‘All American’ mattress push; 40 Winks sparks grass-roots revival of sleep sale promotion

40 Winks sparks grass-roots revival of sleep sale promotion

WESTMONT, N.J.-- While Fourth of July weekend promotions are a retailing tradition, 40 Winks, a seven-unit sleep shop based here, is aiming to extend the fireworks through the end of the month by starting a grass-roots effort to resurrect a national "All American" mattress & queen size futon mattress sale.

The "All American Sleep Sale," originally promoted in June by the National Home Furnishings Association, fizzled out five years ago after a two-year run.

"The concept is something that some people felt was a good one, but the [NHFA promotion] the second year was lacking," said Roy Unger, past president of Serta. "There was some lack of execution the second year in terms of materials and retailer participation. There were some problems with coordination and it kind of fell apart."

'All American' mattress push; 40 Winks sparks grass-roots revival of sleep sale promotion

But the theme, said Gerry Borreggine, president of 40 Winks, "could have been cultivated."

After a lackluster first half of 1991, Borreggine featured an "All American Mattress Celebration" sale to try to extend the boost in sales from the first weekend of July. The sleep shop offered $50 U.S. Savings Bonds with the purchase of selected sets of premium bedding and queen size futon mattress. Advertisements and direct-mail pieces featured American flags and yellow ribbons, recognizing the recent return of troops from the Gulf War.

The retailer's sales figures did an about-face. "It was a winner. It was a successful event and one that we wanted to pack into our bag and pull out every year. It really spiked business. It kicked us off to a much better second half than first half," said Borreggine.

This year's promotion at 40 Winks will again urge consumers to "buy premium bedding, invest in yourself and invest in America," he said. It will be supported with a direct mail flyer, a print ad and a radio ad.

With the endorsement of Borreggine, the Morristown, N.J.-based Total Package Marketing, which printed the retailer's direct-mail flyers, sold 12 million of queen size futon mattresses to other bedding retailers at the High Point market.

"We're not making any money from [the use of the flyers]; we just had the wherewithal to design this concept. It's a successful concept. It's something I think would benefit our industry," Borreggine said. Do you want the best queen size futon mattress for everyday use

Now he hopes to recreate a national event through the support of an industry association, such as International Sleep Products Association. "We're trying to build it up from the grass roots. We're hoping ISPA or another association will put it under its wing and sponsor this event," he said.

"It's been a proven winner in our arsenal of marketing ideas," he added. "We feel the industry would benefit if we all got on board at the same time and promoted a thematic ad such as this."

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Evelyn Coursey

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