By: Akshit Goel, Research Analyst II, Ken Research
As Australia’s leisure and business travelers continue to demand more from a hotel stay and increasingly share their experience online, hotels are striving to provide them an extraordinary sleep experience.
Amidst hotels’ rising demands for superior bedding product and a highly competitive hotel bedding space, Australia’s leading bedding suppliers can never afford to go to sleep in terms of product development. As through our conversation with Peter Deveny, Group Commercial Manager at AH Beard, we attempt to identify latest technology trends which are prompting bedding companies to think out of the box in Australia and enabling them to focus on product innovation.
How is the mattress requirement of hotels changing over time?
We often try to introduce new technologies to improve guest sleep. Global brands such as Accor, Hilton, IHG & Marriott have standards that they follow for their beds to maintain the comfort level over London, Australia, New York or even Delhi.
But the challenge with these bulky organizations is that they are pretty slow to move across global branches with some brand standards being the same for almost 10 years. Boutique & independent brands are moving much faster. The product that we sell currently to properties is vastly different from what we sold even 5-6 years ago.
Why is the hotel segment dominated by 2-3 bedding players primarily?
The biggest barrier that a new entrant in the hotel segment faces is the preferred supply programs run by hotels with 2 preferred/approved suppliers. Global hotel brands want to deal with companies that can service their properties all around the world with just few brands in the Australian market (Simmons, King Koil, Serta & Sealy) having that ability. Additionally, shipping mattresses inter-state is a huge cost and therefore majorly national players with country-wide presence dominate the market.
Do hotels change all their mattresses at once? What problems do they face during refurbishment?
Depends on the star rating, with smaller & regional hotels changing 6, 8 or 10 rooms every year over a 5-year period. Luxury and big brands change all at one time & might spread it over a 1-2 month period depending on the property size. They might shut off a whole floor for refurbishment.
It’s important for hotels to deal with an experienced commercial supplier who understands the challenge of getting things in & out quickly. If hotels are showing rooms off their inventory, it heavily impacts their cash flow. We deliver to hotels in the morning at 10 after check-out or at 4 in the morning when nobody uses the lift. Because we manufacture in every capital city, we are close to the markets and can sometimes complete delivery the very next day, the beds are made. We recently made a delivery of 140 beds to a client in Melbourne within 2 days.
What are the parameters that hotels look for while deciding a Supplier?
Price, Comfort Level, Quality, Delivery Time & Customer Service are extremely integral to the hotel. Guest satisfaction is the most important for hotels. In addition, they need to have confidence in the mattress supplier that the manufacturer has an understanding of the commercial market and has a history of performing well. A few high quality testimonials become a great brand pulling tool here.
Are there any innovations, technologies or materials that are in strong demand by Hotels currently?
Gel Infused Foams, Gel Infused Memory foams are becoming little bit more popular but work best in a commercial environment when used with other types of support systems. When it comes to latex, not many properties specify that they want Latex in their comfort fills as it makes the bed more costly. Only 2-3 properties have a Full Latex mattress. We’ve been manufacturing the Rydges Dream Bed for 10+ years and get excellent feedback due to the latex.
Is the trend of oil-scented mattresses (chamomile, lavender etc.) present in the Hotel segment?
It’s not currently in use here. Some of our fabric manufacturers have made the materials available to us. It’s something that we are exploring & if there’s a demand for it or if we can create a demand for it among hotels, then it’ll be something that we will introduce in the industry.
What advice do you usually give to hotels about which material to buy?
Buy a bed that suits the majority of your guest profile. Try and be conservative with what you buy, be open to new technology and to new comfort materials that perform well. You are keeping the bed for 7-8 years. If you spend AU$ 200 more on a bed and buy an upper quality product then that amount would costs you as little as 10 cents a night.
For more information related to Australia hotel mattress industry, do sought our report titled, Australia Hotel Mattress Market Outlook to 2025 – Hotel Supply Pipeline, New Bedding Technologies and Faster Hotel Refurbishments to Increase Hotel Bedding Spend in Future
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Director Ken Research