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  1. 1. BedTimesTHE BUSINESS JOURNAL FOR THE SLEEP PRODUCTS INDUSTRY JANUARY 2011 Rooted in bedding A look at the industry’s unique pull on people 11 consumer trends to watch in 2011 Putting smart phones to work for you
  2. 2. Innovative Technology for theModel 1379D Model 4300Laser Cutter Automatic Vertical Handle The Sudden Service ™ Company This equipment may be protected by one or more of these patents. Other patents may be pending: Atlanta Attachment Company US patents: 4,280,421; 4,432,294; 4,466,367; 4,644,883; 5,134,947; 5,159,889; 5,203,270; 5,522,332; 5,524,563; 5,562,060; 5,634,418; 5,647,293; 362 Industrial Park Drive 5,657,711; 5,743,202; 5,865,135; 5,899,159; 5,915,319; 5,918,560; 5,979,345; 6,035,794; 6,055,921; 6,202,579; 6,279,869; 6,295,481; 6,494,255; 6,802,271; 6,574,815; 6,834,603; 6,968,794; 6,994,043; 7,100,525; 7,100,526; 7,210,181; 7,383,676 ; 7,383,780; 7,412,936; 7,543,364; 7,574,788; Lawrenceville, GA 30046 7,647,876; 7,735,439; Foreign patents: 9-520,472; 0,537,323; 92,905,522.6; 96,936,922.2; 2,076,379; 2,084,055. (770) 963-7369 • FAX (770) 963-7641 Other U.S. and Foreign Patents Pending. Copyright 2010 Atlanta Attachment Co. 10122120710
  3. 3. Mattress Production Industry Worldwide! Manufacturing High Quality Products Since 1969 Atlanta Attachment Company is the recognized sewn products industry leader in automated workstations, labor saving devices, folders and ergonomic risk reduction. The Company, founded in 1969, has made its policy of SUDDEN SERVICE™ a way of life in all aspects of operation. Our entire staff is dedicated to providing three-day shipments of most custom folders and attachments. Special gauge sets and other work aids are available in 10 working days or less. We also offer a 72 Hours or FREE!* expendable replacement parts policy. At our 225,000 square footModel 1392D Model 1393E state-of-the-art facility, we design,GoldenEagle Quilting Machine Panel Cutter, manufacture, assemble and ship Border Slitter , Rewinder products to customers worldwide. Our skilled employees produce the Call our sales department at highest quality products available to meet or exceed the standards 770-963-7369 and schedule an required in the sewn products appointment to tour our facility. industry. Contact sales for more information on this policy, the recommended * Contact sales for the recommended spare parts list and the model workstations covered. spare parts list and the model Website: email: workstations covered.
  4. 4. POWERSTACK ™ CLASSIC AND HIGH PROFILE UNITS Standard High Profile The PowerStackpatentedavailable in a Highdeflection box spring the demands of todays taller boxspring configurations. Hickory Springs is now PowerStack zero Profile unit to meet is engineered for extreme stability. A series of cup- shaped internal supports are welded to the box springs’ border wire and cross-support grid, then secured at the base on two axes. This unique construction prevents head-to-foot and side-to-side sway and reduces pocketing as well. Assembly is quick and simple — just staple it in place and move it on down the line. B O X S P R I N G F E AT U R E S POWE R S TAC K ™ • Complete one-piece steel foundation • Welded steel construction, utilizing our own with no separate components. drawn wire for greater stability. • Proven durability during all performance tests, • Designed for use with a cost-effective including Cornell, rollator and impact tests. 5-slat frame. • 10 gauge, extra-heavy grid wire for • Standard utilizes 10 gauge modules. maximum support and durability. • High Profile uses 9 gauge modules. • Reinforced grid for greater surface coverage and enhanced stability. • Heavy duty 3 gauge border rod, welded to grid for maximum edge firmness. • Nests easily for convenient storage. Tradition. Innovation. Performance. W O R L D W I D E Holland Wire Products Micaville Spiller Spring Company (616) 392-8505 (828) 675-4101 (920) 457-3649 Fax (616) 392-6105 (800) 256-3422 (800) 747-1707 Fax (828) 675-9008 Fax (920) 457-0559Patent number: 5,967,499 ©2009 Hickory Springs Mfg. Co.
  5. 5. InSideJANUARY 2011 Feature 14 Staying power “Once you go to work in the mattress business, you never leave.” You hear that whenever bedding types gather. The industry is notable for the number of people who spend decades working within it. BedTimes profiles veterans to learn how they got into the mattress business—and why they’ve stayed. Departments 8 Front Matter 5 Editor’s Note Wondering what will shape the con- sumer landscape in the coming year? Try random acts of kindness, “urba- 33 Industry News nomics” and pricing pandemonium. Those are just three things to watch 45 Newsmakers for in 2011, according to a global research and marketing firm. 53 Employee Relations 11 Company Profile 61 ISPA News Twenty-five years ago, Mike Hammer bought a dying family-owned bedding brand and, with the help of his own family, brought the New Jersey com- 64 Calendar pany back to life. Today, his sights are set on taking Shifman Mattress Co.’s 65 Classifieds luxury beds nationwide. 66 Advertisers Index 29 Marketing Report Smart phones offer a wealth of marketing opportunities—if your 68 Last Word company is ready to take advantage of them. BedTimes | January 2011 | 3
  6. 6. EDITOR IN CHIEF Julie A. Palm Editor’sNote 571-482-5442 In mattress industry, ASSOCIATE EDITOR Barbara Nelles 336-856-8973 people trump product T here’s a woman just a few blocks of BedTimes we report on promo- from me who is living in her tions, new hires and other personnel CONTRIBUTORS sixth house in our neighborhood changes in a section we call Newsmak- Danita Johnson Hughes since moving here in the early 1990s. ers. (See Page 45.) Putting together Ford Saeks She likes fixer-uppers and gets bored issues during the past several months, Dorothy Whitcomb after she’s been in one place for too we’ve noted a significant increase in long, but she won’t consider moving the number of news releases compa- ART DIRECTOR to another part of town. She loves the nies are sending us—double, triple, Stephanie Belcher neighborhood and is here to stay. even quadruple the number we’d been 336-201-7475 She reminds me of people in the receiving. bedding business. They take a job, It may be anecdotal, unscientific evi- maybe as an associate on a sleep shop dence—like gauging furniture market Vice President sales floor or maybe in product devel- attendance by how long you have to of ADVERTISING Sales opment at a components supplier. An wait for elevators—but we think it’s a Kerri Bellias opportunity opens up at a competitor hopeful sign that the mattress industry 571-482-5444 or they have a chance to make a move is feeling more confident about the from the manufacturing side of things rebounding economy, especially given to retail. They earn a few promotions. how many companies are creating new Ad Production & They venture out on their own. Before positions, not just replacing departing CIRCULATION manager they know it, they’ve spent their career employees. Debbie Robbins in the mattress industry. Keep those Newsmakers press re- 571-482-5443 Our industry is known for its veter- leases coming. ans. This month, BedTimes profiles sev- And speaking of promotions, we eral people who’ve dedicated themselves are pleased to announce that Barbara COPY EDITOR to mattresses. We could have written, Nelles, who has been a senior writer for Margaret Talley-Seijn literally, about hundreds of people and BedTimes and our sister publication, narrowing the list was difficult. Sleep Savvy, since 2009, has a new title. We chose to focus on those who’d Nelles is now associate editor, a designa- BedTimes deadlines spent at least two decades in the indus- tion that reflects her growing role at the Editorial deadlines for the Industry try—as retailers, suppliers or manufac- publications. (See story on Page 61.) BT News and Newsmakers sections turers. There are many strong family of the March issue of BedTimes are businesses in the mattress industry Wednesday, Feb. 2. (another of our claims to fame), but here we selected people who didn’t have Volume 139 Number 1 biological ties to the bedding busi- BedTimes (ISSN 0893-5556) is published ness. We also looked for veterans who monthly by the International Sleep Products represented all facets of the industry— Association. Periodicals postage paid at Alexandria, Va., and additional mailing offices. from hands-on mattress production to Administrative and ISPA offices sales and marketing to executive-level 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, Va. 22314-1917 Phone 703-683-8371; Fax 703-683-4503 decision-making. Postmaster Send address changes to We asked them how they started BedTimes, 501 Wythe St., Alexandria, Va. in the mattress business and what has 22314-1917 kept them here. Their stories are as Contents © 2011 by the International Sleep Products unique as they are universal and we Association. Reprint permission are pleased to share them with you. obtainable through BedTimes. On a related note, in each issue Julie A. BedTimes | January 2011 | 5
  7. 7. AdvertisementSABA AQUABOND 3801Phenomenal Initial Tack Increases Output A common challenge faced by many bedding manufacturers and foam fabricators is finding a water-based adhesive solution that can provide rapid initial tack and immediate handling strength on the most challenging substrates. If you find yourself facing similar challenges, SABA may have the optimal solution for you via our two-component water-based adhesive, SABA Aquabond 3801.What is a Two-Component Adhesive? ultra-low pulsation double-diaphragm pumps to A two-component water-based adhesive combines a water- supply both the adhesive and activator to the spraybased adhesive with a catalyst (activator) which is injected stations. These low-maintenance pumps are notinto the adhesive spray pattern at the point of application (see only simple to operate but also provide consistentfigure 1). and optimized adhesive flow rates to each spray station to maintain proper application ratios.How Does it Perform? Forget about struggling, pressing and waiting for a final Advantages Overbond to develop on your difficult substrates. If you’re all Alternative Adhesiveabout speed and handling strength, SABA Aquabond 3801 Solutions: may be for you. When comparing SABA SABA Aquabond 3801 delivers very Aquabond 3801 to solvent- rapid initial tack and bonds rapidly based adhesives, the advantages and permanently to a wide variety are quite clear. Aquabond of substrates, including non-wovens, 3801 delivers similar, if not Figure 1 plastics, metals and other non-porous superior, initial handling strength substrates. The bonding characteristics while remaining water-based, are, quite frankly, remarkable as the VOC-free and non-flammable. initial tack is faster than most hot-melt This provides a safer working Figure 2and solvent-based adhesives while remaining water-based and environment for employees and aenvironmentally friendly. For mattress producers and foam “green” alternative to solvent-based adhesives.fabricators, it’s the answer when immediate handling strength When compared to is required on difficult-to-bond hot-melt adhesives, “We love this product.“The new SABA or very heavy substrates. Aquabond 3801 I have nothing butproduct has been provides additional praise for the SABAa great fit for our The SABA advantages. In terms team in terms of theproduction processes. Two-Component of product quality, system installation, theirThe rapid initial tack Application System: lab testing shows professionalism andof the adhesive gives The key to hassle-free two- that Aquabond 3801 being responsive to ourus the speed and component adhesive application provides a final bond needs. Last, but nothandling strength we strength that is up to least, the product hasrequire and we’ve is in the application and three times greater saved us precious time inalso been able to delivery equipment. SABA’s production, and time isreduce our adhesive breakthrough Optigluemix than hot-melt bonds. money in manufacturing.”consumption.” 2C spray gun (see figure 2) Further, there is provides a tool that is simple no risk of “noise” John Orders Herb Morgenstern to operate and maintain while or “crackling” from Vice President President also minimizing overspray for bond failure with Park Place Corporation Pleasant Mattress efficiency and cost savings. Aquabond 3801 as Company, Inc. SABA uses specially engineered compared to hot-
  8. 8. Advertisement Foam Producers: Looking for a water-based adhesive for your Looper applications that delivers instant initial tack and an ultra-soft bond-line? Our two-component adhesive, SABA Softbond 3511 is the answer. A satisfied customer tells you why: “We switched from a solvent-based adhesive to SABA Softbond 3511 for our looper applications about two years ago. At first, it was for Health and Safety reasons, but we quickly discovered that we were able to slice the foam buns right away because the product sticks so fast. Also, our customers love the soft bond-line.” Frank Mazzulla Materials Manager, Vitafoam Canadamelt bonds. Also, from an application standpoint, water-based adhesives have simply never been able to matchAquabond 3801 provides enhanced employee your required production needs or perhaps failed to providesafety as there is no risk of skin burns that are the optimal bonding characteristics, then Aquabond 3801common in hot-melt applications. may be the answer. In short, if you find that you struggle with one-component water-based adhesives or have to use solventIs SABA Aquabond 3801 or hot-melt to get certain pieces through production, therethe Optimal Solution for you? is a water-based adhesive The answer to available that will likely“We made the switch to this question is exceed your expectations “The product and servicethe new SABA adhesive simply based upon and you’ll find this in from SABA has beenbecause we needed your product mix SABA Aquabond 3801. great. It’s saved us time inan adhesive with very and the required production because it sticksrapid initial tack to get initial handling Costing and so much faster than normalour pieces through strength. SABA has Equipment water-based adhesives. Thereproduction without the fastest tacking Investment: should be no concern aboutbond failure. We’re operating or maintaining thealso now able to use one-component SABA Aquabond 3801 system as we’ve found it to beless adhesive and have water-based is competitively priced quite user-friendly.”improved our product adhesive in SABA and our applicationquality. The service and Superspray 3802, system provides optimal Manuel Lopezsupport from SABA has and if it provides efficiency, thus ensuring A&M Mattress Companyalso been excellent.” you with adequate the lowest possible initial tack and adhesive cost per piece J.Wesner Price handling strength, produced. Contact SABA President then perhaps a today to learn more Spring Air South two-component about our flexible equipment procurement options. Most adhesive isn’t often, there is zero capital outlay to obtain all of the necessary needed. However, equipment and SABA will install the entire system for you atif you are challenged by applications where other no additional cost.Contact SABA today for a freeproduct demonstration.Call us at 810 824 4964Email us at sales@saba-adhesives.comFor sales inquiries, please contact: SABA North America LLCT 810 824 4964 5420 Lapeer RoadF 810 824 4986 Kimball MI 48074 USA SABA, dedicated to foam bondingE Est. 1933: 77 years of strong bondsW
  9. 9. FrontMatter11 must-watch consumer trends for 2011Think good hearts, 3 5 Pricing pandemonium Con- Online status symbols “Online sumer demand for good deals, culture still is the culture andgood deals and special offers and discounts thus we’ll see a rise in onlinegood health is only increasing. And with more consumers constantly connected, status symbols in 2011,” according to “What started withW hat will consumers be thinking they can quickly find deals and com- showing off the number of visitors to about, doing and buying in pare prices—then spread the news one’s Flickr pages or blog now encom- the coming year? One of the quickly to their social networks. passes the number of one’s Facebookworld’s leading market research firms, “Always-on connectivity is chang- friends, Twitter followers, FoursquareLondon-based, ing consumer spending habits in check-ins and a host of other metricspoints to 11 hot consumer trends. myriad ways. For example, coupon that indicate one’s ‘wiredness’. ” clipping required planning and One new extension of the trend:1 Random acts of kindness The dedication, hence wasn’t that popu- Status symbols that straddle the “real” wretched economy has worn lar with consumers…but now is a and online worlds. For instance, down consumers and they are near-effortless online activity. Fur- Twournal allows Twitter users tolooking for anything that makes them thermore, whipping out one’s smart transform their tweets and photos into afeel a little better, according to Trend- phone at the counter, getting the physical, published Companies that exude latest deal via GPS or barcode scan- 6thoughtfulness and generosity meet ning is, well, smart. And therefore a ‘Wellthy’ Here’s a big one forconsumers’ need for an emotional lift. source of status rather than shame,” the mattress industry: “Grow- And social media, which allows the report says. ing numbers of consumers willcompanies to follow what’s going on in Specific subtrends to watch: the expect health products and services incustomers’ lives, makes spreading acts rise of buying groups, frequent 2011 to prevent misery—if not improveof kindness easier. For example, Dutch member-only or “flash” sales, hyper- their quality of life—rather thanairline KLM used Foursquare to give local discounts and an increase in merely treating illnesses and ailments,”passengers gifts at the airport. As soon dynamic pricing. says. “The consum-as someone checked in at a KLM Four- erization of health means that more 4square location, a KLM “Surprise Team Made for China “In 2011, consumers will choose products withwent online to find more background expect an increasing number embedded health benefits.”information about the person, decided of Western brands to launch One example the reports cites isupon a suitable gift and gave it to them new products or even new brands Sleep On It, a mobile app that allows us-before they flew,” the report says. dedicated to consumers in emerg- ers to track their sleeping patterns. “The ing markets,” the report says. “After free tool can determine what factors2 ‘Urbanomics’ “Urbanization all, it’s where the money is right now may be affecting their sleep and how remains one of the absolute and Western brands are still favored much sleep they need each night to feel megatrends for the coming over local ones, so the combination rested and energized.”decade,” says, of perceived quality with a bit of local 7pointing out that 3 billion people tailoring or exclusivity makes total ‘Social-lites’ This trend is “allworldwide live in urban areas and that sense.” about discovery, as consum-the number is growing. Companies setting the trend: ers become curators—actively “Urban consumers tend to be more ➤ evi’s dENIZEN brand targets L broadcasting, remixing, compiling,daring, more liberal, more tolerant, Asian consumers with slimmer fits commenting, sharing and recommend-more experienced, more prone to ➤ ior’s pricey Shanghai Blue Phone D ing content, products, purchases andtrying out new products and services,” is available only in Shanghai stores experiences to both their friends andaccording to the report. “In 2011, go ➤ onda, Nissan and GM are in- H wider audiences,” Trendwatching.comfor products, services, experiences or troducing less expensive brands says.campaigns that tailor to the very spe- in China to meet the needs of In 2011, a social media strategy iscific—and often more refined, more emerging-market consumers who critical for companies. Consumers willexperienced—needs of urbanites have well-formed desires but less be talking about brands even more thanworldwide.” money to spend. ever—and you’ll want to make sure8 | BedTimes | January 2011
  10. 10. your company has something (good!) full-on planned spontaneity,” Trend- and superior savings.worth talking about. predicts. “Expect to see Why? “The number of consumers consumers in 2011 rushing to sign up actively seeking out green products8 Emerging generosity “In 2011, for services—the ‘planned’ part—that is reaching a plateau as mainstream brands and wealthy individuals allow for endless and almost effortless consumers start to question the value from emerging markets will in- mass mingling with friends, family, col- and efficiency of going green,” accord-creasingly be expected to ‘give and care’ leagues or strangers-who-may-become- ing to That meansversus just ‘sell and take.’ And not just friends-or-dates—the ‘spontaneity’ part.” brands need to do more to appeal toin their home countries, but on a global eco-skeptical and financially strapped 10scale,” says. Eco-superior “When consumers. For instance, the report says, 86% of it comes to ‘green’ con- 11global consumers believe that busi- sumption in 2011, expect Owner-less This could benesses need to place equal weight on a rise in products that are not only the year when the conceptssociety’s interests and business interests. eco-friendly, but superior to pollut- of sharing and renting—And some 80% of consumers in Brazil, ing incumbents in every possible way,” instead of owning—go mainstream.China, India and Mexico expect brands the report says. That means products Consumer categories getting in on theto donate a portion of their profits to that are eco-friendly but that also offer trend range from cars to clothing tosupport good causes. superior functionality, superior design textbooks. “For consumers, the appeal is9 ➤ Learn more Planned spontaneity “With life- obvious,” says. styles having become fragmented, “Fractional-ownership and leasing- with dense urban environments To read more about these trends lifestyle businesses offer the possibilityoffering consumers any number of in- and to sign up for alerts and of perpetual upgrades to the latest andstantly available options and with smart reports from research group greatest, the ability to maximize thephones having created a generation, check number and variety of experiences andwho have little experience of making allow consumers to access otherwise(or sticking to) rigid plans, 2011 will see out-of-reach luxuries.” BedTimes | January 2011 | 9
  11. 11. CompanyProfileShifman aiming to become national brandProducer targets high-end furniture, department stores for handmade bedsBy Dorothy WhitcombW hen Mike Hammer bought Shifman Mattress Co. 25 years ago, he was betting thathe could turn the moribund companyaround and capitalize on a key asset—ahistory of turning out high-quality,handcrafted mattresses. Doing so, he believed, required two All in the family Shifman Mattressthings. First, the company could never Co. owner Mike Hammer (left) hassacrifice quality for price. Second, it long relied on the help ofneeded a network of strategic partner- relatives, including son Bill, toships with upscale furniture retailers run the business. The youngerand department stores. Hammer was named company president two years ago. The formula worked, though notimmediately. When Hammer purchased the com-pany from Robert and Burton Shifman, “We ran on fumes, but were able to Retailer relationshipsgrandsons of one of the founders, it triple business in the first four years, Shifman currently sells products to 38had deteriorated badly. Shifman, based which made survival possible,” Hammer furniture stores and to all Blooming-in Newark, N.J., hadn’t turned a profit says. dale’s department years, its products looked dated and Today, the 117-year-old company “The growth of new accounts hasthe company’s equipment only worked is thriving. After surviving the recent been staggering,” says Wayne Pezzino,about half the time. An entrenched recession, it is once again opening new Shifman national sales manager. “Inwork force made change almost impos- accounts and taking steps toward be- the past two years, we’ve opened moresible. coming a nationally recognized brand. accounts than in the previous six years “The favorite word around here “Our sales were up 30% in the first combined.”was ‘no’, ” Hammer recalls. 10 months of 2010,” Hammer says. “We Shifman asks a lot of new accounts: Hammer was stuck. In order to were expecting 20% and we will exceed Retailers must set aside enough floorimplement his business plan, he had to that for the year. This will be our big- space to display 12 mattress sets. Theychange the company’s culture, upgrade gest year ever and we expect continued also must carry inventory commensu-production capabilities and redesign growth in 2011.” rate with their monthly sales rate. Butproduct. He needed help—and his fam- The Hammers’ youngest son, Bill, the company provides strong marketingily agreed to provide it. joined Shifman in 1994 and became and co-op advertising support in return. president two years ago. He is convinced All retailers receive a product DVD,Family affair that his father’s early struggles and un- advertising slicks, postcards and point-Hammer’s wife, Eileen, and their two wavering commitment laid the founda- of-purchase materials.oldest sons, Robert and Mark, helped tion for today’s success. “We also bring, at our cost, everyrun the business for five years so that he “I am fortunate to lead a company single sales associate and interiorcould go on the road to sell. Drawing on that is based on building relationships and designer to the factory for a tour and22 years of mattress industry experi- maintaining quality,” Bill Hammer says. direct training,” Pezzino says.ence—first with Simmons Bedding Co. “Our commitment to strong relationships The factory tour is nonnegotiable.and then with Stearns Foster—Ham- extends to every employee, every cus- The Hammers want their retail partnersmer shifted the company’s focus to tomer and every supplier. It means doing to have a full appreciation of what goeshigh-end furniture retailers, offering business on your word and keeping that into a Shifman mattress and why it takesthem exclusive product and a traffic- word. It means honesty, no false promises between 7 ½ and 12 ½ hours to producedriving marketing program. and always reaching for the best.” each BedTimes | January 2011 | 11
  12. 12. CompanyProfile the layers of cotton, cashmere, silk and wool that are the company’s signature. Two-dimensional Belgian damask and matelasse tickings are used throughout the collection. Mixing tradition with innovation To meet other dealers’ requests, Shif- man introduced Pure Comfort, its first noninnerspring latex collection, in 2010. The three beds, each with a latex core, have suggested retail prices between $2,200 and $4,000. But the heart of Shifman’s business continues to be its two- sided innerspring mattresses.History in the making Shifman mattresses Beds in the top-of-the-linestill are made by hand in a 92-year-old plant Masters collection—with retailin Newark, N.J. A recent renovation has prices between $3,000 and $6,000given the company additional space forwarehousing and other functions. for a queen set—contain thick layers of cotton, as well as latex, to provide comfort. The company plans to remerchandise the collec- “We share responsibility with the “I want the Shifman brand to be tion in 2011 to further enhance itsstores for sales and for the profitability represented properly and to be visible aesthetic appeal.of the line,” Mike Hammer says. “In across the country,” he says. “We have to The company also makes the Ultra-most of the stores that we’re in, we rank be able to show people that we build the Premium collection, with retail pricesfirst or second in terms of sales per best bed and offer it at the best price.” between $2,100 and $3,000, and thesquare foot and profitability per square The company also has hired a public Quilted collection, with prices betweenfoot.” relations firm “to clean up our message $699 and $1,799. and create a website that portrays the Shifman produces its entire lineMarketing matters image of a quality manufacturer,” Bill at its 92-year-old, 84,000-square-footShifman executives believe that recent Hammer says. headquarters. An extensive renovationchanges to the company’s marketing Shifman’s new marketing program finished in 2008 added 40,000 squarestrategy have improved its ability to get fits neatly with the company’s goal of feet to the facility, including new ware-the Shifman story out to dealers and nationwide selling. house space. The project also allowedconsumers alike. Until recently, most of its retail ac- the company to reorganize production In October 2009, Shifman debuted counts were in an East Coast territory flow.its product at the High Point Market in stretching from Maine to Washing-High Point, N.C. The company now has ton, D.C. But Shifman recently added What’s nexta permanent showroom in Hamilton accounts in the Atlanta, Chicago and Bill Hammer believes that Shifman’sCourt and shows at the April and Octo- Cleveland metro areas, as well as in commitment to quality and buildingber furniture markets. Florida. Bloomingdale’s stores in Arizo- strong relationships will continue to “Before, we were putting product on na, California and Colorado help extend propel growth. When he looks to thea truck and taking it to remote locations the brand’s reach even farther west. future, he sees Shifman as “a recogniz-to show it to retailers,” Pezzino says. Shifman and Bloomingdale’s have able brand throughout the country”“Then we’d have to tear it down and a relationship that dates to 1995. The and he is exploring the possibility oftake it back to New Jersey. Now we can mattress maker launched its newest distribution centers, an expanded trans-get our name and product out there in a line for the retailer in December. The portation system and a new factory tomuch more effective way.” 15 models in the Handmade collection support that goal. Showing its product at market is one have suggested retail prices between Mike Hammer concludes: “I believepart of a commitment Bill Hammer has $3,200 and $12,500 for a queen set. Shifman’s reputation will grow substan-made to better align Shifman’s message Three of the groups within the collec- tially. Someone has to be the best and Iwith the quality of its product. tion incorporate latex, in addition to believe that it’s this company.” BT12 | BedTimes | January 2011
  13. 13. Rooted in14 | BedTimes | January 2011
  14. 14. by Barbara Nelles Mattress business has unique pull I n this age of job hopping and professional re-invention, the mattress industry is unusual for the number of players who’ve stayed in the bedding business for decades, if not their entire careers. That’s not to say that these veterans are immobile. It’s not uncommon for bedding industry careerists to move around, not only from company to company but among the retail, manufacturing and supplier segments. Why is it that so many in the industry sing the same the industry refrain—the one from that RB classic “You Really Got a Hold on Me”? Is it the people, the product, the opportunity for advancement, the chance to travel? Or does someone just find that his skills and talents fit op- portunities in the bedding business particularly well? It seems it’s all that and more. BedTimes talked to a handful of professionals rep- resenting a variety of career trajectories and facets of the industry. We asked them what pulled them into the bedding business initially and why they’ve stuck around so BedTimes | January 2011 | 15
  15. 15. JoAnne Bennett has just retired as an account Then you move the colors along to the banners, floorexecutive with Wright of Thomasville, the Thomasville, graphics, POP, signage and headboard.N.C.-based supplier of branding materials and solutions. “When I handled Kingsdown from 1978 to 2003, weIt was 1969 when she first went to work for company designed their original suede bolsters with embroideredfounders Bill and Tom Wright. A music and business crests and later the matching fabric foot streamers with points and tassels. We were the first to introduce the matching embroidered streamers. Until then, the industry was mostly using plastic foot protectors. “My job has allowed me to make so many friends and travel all around the world. I developed and handled accounts in Russia, Central and South America and the Caribbean and at- tended Interzum in Cologne, Germany, to expand our global business. “I believe it’s important to give clients more than they ask for. They’ll always have something in mind to be- gin, but thousands of times through the years I’ve said, ‘What if we did this?’ and have seen their eyes light up in front of me. “One of the things I love about Wright of Thomasville is the way theymajor in college,Bennett was hired JoAnne Bennett turn you loose to excel at your own pace and be all that you can be. You’re never held back. I consider myself theby the fledglingcompany to wear ‘My job has company’s biggest cheerleader.”many hats—secre- Jerry Cook is the assistant plant manager at mattresstary, bookkeeper, allowed me to maker Gold Bond in Hartford, Conn. The mechanicallycustomer service inclined son of a mechanically inclined dad, Cook en-representative. Under the guid- make so many listed at age 18 in the U.S. Marines and spent four years repairing jet fighters and helicopters.ance of its found-ers, Bennett grew friends and He’s the type of person who can take apart and re-assemble any engine or piece of machinery. It’s anwith the company. ability that has served him well on the mattress produc-Bill Wright, who travel all around tion floor. He has operated just about every machinedied in 2002, was used in the manufacturing process—from garneting toher mentor andtaught her the the world.’ tape-edging to baling and wrapping equipment. In 1976, Cook began work at a Sealy plant in westerncreative side of the Connecticut. By 1994, when the plant closed, he wasbusiness. In 1978, lead worker on the line and in charge of quality control.she was given a sales territory and her success led to more Cook then spent 11 years at a King Koil (now Comfortresponsibility as the owners peeled off accounts and handed Solutions) licensee in Windsor, Conn., where he wasthem over to her. tape-edge operator, department supervisor and, eventu- Through the years, she has worked with just about every ally, assistant plant manager. In 2005, Gold Bond hiredmattress brand and was the creative spark behind a number Cook to manage mattress and box-spring production, asof the company’s innovations in labeling and point-of-sale well as the receiving department.materials. “With mattress manufacturing, everything seems to “The bedding industry has changed dramatically since I come full circle. We’re about to start using eight-way,first started. When beds turned all white that was a big chal- hand-tied box springs again. In the end, it’s amazing howlenge and a great opportunity for us. You are starting with a little mattress manufacturing has changed through theblank canvas. The all-white bed created a real need to make years. We still use many of the same machines and pro-every label ‘pop’ and be different. Now we can use so many cesses. Of course, some machinery is more mechanizedcolors. What a wonderful opportunity it’s been to let the now, but we’re still doing the same operations as we didlabel shine. back then. “Our design process begins with the product label. “There have been some product changes, like the use16 | BedTimes | January 2011
  16. 16. It’s more than just a fling with GSG, it’s a long-term commitment. Darryl Oyler The companies of Global Systems Group® have proven to be reliable and trusted through decades of Tony Garrett Micky Theriault commitment to the bedding industry. Gribetz, Porter, David Elsdon Ed Grether Galkin, Gateway Systems, Spuhl-Anderson and Nähtec have combined company histories over 250 years old. Paul Block Joe Cherbuy David Eidson Mario Rivera It takes a staff of dedicated people who love what Robert Myers Bill Evans they do to build a valuable history like that. If you’ve Don Broyles had the pleasure of working with any of these people, you know how valuable their experience and personal Russ Bowman Michael Miller commitment is. John Kelley Tom Colletta Thomas Todd Steve Marcangelo Terry Myers Todd Nechtem Thanks, gang. We appreciate all you do. Bob Daly Dustin Smith Rick Besette Robert EvansThere’s over 500 years of cumulative experience listed on this page.See what all this industry wisdom can do for you at GSGcompanies.com800-326-4742 954-846-0300
  17. 17. of IB’s business. In 1997, he joined Therapedic Interna- tional as president. Three years later, he left to become chief operating officer and a minority owner of the Therapedic Mid-Atlantic licensee. When that business closed in 2008, he joined Hickory Springs in his current position. “It’s a small industry and I like that. I often joke that there are only 200 of us and we just rotate around. But bedding is also the home of the brightest folks. Our guys can out-market anyone, anywhere. I’m bragging, but in tough times the bedding industry can outperform every industry. They’re the ultimate marketers. “Retailers ‘get it’ about mattresses. They understand how important bedding is in the number of inventory turns, the sales per square feet, the margins. They’re Jerry Cook of encased coils. They’re ‘With mattress a little more tricky to work with because manufacturing, they can shift, but they have everything more durabil- ity. And we’ve seems to come done water beds and air mattresses full circle.’ and learned to work with stretchy knit ticking.Today, we’re also working with a lot more foams in beds.That’s much better for allergy and asthma sufferers in theplant—unlike the days when we worked with so much Niles Cornelius quick to dedicatecotton and even horse hair. floor space to mat- “At one point early on in my career, I worked the endof a wrapper. I held the record—for carrying 1,000 pieces ‘It’s a small tress sales. If you’re a mattress rep, thein 10 hours. Of course I’ve got no more neck and lost alot of hair! industry and I retailer is already on your side. “In a plant, it’s important to have a formula for your “Recyclingwork flow and to treat people well—like human beings— like that. I old bedding is anso you keep morale up and production up.” important subjectNiles Cornelius is general manager of Hickory at often joke that for the industry to address. TheHome, the consumer products division of Hickory, N.C.-based Hickory Springs Mfg. Co. In the mid-1970s, he there are only International Sleep Products Associa-began his mattress career in sales at a department store tion has been on thechain in Cincinnati. 200 of us and forefront of that. In 1980, ready for an on-the-road sales position, Corne- It’s a hard thing tolius began a nine-year stint with Ernie Wuliger’s Ohio-SealyMattress Mfg. Co. (Wuliger was the architect of the Sealy we just rotate do and it’s going to take awhile.consolidation of the 1980s.) Cornelius rose to sales managerand was named regional manager when Wuliger acquired around.’ “I’m excited about the growingmanufacturer Stearns Foster. interest in ‘power’ Then, from 1988 to 1997, he held a variety of vice presi- or adjustable bases.dent posts at International Bedding. At the time, IB was the They’re becominglargest Therapedic licensee and Cornelius ran that segment more accepted and18 | BedTimes | January 2011
  18. 18. IT’S ONE THING TO EAT SLEEP AND , ,LIVE YOUR PASSION. Bob Bush, Sr. Did It For 66 Years. Bob W. Bush, Sr. lived and breathed Hickory Springs. He was a Furniture Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Exceptional Service man of strong convictions who supported those convictions in all that Award and the McMorran Memorial Award, which was given by the he said and did. You always knew where he stood. He was always ISPA suppliers’ council. Bob also served as second president of the thinking of ways to do things better, to be more creative, and to make AFMA Suppliers Council and in 2006, was inducted into the the company stronger. Bob served on many boards that shaped and American Furniture Hall of Fame. The only thing that surpassed defined the home furnishings industry including; the International Bob’s dedication and passion for the business was his commitment to Sleep Products Association (ISPA), the Suppliers Division his family. In life and business there are good businessmen, good of AHFA, the Polyurethane Foam Association, the family men and good men period: Bob Bush was all three. Bienenstock Furniture Library and the American (828) 328-2201
  19. 19. provide the consumer with a lot of value. All of the bed- the product, the retailers. It was built by some pretty ding brands are getting passionate about them. I also see spectacular entrepreneurs like Ernie Wuliger (who was the way the industry is moving forward on top-of-bed, responsible for rolling Sealy licensees and Sealy owned- with more elegant and high-end goods. It’s good for the and-operated plants into a single corporate entity during consumer and good for us. the 1980s). “FR was an incredible expense for the industry, in “The industry has done a wonderful job creating a terms of time and money. But on the other hand, I see strong foothold and always being the leader in the home the benefit to the consumer. We’ve made a safer product. furnishings sector in terms of sales training, advertising So in the long term, it’s a blessing. creation and all the traffic-generating activities retail- “The company I work for is incredibly family- ers need. With most beds produced domestically, it’s one oriented. They treat employees as one big family and category of U.S. goods that will probably end up being don’t stifle creative thinking. We are all an integral part exported to Asia. and we aren’t held back. I just thrive. This is my dream “Looking back, I’m very proud of the effort from my job.” Simmons team. In just four years, we increased sales by over $300 million and improved margins by 12 points. I Kevin Damewood is the senior vice president of don’t think any other ‘S’ brand has ever grown that sales for bedding producer Kingsdown in Mebane, N.C. quickly. His resume crisscrosses the country and includes several “I’ve been in this industry for a long time and have mattress manufacturing majors. During his career, he’s made a tremendous number of friends on the retail and been witness to some historic shifts in the industry, in- wholesale side. I like being part of an industry that is cluding the consolidation of Sealy and the roll-up of the about better health, better comfort and better sleep and am especially proud of the Kingsdown team’sKevin Damewood eagerness, accomplishments and RD in this area. “Back when I was a Sealy sales rep, I fell head‘I like being part over heels for our plant’s controller. We dated for a few months and one day abruptly decided to getof an industry married at lunchtime. Afterward, we ate at Burger King and I took her back to the office. Cindy is stillthat is about my best friend and the love of my life.” Sheri McGuire is director of supplier qual-better health, ity for Atlanta-based mattress producer Simmons Bedding Co.better comfort She has a degree in textile engineering from North Carolina State University and spent theand better sleep.’ first 17 years of her career at Hoechst Celanese, a chemical fiber supplier, and Western Nonwovens, a now-defunct mattress industry supplier. At the former, she was a manufacturing process engineer, then manufacturing superintendent. At Western Nonwovens, McGuire served as director of quality and built and led the research and development former Spring Air company. department. While there, she also devised and put in place Damewood earned a degree in political science from structured quality systems. She joined Simmons in 2008. the University of Massachusetts in Boston and began She’s had one patent granted and has seven pending. his bedding career in 1978 as a buyer for Los Angeles “As a former industry supplier, I was familiar with the department store Davidson’s. Then he accepted a ter- mattress market, but never did I imagine all the various ritory selling beds for Ernie Wuliger’s Ohio-Sealy Mat- components and raw materials that go into producing a tress Mfg. Co. and has been on the manufacturing side of mattress and the complexity involved. I really enjoy the the business ever since. Damewood handled a succession diversity of it. It crosses from lumber to wire to fabrics to of territories for various Sealy plants and eventually was foam to fiber to hot-melt glues and adhesives. named sales manager. Simmons was his next stop, where “I was attracted to the industry because of the op- he rose to senior vice president of sales and marketing. portunities it presented related to new FR regulations, Then it was on to Spring Air as executive vice president the opportunity to contribute new ideas and help develop of sales. After a brief stint at Comfort Solutions, he new products and the industry’s drive to produce a good joined Kingsdown in 2010. product efficiently in terms of materials and process. “Early in my career, I fell in love with this industry— There is a lot of focus on the consumer and understand- 20 | BedTimes | January 2011
  20. 20. ing her needs—and also on understanding and achieving Gordon Morrison was raised in Atlanta, earning acontinuous cost improvements and continuous quality bachelor of arts degree from the city’s Oglethorpe Universi-improvements. ty. From 1976 to 1994, he worked in sales for Conwed Corp., “My job at Simmons is to work with all raw materi- a former supplier of nonwovens and insulator pads to the bedding industry. He then became an independent sales representative cov- ering the Southeast for four components suppliers: Komar Alliance, a thread supplier in Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Hercu- lite Products Inc., a maker of laminated and coated fabrics in Emigsville, Pa.; Trace Industries, a cotton batting supplier headquartered in Houston, Miss.; and High Point Fibers, a provider of insulator pads and fill materials based in High Point, N.C. “There has been a tremendous amount of change in this industry since I first started out—I could write a book. In addition to globalization, consolidation, leveraged buy- Sheri McGuire als suppliers on developing quality ‘There is always systems and pro- grams that yield opportunity for consistent quality for Simmons. For improvement. example, it was my responsibility That has always to work with our foam suppliers and qualify them been my focus— on the Transflex- ion production Gordon Morrison continuous process when Simmons intro- ‘Something my grandfather told improvement.’ duced Transflex- ion foam in 2010. me has stayed with me, “You can “One of the changes we’ve put always get another job, but youin place over the past several years is that we rely on sup-pliers to conduct quality testing of goods. We need 100% can’t get another reputation.”assurance that they have robust lab-testing capabilitiesbecause we expect our vendors to engage in continuous Integrity is so important andquality control with respect to the raw materials theysupply to us. The highest, most stringent requirements I see a lot of it in this industry.’are related to FR components. Therefore, we’ve had toput a lot of systems in place to gain that assurance. It wasa rather big change. outs and the one-sided bed, manufacturing equipment has “There’s never a dull moment in my job—whether it’s evolved and become more sophisticated, really impactingregulatory requirements or consumer marketing needs production. It started with high-speed quilting. I rememberor changes related to Simmons’ manufacturing processes when chain-stitch quilting was first introduced. It increasedor suppliers’ processes. There is always opportunity for the speed of the manufacturing process and allowed manu-improvement. That has always been my focus—continu- facturers to tack-and-jump and create entirely new looksous improvement.” and patterns on mattresses.22 | BedTimes | January 2011
  21. 21. THANKYOU Leggett Platt recognizes the veterans of the bedding industry, whose years of service and commitment have truly made an impact.
  22. 22. “Being a manufacturer’s rep for key uct—the integrity, the quality and inno-suppliers gives me the opportunity to vation. I’m proud to go out and show it.bring new ideas to the industry and Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a job andwork with mattress manufacturers to I couldn’t ask for a better boss. Johanhelp them solve problems and come up Vanwelden, Lava’s general manager inwith innovations. I recently helped one Belgium, is devise a new material. We call “The two very best parts of my jobit the ‘composite pad’—it’s a combo pad are the creativity of working with fab-of all-natural cotton fiber used right over rics, designs and colors and the interac-the spring unit. tion with customers. I have known some “It’s been a spectacular journey for of them for years and enjoy spendingme and the ‘people’ part of my job is time with them and hearing their input.what I love the most. Some of my cus- I convey their needs to Belgium, wheretomers are my best friends. I deal with we have very good designers. One of thesome really good, smart people who have key things I do is help Lava understandhad to be very resilient to survive some and interpret the American market andof things we’ve been through in the past American tastes, which are quite differ-10 years. ent from those in Europe, designwise.  “Something my grandfather told me “I’m proud of what we’ve accom-has stayed with me, ‘You can always get plished—Lava’s presence in the U.S.another job, but you can’t get another market. Our production is 100% domes-reputation.’ Integrity is so im- tic. It wasn’t any one thing thatportant and I see a lot of it inthis industry. It’s one of the Ann Weaver I did. It’s been a team operation since the beginning. Once wereasons for my longstandingrelationships with the companies ‘If I had to look for the started bringing people on, it was a chain reaction—and II represent and the manufactur-ers I sell to. perfect job in this industry, have a good chain. “Being an ovarian cancer “I learn something new in this I think I have it. I enjoy survivor has shown me what ajob every day. A plant owner or caring industry this is. Everymanufacturer will call and we’ll my job because I love the day when I was going throughdiscuss something. I’ll gain a better my treatment five years ago, Iunderstanding of the processes at product—the integrity, would get cards, calls and emailsa particular plant and how to help from people. Everyone was soimprove the flow of production at the quality and innovation.’ supportive. Surviving cancerthat plant. My approach is that it’s changes every aspect of yourvery important to have a complete life. It completely changed myunderstanding of the product and production at every level.” outlook. My doctor told me if I had waited six months before coming in, I’d have been dead. You do learn toAnn Weaver is vice president of sales and market- slow down and appreciate things more.”ing for knit ticking supplier Lava USA in Waterloo, S.C.Her career in textiles launched at Fryml Fabrics’ ticking Steve Willis is vice president of continuous improvementdivision, where she worked for 10 years in production, and quality at Leggett Platt in Carthage, Mo. He has closescheduling and inside sales. Through her work at Fryml, to 40 years with the company, the first 32 spent entirely in itsshe met Bobby Raider, who became an important mentor. bedding division. When Fryml closed, Raider, who was then director of Willis began work at LP in 1972 as an innerspring pro-sales at textile supplier Tietex International Ltd., hired duction worker. After six years, he was promoted to qualityWeaver as a production scheduler. She spent 18 years control supervisor and from then on steadily ascended thewith Tietex and, during that time, was named national quality assurance ladder. In 1998, he implemented LP 9000,account coordinator. When Tietex began marketing knit LP’s version of an ISO 9000 quality management system.ticking manufactured by Lava, based in Wielsbeke, Bel- At the same time, he was named director of corporate qual-gium, Weaver coordinated the business. ity assurance. In 2006, she began working directly for Lava, helping Six years and two promotions later, he was appointed toestablish its U.S. operations, building a sales team and his current post.managing U.S. production. Weaver married her former “I love working in quality assurance for a Fortune 500Tietex boss, Ron Weaver, in 2002. company. The Bedding Group at Leggett Platt is our core “If I had to look for the perfect job in this industry, I business and it’s where I got my start. Now I oversee man-think I have it. I enjoy my job because I love the prod- agement systems and process improvements for the entire24 | BedTimes | January 2011
  23. 23. Thank you for yourtireless support. Peter B. Poulsen P. Bjerre, Inc. PresidentPeter B. Poulsen, anchor of our North American business forany sales and service requirement from our valued customers. Made in Germany Since 1880Mammut Germany: +49 2234 2180 | info@mammut.deP. Bjerre, Inc.: +1 952 448 1935 | www.
  24. 24. corporation, putting project teams in place and interacting with all the regulatory issues. “Having the opportunity to work with Leggett Platt’s many customers in mattress manufacturing has been a plea- sure. I think it’s an outstanding industry to work in and some of my best friends have been our customers. I’m ac- tive in the International Sleep Products Association and its Sleep Products Safety Council, too. The relationships we build in this industry are fantastic. “Early in my career, then-CEO Harry Cornell said something in a speech at a manufacturing meeting that I’ve carried with me ever since: ‘We are all partners in this busi- ness.’ It sounded almost corny at the time, but it’s true on so many levels. I’ve never forgotten it. Steve Willis “Always in my job there are new issues to focus on— every day, every week. I like that. Today, we are dealing ‘Early in my career, then-CEO with a range of regulatory issues in the bedding industry. It’s my responsibility to make sure we meet those regula- Harry Cornell said something tions and we’re always working to make improvements. in a speech at a manufacturing Being in compliance with regulations means working internally, working with legal counsel, working with the meeting that I’ve carried with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, our custom- er base and, in some cases, with our suppliers. me ever since: “We are all “One thing I helped create was LP 9000. We’ve re- ceived a lot of praise for our quality management system. partners in this business.” ’ To date, we’ve certified over 100 of our manufacturing locations.” BT26 | BedTimes | January 2011
  25. 25. Eric Spitzer, a S A Icon!S A Interna onal would directors followed by Chairmanlike to take this opportunity to in 2001. Eric served asrecognize and thank Eric Spitzer Chairman for mul ple terms.for his dedica on, valuable His wealth of ma ress industrycontribu on and con nued knowledge, exper se and asuccess at S A . Erics valuable perspec ve on thejourney within the industry company’s history andbegan over 5 decades ago development were key to hiswhen he joined the familys one current posi on of Senior Vicefacility crib manufacturing President of S Abusiness, Slumberon Industries. Interna onal. His many yearsFive years later he went on to within the industry havebuy his father out and provided him with many nkul mately expanded the business rela onships that have ha ou!business to 5 facili es, become long-standing Tmanufacturing all size friendships. Those who canma resses. In 1981, as count themselves among them YPresident and CEO, he made are lucky. So Eric Spitzer,the decision to join S A business associate, familyas a licensee. He con nued on man and S A icon,to hold an elected posi on on we thank you!the company’s board of
  26. 26. Atlanta Attachment Company recognizes our RD Department’s dedicated service, innovative designs and desire to produce the industry’s leading automated sewing equipment. han ky ou! T RD Department to the Website: The Sudden Service™ Company This equipmenT may be proTecTed by one or more of These paTenTs. oTher paTenTs may be pending: Atlanta Attachment Company us paTenTs: 4,280,421; 4,432,294; 4,466,367; 4,644,883; 5,134,947; 5,159,889; 5,203,270; 5,522,332; 5,524,563; 5,562,060; 5,634,418; 362 Industrial Park Drive 5,647,293; 5,657,711; 5,743,202; 5,865,135; 5,899,159; 5,915,319; 5,918,560; 5,979,345; 6,035,794; 6,055,921; 6,202,579; 6,279,869; 6,295,481; Lawrenceville, GA 30046 6,494,255; 6,802,271; 6,574,815; 6,834,603; 6,968,794; 6,994,043; 7,100,525; 7,100,526; 7,210,181; 7,383,676 ; 7,383,780; 7,412,936; 7,543,364; 7,574,788; 7,647,876; 7,735,439; foreign paTenTs: 9-520,472; 0,537,323; 92,905,522.6; 96,936,922.2; 2,076,379; 2,084,055. (770) 963-7369 • FAX (770) 963-7641 oTher u.s. and foreign paTenTs pending. copyrighT 2010 aTlanTa aTTachmenT co. 10121120110