairman of
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Longtime mattress maker
marketing everything else
you need for a bedroom
By Dorothy Whitcomb
iles Cornelius knows he’s a lucky man. He
has a challenging job in an industry that
he’s enjoyed for 40 years. He’s a devoted
family man who has developed the ability
to shift his attention away from work when
he’s home. And, when the time comes to retire, he has no
end of interesting plans for the future.
Cornelius began his career as a furniture and bedding
salesman in a Cincinnati department store. In 1980, he
joined Ohio-Sealy Mattress Mfg. Co. and spent nine years
selling on the road. When Ohio-Sealy acquired Stearns
& Foster, Cornelius became sales manager and then
regional manager for the brand.
In 1988, Cornelius went to work for International
General manager of Hickory Springs Home division
Company Hickory Springs Mfg. Co.
Education Cornelius attended Temple Baptist College in Cincinnati.
FamilyCornelius and his wife, Jane, have been married for 40 years
and have four adult children.
At home with Hickory Springs Home Niles
Cornelius took over as general manager of Hickory
Springs Mfg. Co.’s direct-to-retail division in 2008. It
produces and markets everything from bed frames
to bed linens.
Bedding Corp. At the time, the company was the largest
Therapedic licensee and, as national sales manager, he
ran that segment of the business.
In 1997, he became president of the Therapedic International licensing group, stepping down from the role a
few years later when he had the opportunity to become a
minority partner and chief operating officer for another
licensee, Therapedic of Virginia.
When Therapedic of Virginia closed in 2008, Cornelius made the shift from the manufacturing side of
the bedding business to the supplier side of the bedding
business, joining Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. as general
manager of Hickory Springs Home, the Hickory, N.C.based company’s direct-to-retail division.
Hickory Springs Home produces solid wood headboards, bed and futon frames, rollaway beds, bunk beds
and a wide range of top-of-bed items for furniture stores
and sleep shops, as well as national chains and catalogs.
“We produce everything that makes up a bedroom,
except the mattress,” Cornelius says. “For the first time
in my career, I’m out of the ‘mattress’ business and it still
Cornelius took the helm of the 10-year-old division at
a difficult time.
“We’re heavily vested in independent retailers,”
Cornelius says. “Because our customer base is primarily
composed of small- to medium-size furniture retailers on
August 2011 BedTimes
the East Coast, it has been challenging. The smaller customers
have taken a real hit in the past
two years because of the recession
and that’s affected our business.”
Cornelius’ response to the
challenge has been to reshape
Hickory Springs Home into four
product categories, separating
out commodity items like bedrails into their own group and
revamping marketing efforts for
“We’ve built a three-legged
stool for marketing purposes.
We’ve rebranded futons and now
call them convertibles,” he says.
“Panama Jack has entered the
home furnishings industry and
we’ve become its official licensee
Adjustable beds are receiving
“Most adjustable beds have a
sameness about them,” Cornelius says. “We will have a major
rollout of many new concepts for
Family man During the week,
Niles Cornelius lives and works
in Hickory, N.C., but on the
weekends, he heads home to
Bluefield, W. Va., and devotes
himself to spending time with
his wife, Jane, and other
power bases at the October High
Point Market. It’s very cool.”
Top-of-bed is a separate
category—and the third leg of
the marketing stool. Cornelius
is developing a store-within-astore concept called Final Touch
to present the company’s linens,
pillows and related products.
“It’s meant to be fully stocked
and sit next to the mattress department,” he says. “We’re testing prototypes in major chains
and smaller retailers and are
excited about the prospects.”
Although he misses day-today involvement with mattress
making, Cornelius has lost
no enthusiasm for the larger
“I love the sleep business,
specifically mattresses, and I’m
always thinking about how I’m
going to create the next best
thing in sleep,” he says. “I’m just
as motivated now as I was when
I was 20.” n
Making it work
During the workweek, Cornelius lives in an RV on a lake outside Hickory, N.C. On Friday afternoons, he heads 150 miles north to Bluefield, W. Va., where his family lives. “I live for my family
and I don’t take those relationships for granted,” he says. “Everyone lives within blocks of my
house and nothing else matters when I pull into the driveway but them.”
A song in his heart A tenor, Cornelius has sung in amateur musical productions and with Good News for Modern
Man, a traveling Christian choral group.
A book & Nook fanatic
“I made a New Year’s resolution once that I would read a book a week,” Cornelius says. “It
was exhausting and now I don’t put myself under that pressure.” Still, he is a voracious reader
who can have four books going at a time. A history buff, he’ll read “anything on the Civil War”
and is currently studying the Fort Sumter battle at Andersonville, Ga. “I bounce around among
genres but I always try to include a biography and I read a lot of political books,” he says. “I
absolutely love my Nook. It’s saved me from lugging all those books on airplanes.”
Fantasy land “I would really love to drive the RV down to Orlando, Fla., and work part time at Disney World,”
he says. “I love to talk to people.”
The next stage
“Because I don’t wear it on my sleeve, people might be surprised to know that I’m a person of deep
faith,” Cornelius says. His two brothers are pastors, as was his father. His younger brother, Paul,
founded Days of Noah Ministries and Cornelius hopes to go on the road with him to evangelize when
he retires. “My father and brothers have been such a calming, assuring influence on me,” he says.
BedTimes August 2011
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Preparing a presentation Follow this
checklist before you face an audience / By Patricia Fripp
comfortable on stage, the more you can relax and focus
on the audience during your presentation. Actors call
this “making friends with the stage.”
Take a clock Make sure you have a clock you
can see clearly from a distance. To keep me on
track and on time, I travel with a large kitchen clock.
Very few people know how long they’ve been speaking.
If you’re including a question-and-answer session, give
your speech a “must end by” time and a dramatic close.
Scheduling this adds to your professionalism.
Test the microphone Do you have a preferred
microphone style— handheld, lavaliere, lectern?
Request it in advance. Regardless of which you are us-
the stage and
he day of your big speech or presentation is
nearing. You’re an expert on your subject, you
have your presentation ready and know your
content cold. You’re feeling confident about
your message and delivery.
What could go wrong? Unfortunately, plenty. It’s
easy to overlook details that could derail your talk and
wreck your confidence.
Before you take the stage and face an audience, run
through this checklist:
ing, practice talking into it. (If you’re using a handheld
microphone, keep it at chin level.) Ask someone to
walk around and make sure that you can be heard
from all parts of the room. Make friends with the
audio technicians. Be on time for your microphone
check and thank the techs for their help when you’ve
Practice using other equipment If you’re
making a PowerPoint or multimedia presentation,
check that the equipment is working well. Are your
slides in the right sequence? Do you have a remote to
control what’s showing on the screen? Can your slides
or video be seen from the back of the room? If you’re
showing video, can it be heard clearly? Are your talking points presented as a “build” or “reveal”? Remember, your visual aids are a tool, not a crutch.
Arrive early Give yourself plenty of time to
Connect with the organizer Be clear about
check the logistics of the room. Is there a platform ✓who will introduce you and
or stage? Where will you be standing or sitting when
where you will be during his
you are introduced? How many steps will you take to
reach the lectern or microphone? Is the audience close
enough for you to build intimacy? Is the light on you?
Get comfortable on stage When the room is
empty, walk the stage and “block” your presentation, planning where you’re going to stand and when
you’re going to move during your speech. You don’t
want to distract from your message with unnecessary
movement but don’t want to be too stiff either. Go
through the outline of your talk. Imagine an enthusiastic response. The more time you spend feeling
comments. Will you walk on
from the wings or up from the
floor? Will you shake hands
with him or will he exit when
you hit the stage and before
the applause dies down?
I recommend you
nod and mouth,
“thank you” to
the person who
introduces you. If
you’re speaking at
August 2011 BedTimes
a banquet, check that you’ll have
a clear path without tripping
over wires, chairs or diners.
Write your own
introduction Send your
written introduction to the
person delivering it in advance.
Carry two additional copies
with you, just in case. Print it
in a bulleted list in a large font;
it’s easier to read. Be sure your
introducer knows how to pronounce your name. Confirm that
she has the introduction and is
comfortable with what it says.
Be your own warm-up
act Connect with as many
audience members as possible
before you speak. When they see
you are extending yourself, they
will return the favor by giving you
Learn from the
experience Follow any
presentation with an analysis.
Always record your presentation and listen to what you
said. Start by asking yourself
what you did well. What could
be improved? There are three
speeches for every one speech
that you deliver: The one you
planned to give, the one you
actually delivered and the improved next presentation based
on what you did right and
would like to do better.
Any speaking engagement
can be intimidating. Remember, your goal is to present
valuable information to
the audience. Preparing
and paying attention to
these details will help you
deliver the best speech
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BedTimes August 2011
the bedding landscape is changing
Once-dominant innerspring designs are giving up floor space
to specialty sleep products. Technology is changing the way
people shop. Today it’s more important than ever to look
at what you sell and how you sell it in order to succeed.
The the old formulas for retail success no longer apply.
Are you on it?
S h ow r o o m B - 9 3 0/ L a S V e g a S wo r L d m a r k e t/au g u S t 1 - 5 , 2 0 1 1
Navigating relationships when it’s
both personal and business / By Rhonda R. Savage
f you’ve ever been part of a family business or
worked with a family member, you know there are
advantages to the arrangement, but it also can create plenty of tension, stress and conflict.
Can you really shelve your family history and emotions to create a great working relationship? Many
families manage to successfully work together. If
you’re in business with or thinking about working with
family members, being aware of the following issues
can prevent problems.
Traits of a great family team member
f you work as an employee in a family member’s business, there
are several things you can do to create a successful
company and happy family life:
8.Take an active role in
1. Be early
learning about the
2. Be dependable
business and be excited
3. Be accountable
about your industry
4. Follow through
9.Speak positively about the
5.Be friendly and
owner and the business—
both in and out of the office
6. Be encouraging
10.Offer advice when asked
7.Be a mentor to other
and ask first before
discussing a concern
Separating work & family life
Family members often are more dedicated to the
success of the business than other staff, yet the wrong
kind of concern can cause conflict.
Consider a business owner who employed his
mother. The owner had established his vision and
goals for the company, but he had trouble developing
a consistent, fair management style. His mother, in
her eagerness to help him succeed, openly voiced her
concerns and opinions—both during business hours
and outside the office.
She felt other employees weren’t diligent enough,
weren’t doing a good job and needed more attention to detail. The boss had difficulty enforcing
his policies because of the conflicting views of
his mother and the other staff. His mother
became a micromanager, telling everyone—in detail—how they should do
their jobs. She meant well, but her
interference drove morale down.
Another business owner
brought his wife into the company and generally enjoyed
working with her.
The wife was concerned
that other employees weren’t
being held accountable for their
work. Because the owner was sensitive to conflict, he generally avoided
team meetings, coaching and performance reviews. At home, his wife was
quite open about her feelings, which
caused him discomfort and created
tension in their marriage.
Business owners can be hesitant to
talk to a family member about a problem within the company because of
how it might impact them on the home
front. They may walk on eggshells at
work, worried about how the family
member might respond if she were
treated the same as other employees.
It’s important for families to find
ways to separate their work life and personal life. Bringing personal issues into
the workplace and vice versa creates
tension and an uncomfortable environment for everyone.
August 2011 BedTimes
need to know
their role in the
Keeping things equitable
To be successful as a team
member, family members
need to know their role in
the business. Being a family
member and an employee can
put anyone in a difficult position. Other employees may
look at them differently—no
matter how hard the family
members work. Because of
this, family members need to
hold themselves to the same
or even a higher standard
of accountability than other
Some business owners try
to help their family by paying
family members higher wages
than they do other employees
in the same category, which
impacts the total payroll. It’s
unfair to low-ball other employees’ pay because you want
to give special treatment to a
family member. If you do so,
you’ll see resentment and unhappiness build among other
workers. Remember, when
morale goes down, productivity follows.
In addition to pay, gender
or age differences that impact
your relationship with your
team may be intensified with
your family employees. Recognize that some conflict can
develop due to these differences and work at learning better
communication and leadership
If family members and employees just can’t seem to get along,
you must step in. If you don’t,
tension will build and the business will suffer.
Most people don’t like to
deal with these issues—it’s
easier to brush them under the
carpet. If you’re reluctant to
get involved, ask yourself two
questions that will help take
emotions out of the equation:
1. Is “whatever is happening”
in the best interest of customers?
2. Is “whatever is happening”
in the best interest of the
If the answer to either is no,
step in and resolve the problem. Talking about issues is exactly what you’ll need to do in
order for your business to have
a harmonious atmosphere.
The key to a successful employee/family relationship is for
everyone in the business to be
treated the same. You need the
same level of accountability,
timeliness and dedication from
all of your employees—regardless of your personal relationship—to thrive.
Specifically outlining each
employee’s role and keeping
personal issues out of the workplace will ensure a positive
work environment for you and
your family. n
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BedTimes August 2011
Trends in springs
By Barbara Nelles
arents tell their children, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.”
In the mattress industry, that adage only exacerbates the sibling
rivalry between suppliers of innersprings and their counterparts offering foams. Each wants to be at the center—the center of attention
in the industry and the actual center of the mattress.
With the popularity of all-foam bedding growing, the competition between the
two segments is heating up, as BedTimes discovered when speaking with a number of foam and springs suppliers around the world.
Yet the relationship isn’t all adversarial. In recent years, the two components
have demonstrated an ability to get along quite well when paired in hybrid mattresses.
“It’s important that you find a balance between the importance of the innerspring unit and the need for ‘sexier’ components like visco and latex,” says Rick
Anthony, director of sales for bedding products for Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. in
Perhaps innerspring supplier Subiñas has struck the perfect balance.
“We have learned to work with foams,” says Javier Subiñas, president of the
Vizcaya, Spain-based company. As an example, the company ships preassembled
and glued foam-encased Bonnell and Marshall coil units complete with foam
Regardless of rivalries or accords, there is no question that each is vital to
mattress construction. On the following pages, BedTimes looks at significant
trends and innovations in both categories, as well as what’s happening with a new
August 2011 BedTimes
Carpenter Co. in
Richmond, Va., offers
Active Air hole-punch
dissipate heat and
improve breathability in
comfort layers (shown
in the blue) and cores.
‘Greening’ up Orsa
Foam has rolled out
bio-based BB Foam.
headquartered in Gorla
Minore, Italy, says the
foams have 34% to
41% total plant-based
Hybrids are hot To
create this core,
Latex pours latex
around horizontal rods
of polyurethane foam
of differing densities.
BedTimes August 2011
Focused on feature-filled foams
oam suppliers BedTimes spoke with expressed delight at the continued growth
of the specialty sleep mattress category
around the world. Several latex and polyurethane foam producers said their primary focus has shifted from sales of upholstery layer
components to promoting all-foam constructions.
“The European concept of what we call ‘engineered’ foam cores—multilayered with comfort
foams on top and support foams on the bottom, in
different cutouts, convolutions and profiles—
is growing in popularity in the U.S.,” says Ed
Malechek, president of Carpenter Co., based in
“Foam is the sleep of the future,” says Bob
Steelman, vice president of sales and marketing at
Carpenter. “In our bedding lab in Richmond, we
worked with Sealy to design the engineered cores in
the Embody bed. It’s a testament to ‘foam sleep’ that
Sealy chose to get involved with it.”
“We offer an entire catalog of special foams for
mattresses,” says Rita Kollbrunner, head of marketing and communications for FoamPartner Group,
a division of Fritz Nauer AG in Wolfhausen, Switzerland. “But we also design and propose specific
mattress constructions for customers. It’s a service
we provide to manufacturers of all sizes.”
Flexible Foam completely preassembles foam cores
and comfort layers for customers but also creates
“foam pockets” that are ready to accept encased coils
or other components and upholstery layers—and ships
them all to customers, ready for use, says Michael
Crowell, vice president of marketing for the company,
which has headquarters in Spencerville, Ohio.
ORSA FOAM SpA Via A. Colombo, 60
21055 Gorla Minore (VA) Italy
Tel. +39.0331.609.111 - Fax +39.0331.609.223
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in Caronno Pertusella,
Italy, topped this
mattress with its new
WaterGel, a breathable,
New phases Radium
Foam, a division of the
Vita Group in
unveiled Intuition latex
at Interzum Cologne.
Vita General Manager
Cees Zielman shows off
a block of the product,
which contains phase
BedTimes August 2011
“The flexibility and versatility of foam allows us
to address all sorts of issues,” Steelman says. “We
have 20 types of visco-elastic foam. Our Active Air
hole-punch technology for cores and comfort layers
was developed in response to the heat and breathability issues with foam. All of our plants now have
the computerized cutting equipment to produce
engineered cores and Active Air technology.”
Special blends, cuts & colors
rowing trends in foams include custom blends
made to customer specifications and new
ingredients mixed into the foam, as well as topical
coatings applied after the foam is poured and set.
There are new polyurethane and latex foam offerings that include anti-bacterial silver, gels, active
carbon for odor control, FR coatings and essential
Sometimes the extra ingredient in a foam is
“Adding color to foams can add drama and an
identity to the different foams, making them easier
to market,” Kollbrunner says. Retailers and consumers may not be able to see color-differentiated foams
in the finished mattress, but the variety of hues can
be highlighted in point-of-purchase materials—from
posters to cutaways—to better explain the properties and functions of various foams.
Ticking producers have been adding scents
to fabrics for years and fragrances are now making their way into foams, sometimes coordinated
with color. One FoamPartner customer requested
a lavender-colored core that was embedded with
Polyurethane and memory foams have been
around for a long time, Crowell says: “Nextgeneration foams are all about what you are combining with them. In our lab, we are experimenting
with many things.” For now, Crowell is mum about
the details of what those many things might be, but
says mattress makers should look for new developments later this year.
Some European foamers speak of moving beyond
memory foam, which, as Kollbrunner says, has become a commodity product in many ways.
FoamPartner has introduced EvoPoreHRC,
which it markets as “a material for modern people.”
The company says the product is a lighter weight,
high-resiliency foam that offers “stability, support,
moisture wicking, elasticity and climate regulation.”
In rolling out innovations, foam suppliers are trying to keep up with mattress manufacturers who are
looking for new features and novelties, says Isabella
Mariani, director of sales for Gommagomma.
The foam producer, which is based in Caronno
Pertusella, Italy, touts a highly breathable, highdensity polyurethane foam called WaterGel, which
“gives manufacturers a new story to tell.”
“It’s not about the same old latex or memory
foam. It’s a very breathable, extreme open-cell
foam,” Mariani says.
Creating exclusive foams for customers is an
important focus for Hickory Springs.
“We entered the bedding foam category about
nine years ago and our home runs have been driven
by specific innovation for specific customers and we
continue to work in that direction,” says David Duncan, vice president of the Western Foam Division at
Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. in Hickory, N.C. “Scientists from our wet lab consult with customers’ R&D
foams are all
departments, which are often looking for unique
foams with specific conforming qualities, breathability, air flow, heat dissipation and other properties. We’re constantly developing new products for
customers, much as we developed NxG Advanced
Memory Foam for Simmons.”
n recent years, foamers have introduced polyurethane foams that replace a portion of the petroleum-based content with bio-based ingredients such
as soy. Other foam suppliers make it a priority to be
“green” in different ways—reducing their carbon
footprints by re-engineering their products and
“When we talk about being ‘green,’ it’s about manufacturing processes that produce less carbon dioxide
emissions and reducing the amount of raw materials
needed to make our foams,” Kollbrunner says.
FoamPartner has reformulated its foams to use 20%
less petroleum products than in the past, while retaining the same characteristics of previous generations of
“These foams are lighter weight, but just as durable
and comfortable,” she says.
Orsa Foam, which has headquarters in Gorla Minore, Italy, has placed a focus on its new line of foams
with renewable content. BB Foam with bio-based
content from soy was introduced at Interzum Cologne
in Cologne, Germany, in May. Included in product
marketing materials are copies of test results from
carbon-14 dating of the new foams that was conducted
by an accredited lab in Miami. (Carbon-14 dating distinguishes between carbon found in new plant-based
materials and ancient carbon found in fossil-based
materials.) Results show the foams contain a relatively
high 34% to 41% total plant-based content, according
to the company.
Growing numbers of U.S.-based polyurethane
foam suppliers emphasize their CertiPUR-US certification. The CertiPUR-US seal validates that flexible
polyurethanes for use in mattresses and upholstered
furniture meet certain environmental, health,
safety and performance guidelines. The certification
process involves foam assessment, including VOC
testing and chemical breakdown analysis. The seal was first introduced in early 2009 and,
since then, foams from every major foam supplier to
the mattress industry have been certified, according
to CertiPUR-US officials. The certification is an extension of the European CertiPUR standard, which
was developed in 2002.
“There has been broad acceptance among mattress manufacturers of the seal and its hangtags,”
Duncan says. “It’s a story that manufacturers want
to tell their retailers and the consumer.”
Your alternative solution
· maxiumum elasticity
· excellent back support
· hinge effect: highly flexible
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it for you.
August 2011 BedTimes
with headquarters in
Switzerland, adds color
to its foams to
BedTimes August 2011
Leading with latex
nterest in latex cores and comfort layers continues to grow, latex suppliers say. In some respects,
product trends in the category mirror those in
polyurethane foams. Sales of solid latex cores are
increasing and latex with extra ingredients and new
treatments are being brought to market.
According to Latex International’s Tom Eisenberg, the all-latex mattress is a significant trend in
the industry. Sales of latex rolls for layering into hybrid mattresses continue to be strong, but a growing
number of manufacturers are interested in building
solid latex beds.
“The all-latex bed provides a way for a regional
manufacturer to improve margins and compete for
space on the retail sales floor with all those memory
foam beds,” says Eisenberg, vice president of strategic marketing for the Shelton, Conn.-based company. “We are providing a finished product for some
customers in 7-, 9- and 11-inch heights. We bond the
cores and provide the FR layer and zipper cover.”
“Typically, you achieve different feels by layering a few inches of three different comfort levels
together, with the plushest latex on top,” Eisenberg
explains. Latex International offers latex in eight
When it comes to working with customers,
Sapsa Latex, a Dunlop latex producer based in Paris,
prides itself on being flexible and having the ability
to meet diverse customer needs, says Grégoire Moll,
director of sales and marketing.
“We make the à la carte possible and can do
whatever you want, especially with our breakthrough multifoaming technology, which allows us
to pour different foams at once without the use of
glues,” he says.
Sapsa showcased a new construction at Interzum.
It has engineered a hybrid latex and polyurethane
core in which latex is poured around “rods” of polyurethane foam of differing densities. The result is a
zoned core with a unique support system.
Sapsa formulates everything from 100% natural
latex to 100% synthetic latex. Its latex blends are
either 85% natural and 15% synthetic or 80% synthetic and 20% natural.
Worldwide demand for foam marketed as 100%
pure latex made entirely from the sap of the Hevea
brasiliensis rubber tree continues to grow each year,
latex suppliers say. But the product remains a niche
used primarily in high-end “organic” mattresses.
Most of the latex sold around the world is a blend of
synthetic and natural rubber.
Latex International received a U.S. patent in
September 2010 for its Celsion latex, which incorporates phase change material during the foam
vulcanization process to provide temperature
regulation for sleepers. (Phase change materials are
organic and inorganic compounds that store and
release heat as they melt and solidify at certain temperatures.) Celsion is currently available in pillows,
finished toppers and comfort layers.
Latexco, based in Tielt, Belgium, recently introduced Theta Comfort latex. And Radium Foam, the
latex foam division of the Vita Group in Maastricht,
Holland, now offers Intuition latex. Both products
contain phase change materials.
Latexco’s Theta Comfort is a topical coating of
“phase change microcapsules” and is available to
manufacturers worldwide. Radium Foam’s Intuition
has phase change material incorporated during the
vulcanization process and is available to non-U.S.
Latexco, Sapsa and Radium Foam all have
brought out products that incorporate fireretardant technology. They are said to meet a range
of mattress component ignition tests enacted by
the European Union and its member countries. In
the United States, these products would assist in
complying with current open-flame standards, but
wouldn’t take the place of the required fire barrier
on a finished mattress set.
For instance, Latexco’s product, called simply
“Fire Retardant,” is said to meet the European Standard EN597-1 smoldering cigarette; EN597-2 match
flame equivalent; U.K. Standard BS 5852 source 2,
match flame; and Italian Standard UN19175 for fire
retardant products. ■
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092722 LATEXCO ADV USA 1
Anything you need
Mattress makers can
find springs in almost
any height. Starsprings,
based in Herrljunga,
Sweden, showed off its
Interzum Cologne in
Cologne, Germany, in
New heights Agro,
which has headquarters
in Bad Essen, Germany,
coils encased with
Innersprings reach new highs—and lows
he majority of innerspring innovations
are coming in Marshall coils, as more and
more mattress makers turn to the spring
to solve problems and add panache to beds
at a broader range of price points.
Spring suppliers are offering more affordable coil
units that use less wire and have fewer coils with
wider diameters. There are wrapped coils that rise
to dizzying heights, as well as those that reach new
lows at barely an inch tall.
Marshall coils, a type of encased coil, were once
a component saved for high-end mattresses, says
Martin Wolfson, president of Texas Pocket Springs
in Cleburne, Texas.
“In 2010, we rolled out a unit with a 660-coil
count in queen—instead of the standard 884 coils,”
he says. “The product has gotten a great reception
because it allows wrapped coils to go into midpriced beds.”
“The news in innersprings is definitely in
wrapped coils,” says Erol Boydak, general manager
of Boyçelik, a springs supplier based in Kayseri,
Turkey. “They are our biggest growth area in every
market. In the last two years, we have experienced
about a 25% increase in production of these coils.”
Can you take me higher?
coil in a traditional LFK or Bonnell unit will top
out at about 7 inches, suppliers say, but encased
coils are growing taller by the year. Some suppliers
push them higher by bonding springs together in
taller and taller units.
In addition to offering its high-end LFK Cosiflex unit, which has no knots and can be zoned with
different wire gauges and alternating-turn coils,
springs supplier Subiñas is accelerating production
BedTimes August 2011
of taller, improved Marshall coils in a variety of wire
The taller coils help manufacturers save money
on expensive upholstery layers, says Javier Subiñas,
president of the Vizcaya, Spain-based company. “This product could become the main unit in
bedding usage in the future,” he says. “Individually
wrapped coils prevent partner disturbance from
tossing and turning and give the mattress a consistent feel and comfort.”
Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. in Hickory, N.C., is
ramping up production on a manufacturing line for
10-inch coils. Texas Pocket Springs, which already
offers 8- and 9-inch springs also is working on a 10inch tall unit.
“A couple of years ago, most units were 4 to 6
inches,” Wolfson says. “Then we went to 7 and 8
inches. Now we’re going to 10. Our patented QuadCoil module technology keeps those springs upright
and prevents leaning or swaying.”
Agro, a spring producer based in Bad Essen, Germany, achieves height by layering. It offers Marshall
coils bonded with adhesive to nonwoven fabric that
is sandwiched between the layers and again on the
top and bottom of the unit. The result is height with
dimensional stability. The company also recently updated its spring-within-a-spring “nested” coils. The
new Body2Sense Marshall coils are re-engineered to
be completely silent.
Early this year, Leggett & Platt in Carthage, Mo.,
rebranded its entire collection of Marshall coils
under the Comfort Core umbrella as part of a new
focus on the coil, says Mark Quinn, L&P segment
vice president of marketing.
“We’re investing significant time and resources
in R&D for the Comfort Core lines and are looking
to innovate even more configurations and constructions,” Quinn says. “We want to continue to be a
leader in giving manufacturers more options for
creating the ultimate comfort in a sleep system.”
Subiñas, a springs
supplier in Vizcaya,
Spain, is among the
of encased coils to meet
demand for the
How low can you go?
icrocoils were introduced into mattresses
about five years ago, suppliers say. Made with
finer wire, they are designed to replace or enhance
high-end foams in the mattress’ comfort layers.
They typically range from 2∂ inches to 4∂ inches
L&P offers the 2.4-inch Marshall coil Softech.
Marketing materials promote it as an alternative
to foams, saying it’s less expensive and 28% cooler
to sleep on. The company cites Rollator tests that
found the Softech coil maintained its support longer
than visco-elastic and polyurethane foams that were
“Our microcoils are 2∂, 3∂ and 4∂ inches high
and made from fine wire that never takes a set,”
Wolfson says. “There are 1,344 coils in a queen size
and we try to replicate the feel of visco and latex.
It’s less expensive than a slab of foam and it’s cooler.
These allow the air to move through the underlay.”
Then there are “ultra microcoils”—fine and delicate enough to replace high-end foams in a bed’s top
Starsprings, which is based in Herrljunga, Sweden, has patented Stretch Pocket, which stretches in
both directions and is just under 1∂ inches tall. It’s
designed for pillow-top mattresses and toppers.
Hickory Springs now stocks and sells ultra
microcoils manufactured by the company’s U.K.
partner, Spinks Springs. Posturfil is 1∂ inches tall
and has more than 1,000 coils in queen size. HD is a
three-quarter inch spring unit with more than 2,000
coils in a queen.
“You can find them in beds priced at $1,000 and
up,” says Rick Anthony, Hickory Springs director
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BedTimes August 2011
of sales for bedding products. “When you bring an
innerspring closer to the sleep surface, it performs
like an innerspring yet doesn’t sacrifice comfort.”
Starsprings’ new Unipocket is marketed as “a
unique product with unique properties.” The fabric
cover on each coil has carefully situated slits that
add to the stretch, flexibility and ventilation of the
mattress. Unipocket is engineered to be quieter
than other coils and is available with zoning, according to the company.
Low-profile innersprings are helping mattress
makers battle the ubiquitous body impression problem and springs suppliers proudly extol the virtues
of their product in preventing this cause of so many
“We are all charged with making sure our
mattress products don’t come back due to body
impressions,” Quinn says. “We say fill the space in
your comfort layer with Softech. Use the coil as an
upholstery material. The great thing about innersprings is that you build the comfort into the bed—
you don’t need to build big, thick 17-inch mattresses
to do that.”
“I do believe we’ve reached our limit on mattress
heights and am wondering when the more European profile will return to the United States, with
mattress heights being 12 to 14 inches, maximum,”
New fabric features
uppliers also are innovating when it comes to
the fabrics wrapping all of these coils.
Starsprings offers Enviro, a nonwoven fabric
available on all of its wrapped coils that is derived
from a renewable resource, cornstarch. Enviro,
which contains no petrochemical products, is
recyclable and biodegradable.
Hickory Springs is working on a fabric for its
Marshall coils that’s made from organic cotton. It
hopes to offer it by year-end.
Other news on the wire
here is news in traditional, unwrapped innersprings, too.
Last year, L&P launched VertiCoil Edge, a traditional innerspring with 20% more coils than the
At Interzum Cologne in Cologne, Germany, in May,
Agro rolled out the Coilstar unit designed for adjustable bases. From a distance, it looks like a traditional
innerspring, but when placed on a motion base, the
hinged unit is able to bend either up or down at every
Hickory Springs recently unveiled new InCheX
technology in its ultra-high coil count InnerACT innerspring. The patented process can be applied to any
Hickory Springs innerspring. The process increases
‘The news in
August 2011 BedTimes
Main types of mattress innersprings
Bonnell A knotted, round-top, hourglassshaped steel wire coil. When laced together
with cross wire helicals, these coils form the
simplest innerspring unit.
LFK An unknotted offset coil with a cylindrical
or columnar shape.
Marshall A type of innerspring construction in
which thin gauge, barrel-shaped, knotless coils
are encased in fabric pockets. Also known as
“pocketed” or encased coils.
Source: International Sleep Products Association
Tiny Softech Leggett
& Platt in Carthage,
Mo., offers the 2.4-inch
Marshall coil Softech,
which it promotes as an
alternative to foams.
sleep-surface stability by allowing alternating left- and
right-turn coils to be placed in a checkerboard pattern.
Innerspring producers are increasingly “in the zone.”
“In the last four years, we’ve seen the use of zoned
coils rise from about 10% of our production to 60%,”
Several spring producers noted a resurgence in wire
foundations in place of the ubiquitous all-wood buildups.
“There were noise and quality issues in all-wood
foundations,” Anthony says. “We are seeing a return to
wire-stack ‘working’ foundations since about last year.”
Sorting it all out for mattress makers
n fact, there is so much new technology and product
lines have become so complex that some suppliers have
stepped up the level of design assistance they offer mattress makers.
In the design center at its headquarters,
Starsprings guides customers through the process of
creating multilayered innerspring beds.
“We are not the largest innerspring company in
the world, but we try to be the most flexible, creative
and helpful,” says Johan Dahling, Starsprings sales and
marketing manager. “Our automotive industry R&D has
helped us to develop new technology for beds. And we try
to inspire our customers to think in new ways.”
Agro has an enormous selection of spring units and
coil types. Its new “Construction Kit” for customers helps
reduce the complexity by narrowing choices and guiding
new customers through the mattress design process. n
To locate suppliers for foams, springs or gels,
check the online BedTimes Supplies Guide at
www.bedtimessuppliesguide.com. It’s the
industry’s most comprehensive directory of
machinery, equipment, components, supplies
and services. A print version of the guide is
published every December in BedTimes.
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BedTimes August 2011
Making a statement
Latexco is offering latex
pillows and upholstery
layers for mattresses
topped with green
Oxygel. Its ‘pinhole
perforations allow for
perfect ventilation,’ the
Pressure relief Like
other gel products,
Technogel’s Dr. Scholl’sbranded version is
touted for its pressure
relief properties. In
raised-grid product is
engineered foam cores
Carpenter Co. in
BedTimes August 2011
Gel easing its way
into sleep products
ny way you cut, contour or mix it, gels
are garnering attention in the mattress industry. At Interzum Cologne
in Cologne, Germany, in May, Latexco
unveiled latex pillows and upholstery
layers for mattresses topped with green Oxygel. The
gel creates “the perfect natural microclimate and
optimal pressure relief” while “pinhole perforations
allow for perfect ventilation,” according to the
latex foam supplier, which has headquarters in Tielt, Belgium.
In 2009, Natura World, a mattress
and accessories maker in Cambridge, Ontario, licensed the
rights to manufacture and
market NexGel, the honeycomb-like, “buckling”
gel developed by EdiZONE
in Salt Lake City.
A year ago, Natura formed GelSolutions, based in Wichita Falls, Texas, to
manufacture and market NexGel to the mattress
“Gel is the future of where bedding is going,” says
David Malpas, GelSolutions executive vice president of
sales. “We introduced the product to Australia, where
it has gained tremendous acceptance,
and interest among U.S. manufacturers is growing.”
GelSolutions has introduced
new profiles, configurations and
formulations of NexGel.
“We continue to innovate,” Malpas says.
Most of the gels available for use in mattresses
today originally were developed for medical settings
to prevent or alleviate decubitus ulcers (or pressure sores) among bedridden patients. In consumer
applications, they are touted for those same comfort
and pressure-relieving properties.
While NexGel is a honeycomb, other mattresses
contain a more liquid-like gel. Akton visco-elastic
polymer, a gel developed by Actions Products Inc. in
Hagerstown, Md., has made its way into some commercial mattresses.
A new gel product, available as finished mattresses and pillows to U.S. retailers, is from Technogel
GmbH, an Italian and German company with U.S.
headquarters in Pittsburgh.
Technogel’s Dr. Scholl’s-branded gel is in a raised
grid and combined with engineered foam cores
manufactured by Carpenter Co., says Bob Steelman,
vice president of sales and marketing for the Richmond, Va.-based foam supplier.
“There has been a lot of talk in the industry
about gel lately. We offer an enhanced memory foam
blended with gel beads,” he says.
Perhaps the most significant gel introduction to date has been Serta’s iComfort all-foam
bed that has a top comfort layer of foam with gel
beads mixed into the foam before it’s poured. Serta
calls it “gel-infused memory foam.” The Hoffman
Estates, Ill.-based mattress maker introduced it in
Such new beds have stimulated interest among
other bedding manufacturers in offering mattresses
with a gel component in the comfort layer of the
bed, foam suppliers told BedTimes. They expect to
see new foam-and-gel formulas to come to market
by year-end. n
Is your company
flourishing or foundering?
10 differences make the determination /
BedTimes August 2011
By Stuart Morley
hy is it that companies that have been
around for more than 100 years failed
in the economic downturn while other,
younger companies like Apple, Facebook, Wal-Mart
and the Huffington Post continue to grow?
You see a similar picture when you look at many lesser-known, mid-size
companies. Some have struggled while others have thrived—regardless of
their industry or location.
To paraphrase Charles Dickens, it is the best of times and the worst of
times to be in business. But whether it’s the best of times or worst of times
for your business depends largely on how you react to tough economic times.
August 2011 BedTimes
In this economy, there are 10 key differences between
a thriving company and a foundering one. Ask yourself,
their pricing. They avoid competition because they are
better at articulating the value of their products and
services and use different ways to price their offerings.
1. Sticking to your industry or crossing
4. Talking to industry leaders or
truggling businesses spend a lot of time trying to copy
the “big guys” in their industry and then wondering
why this approach doesn’t work for them. Successful businesses seem to ignore the large players and focus on their
own current and prospective customers.
Many of the most successful businesses are finding
opportunities at the overlap of two or more industries.
These businesses try to follow the example of companies like Cirque du Soleil, which combines elements
of both the circus and the theater to create an entirely
new, upscale form of entertainment.
ome business leaders devote a significant portion
of their time to their industry, sitting on committees, attending conferences, etc. (The International
Sleep Products Association certainly encourages this.)
A lot of valuable information can be gained from
But it’s important to spend just as much time talking to your own employees. They know more about
your business than anyone and are in daily contact
with your customers. Successful executives are in regular contact with employees and really listen to what
they have to say.
2. Focusing on economists
mbattled business leaders seem to be consumed by
watching and reading about bad economic news,
trying to understand financial explanations and predictions.
Executives at successful businesses seldom have
time to watch TV and don’t obsess over the newspaper
or financial websites. It doesn’t mean they don’t hear
bad news—they can’t ignore something that’s everywhere—they just don’t dwell on it.
Thriving companies are busy studying their customers—not economists. They are reading about their
customers, attending trade shows where they can meet
with customers and doing all they can to better understand the minds of their customers.
3. Focusing on price or value?
e’ve all heard stories of airline passengers paying
10 times the ticket price of passengers sitting
across the aisle or right next to them. This variable
pricing approach works in many industries. Some
costs can be escalated based on value and delivered to
customers who will pay 10 times as much for the added
Struggling businesses are stuck in a commodity
mind-set that gives them very little pricing flexibility.
Successful businesses find ways to gain control over
5. Preparing for the best of times or
the worst of times?
truggling businesses are clinging to their existing
products and services, while cutting costs in all areas to protect cash in the short term. These companies
assume things are only going to get worse.
Successful businesses say they are seeing increased
market volatility and acknowledge that, like struggling
businesses, they are having some of their worst months
ever. But they also are having some of their best
months—all in the same year.
Thriving businesses are focused on finding strategies that will help them in the good months and the
bad months. They are experimenting with more new
product and service ideas than ever before. Much of
their revenues today come from products and services
they didn’t even offer a few years ago.
6. Focusing on jobs or projects?
he most dynamic companies make sure their
employees spend 80% of their time on forwardthinking, innovative projects and only 20% of their
time doing routine work.
Struggling businesses are caught up in traditional
management hierarchies, routine job descriptions
and “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mind-sets.
Managers at failing companies want employees to do
ow much of your revenues and profits come from products and services you didn’t even provide until recently?
1. Is your company looking for opportunities at the
boundaries of your industry?
ow much of your work force is project-focused versus
2. When was the last time you went to an event solely to
interact with your customers?
hen is the last time your company looked for tasks that
employees could stop doing?
3. How much control do you have over your pricing?
8. Is your business complex or just complicated?
4. Have you recently asked employees what customers are
saying that could spark ideas for new products and
9. How much do you share and celebrate with employees?
BedTimes August 2011
hen was the last time you called it quits a little earlier
than usual or took a three-day weekend?
the routine work faster, rather than finding the next breakthrough opportunity.
Successful businesses organize and manage projects carefully. They know this is where they generate most of their
new ideas and breakthroughs.
7. Doing more or doing less?
…you will Experience
Freedom for Bedding
BedTimes August 2011
e tend to stick with existing ways of doing things because
we don’t think we have enough time to stop, reflect,
research and implement better methods.
Struggling businesses add new work to employees’ to-do
lists and rarely take anything away.
Successful businesses have regular exercises to find things
they can stop doing, thereby freeing up employees to do new,
more productive projects.
8. Standardizing systems or living at the
edge of chaos?
truggling businesses love to install complicated—often
computer-based—accounting, purchasing, manufacturing
or supply chain management systems because that is what the
big companies in the industry have done. They hope this will
solve all of their problems.
Successful businesses tend to avoid large, complicated systems because they know they’re not in control of all the variables that impact their business. Complicated systems can’t
function in complex environments where many variables are
unknown or shift regularly.
Instead, successful companies use a wide range of smaller,
flexible systems focused on tracking customers and trends.
9. Keeping your financials secret or sharing
any successful businesses have learned that sharing news—
good and bad—with all employees at all levels is best. This
empowers employees to act with confidence: They know the
whole story. In fact, this one step can do wonders to turn a struggling business into a successful one.
Thriving companies encourage their work forces to
perform less like employees and more like entrepreneurialminded, strategic partners. They also take time to celebrate
successes, both big and small.
10. Working long hours or taking
usiness owners and managers in struggling businesses
tend to work longer hours in the hope that putting their
heads down and doing more of the same is the solution.
Successful companies focus on doing things differently.
Owners and managers of these companies work fewer hours
and take more holidays. They know that when times are
tough, they need to do some clear thinking to solve problems
and come up with innovative solutions. Successful executives
do their best thinking away from the office and in situations
that are less stressful.
Do you have what it takes to thrive—and not just survive—
in this “new normal” economy? Think about your business and
see how many of these 10 questions you’ve addressed. It may
tell you how well you are turning these worst of times into the
best of times. ■
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Culp fourth-quarter sales rise 5.5%
abric supplier Culp Inc.,
headquartered in High
Point, N.C., reports that
net sales for its fiscal fourth
quarter ended May 1, were
$60.4 million, up 5.5% over
the same quarter in 2010. The
mattress fabric segment was
up 5.3% and upholstery fabrics
were up 5.7%. It is the highest
quarterly sales gain in three
years, the company said.
Culp reported pretax income
of $4.7 million, or 7.7% of sales
in the fiscal fourth quarter, compared with $5 million, or 8.7%
of sales in the prior-year period.
Net income was $6 million, or $0.45 per diluted share,
compared with net income of
$5.4 million, or $0.41 per diluted
share, in the fourth quarter of
Net income for the quarter
included a $1.3 million income
tax benefit; net income for the
prior-year period included an
income tax benefit of $436,000.
Mattress fabric sales for the
fourth quarter were $35.2 million. For fiscal 2011, mattress
fabric sales were $122.4 million,
up 6.6% compared to fiscal 2010.
“Our mattress fabrics business had a solid fourth-quarter
performance, with the highest
quarterly sales of fiscal 2011,”
said Frank Saxon, Culp chief
executive officer. “Notably, sales
were higher compared with a
strong fourth-quarter period in
He continued: “We are
continuing to benefit from our
capital investments and recent
operating initiatives to further
build upon our efficient and scalable manufacturing platform,
especially in our knitted fabrics
area. Our operating margins
for the year were slightly lower
due to significantly higher raw
Mattress Firm plans IPO
ouston-based retailer Mattress Firm has filed for an
initial public offering and seeks to raise as much as
$115 million, according to a preliminary filing made June
10 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates LP, the majority partner in Mattress Firm, would maintain a controlling
interest in the company after the IPO. J.W. Childs bought
the retailer from Sun Capital Partners in 2006.
Barclays Capital Inc., UBS Securities LLC and William
Blair & Co. LLC are underwriting the IPO. Price per share
has not been determined. The company intends to use the
Mattress Firm reported net sales of $494.1 million and
a profit of $885,000 for its most recent fiscal year, ended
Jan. 30. It reported total debt of $398.7 million.
The retailer has more than 680 stores in 23 states.
Mattress fabric sales
4th Q 2011
Fiscal 2011 $122.4 million
Year-over-year Up 6.6%
materials costs and selling price
pressures. We are pleased with
our operating performance in
mattress fabrics and look forward to additional opportunities
to leverage our success in the
Net sales for fiscal 2011 totaled $216.8 million, up 5% over
fiscal 2010. Mattress fabric sales
were up 6.6% over fiscal 2010
while upholstery fabric sales
were up 3.1%.
Pretax income for fiscal 2011
was $15.1 million, compared
with a pretax income of $14.3
million in fiscal 2010—6.9% of
sales for both periods.
Net income for the fiscal
year was $16.2 million, or $1.22
per diluted share, compared
with $13.2 million, or $1.01
per diluted share, in the prior
year. Net income for fiscal 2011
included a $1.1 million income
tax benefit; net income for fiscal
2010 included an income tax
expense of $1.1 million.
The company said its financial position strengthened
“considerably” during fiscal 2011
with cash, cash equivalents and
short-term investments totaling
$30.9 million at year-end and
exceeding total debt of $11.5
million. The company increased
its total cash and short-term
investment position by $9.6
million during the year, while
investing significantly in capital
expenditures of $6.4 million and
building working capital of $3.6
million to support higher sales.
Verlo unveils airbed collection
erlo Mattress Factory Stores,
a factory direct franchise
chain with 40 stores, is offering
VerloAire, a new line of adjustable
Verlo’s airbeds use urethane air
chambers in the upper comfort areas of the mattress and a patented
system allows the air chambers to
fully extend to the edge of the bed,
according to the company. The
entry-level VerloAire200 model
has a suggested retail price of
$1,499 for a queen size.
“The exciting part about the
growth of airbeds is that it allows customers to customize the
comfort of their beds, just like
Verlo’s been doing for over 50
years,” said Kurt Schusterman,
president of Verlo, which has
headquarters in Fort Atkinson,
Wis. “With a controller for each
side of the bed, people can adjust
the firmness levels to suit their
individual preferences. What
makes Verlo’s airbeds unique is
our ability to add more comfort
layers, such as latex or memory
foam, if the customer wants.”
To promote the new collection, Verlo sponsored a contest
on its Facebook page in June.
The winner received a VerloAire
August 2011 BedTimes
Eclipse/Eastman House add Dutch Craft as licensee
utch Craft Mattress Co. has
signed a licensing agreement to manufacture mattresses
under the Eclipse International
and Eastman House brands.
Dutch Craft, based in Celina,
Tennessee, will serve Alabama,
northern Georgia, southern Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.
“The opportunity to add
Eclipse and Eastman House to
our current lineup was something we couldn’t pass up,” said
Eli Schmucker, Dutch Craft
Schmucker started in the
bedding industry at age 17. In
2003, he established Dutch
Craft. The company manufacturers 80 different mattress models
in a 45,000-square-foot plant
and is in the process of opening a
BedTimes August 2011
Eclipse International and
Eastman House are brands of
the Mattress Development Co.,
based in North Brunswick, N.J.
“The Eclipse and Eastman
House brands will take us to
the next level and we already
have retailers waiting for them,”
Schmucker said. “I strongly
believe Dutch Craft, Eclipse
and Eastman House will give
our existing retailers, as well as
new retailers, opportunities they
never had before.”
Simmons expands lic
‘The Eclipse and Eastman House
brands will take us to the next level
and we already have retailers waiting
reamwell Ltd., a
major Simmons Bedding
Co., has signed a new
licensing agreement with
the Shamie family, owners
of Delta Enterprise Corp.
Since 2004, Delta has
manufactured Simmonsbranded cribs and juvenile furniture. Now—under
a new company name,
Children’s Products LLC—
it has been licensed to
manufacture Simmonsbranded crib mattresses,
changing pads and
censing deal with children’s producer
related children’s products, as well.
Under the agreement, Children’s Products acquired
certain Simmons assets and began operating from the
mattress maker’s facility in Neenah, Wis. Financial terms
of the deal were not disclosed.
“This arrangement is a demonstration of our strong
confidence in Delta and the Shamie family to further develop our brands in the juvenile category,” the company
said. “Our existing partnership provides a seamless transition to Children’s Products, giving customers the same
level of quality that has always been associated with the
“We are proud to have extended our relationship with
Simmons, the world’s premier mattress brand. The addition of the Simmons Kids crib mattress line rounds out our
portfolio of children’s products that have served parents
since 1968,” said Joe Shamie, Delta president.
Wright to serve as concierge
for Vegas market showrooms
Thomasville, a provider of pointof-purchase
services based in Thomasville,
N.C., is offering Wright Assist,
a concierge service to help customers outfit showrooms with
POP at furniture markets.
Wright is debuting the service at the summer Las Vegas
Market, aiding exhibitors from
July 28 (four days before the
show starts on Aug. 1) through
Aug. 5 (when the market
In addition to an on-site de-
Wright staffers can help
exhibitors install signs and
POP, as well as receive deliveries, provide extra pillows
or shams and press or clean
“Our clients go to market
to put their best foot forward
to their clients and we felt we
needed to be there, at their side,
to make sure they have the very
best presentation they can,”
said Greg Wright, president and
chief executive officer.
August 2011 BedTimes
Glideaway collection earns
he Sleepharmony line of memory
foam mattresses from Glideaway
Sleep Products has earned the
CertiPUR-US certification seal. The
Sleepharmony Bliss, Classic, Renew,
Serenity and Tranquility mattress
models all feature CertiPUR-USapproved polyurethane foams.
“As more and more consumers become environmentally conscious, the materials used in the
products they buy become equally as important,” said Ron Fredman,
executive vice president of sales for the company, which has headquarters in St. Louis. “By seeing the CertiPUR-US seal on Glideaway
mattresses, environmentally conscious consumers can feel confident
knowing that some of the components used to make the Sleepharmony collections are not only comfortable but have also passed strict
environmental, health and safety standards.”
The CertiPUR-US program is a voluntary testing, analysis and
certification program. Items that carry the CertiPUR-US seal contain
flexible polyurethane foam products that have been tested and certified by an independent laboratory to be sure they meet the strict
standards of the CertiPUR-US program for physical performance,
indoor emissions and environmental stewardship.
Serta urges consumers to ‘heart’ sleep
attress major Serta, with headquarters in Hoffman
Estates, Ill., launched an “i heart sleep” campaign to
market its redesigned Perfect Sleeper brand, which was
unveiled at the January Las Vegas Market. The bed was
designed with input from the National Sleep Foundation.
A Serta news release about the campaign proclaims
that “it’s time to start loving to sleep again.” Serta and the
NSF are using social media to market the Perfect Sleeper
and spark conversations about the importance of sleep
and how mattress selection can help with common sleep
Serta added an “i heart sleep” section to its website,
www.serta.com, which features content aimed at educating consumers about sleep health. A Facebook contest
asked consumers to share what they love about sleep and
gave them a chance to win a Serta Perfect Sleeper.
Mom blogger Melissa Mitchell (the “Sippy Cup Mom”)
has been enlisted to sleep on a Perfect Sleeper mattress
and share her experiences with readers of her blog at
Other bloggers are invited to support the campaign
by posting the “i heart sleep” badge on their Web pages.
One of those bloggers will be chosen to receive a new
Fabrictech launches consumer-friendly website
attress protection supplier Fabrictech International, which has headquarters in Cedar Grove, N.J., has
redesigned its website at
it more user-friendly for retailers and consumers.
The website emphasizes the
connection between sleep and
wellness in advising consumers
to “take back their bedrooms”
by choosing the correct protection products and encasements
for mattresses, foundations
and pillows, according to the
The site is e-commerce
enabled and also provides a
store locator, giving consumers
a choice of shopping in-store
or online. If shopping online,
consumers can mix and match
their selections or choose from
BedTimes August 2011
Allergy Protection, Total
Bedbug Protection and Total
Health and Wellness.
A “virtual protection assistant” helps online consumers—
and retailers—find Fabrictech
products by asking shoppers a
series of questions. Based on
the answers, the virtual assistant will recommend appropriate items.
“Our goal with this website
is not only to offer the most
innovative and clinically tested
‘people protection’ products to
our customers but to make the
shopping process simple and
easy. We want our customers to
have a sense of confidence and
to know they have chosen the
right product. We also want to
help our retail partners so they
can better serve their customers and increase sales and
margins,” said Sean Bergman,
Fabrictech vice president of
sales and marketing.
Diamond Mattress revamps website
Mattress, which has headquarters in Rancho Dominguez,
Calif., has launched a multifaceted, interactive website for both
retailers and consumers at
“We believe our new presentation accurately represents us as
both a fourth-generation, familyowned company still making
mattresses in the U.S.—and as
a modern, forward-thinking enterprise that’s impacting people’s
lives by improving their sleep,”
said Shaun Pennington, Diamond Mattress vice president.
Among other features, the
website includes a 10-minute
video that shows retailers and
industry suppliers discussing
Diamond Mattress’ “longstand-
BedTimes August 2011
ing commitment to handmade,
handcrafted quality, comfort and
Diamond Mattress dealers
can use a utility to post their
store locations. They also can
develop and update their own
page within the site with profile
information, logos, photos, special promotions and news.
“These microsites enable our
retailers to present themselves to
shoppers and to offer an impetus
for visiting their stores both in
person and online,” Pennington
Consumers can order information kits about the company’s
recently introduced Ethos and
Cool Touch specialty lines—and
receive samples of components
such as Eco-Flex foam, Cool
Touch pressure-relieving material and natural Talalay latex.
Consumers also can get mat-
tress recommendations by taking
a survey and learn more about
sleep issues, mattress life cycles
and product care.
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Hospitality group devising ‘green’ purchasing standards
ed by Los Angeles-based sustainability
consulting company MindClick SGM, a
number of hospitality industry members have
launched the Hospitality Sustainable Purchasing Consortium.
The consortium’s primary goal is to “work
collaboratively for the ‘greening’ of the furniture, fixture and equipment supply chain for
hotels,” according to a news release.
The group says its first goal is to devise
a Hospitality Sustainable Purchasing Index,
which will assess the sustainability of hospitality industry suppliers, setting the standard
for sustainable purchasing and creating a
database of supplier performance in areas
such as corporate social responsibility and
In addition to MindClick, founding
members of the consortium include Audit
Logistics, Benjamin West, Delta Faucet Co.,
Innvision, InterfaceFLOR, Marriott International, PE International Inc., RTKL, SERA
Architects and Valley Forge Fabrics.
“Marriott has a 20-year commitment to
environmental sustainability,” said Dave
Lippert, vice president of architecture and
construction procurement for Bethesda,
Md.-based Marriott. “Our membership in this
group will help us meet our aggressive goals
to continue to reduce our global footprint.”
Pratrivero rolls out new lines
Fabric supplier Pratrivero S.p.A.,
which has headquarters in Trivero,
Italy, introduced a range of new
offerings at Interzum Cologne
in Cologne, Germany, in May.
Rollouts included a “good, better,
best” collection of circular knits; a
damask collection for panels and
borders at moderate price points;
and a selection of printed, stitchbonded fabrics, liner fabrics and
nonskid filler cloth that meet several
international FR standards. “We had
more quality customers attend this
show than the past several shows,”
said Larry Starky, vice president of
sales for Pratrivero USA.
Verlo promotes buying locally
Verlo Mattress Factory Stores, a
chain of franchised factory directs based in Fort Atkinson, Wis.,
is encouraging consumers to buy
locally. “Verlo Mattress Factory
Stores give customers in more than
40 communities the ability to buy
local and receive a locally built
mattress that uses local craftsmen
and mostly local components,” the
company said in a news release.
Kurt Schusterman, Verlo president,
added: “Our franchise owners and
their families are a true part of the
communities. They pride themselves
on providing top-notch customer
service and an affordable, locally
made mattress.” Verlo Mattress Factory Stores has locations in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Georgia, Missouri,
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
BedTimes August 2011
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L&P creates online resource for RSAs
Sealy selects MSL Group as PR firm
eggett & Platt’s Bedding Group has created Sleep Geek, an online
community for retail sales associates at www.sleep-geek.com.
The site is designed to provide an entertaining place for RSAs to
socialize while learning how to improve their sales and become industry ambassadors, according to the Carthage, Mo.-based company.
The site asks users to weigh in on important industry issues, as well
as share best practices and experiences. It features games, contests,
forums, polls and news.
“If we’re going to grow as an industry, it is absolutely essential that
we come together and give RSAs a voice. We have so much to learn
from each other,” said Mark Quinn, L&P segment vice president of
Mattress Firm, Mattress Giant, Sit ‘n Sleep and other retailers are
participating in the Sleep Geek project, according to L&P.
Mattress major Sealy, which has headquarters in Trinity, N.C., has chosen MSL Group in Chicago as its new
public relations agency. The firm is part of the Publicis
Groupe. “Our partnership with MSL Group underscores
our commitment to communicating the strength of the
Sealy brand through several different channels,” said Jamie Piper, Sealy director of marketing and communications. “Consumers are connecting with products more
and more through a variety of mediums, most notably,
digitally in blogs, Twitter and online forums. MSL Group
is bringing our marketing to life by leveraging a holistic,
360-degree approach to public relations.”
Protect-A-Bed honors dads with contest
Protect-A-Bed, a sleep accessories provider based in
Northbrook, Ill., sponsored a Father’s Day contest on its
Facebook page that recognized exceptional dads across
the United States. First and second prizes for the two winning dads were a $750 Apple gift card and a $250 Apple
gift card. The winning nominators won Bedding Protection Kits that included a mattress protector, an encasement and two pillow protectors.
A. Lava & Son Co.
Introduces Our New Kit Line
4800 S. Kilbourn Ave.
Chicago, Il 60632
BedTimes August 2011
A. Lava & Son Co.
Sewing Threads and Bedding Textiles
Ph: (800) 777-5282
Fax: (773) 254-0800
Carolina Mattress Guild featured on CNN
Family-owned bedding producer Carolina Mattress Guild
was featured in May on CNN as part of the news network’s series, “Building Up America.” In the report, CNN’s
Tom Foreman interviews company owners Neal and Kathy
Grigg about Carolina Mattress Guild’s history in Thomasville, N.C., as well as its survival strategies and plans for
growth in the future. You can view the report at the mattress maker’s website, www.carolinamattressguild.com.
CKI’s mattress lifter part of safety program
Mattress accessories and solutions provider Cadence
Keen Innovations has been chosen to participate in HEI
Hotels & Resorts’ 2011 “ABC’s of Safety” program. The
hotelier’s goal is to improve workplace safety at all of its
properties and reduce costs related to workers’ compensation claims. CKI, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is
providing its Bed MadeEZ Mattress Lifter to all 700 housekeeping employees at HEI’s 36 properties. Bed MadeEZ is
a wedge-shaped ergonomic device that slips between the
mattress and foundation, allowing for easy changing of
Sleepy’s promises Bedder Days for needy
attress retail chain
Sleepy’s has created
Bedder Days, a new community relations and cause
marketing program that
will partner with organizations serving those in need, particularly
after a natural disaster or other life-changing event displaces people
from their homes.
The aim is to provide basic comfort to individuals who are facing
a difficult time and are dreaming of “bedder” days to come, according
to the company, which has headquarters in Bethpage, N.Y.
“At Sleepy’s, we have a history of providing our customers with a
comfortable and restful night’s sleep, regardless of the day’s events.
That’s why we are committed to helping our neighbors in need by
offering beds and other contributions to the organizations on the
front lines providing assistance through catastrophic events and hard
times,” said Adam Blank, Sleepy’s chief operating officer.
Recently, Sleepy’s provided 30 complete sets of bedding (sheets,
comforters, pillows and pillow protectors) to the Hole in the Wall
Gang Camp in Ashford, Conn., that serves young campers with serious illnesses.
Sleepy’s has more than 700 retail locations in 13 states.
August 2011 BedTimes
Iditarod winner promoting Paramount mattresses
eff King, a four-time Iditarod champion, is
endorsing the Back Performance mattress
from Norfolk, Va.-based Paramount Sleep.
King recently came out of retirement to
enter the 40th Iditarod, a 1,049-mile dog sled
race across Alaska. He won the race in 1993,
1996, 1998 and 2006. During the past 20
years, he’s logged more than 100,000 miles
on a dog sled.
For this year’s race, King said, he was
Need material for your new story?
Twist and turn, it will follow!
Devon offers Classic Natural
StretchPocket™ is a low and glue free
pocket spring unit. Flexibility and
stretch features are combined in a compact package with excellent comfort.
well rested, having taken a year off from the
competition—and sleeping on a Paramount
“I had no idea what a great night’s sleep
on a Back Performance FE Alaskan king
model could do for me,” King said.
Paramount’s four-model Back Performance line includes advanced coil technologies to provide proper posture alignment and
premium zoned foams and memory foams to
provide pressure-relieving comfort.
“We developed the Back Performance
collection specifically for people like
Jeff who lead an active lifestyle. They
shouldn’t have to choose between comfort
and support,” said Richard Fleck, Paramount Sleep chief marketing officer.
Paramount also offers Nature’s Spa,
Quilt o Pedic, Boutique Hotel, Sleep for Success and A.H. Beard brands.
Devon Duvets, a top-of-bed
supplier headquartered in
Dartmoor, England, has unveiled a range of hand-crafted,
patented folding pillows, duvets
and mattress toppers. Products
in the Classic Natural collection
have 100% cotton covers and
100% British wool fill, sourced
and cleaned locally without the
use of chemicals or bleaches.
All products are designed,
produced and packaged in the
DUX adds U.S. store
BedTimes August 2011
Luxury mattress manufacturer
and retailer DUX North America, headquartered in New York,
has opened an affiliate store at
upscale bed-and-bath retailer
Opulence of Southern Pines in
Southern Pines, N.C. The storewithin-a-store, Duxiana at the
Mews, sells the complete line of
hand-crafted DUX beds sold at
30 other Duxiana stores in the
United Feather adds Dr. Maas-endorsed lines
leep accessories supplier United Feather & Down, with
headquarters in Des Plaines, Ill., has expanded its partnership with sleep expert Dr. James B. Maas, introducing two
The Remmy Good Night collection for children is named
for the title character in Maas’ children’s book Remmy and the
Brain Train. The Sleep for Success collection targets college
James B. Maas
“Lack of sleep is truly detrimental to growing kids and young
adults,” Maas said. “My new collections with United Feather &
Down are built to help kids achieve longer and better sleep, helping their performance and overall well-being.”
The Remmy collection includes a pillow that unzips to reveal a storage pocket.
Items feature moisture-wicking fabrics, as well as SilverFill anti-microbial fiber. A
“Sleep Tips for Your Child” booklet is packaged with each product.
The Sleep for Success collection includes pillows, comforters and mattress
pads. A separate “allergy protection” group features SilverFill down-alternative
fiber to provide a natural defense against bacteria, odor and fungus. Products
are packaged with the sleep tips booklet “How to Get Eight Great Hours of
Sleep,” excerpted from Maas’ book, Sleep for Success! Everything You Must Know
About Sleep, But Are Too Tired to Ask.
Vi-Spring creates mammoth bed
Luxury bedding maker Vi-Spring
has created its largest bed—8 feet
by 8 feet—for the Horn of Plenty
Country House Hotel in Dartmoor,
England. The aptly named Plentiful is handmade in Devon, England,
using British fleece wool, cotton and
long-strand horsehair. Its tailored
headboard is covered with harlequin boutique velvet and the divan
is dressed in faux suede. Pillows and
linens from Devon Duvets complete
Catch your competitors napping.
Some mattress manufacturers
haven’t woken up yet to the fact that
consumers want more than comfort
and value… they want to feel they’re
reducing waste and preserving our environment.
That’s what SafeLeigh™ shoddy does.
SafeLeigh is a unique blend of fire-retardant
aramids, made with 100% recycled materials. It
can differentiate your products and assure you of
high quality and cost-effectiveness.
SafeLeigh is another innovative solution from
Leigh, the global leader in reprocessed fibers and
textiles. Let’s catch your competitors napping —
call (864) 439-4111 today.
Recycling Solutions for Generations
Leigh Fibers, Inc.
1101 Syphrit Road, Wellford, SC 29385
BedTimes August 2011
Tel: (864) 439-4111 — Fax: (864) 439-4116
e-mail: [email protected] — www.leighfibers.com
Interzum 2011 was a great experience for us.
Thank you for being a part of it.
Ingenuity was truly on display in the Global Systems
• New Nahtec zipper systems
• New handle and border equipment
• New Porter PFM series flanger
• New Porter binder
• New multi-head single-needle quilter from Teknomac
• World’s newest, fastest wrapper from Merello
• Gribetz International® introduced the newest, leanest,
fastest quilter in the world – the V16.™
Our Interzum guests were very excited about this new
equipment and you will be, too.
Contact your local GSG representative to see
all this new mattress equipment!
Visit our show blog, www.GSGexpo.com, to see show highlights and
visit with your GSG rep to take a look at these great new machines.
QUALITY BEDFRAME LUMBER MANUFACTURER
SLEEP BETTER WITH
PEACE OF MIND
Bois Le Roux is now FSC® certified, as part of our effort to remain a leader in business
development and contribute to the sustainable management of the environment.
Our FSC certified wood is another added value to our bedframe lumber and our company.
• Rigid, lightweight, resistant products providing better support that extends
• Deal closely with the mill.
• Our production is 100% bedframe lumber.
• Two separate production lines for more versatility and greater productivity.
• Fast delivery, thanks to our warehouses in the US and a loyal carrier working
with us for over 10 years.
Bois Le Roux Inc.
Toll Free from USA: 888-877-2098
Email: [email protected]
Cowles assumes presidency
at FXI as Johnson retires
oam supplier FXI, which has headquarters in Media, Pa.,
has named John Cowles president and chief executive
officer. He also has been named to the company’s board.
Cowles replaces Jack Johnson, who is retiring after six
years with the company. Johnson will stay on the board as
“I would like to recognize and thank Jack Johnson, who led
FXI through a restructuring and helped position the company
for short- and long-term success,” said Greg Ethridge, a partner at MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC, a majority owner
of FXI. “We wish Jack well in retirement and look forward to
having him remain on the board of directors.”
Cowles is the former CEO of Touchstone Wireless. Prior to
that, he was president of George Weston Bakeries. He also
served as executive vice president and general manager for
Kraft Foods’ beverage, cookies, confections and condiments
business units. His background also includes nine years with
Campbell Soup Co.
“On behalf of the board, I would like to welcome John to
FXI,” Johnson said. “He is a proven leader who brings to FXI an
ideal combination of skills and experience. We are confident
that FXI will greatly benefit from his supply chain, innovation
and general industry experience as we continue to focus on
driving enterprise value through growth and new business
Cowles said: “FXI is an established leader in the polyurethane foam manufacturing industry and I am very pleased to
be joining the company. …I am extremely excited by this opportunity and look forward to working with the entire FXI team
to realize the enormous potential that exists at FXI.”
Hickory Springs promotes three
ndustry supplier Hickory
Springs Mfg. Co., with headquarters in Hickory, N.C., has
elevated three top executives.
Bobby Bush Jr. was named
senior vice president of foam
and environmental technology.
His previous title was vice president of foam and environmental
technology. He is responsible for
the development and advancement of new foam products and
technologies and for overseeing
environmental compliance at all
Bobby Bush has been with
Hickory Springs since 1976 and
previously served as West Coast
manager and area sales manager
for the company.
“I look forward to continuing to bring new innovations to
the marketplace, particularly in
areas such as environmentally
friendly and sustainable products like our Preserve line of biobased foams,” Bobby Bush said.
Jimmy Bush has been promoted to senior executive vice
president of Hickory Springs’
Wire Products Group. His responsibilities include overseeing
the production of all springrelated products at the com-
pany’s wire drawing and spring
plants, as well as its three mattress innerspring facilities.
Jimmy Bush joined the
company in 1978. He previously
was executive vice president of
bedding. During his tenure, he’s
also been division vice president
of sales and marketing, national
product manager of bedding, innerspring product manager and
assistant sales manager.
“Hickory Springs was
founded as a producer of furniture springs in 1944 and springs
remain one of the most important areas of growth for our
company,” he said. “I am excited
to see how we can continue to
draw upon the expertise of our
spring and wire drawing operations to develop new, customdesigned spring products and
constructions to open up new
growth markets for our clients
and our company.” Buster Mann was promoted
to senior vice president of
foam operations. He previously was vice president. He
is responsible for operations
at all of Hickory Springs’
U.S. foam facilities, including synchronizing operational
Bobby Bush Jr.
efficiencies at the company’s
six foam manufacturing plants
and coordinating best practices
at more than 25 other foam
Mann has been with the
company since 1975 and has
held a range of posts, including division vice president,
regional vice president, area
manager of operations and
“Foam production is one
of the foundations on which
Hickory Springs was built,”
Mann said. “In this new role,
I hope to continue to explore
new and more efficient ways to
help our foam manufacturing
operations drive the growth,
diversification and profitability
of Hickory Springs and our clients in the global marketplace.”
“Bobby, Buster and Jimmy
are most deserving of these
newly appointed positions,”
said Don Coleman, Hickory
Springs president. “Their tenure with the company and their
expertise in their respective
divisions make each of these
leaders a valuable asset to the
August 2011 BedTimes
obert J. Kichler, retired
vice president of White
Dove Mattress, died June 6.
He was 81.
Kichler spent 55 years
with the Cleveland-based
joining the company after
marrying his first wife, Laura
Goodman, who was the
daughter of then-owner
Eugene Goodman. Prior to
that, Kichler ran a family
“Bob was known
throughout the industry as
a sales superstar because
of his wit, competitive spirit,
creative approach to sales,
tenacity and the genuine
and lasting friendships he
built over the years,” said
Bruce Goodman, White
Survivors include his wife,
Gail; five children, Leonard,
James, Thomas, Susan and
Maryn; and six grandchildren.
Notes of sympathy may
be sent to [email protected]
whitedoveusa.com and will
be forwarded to the family.
Read takes helm of marketing company
ale Read, the former publisher of Bedroom magazine, has concluded a gradual
phase-out of his participation
in the publication and now
serves as president of the Marketing Arm Group Inc.
Read founded Bedroom and
was its publisher for 16 years.
After selling the magazine to
marketing company Blue House
in 2010, he continued to serve as
the magazine’s senior writer.
The Marketing Arm Group,
which is based in Charlotte,
N.C., is a marketing, public
relations and advertising consultancy that Read formed with
Melanie Burk-Read in 2003.
In his new full-time role at
the company, Read will handle
writing duties, as well as other
PR, advertising and strategic
marketing services for manufacturers and retailers in the
mattress and home
Read also serves as president of
the Specialty Sleep Association, a
nonprofit organization that seeks
to raise awareness of and grow the
specialty sleep category.
Earlier in his career, Read
founded Read, Tatulli and
Purdy Inc., a full-service advertising agency. Prior to that,
he ran RTD/Read Inc., a
business-to-business advertising and PR agency.
Spring Air South hires sales manager
Former White Dove
exec Kichler dies
Spring Air South has named Seth Atkinson eastern regional sales manager. He reports to the Price family, owners of the Atlanta-based
licensee of Spring Air International. In his new post, Atkinson, who lives in
Greenville, S.C., oversees five Spring Air sales representatives who cover
Georgia, South Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Previously, Atkinson was
a territory manager for Tempur-Pedic. Prior to that, he worked for Kingsdown, both in manufacturing and in sales.
Knopf joins SSA board
Karrie Knopf, a market specialist for Winfield, W. Va.-based Innovative
Mattress Solutions, has been elected to the board of directors of the
Specialty Sleep Association. Innovative Mattress Solutions owns more
than 100 Mattress Warehouse and Sleep Outfitters stores in Indiana,
Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. “On behalf of the entire SSA board,
we look forward to Karrie’s contributions to our organization,” said
Dale Read, SSA president. “She brings new energy, as well as the retailer’s point of
view—and with her business focus on the in-store shopping experience, that of the
consumer, as well.” SSA is a nonprofit organization that promotes the specialty sleep
is a must-read for mattress manufacturers
Why? Our readers say BedTimes is their source for
■ New & innovative equipment
■ T he latest research on consumers’ needs & wants
■ Classified & product advertising
■ Up-to-date news about the industry
■ FR & regulatory information
■ Coverage of suppliers & new products
■ Mattress disposal & recycling
■ Ideas & industry trends
Our readers are your customers. Advertise in BedTimes.
Contact Kerri Bellias, 336-945-0265 or [email protected]
BedTimes August 2011
Your Best Bets in the
M a y/ Ju
To reach RETAILERS
n e 20 11
● Read by more than 23,500 mattress
and furniture retailers across the
U.S. and Canada
esigned to educate retailers on how to
maximize the profit opportunities in the
sleep products category
the ma r’s shoes
Retail su a consultant
ead by the key decision makers—
nearly 85% have purchasing
inner of top marks from retailers
for readability, relevance and
l for th
is you ower
Pe o p l
with te working
at Inte show floor
● The only magazine devoted
exclusively to the mattress
idely viewed by readers and
advertisers as the most comprehensive
source of information about the
● S trong global reach with readers in
more than 100 countries
ead by the key decision makers —
nearly 90% have purchasing
For information, contact Kerri Bellias, sales director
[email protected] • 336-945-0265
ISPA Certiﬁcate in Product Safety Analysis
The International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), in partnership with the Center for Supply Chain Management
Studies at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University and ADK Information Services, LLC, presents the
ﬁrst ever university level Certiﬁcate in Product Safety Analysis program.
The program is intended for product safety managers and will be held at
Saint Louis University's John Cook School of Business in St. Louis, MO on December 5-6, 2011
This course features industry experts in the areas of product risk assessment, compliance and regulation, and supply
chain management. It allows a unique networking opportunity for product safety managers to meet their colleagues
and discuss issues and current trends in the product safety ﬁeld.
Students will receive general course materials, as well as access to the 160-page ADK Risk Assessment Manual©, a
self-audit tool that provides safety personnel with a validation process for each step in the product safety system of
Course elements include:
Product hazard analysis
Regulation and compliance
Making eﬀective presentations on hazard analysis topics
Supply chain management
Product safety issues and trends
The workshop concludes with group presentations, examination and the presentation of a Certiﬁcate in Product
Safety Analysis from the Center of Supply Chain Management Studies at Saint Louis University and ISPA.
Tuition for the 2-day program is $1650 for ISPA Members and $2200 for Non-ISPA Members
(overnight accommodations and travel excluded)
For discounts on registering multiple employees from the same company, call 703-683-8371 for details.
space is limited
For more information, contact ISPA at [email protected]
or ADK Information Services, LLC at 314-361-4464 or [email protected]
The Certiﬁcate in Product Safety Analysis is oﬀered by the Center for Supply Chain Management Studies at Saint Louis University and
the International Sleep Products Association, and is made possible through the support of ADK Information Services, LLC.
BSC to target teenage ‘zombies’ this fall
o doubt you’ve seen
streets, hanging out in the
malls, perhaps even hiding
in your home. They’re
teenagers suffering from
acute “zombieitis.” Key
symptoms including shuffling, mumbling, being
distracted and appearing
According to the National Sleep Foundation,
teens are sleeping about
two hours less than they
should. They’re spending
too many nighttime hours
texting, tweeting and
engaged. Early school start
times, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs
also may be robbing them
of needed sleep. No wonder it’s so hard for them to
get up in the morning.
researcher Dr. Mary
Carskadon found that adolescents’ brains undergo a
chemical reshaping process during sleep. Notably,
key connections are made
in areas of the brain that
deal with decision-making
skills. This requires teens
to sleep even more than
previously thought. A little
more than nine hours a
night is optimal. Carskadon is director of chronobiology at Emma P. Bradley Hospital and adjunct
professor of psychology at
Brown University, both in
East Providence, R.I.
As part of its fall “Stop
Zombieitis!” program, the
Better Sleep Council, the
consumer education arm
of the International Sleep
Products Association, is
conducting a survey of
teen sleep habits and will
be sounding the alarm
among at-risk teens and
The cure for teen zombieitis? Nine full hours
of sleep on a supportive,
comfortable new mattress.
To learn more about
the BSC’s “Stop Zombie-
itis!” campaign, which began in May during Better
Sleep Month, visit www.
OSHA focuses on mattress industry
How do you measure up? Cost Survey shows you
ow does your company’s operating and
compare with mattress industry averages? How can
you control costs, increase
efficiency and improve
You’ll find answers in
the annual Cost Survey from
the International Sleep
ISPA members who
participated in the annual
Cost Survey should already
have received their copy of
the report. If you weren’t
able to participate in the
survey but are an ISPA
member, you still can
purchase a copy. Contact
Jane Oseth, ISPA member services manager, at
Highlights of the 2011
Cost Survey include:
■ A composite analysis
that provides comparative
performance data for all
mattress industry participants and high-profit
firms, as well as breakdowns by sales volume and
geographic regions of the
United States and Canada.
■ A “for-your-eyes-only”
report—prepared only for
compares your company’s
performance to both similar and high-profit firms.
This can help you identify
areas for improvement.
“Thank you to all those
who participated in the
valuable 2011 Cost Survey,”
said Mary Helen Uusimaki, ISPA vice president
of membership and
communications. “We are
confident you will benefit
from this valuable member
benefit and financial
management tool when
you put it to work using
the specific measurements
provided for your company.”
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently took enforcement action
against a mattress manufacturer as part of its
broader effort to target industries with
higher-than-average injury reports. The International Sleep Products Association reminds
its members to familiarize themselves with their
obligations under federal workplace safety
laws. OSHA offers free, confidential on-site
consultations to assist small- and mediumsize businesses in complying with safety laws.
For more information, check www.osha.gov/
Help ISPA lobby for changes to CPSIA
The International Sleep Products Association
continues to lobby Congress to reduce what
the association says are costly regulatory burdens created by the Consumer Product Safety
Improvement Act. Currently, the House Energy
and Commerce Committee is considering
whether to advance legislation that would
prevent the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission from requiring additional testing
of mattresses, which the CPSC has proposed
in draft regulations. ISPA asks its members to
send a letter to their representatives, expressing support for reducing regulatory costs for
mattress manufacturers. Check ISPA’s Legislative Action Center at www.sleepproducts.org
to send a prewritten letter electronically.
August 2011 BedTimes
Las Vegas Market
World Market Center
Las Vegas, U.S.
Malaysia Agro Exposition
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Shanghai New International
& Convention Centre
High Point Market
International Home Furnishings Center & other locations
High Point, N.C., U.S.
Left: Furniture China Sept.
14-17 in Shanghai, China
Righ: Las Vegas Market
Aug. 1-5 in Las Vegas, U.S.
BedTimes August 2011
MARCH 14-17, 2012
INDIANA CONVENTION CENTER
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
The only trade show in the world devoted
exclusively to the mattress industry.
a d v e r t i s e r s
A. Lava & Son Co.
Agro International GmbH & Co. KG
American Law 22
Rocco Bruno Jr.
Atlanta Attachment C2-1, 45
Albrecht Bäumer GmbH & Co. KG
Phillipp Schuster - Germany
Terry Borchard – U.S.
Bloomingburg Spring 68
& Wire Form
Boyteks Tekstil AS
BedTimes August 2011
CT Nassau Taber Wood
Diamond Needle Corp.
Integrity Software Solutions 44
604-574-7900, Ext. 101
John Marshall & Co. Ltd.
Enriquez Materials 37
& Quilting Inc.
Flexible Foam Products Inc.
Kenn Spinrad Inc.
Latexco U.S. LLC
203-924-0700, Ext. 341
Pacific Spring Inc.
P.T. RubberFoam Indonesia 52
SABA North America LLC
Latex Systems 43
66-2-326-0886, Ext. 204
Springs Creative Products 46
Global Systems Group 61, C3
Leigh Fibers Inc.
Subiñas Confort S.L.
Hengchang Machinery Factory
Middleburg Yarn Processing Co. Inc.
570-374-1284, Ext. 210
Therapedic International Gerry Borreggine
Hickory Springs Mfg. Co.
New England Needles Inc. 15
Tietex International Ltd.
Wright of Thomasville
Area Account Executive
C l a s s i f i e d s
n TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, MULTINEEDLE AND SINGLE-
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NEEDLE QUILTERS, long-arm label machines, sergers, etc.
Contact Victor LeBron, American Plant and Equipment.
Phone 864-574-0404; Fax 864-576-7204;
Cell 864-590-1700; Email [email protected];
opener. Only 24 hours running time. Like new. $12,500.
Call 731-285-2991 or 731-676-3266.
n REBUILT AND RECONDITIONED MULTINEEDLE QUILTING
MACHINES. Specializing in PATHE precision parts and service. Technical consultants. SEDCO. Phone 201-567-7141;
n TAPE-EDGE MACHINES, QUILTERS AND MISCELLANEOUS
SEWING MACHINES. Contact Frank Carlino, U.S. Mattress
Machinery. Phone 815-795-6942; Fax 815-795-2178;
Email [email protected]
Place your classified ad today!
Reach mattress industry professionals around the world with
your advertising message through the BedTimes Classifieds.
Rates: $3 per word for the first 100 words and $2.50 thereafter; minimum charge of $75. “Blind” box number: $50 per
insertion. Ad copy and payment must be received by the first
of the month preceding publication. Send ads and payment
to BedTimes Classifieds, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA
22314-1917. Contact Debbie Robbins, advertising production
manager, for additional information. Phone 571-482-5443;
Fax 703-683-4503; Email [email protected]
August 2011 BedTimes
Hotel tries to silence sound of snoring
new study shows that swaying—
like people do in a hammock—
helps people fall asleep faster and
sleep more deeply than when lying
on a stationary surface.
Swiss researchers studied the
brain activity of 12 men who took a
45-minute nap on a traditional-type
bed and then another nap while that same bed gently rocked.
While swaying, the men fell asleep one minute faster, on average, and entered a stage of deep sleep three minutes faster,
“This research could be helpful in terms of patients who typically suffer from sleep-onset difficulty and sleep-maintenance
difficulty,” says Sophie Schwartz, one of the study’s authors and
a professor of neuroscience at the University of Geneva, told
The research was published in the journal Current Biology in
Researchers aren’t sure why the rocking aids in sleep. One
theory is that it induces relaxation. Another is that it may “synchronize” brain waves.
Does this mean it’s time for manufacturers to put more
swing into mattress sets?
What’s on your mind?
ontrary to popular myth—
and recent high-profile
don’t think about sex all the time.
In fact, men think more about
BedTimes August 2011
o provide its guests a quieter—and better—night’s sleep, the
Crowne Plaza hotel chain is testing its first “snore absorption”
rooms at properties in Europe and the Middle East.
Hotel officials point to research
that shows half of couples in the
United Kingdom lose between one
and five hours of sleep each night
because of the “snoring and snuffling” of their partners.
“We’ve all been there—lying
wide awake at three o’clock in the
morning, burying our head under
a pillow to drown out our partner’s
snoring,” says Tom Rowntree,
Crowne Plaza spokesman. “There’s nothing worse than being kept up
The rooms include a number of special features:
■ Egg crate-style foam soundproofing on walls to absorb loud frequencies, deflect sound waves and minimize the impact of snoring
■ A sound-absorbing headboard
■ An anti-snoring bed wedge that acts as a body pillow, encouraging
snorers to sleep on their sides instead of flat on their backs
■ An anti-snoring pillow that uses neodymium magnets to create a
magnetic field, said to open airways and stiffen the upper palate,
which vibrates during snoring
■ A white noise machine to help drown out the sound of snoring and
food and sleep, according to a new
Researchers at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, gave 283
college students—163 women and
120 men—a golf tally counter and
asked them to record their thoughts
on sex, food and sleep for a week.
Men did report thinking about
sex roughly twice as often as
women, but they also thought more
about food and sleep than sex. The
research was published in the Journal of Sex Research on April 28.
Da Vinci, Rembrandt...Gribetz?
Let’s just say the Gribetz V16™ is not your ordinary quilter.
The Gribetz V16™, the world’s fastest quilter, was unveiled at Interzum and it’s already getting
great reviews from customers.
If you appreciate the finer things high-speed quilting can provide, you’ll want the V16 in your
equipment collection. Only sixteen needles; simplified set-up and maintenance; nearly twice
as fast as the average quilter; dramatically increased productivity gains
– this could be a masterpiece!
To get a clear picture how the V16 can improve your productivity,
contact your local GSG representative.
Gribetz International® would like to thank all who visited
and made Interzum 2011 one of our best shows.
Say bye-bye to the slipping, sliding, bed-making blues.
Now you can sing a happier tune. with Clings, mattresses finally behave themselves. No more shifting and shuffling. No
more wobbling and wiggling. Simply apply our proprietary fabric to the mattress bottom or to decking – either way, the
mattress snuggles neatly to the foundation. Bed linens and dust ruffles stay tucked. and bed makers everywhere thank you.
THE GENTLE HOLD
V A T
ECo faBRICS, CoTToNS, pRINTS, jaCquaRdS, poLyESTERS, BLENdS, STITChBoNdS, waRp kNITS, fILLER CLoThS.
Tietex International Ltd., 3010 North Blackstock Road, Spartanburg, SC 29301, 864.574.0500 www.tietex.com