29 May 2024, 02:40
By Furniture News Nov 20, 2014

Naked Beds – the bare necessities

If around 85% of consumer products are bought by women, why are their tastes so often sidelined by the furniture trade? Breasley Consumer, best known for its vacuum-packed mattresses, has developed Naked Beds, a brand developed by women, for women. Paul Farley visited the stand at the NBF Bed Show to discover how this disarmingly simple concept is being taken to market …

In an industry replete with technical jargon, Naked Beds stands apart. The decision to create an exclusive, aesthetically-driven bed brand specifically targeting female tastes is a brave move, the ultimate success of which is dependent on several factors, explains sales director Sue Ellis: “The Naked Beds brand has been developed in just six months.

“We were very privileged to have a clean canvas to start with – it’s been a real joy putting this together – but it was a challenge to stay true to the concept early on, having to temper the femininity of the designs and keep them commercial while developing something new.”

While the refreshing concept was conceived by Breasley MD Stuart Hibbert, much of the challenge of developing feminine beds that did not alienate masculine tastes fell to designer Sue Davies, who has created a range of four models so far – simply delineated as good, better, best and premium models, based on their spring count. Sporting strong edge support, camomile-infused mattresses and, surprisingly, ample storage within their shallow bases, the beds come with a five-year guarantee.

However, it’s the aesthetics that break from the norm – soft, rounded edges and retro-feel headboards, all in a muted pastel colour palette, the beds are understated, but flexible. These are models designed to complement a bedroom, not dominate it. “Historically, retailers tend to go for strong colours that will stand out in a store,” says Sue Davies. “Instead, we went for soft colours, and we played down the feminine element of floral prints.”

“The industry has been dying for this!”

When it comes to the beds’ presentation in store, the development team was inspired by the retail theatre approach employed by the likes of Next and Ikea – and the no-pressure approach of Made.com and Loaf. Consequently, the team works closely with stockists to ensure that the brand is suitably conveyed to the consumer.

The beds initially introduced through selected partners this summer saw repeat orders placed almost immediately, thanks to a combination of product, approach and enthusiasm (“staff love it – it’s an easy sell” says Sue Ellis). Stockist exclusivity remains a central tenet – after all, explains Sue Ellis, a brand is only exclusive as long as its integrity is upheld.

“We’re targeting retailers based on location, status and reputation – those who know how to achieve margin on a product like this,” she explains. “If they have the exclusive rights to sell the brand, it’ll be in their interest to protect it. The vacuum-packed Salus and Accolade are Breasley’s bread and butter – this is the icing on the cake, so we can afford to be a little more exclusive.” Breasley is looking to establish 50-60 official high street stockists for the brand.

The response to the brand’s launch  at this year’s Bed Show has reassured Breasley that it is going in the right direction. “The best thing is that people get it,” says Sue Ellis. “The industry has been dying for this!”

This article was published in the November issue of Furniture News magazine.

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