How many bed retailers are still putting out the wrong sales message? Here, US bed industry consultant Gordon Hecht explains why consumers need to be reminded that they can’t afford to take 25% off a good night’s sleep …

We, the people of the bedding business, are constantly amazed at how little our shoppers are willing to invest in a great sleep surface. Consider that during the month of November your shoppers will spend 10 full days out of the 30-day month in their next bed, and will continue that for the ensuing 119 months. 

In many cases, shoppers are only willing to invest an amount equal to two car payments, or 3-4 days’ wages! 

Shoppers who visit your store can generally find an acceptable mattress at an unbelievable price that boils down to a buck or two per week for the usable life of the bed. Still shoppers love to ask, “What else can you do for me?” We have all experienced that shopper who believes you have an extra 25-75% discount that you can offer.

You may have heard me say that people hate to go mattress shopping – it ranks somewhere between root canal and pre-need funeral plan. However, people will spend any amount of money to reduce or eliminate pain! Just watch the unending TV commercials for drugs – curing diseases you didn’t even know you had! When it comes to living a healthier life with more energy and less illness, you just can’t beat the effects of a restorative sleep regimen.  That means 7.5- 8 hours a night on average, in a comfortable, supportive bed.

Medical science, physical therapists and even athletic coaches all point to the value of sleep to maximise performance. People may try to get by with 5-6 hours, but there are long- and short-term effects on health and wellbeing. 

Sleeping on a worn or wrong mattress can cause you to lose two or more hours (25%) of essential sleep a night. 

Some people call me a ‘Numbers Guy’.  I don’t think of myself as a pencil pusher or bean-counter, but I do believe that anything that is measured improves! If 8 hours is the benchmark for great sleep, then simple math shows that 25% off that is six hours.  That extra two hours often results in one hour of high-quality REM sleep – the most restorative of all. 

Here are some facts you can present to your shoppers on why quality sleep is important:

• Repairs body tissues and increases immune system, and helps to combat the effects of stress, pollution, infection and more

• Keeps your heart healthy and strong by lowering levels of stress and inflammation in your body and lowering blood pressure and heart rate

• Lowering levels of stress hormones in your body. High levels of these hormones are believed to increase the aging and degeneration of your organs and cells

• Improves memory and cognitive function. The organisation and storing of memories take place during sleep. If you’re short of sleep, your memory and your productivity suffer

• Helps us to learn new skills. Research done by the Harvard Medical School concluded that REM sleep seems to be essential for learning how to do things. ‘Sleep on it’ takes on a whole new meaning now!

• Helps control body weight by regulating the hormones that affect your appetite

Skilled retail sales associates (RSAs) are wise enough to know that selling mattresses is hard! Everyone has one, and nobody likes to buy them! So instead, those RSAs sell sleep – nobody gets enough, and everybody wants a little more. 

Sell and deliver 100% sleep, and you will always get 100% of the price!

Gordon Hecht is a business growth and development consultant to the retail home furnishings industry. He can be reached at