Boyd Uses Bedding Research to Chart Course for Change

Boyd Uses Bedding Research to Chart Course for Change

David Perry – Furniture Today – 10/14/11

Denny Boyd studied the numbers in his binder carefully. They provided a roadmap for changes he says his business, Boyd Specialty Sleep, must embrace if it is to remain vital in a dynamic bedding marketplace.

The numbers in front of him that day, which happened to come from Furniture/Today, showed that 61% of mattress consumers will use the Internet to shop or buy bedding. Only 39% of consumers will shop and buy in a store, the research said.

The lessons were clear to Boyd: It is critical that bedding producers and retailers must have a strong online presence, and must find ways to drive traffic to their sites. He is focusing on selling his Boyd Specialty Sleep line of memory foam beds, latex beds, platform beds, airbeds, express beds and waterbeds (he’s one of the oldest surviving waterbed retailers). And he’s in the midst of establishing e-commerce websites for each of his mattress brands. launched in February,, his site for memory foam mattresses, toppers, specialty pillows, platform frames and adjustable bases, launched in July, and, his site for latex mattresses, is set to launch this fall., featuring Boyd’s premium airbed line, is due to launch in December.

Denny Boyd shared those strategies with me the other day when I visited his impressive operation in St. Louis. It was my first in-depth look at his various businesses, which include his well known specialty sleep company, a strong retail bedding and bedroom chain based in St. Louis, and Accent Furniture, a company that imports wood furniture from Malaysia and Vietnam.

Boyd has harnessed his considerable energy, enthusiasm and some savvy marketing skills to build that thriving bedding empire. One of his key strengths is his ability to change “before it is necessary,” as he puts it. He quotes Darwin: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent that survive; it is those species that can adapt to change.”

One of the ways he adapts to change is by being a student of research, thoughtfully studying charts and tables and looking for telltale markers that suggest key trends. Then he develops strategies, sets goals, as with his website launches, and aims to move forward every day. He asks himself: What have you done TODAY to reach your goals?

That combination of study, persistence and determination helps explain why Denny Boyd remains a vital force in the mattress industry more than three decades after his humble beginnings as a waterbed retailer

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