Innovation is key for Hush-a-Bye.

Innovation is the key word for Hush-a-Bye Beds. Last year’s Bed Show saw the introduction of a new gel infused latex range branded Coolwave®, and the revamped range will be launched at this year’s show. The original concept behind Coolwave was to tackle the inherent problem with memory foam mattresses, i.e. overheating. As Andrew Richards, sales director at Hush-a-Bye explains; “There are many gel infused memory products on the market, but starting with a ‘warm’ product and then trying to make it cooler didn’t seem to make sense to us. So we started with an inherently cooler product that offered the same pressure relieving properties and looked to make that cooler still.” Latex is a well-established material and has many advantages over memory foam. As Andy says, “We were convinced by  independent research that show that Coolwave latex gel not only absorbs heat more slowly than memory foam but also shows that heat and moisture penetration is reduced significantly. Added to that, latex recovers its shape considerably quicker than memory foam.” The Coolwave latex range has a completely fresh look for 2015, and the rest of the range has also been enhanced with a new range of non-turn mattresses, all featuring pillow tops.

The major innovation for Hush-a-Bye this year is the ottoman bed. Over the last few months, this model has undergone a stringent safety process with FIRA, as Andy explains, “There is obviously room for improvement with the standard ottomans that are on sale in the UK today. Our in-house NPD team devised a new model and worked alongside FIRA to address these safety issues. We were delighted when FIRA came back saying that the thorough risk assessment conducted by FIRA ensured that it is one of the safest products of its type on the market.”

Overall, it is looking like a busy show for Hush-a-Bye, Andy concluded, “We have always been proud to support the ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers and we hope they will be excited to see the exclusive innovations that we are bringing to them.”


Swanglen’s two tone story

Swanglen Furnishings truly understand fabric, and at this year’s Bed Show, they will be launching a brand new range of fabrics. New textures and colourways will be brought together in a brand new swatch featuring around 40 fabrics. The major focus will be on what national sales manager, Nick Gigg, calls the Two Tone Story. As Nick explains, “In addition to our enhanced swatch, we will launch a dedicated range of exciting, stylish and durable wool-look fabrics in eight fashionable colours. These muted tones are designed to be sympathetic to each other and combining them gives fantastic results.” Swanglen are well known for their upholstery skills and this concept will show them at their best. Nick continued, “The customer will be able to choose from two brand new headboard designs and specify any two of the eight colours. The contrasting fabric can then be applied to the borders, piping or buttons, giving a huge number of combinations. This allows customers to personalise their headboard and make an almost unique piece.”

Also on show will be a new collection of contemporary winged floor standing headboards that have to be seen to be fully appreciated. Last year’s show saw Swanglen launch a range of beds for the first time and progress in this area has been rapid. This year there will be two new base options to sit alongside the traditional divan, all of which are available with headboards in matching fabric. Firstly there is the ottoman which has undergone a thorough risk assessment with FIRA, leading to what they describe as “one of the safest products of its kind on the market”. Finally, there is a new low profile contemporary divan base. Essentially this is a storage divan that has the look and styling of a bedstead. As Nick explains, “We had many customers ask us, given our expertise in upholstery, to rethink the traditional divan. Our R&D team has developed a real winner. It has the contemporary slim styling of a bedstead with all the advantages of a storage divan. Of course, it can be seamlessly integrated with any one of our headboards in any one of our fabrics, giving an almost endless choice. The few retailers who have had a sneak preview have been extremely enthusiastic and I think we will see a fantastic reaction at the Bed Show.”


Reimagining the no-turn mattress.

Gainsborough Beds have been hand making quality mattresses for over 30 years. Using some of the finest materials available – including merino wool, silk and cashmere – these beds have an enviable reputation as among the finest available in the UK. The ‘no compromise’ attitude to quality delivers an extraordinary level of comfort, but it does raise some issues. As Andy Richards, sales director at Gainsborough, explains, “we always strive to give the very best sleeping experience, but in common with other handmade mattresses this results in somewhat of an issue with weight for some customers. There can be up to 4,000 pocket springs in our double mattress and, along with the fillings, that soon adds up” The answer is to make the mattress ‘no-turn’, however, this normally involves merely taking out the fillings from one side. Andy continues, “Gainsborough has never taken this approach because ultimately it reduces the lifespan of the mattress by 50%.” The issue is mainly one of settlement of the fillings. Gainsborough has put considerable resources behind R&D to deliver a range that is engineered to reduced settlement and thereby not sacrifice the lifespan of the mattress. Andy says, “We are excited to launch the No-Turn Dual Pocket mattress range. I know this has been an issue for many customers looking for a quality mattress and, finally, retailers will have a product to satisfy these consumers.”

Also new this year is a revamped range of Windsor Bed mattresses. Gainsborough Beds has always supported the independent retailer and The Windsor Bed range allows ‘bricks and mortar’ customers to offer exclusively a handmade quality mattress range at incredible value. Complementing all these new developments for Gainsborough Beds is a fantastic collection of contemporary headboards – both strut and floor standing.

There are sofa beds available that give either, a comfortable seat or a comfortable sleeping experience; it’s very rare that you get something that delivers both. Gainsborough are recognised as among the best and most comfortable sofa beds on the market. Using the best mechanisms on the market, the sprung slatted base features a webbing seat platform that ensures total comfort whether as a sofa or a sofa bed. All of our standard models are available with open coil, pocket or memory upgrades. At the Bed Show we will be debuting exciting new fabric swatches and several new shapes with an emphasis on a more contemporary look. Andy Richards concludes, “This is going to be a very busy show for us, there’s a lot going on with both beds and sofa beds and we can’t wait to show it to customers.”

A Breath of Fresh Air

This year’s NBF Show will see Airsprung Beds continue to provide exciting and innovative solutions for retailers. It will be a showcase for fresh Kids’ ideas, bringing excitement and flair to a relatively predictable market.

In addition, Airsprung will be demonstrating its new, innovative Ottoman storage solution – a major first in the industry.

There will also be some fresh ideas around natural fillings, fabrics and finishing details that so often make a product successful.

As a benchmark brand for value, Airsprung believe that value does not mean utilitarian – many new and refreshing ideas have been created over the past few years and the growth in retailers adopting the Airsprung brand are testament to the fact that they are a manufacturer that listens to its retailers and, in turn, their consumers.

The first manufacturer to truly embrace online retail, Airsprung has matured in the market and now provides complete turnkey services for its online retailer base – the products themselves are only the beginning of the journey. Add to this a comprehensive Direct Home Delivery network, along with add-ons such as Collect and Recycle, and it’s easy to see why retailers trust Airsprung to make their lives easier and, ultimately, more profitable.

Expanding on this successful formula, Airsprung launched its new premium brand Hush From Airsprung two years ago – with the same ethos of quality, service and value. However, the Hush From Airsprung offer was to be focused more on premium fillings and fabrics. It was also designed to maximise the potential of each mattress and provide a premium product with excellent specifications and exceptional value. This gave Airsprung a much wider offer which was designed to attract retailers with a more demanding remit. To date, this has been a huge success and with that success a greater demand for “Private Label” products.

The largest retailers in UK now rely on Airsprung to design and produce their flagship models, be they divans, mattresses, headboards or ottomans. Teams of dedicated Trade Managers are on hand to look after their needs. Furthermore, Airsprung take every opportunity to share new ideas and innovation with its retailers, giving them a useful advantage in the market.

With Airsprung consistently delivering on price, quality and service, it’s no wonder that more retailers than ever before are trusting Airsprung to deliver for them, and to their customers.

NBF’s Code of Practice adopted by trading standards

NBF’s Code of Practice adopted as Assured advice by trading standards in new Primary Authority Partnership agreement

The National Bed Federation’s Code of Practice has been awarded Assured Advice status by trading standards, effectively giving NBF members who are following the code’s requirements reassurance that they are legally compliant when it comes to flammability regulations, cleanliness of fillings and trades descriptions.

Acceptance of the NBF’s code as Assured Advice comes on the back of setting up a co-ordinated Primary Authority Partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards. “We are thrilled to be able to offer NBF members a chance to join a co-ordinated Primary Authority Partnership,” says NBF president Stuart Hibbert. “Members who join the scheme will benefit from consistent and fair enforcement of regulations as well as access to robust and reliable regulatory advice which will apply to every NBF member in the scheme. Plus, having our Code of Practice adopted as Assured Advice means that regulatory authorities will accept our members are meeting their legal obligations in those areas it covers. If that doesn’t prove that our code has teeth, I don’t know what will!”

“We are now in the process of inviting all eligible NBF members to join the new Primary Authority Partnership,” says NBF Executive Director Jessica Alexander. “To date more than two thirds have indicated their intention to do so. “Members of the scheme will benefit not just from a consistent approach to interpreting regulations relating to product safety and fair trading but will also be able to ask for advice and guidance on any queries they might within those two categories. And advice or guidance given is then shared across all local authorities so will apply across the board for all our bed manufacturers.”

Primary Authority Partnerships were introduced in 2009 to provide businesses regulated by multiple local authorities a single approach to legal compliance and protection from the confusion and frustration that can be caused by different local interpretations of legislation. As long as a business is following advice from its Primary Authority, other local authorities can’t ask it to do something different and can direct against any enforcement action proposed by another authority, if it is inconsistent with the advice given.

The Primary Authority scheme was extended in 2013 to groups of businesses following a shared approach to compliance – such as a Code of Practice operated by a trade association. The NBF’s partnership currently only relates to regulation in the areas of fair trading and product safety and only covers companies based in England and Wales. Although the scheme only has the force of legal status in England and Wales, it is acknowledged that authorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland do take note of any Assured Advice offered by a Primary Authority.

The NBF’s Code of Practice is a compulsory requirement of membership for all bed manufacturer members. It covers compliance with the flammability regulations, cleanliness of fillings and trade descriptions and is underpinned by a rigorous regimen of regular third party audit.