The Sleep Council is urging UK bed retailers to make the most of its National Bed Month campaign, and is giving them the tools to do so.

“We are urging all retailers to get behind this annual promotion, which has been running for more than 20 years,” says Lisa Artis, spokesperson for The Sleep Council. “It’s a great opportunity to promote the importance of a good, comfortable bed for a good night’s sleep.”

The work The Sleep Council does to help bed retailers goes hand in hand with its consumer campaign activity, which is focused on educating the consumer of the importance of a good bed, regularly replaced.

For this year’s campaign, national newspapers, radio stations and television will be targeted as usual. The Sleep Council has also created a feature pack for local newspapers which can be downloaded from the Featurelink website – www.newspapersoc.org.uk – around which retailers can develop special Bed Month advertising features.

So what exactly are the campaign’s participants doing to translate interest into sales? Stuart Hibbert, MD of Breasley Consumer Products, says: “It is important for bed manufacturers to get behind this yearly event to help promote all aspects of getting a good night’s sleep, and we will be supporting our customers during National Bed Month by continuing to run the fantastic ‘two free drawers’ offer on our Salus Bed Collection.?

“The Salus range is for bricks and mortar retailers only, so this really is an added value incentive in-store. On our vacuum-packed ranges, we will be offering free memory crumb pillows with all vacuum-packed memory foam block models – a great give-away promotion for customers to capitalise on during March.”?

“The resources provided by the Sleep Council are so easy to use, and certainly help us to raise interest and attract customers into the shop”

Steve Freeman, MD of the Silentnight Group, is also keen to capitalise on the opportunities National Bed Month promises: “Driving footfall into retail stores has to be a major priority for our industry, and National Bed Month is totally geared around achieving that aim.

“To coincide, we are running a national advertising campaign throughout March, April and May to help promote the Silentnight brand and drive sales. The campaign theme, ‘with our compliments’, will focus on a range of added-value offers, and will be supported with a mixture of national press and on-line advertising.

“Our aim is to drive greater demand through to our retail partners, which supports our Love our Retailer initiative we launched last year. This initiative is geared around significantly improving the shopping experience for the consumer through all of our retail partners’ shop windows.”

Neil Robinson, Sealy’s marketing director, adds: “Helping the nation become deeper sleepers is a key objective for Sealy in 2013. Sealy know that if you enjoy deeper sleep, your body is much healthier and, more importantly, happier. It really is about the quality of sleep, not the quantity, that the body needs to perform and recover. And if Sealy can make their customers healthier and happier we will be happy too.

“Sealy are helping independent retailers get this message across to their customers by rolling out their own in-store Sleep Studios, and these will be much in evidence by March.? These Sleep Studios will carry all the main information about the benefits of buying a Sealy bed -– for example, their unique Posturepedic Zonal Support System and Smart Fibres technology which helps the user sleep more deeply by guaranteeing a sleep environment that is cool, fresh, dry and hypoallergenic, and also eliminates house dust mites and has been endorsed by Allergy UK.?

“To complement this retailer support, Sealy’s ongoing consumer PR and promotion will continue to raise awareness of the benefits of deeper sleep and Smart Fibres technology during Sleep Month as well as Allergy Week in April, to help drive customers into stores and learn more for themselves, as well as trying out the beds and hopefully making a purchase!”

Simon Shackleton, who is responsible for sales at Skipton Bed Centre, offers a view from the retail angle: “As a bed and mattress specialist, Skipton Bed & Sofa Centre is always keen to get behind National Bed Month. The resources provided by The Sleep Council are so easy to use, and certainly help us to raise interest and attract customers into the shop.?

“We find the National Bed Month and Seven Year Hitch campaigns are an effective sales tool for us, as well as a useful aid to getting the message across that adequate sleep and a comfortable bed are essential to health and wellbeing.”

Bed retailers are encouraged to download, free, the new National Bed Month artwork for use in their sales and marketing campaigns for the annual promotional campaign. Available from the retailer-dedicated website – www.sleepbiz.co.uk – the new toolkit includes: the new National Bed Month logo to include in press adverts or printed literature; an animated banner for websites; artwork for a window banner; and artwork for a poster or flier of any size.

National Bed Month is The Sleep Council’s longest-standing awareness campaign, started in 1990. It runs throughout the whole of March, and aims to remind consumers of the importance of a good night’s sleep, and the role a good bed plays in achieving that.