Thursday, August 20, 2009

Great performance bedding

With a new licensee and a big new retail program. Top 15 bedding producer Lady Americana is charging ahead in a challenging year.

"The state of Lady Americana is surprisingly good at this point," said Kerry Tramel, president ofthe group, which is based here. "Like everybody, we have some licensees that are really struggling. But unlike other groups, we have a critical mass of licensees that are beating or exceeding last year's numbers."

A new program with Top 10 performance bedding retailer Mattress Giant should put even more wind in the group's sales. eco friendly mattress giant, based in Addison, Texas, recently launched Cristina Saralegui's Casa Cristina mattress line nationwide. The line, produced by Lady Americana, will be available at all of Mattress Giant's more than 360 locations.

Saralegui is a veteran journalist and TV talk show host who is recognized as an influential role model for Hispanic women.

"It is extremely gratifying that Casa Cristina hos become a line of home furnishings whose style consumers have embraced and whose quality they trust," Saralegui said. "So it was natural to partner with Mattress Giant, one of the industry's largest and most trusted retailers, to bring the Encanto and Esencia mattresses into the marketplace."

The Encanto and Esencia models feature 100% natural cashmere, silk and bamboo covers. Esencia also contains aloe vera, which is said to promote a more hygienic sleep. Both models are in Lady Americano's Eco-Comfort collection of green mattress products and bamboo bed sheets.

Lady Americana also has a new Florida licensee. Southern Dreams, which was recently acquired by bedding veteran Leo Echevenia. Southern Dreams, based in Opa Locka, begins its work with Lady Americana with production of the Casa Cristina line and eventually will add the entire Lady A lineup.

"Florida is an exceptional market with a diverse and unique taste, and we are delighted to partner with Southern Dreams," Tramel said.

"They are the perfect partner for Lady Americana. Leo Echeverria, in addition to bringing a wealth of knowledge in mattress production and design, also brings to the group one of the best reputations in the industry."

Echevenia praised the "visionary leadership" that he said Tramel has brought to the Lady Americana group.

Tramel said Lady A is benefiting from problems experienced by other bedding producers and is well positioned to capitalize on opportunities. He said the group has picked up business in a number of key markets.