By David Gill
A visit to the International Hotel/Motel & Hospitality Show here in New York last year showed that the quality-of-sleep issue is top of mind among the nation’s innkeepers. Clearly, the hotels have shown that they get it regarding quality of sleep. Bob Altbaier, owner of Downlite, which was an exhibitor at the show, said, “The hotels want better bedding because quality of sleep is so important to their customers’ satisfaction.” If you spent the night in a hotel tossing and turning, and had to show up at the following day’s meeting with just a few minutes’ sleep, you aren’t likely to stay in that hotel again. Retailers of bedding products can learn a lesson from this. If a particular mattress, pillow or top-of-the-bed product moves a consumer deeper into dreamland, giving that consumer the rest they need for the sake of their health, that consumer will return to the store where he or she bought those products … and buy more. This is important because many retailers are clinging to the notion that sales and promotions are the only way to generate store traffic. Instead, learn a lesson from hotels. Start advertising and promoting your bedding products around quality of sleep. Show your customers (who after all, are also your “guests”) that you care not only about their business, but about their overall well being, too.