After a jam-packed 2016, that took in product releases, redesigns and plenty of new business, the team at Vogue Beds is gearing up to show off its hard work at the January Furniture Show.
It’s been a busy year for Ebrahim Patel, managing director of Vogue Beds.
First, there was the brand awareness push for Vogue’s Sports Therapy Collection, which was timed to coincide with the lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Launched initially on the back of the London 2012 Olympics - and tapping into, what was then, just a burgeoning interest in health and wellbeing - Sports Therapy has proved to be a lasting winner for Vogue and, of course, its retail partners, who are reaping the rewards as consumers invest considerably more disposable income in ‘therapeutic’ products.
Vogue encouraged its retailers to think creatively in promoting Sports Therapy around the 2016 Olympics, and the company was incredibly impressed as retailers drummed up interest from their local sports clubs to generate some free publicity for the brand.
“WE NEVER GET COMPLACENT AND WE’RE CONSTANTLY INVESTING BACK IN OUR PRODUCTS, WHICH IS WHY WE GET A LOT OF REPEAT BUSINESS”
Alongside the Sports Therapy campaign, Ebrahim and his team have overseen a number of design changes across all of Vogue Beds’ ranges. Sports Therapy has undergone a bit of a makeover this year. The four mattresses in the collection have all been updated with smart fibre fabric, which is micro-quilted to a new John Cotton Eternity pad (a condensed polyester-based pad). The overall effect has added a sumptuous visual finish to a range, which has become established for its therapeutic benefits.
Ebrahim and his team have also spent the past six months refining the Hampton collection, Vogue’s premium pocket sprung range. At the very high end, it’s all about making those marginal gains to stay one step ahead of your competitors in the premium market. With the trend towards ever-deeper mattresses continuing apace, they have added a 35cm deep mattress to the Hampton Collection. And, where customers would prefer a shallower mattress (25cm), they now have the option of a shallow base, which comes with three new headboard options. All mattresses in the Hampton Collection have been upgraded to 100% viscose covers for a “much softer, premium feel”. The improved Hampton range will be on display at the January Furniture Show, where Vogue has doubled the size of its stand pitch on 2015.
“We’ve had a really good year,” explains Ebrahim. “But we never get complacent and we’re constantly investing back in our products, which is why we get a lot of repeat business. The NEC is our big opportunity to show our customers everything under one roof, and hopefully it’s the moment where this year’s hard work starts to pay off.
“We think customers are going to be really pleased with the refinements we’ve made to the Sports Therapy and Hampton ranges, and we have ten new Limelight models to show off too, including two UK-manufactured models – a first for Limelight. Between all our brands we anticipate a lot of visitors coming to the stand over the four days of the show, so we’ve made sure we’ve got a bigger and better stand this year to fit everything in!”
On top of overseeing all developments at Vogue, Ebrahim has had another packed year as president of the National Bed Federation (NBF); a role in which he feels a great deal of responsibility to represent NBF members fairly. The NBF is currently auditing its membership, a process that checks members’ products for everything from flammability to labeling, and is critical if the NBF is to reflect the best of the best within the beds industry.
“Retailers really do look for to see whether bed manufacturers are NBF members when they look to do new business. It’s a seal of approval that really sets the good bed manufacturers apart, which is why the auditing process of our members is so rigorous, as I believe our members and retailers would expect it to be,” says Ebrahim.
And what is Ebrahim’s take on 2016 from his President’s perspective?
“The feedback we have had from our members is that 2016 was a good year. Obviously there is a lot of political uncertainty around at the moment, and we are unsure how that will hit consumer confidence, but as a Federation we have got to lead by example and be proactive in promoting and supporting our members.”
What’s in Vogue for 2017? Vogue Beds has been around for a quarter of a century, but there is no sign of the company, or indeed Ebrahim, slowing down any time soon. With a keen eye on the market, the company understands its end customers, and really gets how their demands are changing. They are equally committed to their retail partners, and create products with margins genuinely factored in. So, 2017 looks set to be another busy year, but with Ebrahim’s NBF Presidency coming to an end in May, perhaps he can slow down just a bit?