Alexandria, Virginia -The International Sleep Products Association in the US hopes to promote more mattress sales via three initiatives: forming a Mattress Retailer Council within ISPA; a national marketing campaign; and a US-wide sustainability initiative for the industry.
The Mattress Retailer Council will allow mattress retailers, manufacturers and suppliers to discuss and coordinate crucial issues in the mattress community. It will provide an important link between all sectors of the industry.
ISPA said the nine major mattress retailers that participated in a leadership summit last month are being asked to be founding members, and membership will then be extended to the broader mattress retailer community.
The marketing campaign will aim to build consumer awareness of the important role new mattresses play in improving sleep, health and quality of life. The aim is to shorten the purchasing cycle and create a broader market for mattress sales.
"All of our research points to the fact that consumers understand the importance of sleep to their overall health and well-being," noted ISPA chair Charlie Eitel, ceo of Simmons Bedding Co. "We need to demonstrate the key role new mattresses play in the equation and … work shoulder-to-shoulder with our mattress retail partners to get the word to consumers."
Simmons is pledging $2 for every foundation that it sells, from 1 Jan 2009, or an annual contribution of about $5 million. "We are committed to support this for at least five years" Eitel continued. "However, in order for such a campaign to be fair to all it cannot allow 'free riders,' Simmons will support this effort only if 75% of the industry, based on dollar value, supports the campaign and all are involved in ISPA as members."
In sustainability, ISPA wants to improve public perception of the mattress industry. It will also aim to further reduce the environmental impact of used mattresses, working with retailers and scrap recyclers to reduce the industry's "footprint" on landfills and improve the recycling of used mattress materials.
"The key to this endeavour's success is full retailer participation, an adequate and reliable supply of used mattresses, and an efficient and comprehensive dismantling system, all of which are attainable," according to ISPA president Dick Doyle. "The technology exists and the will to succeed is there."