MANUFACTURING: BEDS MARKETS – Mattress marriage
Spring innovations can help the British bed industry compete with cheaper imports, says Anthony Joyce, president of Leggett & Platt
W ith around 180 mattress manufacturers competing for business, there's no denying that the bed market in the UK is fiercely competitive. But the going is to get even tougher. Futon Mattress imports are expected to increase substantially, mostly at the lower, commodity end of the market - to new distribution points, such as the DIY sheds which are poised to sell a lot more bedsteads and futon mattresses. And that's not even touching on the ever increasing demands from other sectors for a share of consumers' disposable income.
What can UK bed manufacturers do? They could de-spec, cut costs and margins enough to try and compete at this commodity end of the market. Or they could look at ways to add value through product development, brand value and marketing. Span-America rates comfort; convoluted foam mattress pads display index
Unique product features and benefits are becoming increasingly evident and there are a host of exciting material and component innovations to tap into and tell the world about through marketing. And the supplier that can ensure short, reliable and trouble free delivery and good follow up service is always going to be a winner with retailers.
In this environment a successful supplier will supply the basic product when needed and at a competitive price; but also has the expertise to develop entirely new products with the frequency and ingenuity that the market now demands.
This is what L&P Springs aims to achieve, in the battle for the consumer's purse.
Tie ups are not new: Silentnight did it with its Miracoil spring, initially sourced under licence and now manufactured by spring specialist Leggett & Platt. What is new is the intensity of the demand for ideas that can be used to make unique products and offer unique consumer benefits. twin size futon mattress see more
Two recent examples in a whole raft of introductions - some already bagged by canny manufacturers - include the Low Profile Pocket unit and the revolutionary S'Ence. Although entirely different concepts, both have applications across a whole range of product from static to adjustable beds.
The Low Profile Pocket is believed to be the smallest pocket on the market, with a spring diameter of only 25mm. It is also available in a range of firmnesses from solid to pliant.
S'Ence is a system of plastic plates which can be customised in shape or with logos, and simply snap into place on to a wavy band. As pressure is applied to the bed surface, adjacent top plates extend upward either side of the pressure point for counteracting support. S'Ence works with all types of futon mattress and is available in rigid form or as adjustable options, either manual or electric. https://futonadvisors.com/sales-can-lonely-business-futon-advisors/