By Dori Easterson, YSN
The Tempur Sealy team visited with BrandSource members during this week’s 2020 Virtual Convention, presenting a mattress industry update during the show’s regional meetings. And, as Tempur’s Senior Customer Marketing Manager Josh Sowards described it, the bedding business is enjoying a nice bounce.
As a whole, the mattress and bedding category is in good position and purchase intent is up, he said, with retailers reporting — and consumers confirming — a greater willingness for shoppers to pay more.
Indeed, price is no longer the key sales driver it once was, Sowards noted. “When we look at the shift in the consumer economic mindset, only three percent of consumers are buying based on promotions.”
In contrast, 45 percent are purchasing for non-discretionary reasons, such as damaged mattresses, and 53 percent are purchasing for discretionary reasons, such as needing better sleep, he said.
“We are seeing a huge shift in the [sales] trigger,” Sowards observed. “What people are looking for and really want is good sleep, and secondarily they are looking for a good deal.”
Sowards said the consumer data was collected quickly in the wake of COVID. “We’ve done a lot of research with our shoppers, and when we do those it typically takes some time for us to put the data together,” he said. “But with COVID, everything has been happening so quickly that we have actually done 10 research projects in the last 90 days.”
The findings show a marked shift in consumer spending, from travel and entertainment to home goods. Specifically, if just 5 percent of typical travel and entertainment expenditures switch to home goods, it would boost category sales by 20 percent, a recent analysis suggested.
Not surprisingly, 77 percent of consumers feel less safe than before the pandemic, making cleanliness and safety adjustments a priority for showrooms. To that point, 57 percent of consumers said that they expect the stores they visit to be cleaned and sanitized, and more than half said cleanliness will continue to be an important part of the shopping environment even after the pandemic passes.
All told, Sowards identified five key trends that the Tempur Sealy is focused on and that members should keep in mind. They are:
- Concern for safety and security is shifting to a permanent behavior
- Retailers must connect with the new consumer economic mindset.
- Contactless everywhere commerce
- Humanization of retailers and brands
- Digital acceleration: a decade of change in just a few months.
For all things Convention related, visit the 2020 Convention section of YSN.
BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.