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COVER STORY


“When you go into a retailer, you have to re- ally understand how they’re trying to resonate with their consumers,” he underscores. “By understanding what Sleepy’s was looking for in a mattress, whether in terms of specifica- tions and price or customer service and deliv- ery times, we were able to provide them with those exact factors in the most efficient way.” In the two years leading up to his appoint- ment as president of the company, Bates had already begun what he calls his “exec- utive preparation.” Under the leadership of his uncle Ed Bates and the late Rick Robin- son, Bates began to “learn the ropes of how to run a brand,” he explains. “Instead of just dealing with today, I was dealing with ‘Where are we going to be in three to five years? What about five to ten or even 20 years?’ It extends your vision when you get into that executive preparation role and you start to look at what the overall vision of Spring Air will be moving forward.” Building on his own experience and the guidance from his mentors, Bates has ad- opted a very hands-on leadership style. He recently joined a group of sales managers to help run a training program with one of Spring Air’s newest accounts—a move that he didn’t realize would come as a surprise to those around him.


“I like to be places that sometimes people


don’t expect the company president to be,” he says. “I think that’s the best way to really understand a program or a partner. There’s no better way to learn than being hands-on. I think the hardest thing for me personally is going to be learning how to step back when I need to. We have great people who will get the work done and my role is to empower the team to be hands-on as well.”


He is doing just that by working to foster a greater sense of collaboration throughout all the different parts of the company. The team recently launched a new internal mes- saging service that allows the licensees and Spring Air corporate to directly communicate with one another in real time, faster than ever before. Additionally, the company continues to host a number of specialized committees,


Spring Air To Support Pediatric Cancer Initiative With New Mattress & Social Benefit Program


Spring Air has partnered with Love Your Melon for its first-ever co-branding effort dedicated to delivering a meaningful social benefit. Officially launching at the summer market, the new program is devoted to the apparel brand’s mission: providing Ameri- can-made knit beanies to children battling cancer in the U.S. and supporting non-profit organizations that are at the forefront of the battle to defeat pediatric cancer, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Make-A-Wish Foundation. “We’re very excited to be a part of a na- tional effort whose goal is to defeat pedi- atric cancer,” said Spring Air president Nick Bates. “Our partnership with Love Your Mel- on reflects one of many new directions we’re moving in and we’re inviting current custom- ers and prospective retailers to join the fight.” Spring Air developed a special three-mod-


el, encased-coil Back Supporter mattress series to support this cause. Expected to re- tail from $799 to $999 in queen, each mat- tress purchased through this initiative sup- ports the fight against pediatric cancer. The zoned beds feature Spring Air’s exclusive NU-Temp foam, which duplicates the feel


including the newly formed Las Vegas Mar- ket Committee, where licensees can come together to propose new ideas and move through the process towards creating a fi- nalized product. By facilitating the sharing of knowledge from within the company, Spring Air has been able to really capitalize on the strength of its licensing structure. “We believe that we’re stronger as a group than any one person and committees like these are only going to help us grow even stronger,” Bates says. “Our licensees all come from different backgrounds, which means they see problems and opportunities in many different lights. Each one of those licensees can bring up an even better point than the


of memory foam but is temperature-neu- tral. The new line is dressed in contrasting charcoal, grey and ivory upholstery-grade fabrics with signature red handles and knit red throw pillows. Each bed will also tout a Love Your Melon beanie on the retail floor. “Red is the color of the heart and a heart is part of the Love Your Melon logo and identity,” Bates noted. “The consumer mes- sage is: ‘Get a Love Your Melon beanie with the purchase of every designated Spring Air mattress. Your purchase directly contributes to the fight against pediatric cancer.’” Along with using its social media chan- nels to spread its message, Spring Air is generating additional interest at market with new advertising that declares, “Not only do we have your back but we Love Your Melon.”


“Our mission is to make a difference in the


lives of children battling cancer,” said Zacha- ry Quinn, CEO and co-founder of Love Your Melon, “And we’re happy to partner with or- ganizations which will help spread that mes- sage and continue the fight.” Learn more about Love Your Melon on SleepRetailer.com!


next one on how to solve those problems. So although many people do look at a licensing structure as a weakness, we here look at it as one of our biggest strengths.” As Spring Air heads into the future, it is this diverse communion of voices that will serve as the source of innovation. Rather than setting out to “disrupt” the industry, Bates is committed to rethinking the way things have always been done without aban- doning what still works. Led by a bold new vision and supported by long-established network of licensees, Spring Air is commit- ted to finding powerful new ways to help its retail partners succeed. Visit springair.com


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