The rapid attrition of furniture stores and interest rates that are Higher, As they hunt for ways to maximize their company in the third subpar year, coupled with a downturn and the Persian Gulf crisis, look to check the mettle of manufacturers.
While the International Sleep Products Association has revised Its projections and now calls for a 1.8 percent reduction in components and a 1.8 percent increase in dollar sales this year, some bedding manufacturers said the industry will be blessed to achieve even those amounts.
"The current economic situation places a damper on 1991," said the president of a cosmetics manufacturer. "And, if we go to war, everything will change. We are going to get to work like never before to keep our current organization, never mind grow it."
Most manufacturers will show new products in the Winter Homefurnishings Market in Dallas next week, however competitive marketing and advertising, along with bedding in the $399 to $799 scope, will push the market in 1991, '' they said.
Listed below are comments from producers on the bedding of this year Marketplace and on their 1991 strategies.
Don chief executive, Spring Air and Pellegrini President
"There are a lot of uncertain factors right now. Client Confidence in the market is low, debt is at an all time high, and we have a danger of war in the Persian Gulf, which hangs over the economy like a cloud. For the past nine or 10 decades, consumption has surpassed income, so common sense says there was a cooling off period.
"On the positive side, interest rates are moderating, Rates have struck a 3 year low and this will spur action in home sales and home construction, which will provide an impetus for bedding earnings and house furnishings. The first half will probably be slow, however I believe the next half will pick up.
"Our game plan is calling for a rise of 10% in 4 and Bucks percent in units. We will get that through advertising and promotions, and focusing on our premium bedding lines that are powerful. Our licensees continue to be powerful, and they'll play a major role in our growth for 1991."
Restonic, bill Brey President
"In the near term, over the next six months, I think it's Going to be more of the same a business environment that is difficult. It would make for a better market, When the Middle East situation gets solved. The reverse could happen, if we go to war. But seeking to predict beyond six months is difficult.
"We are under the assumption that the market will stay Tough, so our situation is that we'll continue to grow by adding new accounts. We did it in 1990 and we have strengthened our contract program. We will continue to be promotional and help retailers hit those powerful price factors and be promotional. We must stay tough and aggressive."
Englander Sleep Products, roger Jasperson President
"Obviously, everybody is talking about it being demanding next year. The market is down and people are becoming more careful.
"Our biggest challenge for the new year is still carrying on Bigger and better accounts. When it's tough, the retailers are constantly looking for something different and new. With that in mind, we are going to work harder using our program, making sure we've got all bases covered"
Zenon Nie, Chief operating officer, Serta
"I believe the business will be extremely aggressive in 1991 more than it had been in 1990. I think units will be down 2 percent and, at best, the dollar volume will probably be flat or maybe up 1 percentage. I feel the unit forecast from ISPA is close, but I feel the dollar amount of a 1.8 percent increase is a little optimistic.
"For Serta, We'll continue to develop all distribution Channels while further strengthening our existing ones. And we will continue to fortify our Perfect Sleeper line."
Malcolm Candlish President and chief executive, Sealy Inc..
"1991 Will be the third consecutive down year in Unit sales from the industry, and. The recession will continue in the first three quarters, but we will see an uptick in the fourth quarter. There's a recession, but I don't buy that it was caused by the Middle East scenario.
"However, it Will mean a shakeout for manufacturers and retailers. We're a marketing company, and we have to continue to do what exactly we're currently doing, no. We have to continue to keep costs in line, and we have to keep advertising and advertising our products. Because there's a downturn in the economy, you don't quit doing this. I've seen manufacturers in sectors cut advertising during a recession. There is no way we will do this."
Vice president, don Robb, sleep products Eastman House
"I think 1991 is going to be hard, but there is company To be had. It just must be done a bit differently. We have smaller traders that have never been oriented. They've been pleased to market high end bedding, and now they know they need to be a bit more competitive than they've been in the past.
"I think there are windows of opportunities Which Are still Open opportunities for ones, and companies our size. These are opportunities that have not been there for years."
Ernie Friedman President, King Koil"Business has assembled Some momentum over the previous six weeks, and generally when we experience that, so do people. We hope to end the year with a 9 percent boost in sales. But there's no doubt that we are and there's absolutely no question we will be in one for the six months to a year. Just how long or how heavy everyone has answers. Whatever happens in Iraq will have an effect.
"So, we must become as competitive as we could. We're Introducing items in addition to some promotions. As license groups have a simpler time doing than companies that are wholly owned we try to respond quickly to the marketplace. We are currently integrating a new'tri zone' built Posture Balanced mattress. We will be aggressively promoting this merchandise into next year."
Dick Mankamyer Executive Director, Springwall Mattress Co."We think the industry is Pretty near ISPA projections, which would be expansion of 3 to 4% in dollars and 1 to 2% in units. We would project an increase of 2 to 4 percent. Do you wonder how much does a futon mattress cost? Find the answer in our website: https://futonszone.com/how-much-does...mattress-cost/
"However, if this recession we are'not in' deepens and Lengthens, those things could change. Due to the turmoil in the market, and with all the major manufacturers up things, there is business out there to get, by opening up new dealers, and we're currently getting our share.
"Within our Minneapolis plant, which services seven countries, we This year, opened 90 new accounts. Our Cincinnati plant opened also our Akron plant, and 60. Our story is one of market share. We gained $6.5 million in a $2 billion market, which for us, being a second tier company is a large jump."
Daryl Tarbutton President, Bemco Associates"I expect an Industrywide reduction of 3.5% in units this year, and that will expand to and throughout 1991. That's basically based on doubt a number of the things which are happening in the market, oil prices, new taxation, and the Persian Gulf crisis. It is a lot different than it had been throughout the six year period from 1983 to 1988, when the industry saw a 30 percent increase in company.
"We are responding to the marketplace by introducing an updated Good line, as we want to continue to keep our attention there. We are setting up a series of eight dealer promotions throughout 1991 the first of which will be a Bemco Mattress Clearance Sale to directly respond to the deterioration in device sales.
"This will be endorsed by point of purchase, paper, and Radio substances. We're currently attempting to do things to help create traffic, While continuing our emphasis on the ultra premium bedding."