Is Tempur-Flex Changing Retailers’ Love Affair?

Posted by Doug Stewart on

A few weeks ago I had the weirdest dream. It felt like a normal morning. After a restful night in my Tempur-Pedic Rhapsody bed, I sat up (in my ergo base) and started scrolling the news on my iPhone. I read an Apple announcement: They were going to start supporting the Android market. Rolex was introducing a $99 watch. Timex launched a collection of $20,000 watches. All this news was overwhelming but the most upsetting was what came next - Tempur-Pedic was putting springs in their beds. What? That's not real, right?  

Suddenly! In a cold sweat, I woke up, grabbed my phone only to see the news was true. Temper-Pedic was putting springs in their beds. I posted this question later that day on the Mattress Industry Executives LinkedIn group:

“Has Tempur-Pedic lost its soul or is this a smart play? I'm leaning toward the former. What say you?"

The response was split. Some thought Tempur had totally lost it while others were excited to sell the new Flex line. There were certainly no fence straddlers. Here are just a few of my favorites:

Tony Pearce

President and CEO at GelBeds

I think Tempur has lost its soul. I suddenly can't tell the difference between Tempur and Sealy and Serta and Simmons. Tempur-Pedic must have really been getting whipped in the marketplace with hybrids.

Andy Peterson

Owner, It's About Sleep

Very Interesting, no longer the trendsetter but now following the hybrid trend. Great opportunity for Tempur and its competitors.

Dallas Tennyson

Territory Sales Representative at Englander Sleep Products

Tempur-Pedic is not just a mattress anymore... It is a household name. Why not use it in all categories and capitalize on the brand recognition.

Roger Cunningham

Owner, The Bed Store

Tempur-Pedic will do well with the Flex line. As for losing their soul, I don't think that concerns them. They have to find ways to stay relevant and competitive in the marketplace. Their brand will afford them room for error. That being said, they have their work cut out for them.

Paul Lilley

CEO Space Coast Retro

P.S. It is also very obvious TPX will use this bed as an umbrella bed for the Hybrid line from Sealy. Problem with them creating this line is it sells Sealy as well as Serta, and Simmons much easier. All they have done creating this bed is create a better value story for other bed manufactures. Good job...

Mitch Holstein

Sales manager at mattress one

About time a coil Tempur product I think it will be a killer mattress system

Jacob Edwards

Owner principal, Omniprofit Consulting

Tempur-Pedic is conforming. See what I did there?

After reading all the comments, I came to a conclusion. Tempur is doing what it does best, creating buzz. Their message is different than before. But I don’t retailers’ love affair with the brand is over. They are not the underdog they once were. I want to remember them as the little guy - the proverbial David going up against the Big S Goliath.

TPX came into the industry in the early 90’s with an antagonistic message that innerspring beds lacked support and were actually bad for your back. Their success made us question the absolute truth of innerspring support and wonder if we could really sell foam beds for two grand. They ran infomercials at 3 a.m. and marketed to the people lying awake in their S-Brand beds. They caught fire in the media and that strange little foam (oops, I mean Tempur material) company ended up acquiring one of those S brands, Sealy.

Tempur-Pedic has arguably done more for the bedding industry than any other company. They added a category, raised the average ticket (for everyone), and made mattresses cool. Well, cool in terms of pop culture. Temperature cool is a different article. 

The truth is, I want Tempur to be David again. I miss the old story. But they are a different company now with a different set of challenges. So, the question is, what does David do when he grows to be Goliath? I expect 2015 will show us as Tempur+Sealy FLEXes its brand muscles.  

About Doug

Doug Stewart is a disruptor, millennial, speaker, blogger, and certified Dale Carnegie instructor. He is also the Director of Training at Mega Group USA. Doug disrupts from Raleigh, North Carolina, where he lives with his beautiful wife and adorable 3-year-old daughter. Connect with Doug at View all articles by Doug

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