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Thread: Had a Visit from Royal Pedic's Owner today

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  1. #1
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    Default Had a Visit from Royal Pedic's Owner today

    Tony Kellerman, owner of Royal Pedic, stopped in my store today and we chatted the bedding business for about an hour and a half before he was off to a training meeting with his largest account, the chain of Yves Delorme. We spend a lot of time talking about market penetration and how to sell the line. As regular readers know, I'm a HUGE fan of Royal Pedic and sleep on one every night as well as have them in two of our guest bedrooms at my house.

    In my opinion, I said to Tony that I think the average consumer is terribly confused when mattress shopping. There is so much smoke and mirrors, its hard to find the truth about quality bedding and as a result, most consumers just punt and buy a mattress based on price, with the thought process being "I'll buy the one closest to my budget and be done with it". Or, they get whatever is at Costco and if younger, one of those dreadful mattresses in a box by Casper, or similar. Bed sales are driven by marketing (smoke and mirrors). Continuing on that path, my opinion is they can never just put a Royal Pedic in a large store and expect it to sell on the tagged price, they are too expensive and 95% of consumers will just keep walking saying "I'm not paying that for a bed". Their brand is only going to prosper in Owner/Operator stores, where the people in the store believe in the brand and can take the time to explain it.

    By far, the biggest selling point in a Royal Pedic is they don't degrade over time like conventional foam beds. It will sleep and feel just as good in ten years as the day it was new, whereas the foam beds really last 5 years, but people push them to 7 to 9 years before replacing them. How do you get that message across? There's no way to really prove it, other than doing testimonials, but who really pays attention to those? I know I don't.

    I asked Tony for some Promotions, to have an occasional sale period. He is not really a fan of that, because it conditions buyers to wait for a sale period. To some degree, I agree with that, but then you can always change up the promotion to not make it the same every time. We have never had a supported sale period on Royal Pedic in all the years I have been a dealers, maybe I can change his mind on that....not sure.

    I also suggest they put a "Made in the USA" label on all their product, sewn onto the label. They are handmade in Los Angeles CA one at a time, and that's something to be proud about.

    I have no issues with the cost. Others would say "Too Expensive". As Jack Glasheen, founder of Hancock & Moore once said to me "Nice things cost Money, Duane"
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Had a Visit from Royal Pedic's Owner today

    I just looked at Royal Pedic's socials and they are defunct. Has Mr. Kellerman shown interest in reviving those; particularly YouTube? I work in video production and there is a ton of potential for him to educate people through video. He does not even need to be involved; it can be with an employee.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Had a Visit from Royal Pedic's Owner today

    Yes, I agree. A high quality bedding set is not going to ever sell itself, and its too high end to be reviewed by Consumer Reports and the like. It requires a step-through explanation of the product, the benefits, and then the consumer can decide if they want to make the buy,

    I always joke that I am going to take my Royal Pedic bed on vacation with me, because I cannot stand more resort bedding that is marshmallow soft and lumpy (nor can my wife). Tony told me that actually happened - a Hollywood Actor (they sell a lot to them with their showroom in Beverly Hills) whom he did not name, was on set in Connecticut for 6 weeks doing a film and could not tolerate the hotel bedding, so he called Tony and had then express air ship a bed set to the hotel so he could get a good night's sleep.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Had a Visit from Royal Pedic's Owner today

    I am going to very gently speak in defense of the people who cannot buy a $$$$ mattress (it's actually a little difficult for me to figure out through a quick online search what they cost, but I assume it is in the thousands).

    I drive a Subaru. Other people may drive much more expensive and objectively "better" cars. That doesn't make me ignorant or confused that there may be other, better cars out there; I buy the best that I can within the budget that I have.

    I DO agree with you that there's a lot of confusion out there about what makes a good mattress -- probably more confusion than there is about cars. But I also think that many people are constrained by their budgets. And if the gentleman you spoke to isn't doing any advertising on social media (which is where a lot of people learn about consumer items, like it or not) or conducting sales, or trying to reach out to the buyers who MIGHT be able to stretch their budget if they knew better (like me with Hancock and Moore) -- well, then, he must be happy with his current market penetration.

    (I disagree with you on the value of testimonials. We may roll our eyes at them, but there's a reason why social media influencers are a thing. Such testimonials, when done well and judiciously, can be valuable.)

    I'll just add another thing, and I don't think I'm that alone in this -- it is actually intimidating to walk into the store of a dealer like yourself. I know -- or rather, I feel -- that I must be much less wealthy than your average client, and it certainly sounds like I'm less wealthy than the average Royal Pedic client, since I am not a Hollywood actor. I don't want to be looked down on when I enter a store, or arm-twisted, or ignored or treated like a dummy. I've experienced all of those things in my consumer life and they are not experiences I wish to repeat. When I go to Costco or Ikea or Room and Board or Crate and Barrel, I feel like I am at least in their universe of customers and I know what I'm getting with them.

    I'm obviously not telling you anything you don't know; you've been in customer service for a long time. But there was a lot of educating myself that I did through this site before I felt ready to actually go to your store, and I appreciate that information was here and ready for me to absorb in my own time. So thank you for that.
    Last edited by cas929; 10-02-2023 at 09:58 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Had a Visit from Royal Pedic's Owner today

    HA! Costco sets a pretty low bar.......

    No one should "size you up" to see if you "qualify" as a customer. I learned many, many years ago to never do that. In fact, I will tell you a true story.

    Back in the late 1980's and early 90's a young man in his 20's named Alex used to come in my store regularly on Saturdays and never bought a thing. Ever. Not so much as a pair of candles. Alex was like a surfer dude, easy-going, always had a smile on his face and ragged blue jeans before that look was cool. But he had a passion for fine furniture, especially the hand-made tiger maple pieces we used to carry that came out of the workshops around the Boston area. We would talk for hours because we were both enthusiasts Alex would say "One day I'm going to hit it big and buy everything in your store". I would chuckle and say "Whenever you are ready, we can do that, Alex". Not ever giving that much though that one day he would be able to do that. it cost nothing to be nice to people, that has always been my mantra.

    Then that one day arrived. I never really knew what Alex did, but apparently he was a software developer and created a financial advisor platform in the early 90's that was unlike anything on the Market. He became a multi-millionaire in a very short period of time, and bought two large homes - one locally and one beach house - then came into my store like he always did and he had the biggest grin on his face when he said "I'm here to buy some stuff". And buy he did. In fact, in the history of The Keeping Room, he easily was our single largest volume customer. Everything he bought was from my store, he didn't shop the other area stores. I asked him why he never shopped elsewhere, because his homes literally looked like The Keeping Room inside. He simply said "You never treated me poorly, you never brushed me off when I had no money, I remember that and you are the only person I want to do business with."

    I too, have been "Sized Up and Qualified", I suppose everyone has. My passion has always been cars, my dream was to buy a brand new Porsche 911, not the old, used ones I always had to buy because that was all I could afford. I literally made. hundreds of visits to the Porsche dealer, more often that not driving an F150 Pickup from the store than anything else. Mostly they dismissed me as a tire kicker. But, one day in 2014 I went in (again in an F150) and bought one for real, the salesman was very surprised because he was coat and tie, I was sneakers, t-shirts and shorts. That was a good day.

    Premium goods are expensive. I get that. However, they should also return you value over time. Do you need an $ 8,000 Royal Pedic bed? No, you probably don't. You can get by with the $ 1,500 foam bed, but you need to replace it every three to four years as soon as the support is compromised and the ridge in the middle of the mattress is 1.5". So you replace it 5x in 20 years you will be $ 7,500, or buy the RP once and have a cleaner, more hypoallergenic bed that costs about the same over those 20 years. The thing is. though, those crappy foam beds are kept far too long by people, they push them for 7 to 9 years and they were really dead at the 4 year mark, So they sleep poorly on that bed for several years because they are using it after its done.

    Of all the products in my store I carry, the two brands I am huge fans of moreso than any others are Royal Pedic and Hancock and Moore. I think you get your money's worth on both. However, if they are not affordable, then pass on them. Buying outside of your comfort zone is never enjoyable.
    Last edited by drcollie; 10-02-2023 at 06:04 PM.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Had a Visit from Royal Pedic's Owner today

    I aspire to be Alex from post #5 haha

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Had a Visit from Royal Pedic's Owner today

    Good Morning Duane,

    Do they make a cal-king sized bed? When we were at the shop 18 months ago or so, there was a Royal Pedic bed upstairs....a bit firm for my wife but not necessarily so for me. How do they go about ensuring that both parties are happy with the firmness?

    Cheers!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Had a Visit from Royal Pedic's Owner today

    Yes, they do make a Cali King and they will even custom-size one as needed (for boats, etc) as they are all handmade.

    How to keep both your and your wife happen on the same bed? Well, that's the whole secret of Marriage, isn't it? <wink>. What I always suggest if you decided to go this route and one person likes it firm, another softer, is to just start with the firm and try it for 30 days. It takes time to acclimate to a new bed. After a month goes by, if its too firm then buy a 3" Topper for it. That will plush up the bed and since Toppers are pricey, sometimes its best not to buy it right out of the gate. However if you both want more plush, then get the topper with the order as it will save several hundred dollars in shipping costs.

    If one person likes firm, the other wants plush, the only want to do that is get a Twin XL 3" Topper and put it on one side of the bed, under the mattress pad. Yes, you will have one side of the bed higher that way.......

    In my experience, aboutr 20% of clients come back for the topper after 30 days. The other 80% are happy with the firm once they get used to it.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Had a Visit from Royal Pedic's Owner today

    While I've only been married for 4 years (as of tomorrow in fact!)...I am sure it's more complicated that that lol.

    In regards to the mattress, I am struck by the number of models (classic vs natural vs premier natural vs dream spring) and the lack of differentiation between them. It seems the internet offerings aren't the same as what you have in the store which is also confusing. Seems like you sell pretty much one model and then add the pillow topper if needed after 30 days. Any insight into the models or direction on what I should read up on. Just seems nuts to me since I was able to learn so much about the H&M lineup but maybe I am just overcomplicating it.

    We currently use this to support our cal king mattress. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1 Would the height of this change which box springs we order?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Had a Visit from Royal Pedic's Owner today

    I don't agree with Tony's Marketing of Royal Pedic in some respects. It would not be how I would run the company were I the owner, but that's his choice and I respect that.

    Royal Pedic has two lines.

    The Premier group is only available at Brick and Mortar Stores, not in the internet. Then he makes a de-contented version of that is called the Natural collection and that is what you are looking at on-line. The B&M dealers have access to it as well, but we never sell it. There is less of every component in the Natural line, from the quality fo the outer cover to the interior spring gauge of the steel. It looks - and is - a cheaper product than the Premier. I think this causes confusion, because in 2023 the first thing any consumer does is go to the internet to see what that pricing is like. Now they see a considerable disparity in price, thinking they are looking at the same product, but they are not. It's Apples to Oranges, not Apples to Apples. This makes the B&M dealer look bad, so they order on the internet, and what arrives does not look like what they saw and tried out in the store they went to.

    In the All Cotton bed series, everything offering they have is built around the base Cotton bed. You will see that most their beds are simply ones with the toppers sewn on top and bottom, either 3", 4" or 5" ones. That makes the mattresses VERY heavy and thicker. Why not just have a separate topper that you can remove? It makes is far easier to rotate and flip the mattress because you can pull the topper off and lay it on the floor when you do that three times a year. When they are sewn on, its a 2- man job to flip one. Plus the toppers will wear out faster than the mattress, so with a removable one, you can simply replace it in ten years with a new one. When they are sewn on, you have to replace the entire mattress.

    The Dream Series is an entirely different product, super luxury with a complex internal spring system. I have never sold one and probably never will as they are $ 20,000 and up. I am told they sleep wonderfully, however.

    Box Springs are 8" tall, the Standard All Cottom Mattress is appx 9" tall. Your bed frame may be too high for a box spring.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

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