he explains. “Without the flexibility of an ad- justable base underneath it, sleeping on two twin extra-longs was in no way our preferred sleep surface. It made me think a lot about why—and it was my wife who summed it up, she said, ‘I feel like Lucy and Desi.’” Surely there had to be a better solution, he thought. Which led him to enter the split-head mattress category. Designed to offer the best of both worlds, the foot of the split-head bed is designed as usual—but the top one third at the head of the mattress is separated. This allows each side of the bed to move inde- pendently from one another, without resort- ing to two separate mattresses.

“Most consumers, but especially a lux- ury consumer, want one mattress to sleep on—not two,” he continues. “This is true even when they want the independent flexibility of two sides of the bed. Most couples want to be intimate, not distant. Most couples want to be together in bed, not separated.”

In order to truly reap the sales benefits of the luxury and adjustable categories, it’s important for bedding retailers to take these consumer concerns into account. By offer- ing a split-head option on their showroom floor, they can easily address these con- cerns—and offer a high-end solution for the same price as two standard twin extra-longs. Recognizing the value of the split-head con- figuration, Posh + Lavish spent the next few years perfecting the design and manufacturing process. The unique shape makes it a challenge to construct and nearly impossible to produce in a mass-production facility. For Posh + Lavish, there was the added trouble of figuring out how to make them while maintaining the integrity of the natural materials featured in all of its beds— including layers of latex, nearly 12 pounds of wool, cotton, and a four-way stretch cover. There was a lot of trial and error, Ling admits. “When we started making these, we didn’t know where it would end up,” he explains. “We just knew it was a configuration our retailers were interested in. It just seemed like there was a problem that needed to be solved and we could figure out how to do that.” The hard work paid off. The company eventually perfected its approach—and now offers both split-head king and queen mat- tresses. It is one of the few companies in the industry to offer split-head in queen size,

“Now all of a sudden it’s 2020 and the industry needs another big something that consumers are actually delighted to pay extra money for— something that really makes their sleep better.”

which is a valuable option in urban areas like New York and San Francisco where smaller apartment sizes can limit consumers’ inter- est in king-size mattresses. In fact, Posh + Lavish is one of the few brands to manufacture split-head mattresses in general. While the core concept has existed for quite a while, they are still not very ubiquitous in the market—in part, Ling guesses, because of how challenging they can be to make. The big- gest exception to this is Sleep Number, which offers multiple split-head king models in all of its stores, in addition to promoting them prom- inently in television advertising, its website and in its catalog. This not only gives the unique cat- egory greater visibility in the media landscape— it also means that there are many companies already making top-of-bed products, such as fitted sheets and mattress protectors, specifi- cally for split-head mattress.

As a whole, this creates a real opportuni- ty for retailers looking for differentiation in an over-crowded mattress market. Ling likens the potential of the split-head design to some of biggest mattress trends over the past forty years. “We went from the pillow-top in the 70s, to no-flip in the early 2000s, to adjustable bas- es in a huge way in the 2010s,” he explains. “Now all of a sudden it’s 2020 and the industry needs another big something that consumers are actually delighted to pay extra money for— something that really makes their sleep better.” With split-head mattresses, retailers are able to introduce something new and novel into their showroom mix—without the added difficulty of a steep learning curve. Upon first glance, con- sumers immediately understand the product

and what makes it different. Through its own research, Posh + Lavish has found that “the minute the consumer sees this, they get it—and they get it in a nanosecond,” Ling says. “It’s not something that has to be explained for a long time on the retail floor for somebody to under- stand. We always tell retailers to make sure, when they leave the bed after they’re done showing it, that one of the heads is up a little bit and one of the heads is up a lot. Because in a sea of 50 white beds on a floor, if you’ve got one head up a little bit and the other head up a lot, that all by itself will get somebody to walk over to it because they’ve just never seen anything like it. It’s an easy visual.” This renewed focus on split-head mattresses

is an extension of the unique philosophy Posh + Lavish has held from the beginning. The com- pany was developed around the idea of sup- porting brick-and-mortar retailers, promising to not ever sell online or direct-to-consumer. Everything the company does is designed to have a direct and tangible impact for its retail partners. These relationships are reciprocal too; Posh + Lavish is notably thoughtful about its retail expansion. The company has opted out of showing at the traditional markets, a decision Ling says will continue moving forward. “When we license somebody, they align with us and we align with them,” he explains. “We have really loyal retailers that start with three or four beds, and then eventually end up with nine or ten. It’s a more controlled but much more loyal growth rate. I think we prob- ably have one of the healthier little business- es, if not one of the faster growing business- es, in the entire mattress industry. And we’re doing it without Vegas. So I’m thinking we’re going to stay on this strategy.”

In forging its own path through this in-

dustry, Posh + Lavish has created a brand that truly stands out from the rest—in a time when retailers need that most. The company offers meaningful solutions to real concerns, without ever forgetting how important it is for consumers to see and understand what makes them different. By offering retailers sumptuously crafted luxury mattresses that their consumers won’t be able to get any- where else, Posh + Lavish is delivering the differentiation and support retailers need to succeed moving forward. Visit 13

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