Organic Mattress Retailing Series - Part 1: The Power of Choice
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by Barry A. Cik
Around 1970, I helped start the first organic food coop in the basement of a church down the street from the main entrance to Ohio State University. At the time, organic food wasn't available anywhere else. Over the years more food stores started carrying organic foods and today, specialty food stores and most supermarkets carry lots of organic products. My similar involvement in the introduction of organic mattresses came about 20 years ago. It was also a small niche market that has grown due to a steady increase in consumer interest regarding all things organic. Within a few more years, it's my view that if furniture and bedding retailers want to provide what the public wants, most will be carrying organic mattresses and bedding.
Your Likely First Question: Your first question as a retailer might be whether you can successfully showcase “regular” mattresses and bedding alongside organic options. The answer is that of course you can. When you walk into most supermarkets, you can choose to purchase typical mass market items (including lots of junk food). There are also healthier choices including certified organic options. Consumers like having multiple options in grocery stores and it makes good business sense for retailers. The same is true for mattresses and bedding.
Drivers For Organic Mattress Sales: In upcoming articles, I will review details and related questions retailers have asked regarding organic mattresses and bedding. But first, it's important to understand the underlying driver for organic mattresses and bedding. It's that many consumers, who spend a third of their life on a mattress, want to convert to healthier lifestyles. For some that includes minimizing the chemicals commonly found in consumer products – including mattresses and bedding.
Consumers Appreciate Options: If your customers appreciate the furniture selections you provide, if they take care to choose items that best meet their needs, then why not give them the option to choose organic mattresses? This category is increasingly becoming a focus of attention for retailers. For many of you, it's time to address this new wave by addressing types of materials, comfort issues, certifications, terminologies, smart messaging, cross-marketing, dealing with “expert” consumers, issues regarding baby and kids mattresses, Federal Trade Commission labeling, and more. I will share additional information on these topics with you in next installments in this series.
About Barry A. Cik: Barry A. Cik is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer and founder and technical director of Naturepedic Organic Mattresses & Bedding. Since 2003, Naturepedic has been on a mission to protect the lives of families through safer, healthier organic-based products that have a positive impact on the environment. A brand with purpose, transparency, and ethical practices, Naturepedic is the recipient of many certifications and is highly respected by numerous health and environmental organizations (https://www.naturepedic.com/certifications) and is an EPA Green Power Partner. Since its inception, Naturepedic has been a consistent and generous advocate and supporter of NGOs and nonprofits advocating for the “Right to Know” about what is in the products that people bring into their homes.
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