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Restonic, mattress manufacturing group, is Trimming its Way onto the flooring of major retailers. Its marketing strategy-- geared around supplying generous co-op Funds, as opposed to constructing a national brand identity-- isopening doors. Its line is about the floors of Macy's Atlanta and Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago, in Addition to the Denver-based17-store furniture series Weberg's. Its challenge is always to deliver the earnings gains it has promised Dealers, or danger quickly losing these new placements. Simultaneously, Restonic has to shrewdly time its inescapable Decision to begin building a national identity of its own in orderto sustain earnings Best Futon Mattress Reviews 1.
Two and a half years ago Restonic's board of directors-- Recognizing that the organization's account base of small, independentfurniture dealers was a decreasing one--chose to expand its target market to include large national and regional retailers. Last July, William Brey, afterward with Montgomery Ward, was appointed President of Restonic and directed to take the ball and runwith it. The outcomes of the strategy are now evident. At the past 15 Months Restonic has added 12 major vendors, such as Macy's Atlanta,Carson Pirie Scott, and Weberg's. The bedding manufacturing group claims to be in "serious discussions' with a dozen moreimportant accounts.
"We've only just scratched the surface, said Brey. The Provider's sales were up 18 percent for the second half of 1986, then jumped 24 percent over the past year's first half to thefirst half of 1987, said Brey. This contrasts with industry increase of 9.3 per cent for the first half of 1987, according toindustry figures. In general, Restonic, the eighth biggest bedding manufacturer with annual sales of $75, expects to exceed $100million in sales within two decades. The manufacturer is combating head-to-head for floor space with Bedding manufacturers who never before gave Restonic anotherthought. Even more is expected during the production group's yearlong gold anniversary promotion, to be kicked off in November. "The group is getting into some Significant accounts,' Acknowledged one competitor. "The contest shouldn't be suprised,' Brey stated.
"For a long time, major retailers have not known us. Now we are takingRestonic's narrative into their markets. We are taking away accounts out of the contest or sharing the ground with them.' Brey pointed to several strengths Which Make Restonic an Effective brand on the retail floor. "First we have a superior solution,'he said. The producer's "Marvelous Middle' structure in its superior bedding provides a centre third which is firmer than theother two thirds of this mattress. Other manufacturers also assemble their bedding to provide this Extra firmness; what gives Restonic an advantage, based on Brey,is the mattress's cushioning and upholstery materials are sewn together and fastened to the innerspring unit. The two seams thatrun across the width of the mattress, or "posture lines,' are visible on the mattress's surface. Brey stated the Marvelous Middle "is a story that functions like Magic on the hardwood flooring. The Marvelous Middle structurefights center sag--that is most likely the reason why the consumer is buying a new mattress.'
The visibility of the posture lines has influence, according to Jeff Morrill, buyer for Weberg's. "Because Restonic has sewn asection of the middle of the mattress, the client tends to believe that that center section differs. And if they try out themattress, they can feel it is firmer in the middle,' he explained. Brey also noted, Restonic offers limited supply, which Ensures retailers better margins. "They are not going to find us in everygas station in the city,' he said. Agreed one retailer, "You can earn a profit in their line.' He added, "Restonic is easier for salespeople to market,' noting thatsalespeople tend to be reluctant to sell more broadly dispersed brands: a customer may discover a specific model for significantlyless money at another shop and end up cancelling her original purchase, he said.
Brey stated that using "20 plants shore to shore,' the Producer can service any retailer. "We've got a fast ship program to majorvendors,' he explained. "In certain areas we can even provide same day services.' Yet competitions point out that Restonic's strategy of foregoing National advertising and instead using coop money to earn itsplace at a merchant's lineup essentially amounts to "purchasing its way onto the ground.' And even though it's winning somecompany this manner, they claim, the plan will not sustain the company for the long haul. According to one producer, "They've taken the cash That would have been spent on national advertising and developed basically a"key accounts' fund. The issue with this kind of strategy is that once the money dries up, so do the accounts. Producers who dothis go in and from accounts on a continuous basis. It's a short-lived strategy.' Another industry insider added, "From Restonic's purpose of View, it is a savvy approach to getting the retail floor.
It's aninvestment. Brey is a former retailer, and this is really a promotion, retailing approach.' One competition pointed out, but that targeting certain Major accounts without creating a national identity is a divisive strategyfor a licensee business. "It only gains certain crops--the plants who are getting those accounts.' For its part, Restonic recognizes that to continue to grow, Eventually it will need to create a national identity through nationaltrade and consumer marketing. This step, however, will come only after Restonic has a good account base to support it, Brey said. "Up till now we've put our limited funds into coop to Generate a revenue base to support national advertising,' he explained. "Ournext step is making ourselves understood, doing the type of national advertising that we could not manage to do before. Before youmay start doing national advertisements, you must have the sales base to support it. What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Canyou market to make a revenue foundation, or do you build a sales base as a way to Best Futon Mattress Queen Size f ?
"We recognize that it has to be done, and we're heading in That direction,' he explained. "As to if it'll happen, I don'tunderstand. At some point you need to decide that you are likely to become a key participant' He added, "We're not wholly owned, so we can not issue directives. We have to go forward as a group. You can not please everyonein the group, but you try to please as many as you can. We do have a board of directors, and they have determined we ought to be alarge player. The responsibility is mine to take the direction the board has given me' Brey pointed out since the Restonic name has nowhere near The clout of the Sealy or Simmons name, Restonic works harder tomaintain its product on a merchant's floor. "Because we are not a Sealy, we go that one step farther,' he explained. "We can notafford to produce a bad product.
We'd be off the ground in a minute.' For this same reason, the company strives to out-service its own Competitors and ensure that its product sells at retail, Breysaid. As an indication, after it had started the Carson Pirie Scott account in June, the Restonic sales force was on Carson'ssales floors virtually every weekend this summer. "That's unusual,' confessed one competitor. "Usually You'd have somebody there the first weekend that the bedding looked on thefloor, and after that through special events.' Much credit for Restonic's advancement belongs to Brey, who took the Helm at Restonic following a brief tenure by former Restonicpresident Frank Hoback sandwiched between two extended periods of time during which Restonic had no president. "While Restonic hasalways taken good care of us, we are very pleased with the current direction,' said Irwin Lowenstein, president of Rhodes inAtlanta.
Brey is quick to state that a lot of this work in dividing a Major-account market approach was realized before he came toRestonic. "They had been on the right track once I got here,' he explained. "It was an issue of stepping in and molding thefederal organization, providing national leadership.' He also added, "Restonic has 20 licensees, many of which can be Family-oriented companies. We are doing exactly what is needed toconduct business in new markets' A major achievement for the group, Brey stated, has been its Recent evaluation of the current market and subsequent development ofa four-prong advertising strategy. Part one of this strategy is to continue to aim independent Furniture shops, the backbone of Restonic's customer base.
"For mostof our history, which was our strength,' Brey said. "That's still an important market to us.' He added, "Industry statistics show that that foundation is shrinking. There are 25 percent fewer small furniture dealers now thanthere were a decade ago.' The second portion of the strategy, then, would be to target important regional and national accounts,which Brey calls the "major gain area.' The organization made four regional vice presidents responsible for national accounts--all new places--soon after Brey was named president. "The regional vice presidents report to me,' Brey stated. "Their major responsibility is to develop regional and national markets.They work with the local plants in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and West.' Restonic also recently appointed Arthur Morse as manager of advertising. Brey said.
"The next step is going to be a director ofsales or a manager of marketing,' Brey said. The third prong of the marketing strategy is in the Region of "upscale marketing,' Brey stated, noting that Restonic's sales ofultra premium bedding climbed 32% for the first half of 1987. "The potential is enormous,' he explained. Restonic offers a 15-yearnonprorated warranty on top-end bedding. Brey said recent studies of sales trends show that the company Would be successful marketing even higher-end merchandise.Consequently, Restonic introduced fresh top notch bedding featuring Merino wool, latex foam, and pillowtops at last month'sSouthern Furniture Market.
The final part of the marketing strategy is "specialization Marketing,' which includes waterbeds ("We are major manufacturer ofwaterbeds,' Brey stated), sleeping sofa mattresses, and contract bedding. Restonic supplies upholstery manufacturers Flexsteel andBernhardt with sleeping sofa mattresses, also has been effective from the contract area particularly with resorts, Brey said. "Wewill reach the stage where we'll have another best futon mattress reviews,' he said.
Brey pointed out This marketing plan is a direct result of The group's new national orientation and direction. "We have examinedour direction in an organized way,' he explained. "Our strategy isn't seat-of-the-pants. We've addressed where the opportunitiesare and we have taken the opportunity to stop and examine, instead of running around putting out fires. We understand where oursales are coming from.' He noted, however, that one of Restonic's greatest strengths is That "we understand who we are. It is true, we've opened anypresigious accounts. But we do not pretend we are Sealy when we're not. "We are still the alternative accounts,' he explained.
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