This article is owned by Furniture Today and authored by industry veteran Mr. David Perry

Leading bedding producers are recommending that retailers shift to mattress-only pricing rather than promoting set prices.

The producers say that move, which would represent a major change in retail bedding advertising practices, would create a more level playing field with online bedding retailers, who generally advertise mattress-only prices. And it could also encourage sales of adjustable bed bases, the producers say.

Furniture Today has obtained copies of retail letters from Tempur Sealy International, Beautyrest and Serta that recommend mattress-only pricing.

In a retail letter dated Nov. 29, 2017, in which it announced price increases effective March 6, 2018, Tempur Sealy discussed its thoughts on mattress-only pricing.

“We are also evolving our advertising policy, strongly recommending ‘mattress only’ advertising effective March 6, 2018,” wrote Steve Rusing, senior vice president of U.S. sales for Tempur Sealy International. “This change will remove a competitive barrier in a world where non-traditional retailers solely advertise ‘mattress only’ prices. Marketing assets supporting the new advertising policy will be available on Feb. 13, 2018.”

Andrew Gross, executive vice president of marketing at Serta, sent a similar letter to Serta retailers, dated Jan. 2, 2018.

After noting that rising raw material costs will force Serta to raise prices on many Serta, Sertapedic, Perfect Sleeper and iComfort mattresses and foundations, Gross wrote:

“In parallel with these price changes, we recommend that retailers move to feature mattress-only pricing in their advertising. We believe that this approach will best communicate our product values relative to a range of existing and emerging competitors that focus on ‘mattress only’ pricing. This strategy should also help drive in-store conversations around attaching an adjustable base to each ticket. We will make new assets supporting this advertising strategy available on www.sertaretai in mid-February.”

Jim Gallman, executive vice president of marketing for Beautyrest, also sent a letter to retailers noting upcoming price increases for that brand and recommending mattress-only pricing.

“In parallel with these price changes, we recommend that retailers move to feature mattress-only pricing in their advertising,” he wrote in a letter dated Jan. 2, 2018. “We believe that this approach better aligns to the evolving omni-channel marketplace. In addition, this move will allow us to showcase our best product values relative to existing and new competitors.”

Most bedding retailers today promote queen set prices, including a conventional box spring in the set. By doing so, they give consumers an idea of the total bedding purchase they can expect to make if they buy a conventional set, bedding observers say.

But growing numbers of consumers are opting to purchase an adjustable base, and those bases are typically much more expensive than conventional box springs. For those consumers, the set price they see advertised may be much lower than the amount they actually spend, observers note.

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