Enriching the futon industry’s premium lines

Industry Updates

part 1

Gold Bond’s Newest ‘Visco Opulence’ Futon Mattress In Major Las Vegas Debut

LAS VEGAS (NV.) A stunning crown jewel will adorn the country’s hottest premium futon mattress lineup when the new “Visco Opulence™” is introduced by sleep product innovator Gold Bond at the Futon and Specialty Sleep Expo March 2 - 4 here, Gold Bond president Bob Naboicheck announced.

“The new ‘Visco Opulence’ raises the comfort bar substantially in the futon business. This will provide Gold Bond futon retailers with another product that allows them to vigorously compete with more costly but less comfortable futon sofa sleepers and mattresses,” Mr. Naboicheck said. “We have taken the time, nearly 10 months, to perfect this product. We are now ready to bring it to our futon retailers. It must be experienced to be fully appreciated. People who have tested it are fired-up and excited.”

Comfort — In Superlatives

Veteran futon retailers, their sales personnel, and Gold Bond employees who have examined the new “Opulence” describe its comfort levels as “incredibly luxurious”, “hedonistic”, “way beyond any futon ever built”, “voluptuous” and “self-indulgent”. “Comfort rules everything, and this futon really delivers in superlatives,” Sales and Marketing Vice President Andy Freedman adds.

The new futon mattress combines two one-inch thick temperature-sensitive Visco layers, two eight-inch thick batts of super slick densified polyester fiber, and two two-inch thick layers of 1.8 density H.R. foam—a total of twenty-two (22”) inches of the futon industry’s finest support materials—double-stitched, lace tufted and condensed into its 12 inch high-profile heavy duty cotton twill outer shell.

Futon Conforms to Body

The new 12 inch profile transcends other cushioned premium sofa-like futons in the seat position, while body-molded, weight-sensitive Visco mattress support is experienced when used in the bed position. The cushion conforms to the neck, head, spine and trunk of the body. Gold Bond’s densified fibers and high resiliency foam deliver deep support beneath the cover. It is easy to fold, unfold and move.

Enriching the industry’s deepest premium line‚ the new “Opulence” is expected to retail for $399 full size, $499 queen, and carries a 15 year non-prorated warranty. “It will,” Mr. Naboicheck notes, “enrich what we believe is an extraordinarily deep premium line up that has served our futon retailers very well over the years. Retailers will position their other existing premiums below our Opulence. We believe they will sell more ‘adv’ premiums as well.”

Gold Bond is a pioneer in America’s futon sofa sleeper industry, having introduced the plush and thick futon mattresses that rapidly replaced thinner Oriental-style futon pads — quickly fueling the country’s futon sofa-sleeper boom. Gold Bond is the industry’s first noncommercial cotton batting producer to receive the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Classification.

Gold Bond: Futon Industry’s Premium Pacesetter

The company uses its own JOY™ cotton in other premium futon mattresses, including the Wool Wrap, Coil Wrap, Cotton Coil, Comfort Coil, SofTouch, and its complete line of futon mattresses.

Gold Bond is one of America’s oldest independent sleep product manufacturers, shipping to 50 states and 12 countries from its factory in Hartford, Connecticut. Gold Bond dealers are provided with award-winning point of sale sales aids, banners, posters, cutaways, and brochures.


New Showroom for Hickory Springs at High Point

Hickory Springs and Hickory At Home have moved to new digs for this Spring’s High Point furniture market. “We have vacated the Cramco building for the upcoming market, and have taken up occupancy in the Heritage Room at the Radisson Hotel,” said Tracy Hamlin, Hickory Springs’ National Sales Manager. “I’m sorry about the move for one reason and one reason only. I loved that Cramco building picture in the High Point schematic that Futon Life digitally imposed for the last issue,” she said.

Hamlin also said that she and associate Wendi Hartsoe will be in Vegas at the Futon and Specialty Sleep EXPO in March.


August Lotz Announces Phenomenal New Choices For 2003

August Lotz has unveiled several new and exciting futon sofa sleeper frame designs which are sure to increase the bottom line for their futon retailers. “This is the largest number of new designs and finishes we have ever offered at one time,” stated Mark Schlichter, company president. Two new finishes that will be available on several models are English oak and cabernet. When asked why August Lotz was making these additions, Schlichter stated, “We want to aggressively target price-points in a way we never have before, specifically the $399 to $499 retail price range.”

In addition to the $399 to $499 price range, August Lotz has three new frames to target the $249 to $299 price-points. Schlichter stated the new styles available in the $120 to $150 range (wholesale), including a premium folding tray arm, are designed to be a solid first step up from an opening price-point, all wood futon frame. Schlichter commented that, “These are field-tested designs and are premium quality.” Finishes offered in these price-points include medium, cabernet and natural.

The more substantial of the new models include designs which are similar to other August Lotz futon frames which retail for more than $1000. These new designs are now available in the low $230 range, wholesale price, in medium and English oak finishes. These new models are so unique to the futon industry, they have been patented to protect distribution. Schlichter stated, “Our futon retailers will now have the ability to dominate in the $399 to $499 retail price range.”He then made the point that a futon store can sell for less than $500 and still retain a full margin. This will mean higher average tickets and margins for August Lotz retailers. It also means August Lotz retailers will take the lion’s share of the best customers. These customers are the ones who always spend the most on futon mattress and cover upgrades.

“Think of it this way,” Schlichter stated, “futon retailers who carry this new line will have a significant advantage over a competitor who does not. They will take the highest percentage of the best customers from their competition. In addition to taking their competitor’s best customers, they will also be able to convert more of their own customers to a higher price-point. A typical futon retail customer who is looking to purchase a futon frame in the $299 to $399 price range would be more likely to upgrade to a $499 price-point with these new futon frames. For a step up of less than a $100 on the retail price, the value will be impossible to ignore. Simply put, these new futon frames are the most effective tool for our retailers to take more business from their competitors, and upgrade a higher percentage of their own customers.”


Bright And Cozy Futon Cover Collections From CottonBelle

“Brighter Delights” has emerged as a major trend in futon fabric design, featuring warm colors, bold shades of yellow, orange and red and softer, deeper blues. A renewed emphasis on texture, especially fabrics that evoke comfort and security, was forecast by Cotton Inc. executives this January at High Point, N.C. Mixing textures with a soft hand and fabrics reminiscent of grandma is a combination recommended for relaxation and renewal.

Futon industry representatives will be able to see for themselves as CottonBelle debuts several trend-setting fabrics at the Futon and Specialty Sleep Expo in Las Vegas.

CottonBelle’s bright and cozy collections of futon covers feature whimsical patterns from a new collection designed by Susan Sargeant. The fabric designer’s soft apricots, tangerines and blues in a soft cotton hand combined with a rich blue chenille and a passionately colored woven paisley can transform any space into a haven to relax and recharge.

Several Sargeant futon cover patterns also have been added to CottonBelle’s Outdoor Sunbrella‚ collection, says Mary Lou Rath, co-owner of CottonBelle.

CottonBelle also has a new collection of cozy, washable and stain-resistant futon fabrics that feature a Polarfleece-type fabric in seven colors including Meridian blue, soft yellows and greens and deep red. “We are betting that this will be an unbeatable value in Category D,” Rath said.

Besides the fabrics reminiscent of yesteryear, CottonBelle is adding two traditional quilt patterns to its Arts and Crafts Collection. One is a yellow and blue Provence Patchwork with a coordinating checkered design and lighter-weight chambray denim choices. A second exquisitely executed North Star pattern is in an Americana red, white and blue color story with several textured coordinates that will make you stand up and salute.


Night and Day Furniture Moves Into Bedrooms

Night and Day Furniture is establishing a reputation... for the new and original... and for also coming out with new models at every new show. This year in Las Vegas Night and Day will be showing their new, complete line of beds and dressers.

“We have had so many requests for bedroom furniture from our key dealers, what could I do?” Mike Gallawa exclaimed the other day. “But of course we have improved the category”.

Spices, Beds and Cases is Night and Day Furniture’s new line-up of bedroom furniture featuring intriguing names for their beds such as the NUTMEG, and the SAFFRON. The CLOVE group is their line of dressers and night stands.

“We looked at what is out there in the market. There are some great, classic designs that everyone wants. To set ourselves apart we’ve added unique features, both in design and construction. As a result I feel we have the right look, solid goods and of course a great value,” Gallawa said.

Night and Day Furniture has gone in with both feet and will be showing a very full line in Las Vegas including several styles and colors in both beds and dressers. Come see for yourself.

Gallawa also insisted that he’s got “lot’s more great new stuff.” Check it out.


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