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Simmons Launches In-Store Microsoft TagTechnology

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Simmons Bedding Company  announced that it is revolutionizing mattress shopping with the launch of an in-store Microsoft Tag tagging application aimed at simplifying the buying process for busy consumers as they shop for mattresses and bedding.  Beginning immediately, consumers will find Microsoft Tag at JCPenney stores for mattresses from Simmons’ new 2010 Beautyrest® line, making the rollout the first of its kind at retail stores nationwide.

Microsoft Tags are small barcode-like visuals that may be scanned and “read” by smart phones, with the goal of making in-store signage more interactive for consumers. Once scanned by a smart phone such as the iPhone®, DROID or BlackBerry®, the Microsoft Tag makes additional information, images and videos easily available to the user via their phone’s Web browser, providing consumers with added product detail and demonstration, netting a more robust shopping experience.

When consumers scan the Microsoft Tag for a Beautyrest mattress, they receive access to a 3-D construction rendering of that particular Beautyrest model—either Beautyrest Classic®, Beautyrest Anniversary™ or Beautyrest World Class®. In addition, tag users will have the option to play a Beautyrest video, which illustrates how the bed’s Super Pocketed Coil® springs, BeautyFeel™ comfort and BeautyStyle™ aesthetics come together to offer unsurpassed motion separation, conformability, support and durability in an attractive package. The video also features the brand’s signature bowling ball demonstration for additional emphasis on the Super Pocketed Coil springs’ motion separation benefits. The benefit to consumers is added detail and improved data at the point-of-purchase, making mattress shopping more convenient.

Studies based on buying trends of mattress shoppers found that purchase decisions are typically made in the retail store, making the in-store experience critical. Simmons Executive Vice President of Marketing Tim Oakhill notes, “Consumer engagement happens within ‘the last five feet’ of the bed. Microsoft Tags bring point-of-sale to life, educating and engaging the consumer at the point where purchase decisions are made.”

With the rollout of Simmons’ Microsoft Tags , JCPenney once again proves to be a retailer on the forefront of utilizing technology to aid the consumer’s shopping experience. John Tighe, JCPenney senior vice president and general merchandise manager of Home, notes, “Mattress shopping can be an overwhelming experience given the plethora of brands and the fact that it is often an infrequent and big-ticket purchase. Microsoft Tags aim to assist with the process and provide an enhanced customer experience, leading to a richer and more informed dialogue between the consumer and the sales associate.”

Microsoft Tags, which are used extensively on products in other parts of the world (particularly in Japan), have been slower to transfer to American companies. The technology venture between Simmons and JCPenney is one of the first of its kind nationwide, helping to set a precedent for America’s use of technology in the retail space. “Simmons is one of the first major brands to introduce Microsoft Tags into the retail environment,” said Oakhill. “Simmons’ tradition of innovation has not only shaped the way consumers experience undisturbed sleep; it’s also influencing how they use point-of-sale materials to make an educated bedding purchase. We’re proud of the fact that Simmons is the first major mattress manufacturer to have Microsoft Tag  technology ready for retailers to incorporate into their store environments.”

To view Simmons’ Beautyrest Microsoft Tag content, customers just need to download the Microsoft® Tag Reader application—available for free at http://gettag.mobi—to their smart phones and point the phone’s camera at the tag image. iPhone users may also download the tag reader via the Apple® online App Store.

About Simmons Bedding Company: Atlanta-based Simmons Bedding Company is one of the world's largest mattress manufacturers, manufacturing and marketing a broad range of products including Beautyrest®, Beautyrest Black® , Beautyrest® NxG®, Beautyrest Studio™, BeautySleep®, ComforPedic by Simmons™, Natural Care® and Beautyrest Beginnings®. Simmons Bedding operates 19 conventional bedding manufacturing facilities and one juvenile bedding manufacturing facility across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Simmons Bedding also serves as a key supplier of beds to many of the world’s leading hotel groups and resort properties. Simmons Bedding is committed to developing superior mattresses and promoting a higher quality sleep for consumers around the world.

About JCPenney: JCPenney is one of America's leading retailers, operating 1,107 department stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as one of the largest apparel and home furnishing sites on the Internet, wwq.jcp.com, and the nation's largest general merchandise catalog business. Through these integrated channels, JCPenney offers a wide array of national, private and exclusive brands which reflect the Company's commitment to providing customers with style and quality at a smart price. Traded as "JCP" on the New York Stock Exchange, the Company posted revenue of $17.6 billion in 2009 and is executing its strategic plan to be the growth leader in the retail industry. Key to this strategy is JCPenney's "Every Day Matters" brand positioning, intended to generate deeper, more emotionally driven relationships with customers by fully engaging the Company's approximately 150,000 Associates to offer encouragement, provide ideas and inspire customers every time they shop with JCPenney.

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