The Tempur Sealy Mattress Firm Divorce

When I first heard of the coming split between Mattress Firm and Tempur Sealy, I imagined it would proceed like most cable negotiations, there would be lots of threats, but in the end they would simply make up, and all would be well. This has not been the case. All of Mattress Firm’s corporately owned locations coast-to-coast have been busy removing all mentions of Tempur Sealy products, and selling off their floor models. The divorce is really happening.

I have heard much from both sides, and the media has published their opinion. I’m sure both feel justified in their decision. Both parties need each other. But maybe some time apart will help them both realize that working together is so much better for everyone, especially consumers.

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Tell Me Mattress Lies

It seems they are everywhere. You can find them in large metro areas, and in small communities. You can find them in the large mattress chains, and stuck in some temporary building with a homemade mattresses for sale sign. Who am I talking about? The salesperson that will say whatever it takes to get your business.

I happened to be in another market for Thanksgiving and visited a few stores. I was told about a small shop that does a whole lot of business in the area, so I was interested in seeing what they offered. Among the many things I learned during my visit:

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Tempur-Pedic – Why The Box Matters

If you go out and by a brand new BMW, would you attempt to save a few bucks by buying your tires at Walmart? I mean it is the ultimate driving machine, doesn’t it deserve high quality tires?

I ask this because we are in the season of fairs, conventions and events around the country. Often at these types of events, vendors set up shop and sell mattresses. Sometimes they even sell major brand mattresses. These events are usually staffed by some of the biggest writers in their respective companies. They will do whatever it takes to earn your business – because “they are just there for the day.”

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How Cool Is Gel Memory Foam?

The industry is flooding the market with all sorts of memory foam products, including many mattresses that have some sort of gel additive designed, in theory, to reduce heat. As I have posted previously, I, the hottest man on the planet, sleep on a Tempur-Pedic® and sleep cooler than at any time during my time on the S-brand mattress before.

I sold Tempur-Pedic for a decade. It was my number 1 selling brand, least returned, and NEVER during that time did one come back for heat. You can see a related post here: Tempur-Pedic Sleeps Hot.

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Mattress Priorities – Children’s Mattresses

I like to share incidents immediately because they present a wonderful learning opportunity. I just observed a woman enter a mattress store. She was needing two twin mattresses for her sons (3 & 12). After some initial qualifying questions the salesperson determined that this was largely a price driven decision. He took the woman to the less expensive options and began to discuss the merits of each. In the case of this chain, the least expensive mattress that you would want any human being to sleep on is around $150 for the mattress only – by no means is this an outrageous price for a usable twin mattress.

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Unrealistic Mattress Price Expectations

A gentleman walks into the mattress store and is promptly greeted by the salesperson. After exchanging names and pleasantries, they begin to discuss his mattress needs. It turns out he is looking for a California King set, good quality of course, for himself. His budget…. $500.

Let me be really frank for a moment. NOTHING exists of any quality in a California King for $500. There may actually be a product available at that price, but I would suspect it would be of horrendous quality, re-manufactured or used/clearance. And even that would be doubtful since Cal King sizes are usually a special order product and often cannot be returned.

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Black Friday Mattress Sales

If you find yourself needing a mattress, this may be a very good time to shop. The week leading up to and through Thanksgiving, retailers are spending gobs on advertising and promoting all sorts of mattress specials. Per earlier blogs, the savings may not change that much from the rest of the year, but there is something else in play.

CHRISTMAS

For those commissioned salespeople who get paid monthly, what they sell in November directly impacts their paycheck just before Christmas. In other words, they are hungry. November is a very depressing month until the final week. There is a whole lot of pressure to hit the monthly goal, earn bonuses and sell enough so the little ones at home will have a happy holiday.

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Attack of the Memory Foam Clones!

I have been waiting for the day that foam beds take up the majority of floor space for mattress retailers. That day is at hand. Visit any major mattress retailer and you will see a variety of non-innerspring options from latex to air to memory foam to hybrids. I would suspect in the coming decade, you will see innerspring mattresses playing only a supporting role in the mattress sales/selection process.

While Tempur-Pedic is still by far the very best on the market, the me-toos are catching up. All the S-brands have launched and/or relaunched products in hopes of grabbing a piece of this growing market. Sealy has the Embody, Serta the iComfort and Simmons has the ComforPedic. Each has its merits. You should sample a few before making a decision.

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Spooky Mattress Tales

Dirty tricks used to be a staple of some of the sleazier folks in the mattress industry. Fortunately, most of the purveyors of this activity have either left the business or closed down.

Caveat emptor – Let the buyer beware.

New or Used Mattress – If you are buying “clearance, discontinued or floor models” there is a really good chance that you are buying used mattresses. Some states require inspections and some sort of sanitation process. This can be as simple as spraying on a disinfectant.

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Columbus Day Mattress Sale

Columbus Day is the holiday we celebrate Europeans first landing in the Americas. What this has to do with mattresses and sleep is anyone’s guess. But it is for some a three day weekend, so why not have a mattress sale?

A quick review of the sales events at various mattress retailers reveals a smorgasbord of options.

“Free” Box Springs Sale – Make sure you ask what the price is for just the mattress. There is nothing free in this world.

“Mismatch” Sale – I have never understood how any company, unless it is grossly mismanaged, could end up with a surplus of boxes. Always verify that the mismatched box is the identical quality of the regualr box. Often it is inferior, which could cause problems down the road.

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Simmons 2011 Mattresses

Well that didn’t take long. Sealy greatly improved their line and now Simmons is releasing their new mattresses for 2011. In a similar fashion, I thought Simmons got lazy with their mattresses. You had two supports – hard and soft. There were no handles and no edge support until you were at the World Class level. As a salesperson, and even a customer, you got the feeling that they really didn’t care.

Whether it was a reaction to Sealy, or just a long overdue wake up call, Simmons is back with a vengeance. Foam encasemnt starting at the Beautyrest Classic level and even handles on several models. Why is this so important? If you have ever tried to move or reposition a Simmons mattress, those buggers are heavy.

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Mattress Upselling

Mattress Upselling – Is this mattress best for me, or the salesperson?

“Let me show you some much better mattresses” – You have done your homework, maybe even slept on a similar mattress, and now are ready to go purchase the mattress of your dreams. You tell the salesperson that you want to try their very best Sealy mattress, but instead he gives you a 10 minute tirade on how bad they are, followed by 10 minutes on the virtues of the Purple Hippo 5000, the latest and greatest knock off.

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