March 28th, 2009
We now have a core range of beds and bedroom furniture that are doing significant business. We are on page 1 on Google for bed frames, adjustable beds, single divan, double divan, king size divan, beech bedroom furniture, sealy beds, silentnight beds etc etc
And our new web site should be up and running within the month.
Dean Craig, our new internet sales manager is starting to find his feet and the momentum is with us. So I know I’ve been saying for months that we expect the net to take off. If we triple bed sales again then we will become a serious player on the mail order and internet bed market.
Watch this space.
March 28th, 2009
“Good set ups, good technique, serious focus and a fantastic all round performance. A pleasure!”
This is the report, Robert Hunter, our bed buyer, was given by his Knockhill Rally Driving instructor today. If only his good wife could report the same of him. Never asked her mind.
A fantastic day out and I think we ought to have a bed sales competition with a race day at Knockhill as the prize….. we all have that Archers Sleepcentre company life assurance policy to make use of.
March 17th, 2009
We introduced a one man UK express bed delivery service last week, and despite the limited products available, the service has already proved popular.
People only buy a bed every 10 years and I have always tried to protect them from themselves and their poor memory of what can go wrong. Most beds aren’t a one man lift, and getting them upstairs can be a difficult and potentially dangerous activity.
So I would think twice about a one man delivery service where the bed is only taken to your front door and it has probably received some serious man-handling to get there…..
However we need to remember the oldest of all retail maxims. The customer is always right. If people want a fast and basic low cost delivery service then we must supply it.
So to start with, we are experimenting with lightweight and easily transported beds. With time we will try some more complex products and indeed we have already delivered an electric bed by express delivery. So despite Health and Safety terrorising us in the stores, in the comfort of a customers own house, anything goes. I think there is a compromise – somewhere in between.
March 17th, 2009
We have now received all our new display beds from Kaymed. Visco 1600, Visco 2000, Visco Air Nest and Visco Gel beds. The point of sale and demonstration boxes are being distributed and the finished displays look fantastic…. East Kilbride, Ayr and Kilmarnock are already done.
I am more convinced than ever that Kaymed has a winning formula with this range of divans and mattresses. These are the best memory foam beds on the market and I am excited that we have them. Tempur eat your heart out! The demonstration boxes allow customers to see what is happening when they lie on these beds. Lying on the beds lets customers feel what going up to heaven will be like. Wow!
Over half of our sales team have been over to visit the Kaymed factory in Ireland. We are running intensive refresher product training throughout this week and our sales team has just won two Kaymed beds for themselves following the winter sale competition.
We are motivated, we know our onions and the beds are the best out there. If we can’t sell these beds I am going to pack it all in and open a sweetie shop.
March 17th, 2009
Cannock Beds has installed their outside signs on the old Floors to Go store at Seafield Road today. We had to take down our Silentnight Hippo to give them room and we expect that they will be selling beds from the unit by the end of March.
Even the sign writers remarked on the cluster now of bed stores in Edinburgh – Bed Shed, Dreams, Bensons, Sleepright, Archers Sleepcentre and now Cannock Beds – all within 400 metres of each other. Truly there can be no better place to come for choice and a competitive price than Seafield Road, Leith.
Our Uddingston store has 9 neighbours selling beds at the Birkenshaw Retail Park. Each new store opening there has boosted their trade. So fingers crossed that we all flourish down here in Leith too.
February 28th, 2009
Local councils are making it increasingly hard for the public to dispose of large items like beds and bedroom furniture. For example, East Renfrewshire council allows each household one large disposal a year free of charge. How they monitor this control I don’t know. More CCTV cameras perhaps.
Anyhow we have successfully trialled a bed disposal service where we collect the old bed or mattress when we deliver the new one. The costs are horrendous (the council landfill charges are very high) and I wasn’t hopeful that at £30, which is what we have to charge, people would be interested. But they are! And its working well.
The bed disposal service has now been rolled out over all our West of Scotland shops. Once the volume builds up, hopefully the economy of scale will help, more efficient recycling will kick in, and we can reduce the costs.
February 28th, 2009
We are trialling a new memory foam pocket mattress divan set treated with Aloe vera. The king size divan is being shown at our Kilmarnock store retailing at £449 with 2 free drawers. And within a week its has become a top seller! Its not on our web site yet, but it will be, and our other Scottish stores will be getting it on display very soon.
At the NEC furniture show we were tempted by lots of expensive high quality beds retailing at over £1000. And we have bought a few. However when we saw this 1000 pocket divan, superb specification, and an amazing price it felt that this would be a winner. How often have we said this before?
The pocket spring bed market is notoriously over priced. So often these pocketed mattresses are sold on fancy specifications that have little benefit to the bed buying public. 3000 springs, horse hair and cashmere – alot of bloody good to no-one! (My personal view, no slander intended). So a well specified pocket mattress bed at half the price sounded a good bet.
And of course we have had a huge success with our low cost £399 king size orthopaedic pocket divan. So its only a small step to try a bed with a bit more comfort and support and at not a lot more money.
Where memory foam goes, latex is sure to follow. We will be trialling a latex pocket bed that will retail for a king size at £499. I’ll let you now how our latex pocket gets on in the course of time….
February 28th, 2009
Its a gamble to spend money advertising an offer that says an extra 10% off everything. Isn’t everyone advertising 50% off and more? What’s the big deal with a puny 10% off beds? And for us to break even we needed to increase sales by 25% – because of course these reductions were real and eating straight into our profit margin!
Anyhow I am pleased to say that sales over the weekend were almost double what we would have expected without the promotion. So a genuine 10% works – the bed buying public aren’t totally taken in by phoney 50% off offers. Whew!
So it begs the question why don’t we run with these lower prices all the time. Much as its tempting my experience is that the increase in sales rapidly diminishes. Our problem is that we already operate at lower price levels than our main competitors so going lower again gets to the point of diminishing returns – customers who shop around buy from us anyway.
What we are experimenting more and more with is finding value lines that we can promote for a short time only. Short term deals with our bed suppliers, end of line deals, particular products that deserve to be cheaper, eg budget mattresses or bunk beds. I does make us sound like Lidl the supermarket chain. But if it works we can’t be too proud to plagiarise.
February 11th, 2009
Electric bed sales have quietened over the last few months. However we are addressing the problem. First we are trialing a new electric adjustable bed, The Dreamaway Classic, that retails at £299. It is selling well and lifting sales of our other electric beds too.
We plan to roll out the experiment across all our branches very shortly. At the moment it is only shown in our Glasgow South bed superstore.
The recipe of low prices and fast delivery always works. The secret is to maintain great quality and, fingers crossed, this new range of electric beds appear to pass the test.
February 8th, 2009
Bed sales continue to grow on the internet. We have a firmer idea now of what is possible – Companies House Accounts are starting to come through with recent data – and it is clear that there is significant business to be won. However with the entry of so many new internet competitors growth is going to slow.
Anyhow, we are well placed to take our share of the bed market, especially the Scottish bed market. Our policy of being “second on the bus” looks as if it will pay off. The bun fight for market share is coming to an end and we can concentrate on profitable business offering good service and value for money products.
Our first small successes have been with keywords such as electric beds and sealy beds. We are on page one in Google for these words and they are bringing in business. The exciting part is the number of words we are now on page 2. When these words start to show our web site on page one in Google searches, we will see a step change in traffic. Our product offerings are of course superb, our sale conversions are superb, and we aren’t spending a fortune advertising the fact. Happy days!