Western Sleep Products has experienced significant growth. Up until 2009, it was up in the double-digits. Things flattened out a bit, with the global recession. Still, the company – established in 1967 – progressed from a business that once had 10 employees (and recorded a couple of million dollars in sales) into an enterprise that now has 150 employees and boasts revenues in the near-$40 million range.
The impressive numbers results from its association with Serta, one of the world’s most famous mattress manufacturers. You’ve no doubt heard the boast – “the perfect sleeper,” and its jingle that can serve as a lullabye.
Serta claims to make the “World’s Best Mattresses.” That phrase is more than just a PR boast or an official trademark; it’s fact. Today, Serta is one of the best recognized and trusted brand names, for both consumers and retailers.
Western Sleep Products did well to shift its association to this world-renowned company. Western Sleep Products President Denis Jones recalls the circumstances: “Western Sleep Products was formed in 1967 by Robert Murphy, who became the company chief executive officer before he passed away in 2009. From the founding to 1991, our company was a Restonic licensee.”
Restonic, a New York-based mattress-making corporation, is one of Serta’s major competitors.
Jones continues: “In 1991, we were approached by the then president of Serta. He wanted to know if we would take on the role as a Serta licensee in Canada.”
The move made sense, and Western Sleep Products jumped out of bed. “We felt the relationship would be more beneficial, as Serta had a stronger presence in Canada,” relates Jones.
MATTRESS WITHOUT THE PEA
Serta’s birth came in 1931, when independent mattress manufacturers combined their similar talents and capabilities. These entities realized that their future hinged on their ability to compete with the increasing brand recognition and advertising dollars of emerging United States companies. In 1933, the ambitious entrepreneurs collected their businesses under a single shingle – Serta – and they set national guidelines for the products that would be manufactured and marketed under that brand. The result: these business leaders developed a nationally recognized brand and a retail network that would foster growth.
But it all came down to product – the new entity, “Serta,” continually invested into making the best and most innovative mattress features that delivered optimal comfort and body support. That has carried the company along for 80 years. Today, the privately owned Serta is its industry’s second-largest bedding manufacturer. Its name equates with the most restful sleep, and its branding – those cute iconic sheep (count sheep to gain sleep) – led to Serta’s recognition as a leading purveyor that introduced industry “firsts,” such as the “tuftless” mattress, the Advanced Comfort Quilt® and the Continuous Support® Innerspring. It has manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada, and it distributes product to more than 60 countries.
Western Sleep Products – which is headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada (which Jones describes as a suburb of Vancouver) – manufacturers and supplies product to retail and hospitality customers, offering a wide variety of product that include mattresses and box springs.
“We manufacture as a licensee of Serta,” says Jones. “So we don’t sell directly to the consumer. We are into wholesale and, as such, supply the largest retailers and hospitality customers in Western Canada.”
Jones describes what this means. “Serta is one of the world’s best recognized brands, and we’ve positioned ourselves as a local manufacturer, which means we offer comprehensive service to regional customers.”
That translates into quick delivery times, attractive warranty and optimal customer service. Location is also important. “If someone wanted to buy Serta products and we weren’t here, they would have to buy from a factory a lot farther from here. And they wouldn’t receive the same level of service,” he says.
That provides an advantage over some industry competitors. “Consider Sealy, for instance,” Jones points out. “Their closest factory is 900 miles from here. That’s a strong point for us.”
Further, Western Sleep Products contributes to the Canadian community. “We manufacture in Canada for Canadians,” says Jones. “Canadian citizens like to buy Canadian-manufactured products.”
And Western Sleep Products makes sure that everyone knows where it’s coming from, with an emblazoned claim. “We place right on our products, ‘Made in Canada,’” Jones says.
Western Sleep Products main production facility is located in Burnaby, and it encompasses 155,000 square feet – and employs about 150 people – and it services the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. “We provide Serta-branded products,” says Jones.
- Perfect Day – the premium mattress collection designed to rejuvenate.
- Perfect Sleeper – which represents collaboration with the National Sleep Foundation, an organization that seeks to solve the common problems of poor sleep. Serta responded with a product that addresses the five most common sleep and mattress issues that keep people awake.
Western Sleep Products is on board with corporate mission. “Our research and development is superior to any competitor,” says Jones, “and Serta’s innovation is underscored by the ‘iComfort Sleep System,’ a new introduction.”
This innovation takes the corporation into a new area – into a specialty category. “It was launched in March 2010, and it took the market by storm,” says Jones.
The iComfort Sleep System features Serta’s Cool Action ™ Gel Memory Foam – the first-ever memory foam infused with the support and cooling of Serta’s MicroSupport™ gel, a revolutionary memory foam designed to offer superior pressure relief and more targeted support. In addition, its antimicrobial and dust mite resistance protects mattresses from potential allergens.
This is homegrown territory, and Serta owns the market. “We’ve witnessed an Asian influx into the market, and we’ve seen products sold into the country, but we have mitigated the incursion by providing better service,” says Jones.
In other words, rest assured. As your head rests upon the pillow, someone is looking after the economy.
So, sleep in heavenly sleep.