The announcement of COVID 19 vaccine has put confidence in the minds of the customers. People are stepping out of their homes with necessary precautions to purchase a list of certain products that have been long pending due to the lock-down and pandemic. Wellness products like mattress make to the top of such products. This in turn is expected to be good news for the mattress industry for the New Year 2021. Aiding to the sales of the mattress industry, even Government has been a major player indirectly through certain schemes offered to the health sector
“The lock-down and the virus had put a fear in the minds of people making them cautious and not entering the shops to purchase their needs. This is the very reason that digital customers are on the rise. But with the introduction of the vaccine, it is good news and people will make up their minds and come out to buy the mattresses that were holding in the last few months. We are expecting an increase of sales this year,” says Arvind, a mattress retailer from Mysore.
The Indian mattress market is expected to grow this year as per a few estimates. ISPF feels that the growth might be even higher side than these estimates. In the later part of the year 2020, the mattress industry in India did see an increase in sales. This increase was driven primarily due to the changed consumer’s awareness and inclination towards health & hygiene, the investment by the government for the betterment of health sector infrastructure, and the rising demand of new mattresses from the Hospitality segment in order to make their Hotel Room’s sleeping environment more hygenic and comfortable.
For example, under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) all hospitals that are under the Ayushman Bharat scheme have received viability gap financing of up to 42%, of the complete project cost, which was at Rs 69,000 crore. A part of this funding was used to purchase mattresses for government and semi-government hospitals to upgrade their services.
One of the retailers mentioned that during COVID 19 lock-down, people were more conscious of health and a healthier way of life. Attending to this, most of the brands had introduced an antimicrobial range of foam mattress. The coming 2021 and the vaccine might guide the customers in paying attention to such researched mattresses.
“Since lock-down, work from home was followed and initially some of them made their beds a comfortable workplace as they could accommodate laptop desks, mobiles and other short eats by the side and even take a power nap in between. For successful implementation of these, a comfortable mattress is a must. After a long tiring day of working, one would want to have a deep sleep and most of them choose to buy a mattress that meets the health aspects of the customers like cooling beds, orthopaedic mattress, and others. Of late there are free trial offers given by mattress companies where one can take the mattress home for a few days and returns it if not satisfied. This will leave us with more choices,” says Chandan, an IT employee.
NEW OPPORTUNITY IN 2021
In the year 2021, along with the healthcare sector, the hospitality sector is expected to boost the mattress sales for Indian companies. The various resorts and hotels are replacing their mattresses as people are stepping out of their homes for vacations cautiously. Also, there is a forecast that the rising disposable income might make way for the increase in homeownership leading to an increase in the real estate market. The housing requirements involves the purchase of home furniture like mattresses, pillowcases, bedspreads, and others. In the healthcare segment again, the patients discharged from hospitals from the virus attack or home quarantined looking at changing their mattress and this has impacted the sales positively.
Meanwhile, the introduction of Omnichannel strategy by various mattress companies, (where a customer will have a seamless experience in deciding what to buy and where to buy as he has access to both online and offline) also expected to propel mattress sales. To encourage the customers to buy a mattress, several retailers are planning to offer free pillows along with the mattress and offering free after-sale services. Few retailers are planning to start customized mattresses that might enable a customer to have a bespoke mattress according to his or her needs.
Overall, hospitality sector, health sector, real estate sector, the release of new kind of mattresses catering to the health-conscious audience, new offers and discounts on mattresses are all such criteria to boost the Mattress sales in the year 2021. This makes the year an ‘eventful’ and ‘a salesful’ year for mattress brands.