Last Updated on April 28, 2020 by Mark P.
Mount Vernon, cherry trees, even false teeth — they’re all associated with the first President of the United States, George Washington. So why are — of all things — mattresses one of the items most associated with Presidents’ Day? Was Washington an expert on pillow-top technology? Did he have a passion for memory foam?
All indications are no. The exact origin of the Presidents’ Day/Mattress Sale link remains shrouded in mystery, but the primary cause for the connection is not. Americans love a good deal.
Presidents’ Day — its official name is “Washington’s birthday” (February 22nd) — is sandwiched between the Christmas shopping season and the start of spring. Within retail circles, this time of year can be the doldrums. Consumers just endured the Holiday shopping season, and the weather is typically cold and dreary.
Yet, a three-day weekend is still a three-day weekend. Retailers reason that for a big-ticket purchase — like a mattress — customers need several days to browse and scrutinize, before making a purchase. Besides, a bed is the type of product that often requires the approval of two people — unless someone wants to sleep on the couch.
So this leads to an answer — a three-day-weekend, the promise of a warm showroom, and a steep discount. The origins begin to come into focus. Yet, the omnipresence of the Presidents’ Day Mattress sale has a bit more to do with consumer trends than effective marketing.
Younger consumers are now quicker to buy a new mattress. They tend to be more willing to follow industry guidelines that suggest a new mattress every 7 to 10 years, whereas older consumers have preferred to keep their beds somewhat longer. Part of the reason might be that younger buyers are more accustomed to the process of replacement. Consider smartphones, laptops, and all other types of consumer electronics. Very few of them last for more than a decade. Even if they still work, they are often obsolete within a few years.
The bedding industry has gotten wise to this trend and is trying to piggyback off of it. Manufacturers and retailers alike pitch memory foam, adjustable pressure levels, and cooling technology. The idea? Pitch younger customers on upgrades and improved technology.
And it seems to be working.