It started with a spring…

Amy Curtis, Head of Marketing at Sleepeezee, looks to the year ahead as the company celebrates its centenary milestone.

Despite some unprecedented economic challenges for the industry and wider economy over the last 18 months, from rising interest rates and inflation, to increased energy costs and material cost volatility, British bed and mattress brand Sleepeezee were still able to achieve its highest ever turnover in 2023 at £42.7m.

Last year the business was recognised with a number of industry, local and Which? Best Buy awards as well as delivering a record Bed Show in September, where it picked up another award, this one being for its new Centurial mattress, which won Product of the Year. Alongside accolades, Sleepeezee ramped up its export business with a new Korean distribution partner on board, as well as achieving a new partnership with a buying group within Germany, rolling out products to over 60 stores.

Exports have continued to be a key focus moving into 2024 too, with the Kent-based business recently announcing the appointment of Jason Lowdon, formerly of Silentnight Group and Harrison Spinks, as its new Export Director.

Sleepeezee intends to grow this division of the business and will play a key role as it works towards achieving its five-year plan of reaching £50m in sales by 2025. Backed with a strong UK presence, the company anticipates further growth in the year ahead, one that also marks a special occasion as Sleepeezee prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary milestone.

“The year has started positively,” said Amy Curtis, Head of Marketing at Sleepeezee. “We believe it will still be a challenging year for big ticket items for the home, with consumer spending perhaps a little tighter, which is why we must continue to invest in marketing the Sleepeezee brand, ensure we develop quality products and keep our service levels and lead times consistent.

“Our focus continues to be on engaging and supporting our existing retail partners, growing their product offering and providing quality bespoke displays for their stores, but we have also taken on board a number of new customers over the last 12 months, which has helped contribute to a huge increase in our overall shop floor presence in stores.

“We design and develop high quality, value for money products, with quality POS support for stores, dedicated customer service and consistently short lead times, which in turn provides the retailer with the peace of mind that Sleepeezee is a brand they can trust.

“We are still on track for our five-year plan, which was devised back in 2020 to reach £50m in revenue by the end of 2025. Our strategy is clear, grow overall market share in the UK and continue to increase our retail market penetration, further develop contract hospitality business, and continue to increase our export presence, distributing the Sleepeezee brand internationally and capitalising on the continued marketing investment in the brand.”

Shifting the focus to the upcoming centenary milestone, Amy added that the official birthday month is December, and therefore allows the company to have a full year of anniversary celebrations. “For us reaching 100 years is a huge milestone, and first and foremost we’d like to thank our wonderful employees who have helped played a part in us achieving our centenary.

“Throughout the year we will be spotlighting different long serving employees from different areas of the business to tell their personal story of their time at Sleepeezee. We also have a few events planned during the year that include celebrations for staff, and events that will involve our retail partners and suppliers, as a thank you for their continued support.

“We also want to give something back to our customers and audiences, so we’ll be dropping different giveaways and special promotions during the year too.

“We have already launched our anniversary range ‘Centurial’ at the September Bed Show last year, which received incredible feedback with one model even being recognised and achieving Product of the Year in the awards, so the Centurial Collection will be at the forefront of our messaging throughout the year.”

The new Centurial range features the Centurial 03 mattress, which is made with 100% natural fillings such as natural talalay latex, alpaca and British wool and comes with a 10-year guarantee. It is glue free, 100% recyclable at the end of life, and backed up with excellent point of sale for retailers too. The collection also endorses Sleepeezee’s eco and sustainability ethos, which continues to be a key consumer driver within the UK, as Amy explains: “There has been an overall shift amongst consumers driven by increased awareness of environmental issues, concerns about climate change and a desire for responsible and ethical sourcing and consumption.

“Consumers are increasingly seeking furniture that is made from sustainable and renewable materials, which can be recycled at end of life. Durability plays a key part, which is why Sleepeezee ensures a conscious effort to designing and producing products that are durable and long lasting, as well as being able to be recycled come end of life.”

Other than its green credentials, Sleepeezee’s continued success over the past century derives from a number of core focusses that have remained part of its makeup all these years. These include relationships, connections and quality. “For us our success has come from creating dedicated and lasting relationships with our retail partners, recognising that each retailer is unique, and so product requirements and in store support will vary amongst them,” Amy revealed.

“We don’t adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach to how we do things, whether that is our product offering or marketing and point of sale support, so I think retailers appreciate that. Not to mention we are able to offer extremely good quality handmade products at value for money price points.

“Maintaining meaningful connections with our consumers is a priority for us too. Since a bed is a relatively infrequent purchase, establishing lasting relationships and engaging in ongoing conversations with our customers ensures that our brand remains at the forefront of their minds when they embark on the purchasing journey again. This not only fosters positive word-of-mouth but also positions us as a reliable and knowledgeable resource for all things sleep and bedroom-related in their everyday lives.

“Our commitment extends to regularly educating and informing consumers, providing valuable insights, and serving as a trusted source of knowledge. By incorporating our 100-year messaging into our marketing communications, we aim to emphasise the trustworthiness of the Sleepeezee brand, highlighting our century-long commitment to knowledge and expertise in the field.”

Alongside the regular anniversary celebrations planned throughout the year, it’s business as usual at Sleepeezee HQ where the team is already preparing new product development launches for this September’s Bed Show. “We have several new launches already in early development stages, so we’re hoping we can reveal an early launch in the summer before the show to get retailer feedback,” Amy said. “We are also finalising a new AIS exclusive collection ready for the show in April, so AIS members should come pay the Sleepeezee stand a visit to see what we have to offer!

“It is looking like another busy year filled with product developments for a wide range of our customers, so we’re always keen to stay on top of new material innovations to keep us at the forefront of the market.”

From humble beginnings back in 1924, Sleepeezee has grown into one of the most well-known bed manufacturers in the world. And it all started with just a spring.

www.sleepeezee.com

Sleepeezee: Through the years

1924 – Sleepeezee was founded by the Price family in Croydon, London.

1963 – Sleepeezee was the first pocketed spring manufacturer to be awarded a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen and subsequently HRH The Prince of Wales.

1970 – Production moved to a new factory site in Merton, West London.

1980 – Introduced Beautyrest™ pocketed springs which were a huge development in mattress spring technology.

1985 – Sleepeezee awarded Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales.

1993 – Sleepeezee entered into the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s largest bed measuring at an impressive 20ft x 15ft.

2006 – Closure of the Merton factory. Opens factory in Rochester where all Sleepeezee products are currently made.

2013 – Began supplying Travelodge Hotels with the Dreamer bed and donated over £100,000 to Macmillan Cancer Support from the sales of this bed.

2016 – The start of our ongoing relationship with QEST (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust).

2017 – We have been carbon neutral since 2017 and we are very proud to say that no waste has gone to landfill since 2012.

2019 – We are the first bed manufacturer to receive the Planet Mark demonstrating a commitment to lower our carbon emissions.

2020 – Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is announced as the Sleepeezee Brand Ambassador.

2021 – Newly installed for 2021, 591 energy saving solar panels have been fitted across our entire 1130m2 manufacturing facility in Kent.

2022 – Sleepeezee expands into South Korea.

2023 – Achieved NBF Product of the Year for Centurial

2024 – The story continues…

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