Slumberland - Investing in growth
Slumberland is looking to expand beyond Asian markets where it has had its stronghold for many years. The way to get there will be through investing in its digital presence and its people.
The Slumberland brand has been available in several Asian markets for over 40 years. Whilst Slumberland the brand has been in China since 1987, it wasn’t until lately that an ambitious growth plan was in place. Today, with a new leadership team installed, the focus is on digitalizing the business further, strengthening ties with dealers and investing in sleep education.
“We operate Slumberland a bit differently depending on the market. In China, we are focused on harnessing the strong ties we have with franchisees. As of today, we have more than 200 stores and we have been continuously looking to create new opportunities together with partners. In Malaysia, we operate on a more traditional B2B model, whilst in Thailand we have a bit of a mix”, says Marco Righi, President of the Slumberland Division.
Slumberland has also a very strong presence in the contract business, being one of the favorite partners for major 5-star hotel chains.
Although Slumberland has its strongest foothold in Asia, it is present in France and Czech Republic and Marco Righi together with the rest of the executive team, are looking to expand their foothold in additional markets, such as Italy.
Founded in England in 1919 by Mr. John Seccombe, Slumberland has evolved as a leader of sleeping comfort renowned for its quality range of products not only in Britain but also throughout the world.
“Slumberland’s heritage and longevity is something we value and take great pride in. With that said, we are aware that consumer preferences vary depending on the market, which can be attributed to what we like to say at Hilding Anders; “sleep is global, beds are local”. So a Slumberland bed in France will naturally be different to one in Malaysia or China”, says Marco Righi.
Interesting enough, the tides seem to be changing in some markets, particularly in China.
“We are getting more and more requests from some of our partners in China who want to receive French and Italian series of Slumberland beds, so we are right now in the process of developing exclusive product ranges that will be delivered to selected partners in China”, Righi adds.
A major focus in 2019 will be to grow the online business as it is one of the most important pillars of the brand’s growth strategy, by insourcing sales and marketing activities. Slumberland has been present on the e-commerce marketplaces, TMall and JD, since 2015.
In order to build awareness and generate further interest around the brand, the Slumberland team are focusing on promotional activities that intertwine online and offline channels, a perfect example being the grand opening ceremony at the Liangshan Shandon Province that took place in November last year.
“The event was made possible thanks to a strong cooperation with our partner, Mr. Wang and his team. We promoted the event via online channels as well as traditional advertisement. We showcased the Slumberland range, engaged visitors via promotional activities at the store and personally consulted people on selecting the right bed for them”, adds Righi.Marco Righi at the opening ceremony in Liangshan Shandong Province
The opening ceremony proved to be a success and generated so much sales that the store’s operational cost for the rest of the year was covered.
Going forward we can expect a stronger digital presence along with similar innovative and engaging events from Slumberland, but also an investment in its people and their knowledge about sleep.
“Sleep deprivation is a growing problem worldwide, and we want to educate our sales staff so that they are not only experts on our beds – but also know how our products help you get a good night’s sleep from a physiological stand point. That is why we’ve now started a collaboration with Shanghai International Medical Center (SIMC) in China who will educate some of our staff. Once they’ve done that, the idea is that they will serve as internal sleep coaches and in combination with that role also provide our dealers with training, concludes Marco Righi.