SAVE THE DATE: Sleep Summit Oct 8-11, 2024

Serta Simmons Explains COVID Killing Mattress Tech

Can a mattress kill COVID? Dos Marcos chatted with team members from Serta Simmons Bedding about their new HeiQ Viroblock™ technology.
https://radiopublic.com/dos-marcos-GAB04Z/s1!a713b

Can a mattress kill COVID?

Dos Marcos chatted with team members from Serta Simmons Bedding about their new HeiQ Viroblock™ technology.

On the show you’ll hear from Sheri McGuire, Vice President of Advanced Technology, and Gregg Schweir who is Head of Innovation with SSB. SSB partnered  with Switzerland-based HeiQ Group to create the antiviral mattress.

HeiQ Viroblock technology has previously been approved by the European Medical Device Directive for antiviral use in medical personal protective equipment such as N95 equivalent mask.

The big question now: if these mattresses end up on retail floors, what will salespeople be able to say? Can they make claims?

Listen to find out more about a possible trend that could emerge in the mattress world. 

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Full Transcription:

Mark Kinsley [0:30] 

We think check out my shirt was your shirt man.

Mark Quinn [0:32]  

You didn’t tell me. I said, should I bring my nationwide shirt? You’re like no. And now I know why. Because you want to be the only one wearing money. I get it. 

Mark Kinsley [0:39] 

Usually you have a whale on your shirt.

Mark Quinn [0:41]  

 It’s just black that.

Mark Kinsley [0:42]  

 Hey, buddy. By the way, did you know people sent me those emails from the last podcast. And they put Lord Quinn in the email subject line 

Mark Quinn [0:50]  

Because they wanted free tickets to the furniture today, bedding. 

Mark Kinsley [0:52]  

Yeah, we hooked him up. Yeah, well, there you go. 

Mark Quinn [0:54] 

We got more on that. So watch Facebook page. But today, Kinsley, nationwide marketing group, really cool thing in case you’re a member. And you didn’t know this, but you probably knew it already. But if you’re not a member, maybe it’s compelling. You can go be a member. And right now these guys were way ahead of their time, because maybe they knew something was coming but they have all their training for all their manufactured products. So it could be anything from Trager grills to Sealy sort of betting that they have all this great training online, you can go and literally educate yourself and become an expert on those product categories through the training seminars. And you can go and like actually gain the gamified it so you can get points, win prizes, win prizes, go to dinner, just by learning. And when you learn.

Mark Kinsley [1:40]  

 You just say what prizes and go to dinner.

Mark Quinn [1:43]  

Win prizes so that you can go to get you get a gift card, you can go to dinner, you get a free chicken dinner when the free Winner chicken dinner. And if you’re educating yourself, then you become better on the sales floor. Right? Because you knew more about the products. So pretty cool stuff. 

Mark Kinsley [1:57]  

Yeah, so head over to nationwide group.org. If you are a member, you can hop in and make sure you’re taking advantage of the training, now’s a great time to do it. As business has changed. As people have time in their days, definitely invest in training. Because when somebody does come into the store, they’re seeking expert advice. They want to know they’re doing business with somebody who can actually help them. And if that confidence and that trust is there, and that product knowledge is there, someone’s going to think to themselves, wow, they know this much about products they’re selling, they’re confident in it. They’re going to take care of me if something happened.

Mark Quinn [2:32]  

Why would you go somewhere else? You got you got that? That’s experience. Another thing is podium, you know, podium, a new sponsor for the Dos Marcos podcast podium is actually a nation might sponsor or they sell to nation members. And they’re crushing it. Kinsley it is an incredible place to go. It’s a messaging platform. Now you can even pay, they’ve got like $13 million of sales racked up through over 135 mattress retailers already. So when you were doing a lot of the zoom calls, I was away on family business. But people kept telling you, right, that podium was like a huge solution for that. 

Mark Kinsley [3:11]  

So podium is the ultimate messaging platform, number one, reviews, chat, text messaging, social conversations, and messaging, all in one dashboard. But the thing was this, so the amount of inquiries that were coming through mattress, retailer websites, you know, back in early 2020, it was about three or 4000. inquiries through like web chat for exam, right, or text messaging that went from three or 4000 to 50,000. And the people that were able to chat with their customers are able to follow through with their customers through chat through text through a variety of messaging options that their customers wanted to use. Those are the ones that continue to close sales to the tune of $13 million processed. And here’s the really cool thing. And this is, this seems so simple. You might even say to yourself, like how does this work? Text messaging is a link where somebody can complete a transaction. So imagine this, here’s the scenario, you walk into a store during COVID. For example, you might be the only person in the store because you’re there on an appointment, you leave. But before you leave, the high quality salesperson says, I’m going to send you a text message link with all the information about the products that you’re interested in. And you can simply click that message link to pay. And if you do that you pay you don’t have to go back to the store. You can schedule delivery, you can continue texting with your person, your because it’s you know, texting is one to one, you can pay you can complete the transaction. Consumers don’t have a clean, simple path to purchase these days and podium has just like opened up. I mean, you see people’s eyes light up when they talk about podium and what it’s done for their business. It’s true and how it not only did something for their business during COVID how it’s stuck. So you got to head over right now you can use the starter system podium.com/dos. So you don’t type in Marcos, I know we’re dos Marcos, but we want to make it simple. So podium.com/dos to get started for free.

Mark Quinn [5:21]  

For free. They have some components. If you use DOS, if you go to that landing page, specifically, that’s where you get the free stuff. Don’t take Kinsey’s word for any of us any of what he just said, you got to go to this site for yourself. Not that he’s lying or anything, but they say it better.

Mark Kinsley [5:38]  

 No, I was the one that was on the campfire calls and I was the one who heard what people were saying. So you could say Quinn’s word, or you could take my word

Mark Quinn [5:46]  

 Or you can go to podium.com/test and see it for yourself.

Mark Kinsley [5:52]  

So I did not tell you the story about Dr. Sheri. 

Mark Quinn [5:56]  

He started to tell me that.

Mark Kinsley [5:57]  

 I can’t believe I didn’t tell you. So how is Sherry By the way, Sherry is doing great. So Miss Shay, we haven’t talked. She has that is that Mattress Firm? Yep, in Florida. And she called me the other day and she said we had invited her to the campfire conversation. Okay. Did and Sherry wasn’t able to make it. So she gave me a phone call. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, Sherry Peck. And she told me the story about she had gotten married. Yeah. And her husband was a pilot for Southwest Airlines. Okay. He is a pilot for Southwest Airlines. And so during the COVID shutdown, her husband started working out with her. And she likes Cross Fit does a lot of like high intensity interval training. She’s in great shape. And she just loves this and she does it out on the beach. She’s a doctor. So she’s like, dialed into all of that. Right? So she was telling me that they’re out on the beach. And after a few days, he was really short of breath.

And he was having a hard time. And at first she thought Oh, he’s not in good shape. He likes to run a little bit, but he was clearly there was something more to it than that. And so she called the Doctor friend of hers, and eventually ended up meeting with a cardiologist because he was having heart issues. It felt like they actually got him in there and they shoot the dye up in your body to try to figure out how many blockages. He had a full on Window maker and he ended up having a go in for full open heart surgery. Oh, again, he’s a pilot for Southwest Airlines just in time kind of thing. Not only caught it just in time, had COVID not happened. He would still be flying. 

Mark Quinn [5:56]  

He started to tell me that.

Mark Kinsley [5:57]  

 I can’t believe I didn’t tell you.

Mark Quinn [5:58]  

 So how is Sheri by the way?

Mark Kinsley [6:00]  

Sheri is great. So Miss Sheri, we haven’t talked. She has that is that Mattress Firm? Yep, in Florida. And she called me the other day and she said we had invited her to the campfire conversation. Okay, did and Sheri wasn’t able to make it. So she gave me a phone call. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, Sheri Peck. And she told me the story about she had gotten married. Yeah. And her husband was a pilot for Southwest Airlines. Okay. He is a pilot for Southwest Airlines. And so during the COVID shutdown, her husband started working out with her. And she likes Cross Fit does a lot of like high intensity interval training. She’s in great shape. And she just loves this. And she does it out on the beach.

Mark Quinn [6:46]  

She’s a doctor. So she’s like, dialed into all of that, right? 

Mark Kinsley [6:50]  

So she, she was telling me that they’re out on the beach. And after a few days, he was really short of breath. And he was having a hard time. And at first she thought Oh, he’s not in good shape. He likes to run a little bit. But he was clearly there was something more to it than that. And so she called the Doctor friend of hers, and eventually ended up meeting with a cardiologist because he was having heart issues. It felt like they actually got him in there. And they shoot the dye up in your body to try to figure out how many blockages. He had a full on Window maker. And he ended up having a go in for full open heart surgery. Oh, again, he’s a pilot for Southwest Airlines

Mark Quinn [7:35]  

Just in time kind of thing.

Mark Kinsley [7:37]  

Not only caught it just in time, had COVID not happened, he would still be flying. And if he hadn’t taken if they hadn’t been literally grounded, he probably never would have done the high intensity interval training that he did. Yep. And would have never figured out that he’s having major shortness of breath, and some palpitations, some issues like that. And so Shery was telling me that she was literally nursing him back to health. And he was on the path to being fully mended and well, and eventually, you know, start flying again. But I started his amazing story. And I really appreciated Shery. Wow. And she now telling us that story, and we’re so happy that that you’re doing well. And your husband is doing well.

Mark Quinn [8:20]  

She’s been a friend of the show for a long time. Well, guess what? Thank you for sharing that Shery. Glad things are okay. And your husband got treatment. That’s a big deal. 

Mark Kinsley [8:29]  

And it reminded me of positive that came out of this positive Okay, you’re 100% right. Okay. And I’ve heard a lot of stories like that, by the way since talking to Shery, but it made me think of her and to make sure and share the story in the podcast because we have another share.

Mark Quinn [8:46]  

We have another Sheri McGuire. Hello, Sheri McGuire.

Sheri McGuire [8:49]  

Hello. 

Mark Quinn [8:50]  

How are you? 

Sheri McGuire [8:51]  

I’m doing well.

Mark Quinn [8:52]  

Good. Mark. Yes. And we have Greg Schweir. Got it right and i Greg,

Gregg Schweir [8:58]  

You got it right. That’s perfect. Thank

Mark Quinn [9:00]  

Kinsley gave me no chance of actually getting your name pronounced correctly. So for the record, I’d like it to show I did that.

Mark Kinsley [9:07]  

And your Sheri spelled sheri and Greg spelled Gregg.

Mark Quinn [9:13]  

Correct. And we are mark Allen. Yeah, we both had the same first name and middle names.

Gregg Schweir [9:23]  

Wow.

Mark Quinn [9:27]  

But different moms. 

Mark Kinsley [9:28]  

Greg, I can’t tell you how many times people have looked at us and said that’s unique.

Mark Quinn [9:35]  

I don’t think it’s I don’t think it’s the name thing they’re talking about. But anyway, we’ve got these guys on from SSB today. Thank you guys for making time. We love that you’re here. We want to talk to you guys. Lots to cover but with the COVID virus happening today, you guys have created a unique solution to that working with a company called high IQ right? today and it’s a ticking called viral block. So the treatment to this ticking allows it to be 99.9% effective in combating the Coronavirus? So can you guys kind of tell us about it a little bit? Number one, how did you kind of come across it, and, and in come into a partnership with high IQ to kind of bring it to the mattress industry?

Sheri McGuire [10:23]  

Absolutely. So I’ll kick it off. So high q has been a long term partner of SSB and our innovation team, we’ve worked with them on a number of fronts with new innovation. IQ is based out of Switzerland, and that they have manufacturing operations. And they also have representatives located globally. But we initiated this partnership in light of the current situation, due to the fact that we knew that high IQ had done work in this area in terms of creating a solution that potentially could address and provide a comfort a means of comfort and hygienic solution with their virus block technology. And so it was through our previous partnership and engagement and work that we’ve been doing over the years with high IQ, that fast track this down this pathway.

Mark Kinsley [11:28]  

And tell people about the technology, how it works, where you’re going to be putting it in the world is it primarily going to be seen in hospitality, or retailers going to see this technology and products they carry in stores, give us the lay of the land there? 

Gregg Schweir [11:45]  

Okay, I’ll tell I’ll go ahead. I’ll take it from a high level and then share it to talking about how it works. But from a strategic purpose perspective SSB is goanna, we’re obviously going to start in the hospitality industry, we want to you know, it’s an industry that’s under attack as well and has some challenges with people wanting to sleep there and stay. And this is a great technology that will enable them to give people comfort and confidence in their bedding. So that’s where we’ll start is in the hospitality industry. And then we will have a series of rollouts, you know, over the next few months, to really provide it to all consumers and retailers that we do business with, and keep it going, just keep going. Because I think it’s going to be one of those technologies that is really going to become a requirement of the industry. So we’re leading the way and we want to continue to lead the way with our innovation, we can stay on top of this type of technology.

Mark Quinn [12:43]  

Gregg, is this exclusive to SSB? Or are they going to his high IQ going to launch that same kind of tech with other people.

Gregg Schweir [12:53]  

We have some exclusivity upfront, and then we’ll have to work through the next the next phase of that as we go forward.

Sheri McGuire [13:00]  

So I guess just to add on to that SSB does have exclusivity in the US and Canada for application for mattress application and use and so we will be able to own that exclusivity on the up front in the US.

Mark Kinsley [13:20]  

Here take us into how this how this works I’m goanna pop this up if you’re watching on Facebook or on video, you can you can see the screen here, but it kind of lays out just kind of a high level visual on this, but describe to us how this works.

Sheri McGuire [13:36]  

Absolutely. So vibrio block is actually a treatment of finished treatment that is applied to the outer most layer of the mattress. So I the textile layer, the panel fabric and it is actually applied upstream during our fabric manufacturer’s process. And so as part of their process, the treatment is applied and it is then cured into the textile meaning that it becomes a permanent solution to the textile fabric so the outermost layer of our mattress in your mattress would have the viral block technology permanently adhered to the fibers within that mattress system.

Mark Quinn [14:27]  

How do they do that? Is it a heat they apply or how do they bake it in there.

Sheri McGuire [14:33]  

So the virus block itself is a liquid chemistry that is then from a process perspective. It goes through a finished bath and is applied to the panel fabric. It then enters a process where it is dried and cured. And so it’s an oven of sorts that then it hears and dries the chemistry to the textile as part of that finishing process.

Mark Kinsley [15:07]  

He said initially, this is going to focus on the hospitality industry. Take us through kind of the, the way that this would interact with other elements and in embedding, so the sheets, possibly mattress protector? How does that interact? Because I was thinking about, you know, maybe the sheets create a barrier. If a hotel uses a mattress protector?  I don’t see a lot of hotels; you didn’t match sectors these days. But how this was go with the sheets? How would it interact with the sheets with that barrier, and that other layer at play?

Sheri McGuire [15:44]  

Okay, so I guess just as For starters, it’s important to understand that viruses and bacteria are our Nano and micro in terms of size, the particle sizes of viruses, and bacteria. And so most sheets, most protectors that may be on a mattress or any type of other layers of sorts, typically are very porous, and the construction of those allow viruses and bacteria to penetrate and go through those sheets. And once they come into contact with that outermost layer of a mattress, they literally within minutes, the vairo block is very effective to kill and destroy either virus and or bacteria. That is the crux of this particular technology different than other technologies, is it in fact does work and does address both bacteria and virus and in light of the current situation viruses is really key.

Mark Quinn [17:03]  

So Sheri, does it would it be as effective or more effective if you have a protector on your bed? Because retailers like to sell protectors is add on sales? So would it be better if you had it? If you had a protector treated with high IQ? Because it’s closer to the top of the bed, right? So you have the protector on top of the mattress, then you have a sheet normally fitted sheet, and then you have the consumer? So is it the closer to the consumer, the better?

Sheri McGuire [17:37]  

Not necessarily, okay. Ultimately, what we’re seeking is to keep your mattress hygienic clean, and a safe place to continue to sleep and be able to sleep comfortably without the concern that it that there’s bacteria or that there’s virus harbored there on the sleep surface.

Mark Kinsley [18:02]  

If you think about the way that this normally works, the sheets are goanna go to laundry, right, they’re goanna get washed and disinfected. And so it’s the mattress that remains static within a hotel room, in and out, put it through. So, Gregg, take it since you So Greg, you’re the head of innovation with SSB, you’ve been on the job a solid four weeks. So you’re getting your sea legs by now, tip but take us into as you look at this kind of as a category. And as a topic of conversation that could cascade down to retail are people in the retail space going to start to see more of this type of technology? Or this issue kind of bubbling up at the consumer level? I think hospitality it’s almost like a no brainer. But once you get down to the consumer level, yeah, I think people are goanna start saying,

Gregg Schweir [18:58]  

Well, I will definitely going to roll this out across, you know, our, all of our brands and, and really into the down to this retailers in our stores as fast as we as we can. But I think he is consumer, this was goanna just be continued to be an awareness. And the nice thing about it is it’s embedded in the mattress coverings. And you’re right, and people take the sheets off to take things off, they wash them, they clean them, they can do that, but the mattress is stationary. So this chemistry allows that to really exist and coexist in that sleep ecosystem and make a really strong, a strong, I’ll say selling selling opportunity as well as just the safety perspective. And so I think if if anything if consumers or dogs or whatever they find where it brings something brings it into the home, and it does get on the surface, but then that because of the particular size, it goes through that. This will obviously destroy it, which is which is fantastic. So I think in our world, the way things are started to accelerate with the fears and concerns about different viruses and microbial service, you know, anti-microbial services and all that all the things that we’re using on our hands and everything, it’s a, it’s just really a good opportunity. I think as we look at innovation across our business, I think we’re continually trying to reinvent ourselves. Because the mattress businesses is one where, you know, we’re really trying to help people feel be healthy and have grit, and really get the sleep, they need to live the lives they want, right. So you want to wake up, you want to wake up healthy, you want to wake up, rested and have reinvigorated right. So I think this is one of those peace of mind type things too, as well as it can help keep you from, from getting or viruses or any bacteria back onto the body or into your breathing.

Mark Kinsley [20:52]  

I think that’s going to be a huge deal to just the peace of mind, that comes along with knowing, hey, I’m in a clean environment, every measure has been taken to ensure that this sleep space is sanitized, people are going to have a hard time sleeping in a strange place, I think for a certain amount of time you’ve been you’ve had to travel some.

Mark Quinn [21:15]  

I have. And so you are a little more aware. So they’re not cleaning rooms as an example. So they’re not coming into your room. I don’t know if you guys have been in hotel. So I thought about that. And then of course, I thought about the bed for sure. And you know what this made me think about even when you’re lying on four samples in a store. So there are people that are coming up with some solutions, like a thin layer or a sheet protective sheet that you can lay on and then it’s disposable. And then but I like this for that too. Because if you knew as a consumer that the mattress was actually the ticking, was treated with something like this, then it would give you a little bit more peace of mind. Which brings up a question for me, like what is the efficacy, Sheri of this? So how long will this treatment actually last on the ticking? 

Sheri McGuire [22:00]  

Great question. So if you’ll think back on my earlier comment around the way that the technology is applied, and it becomes a permanent solution of sorts, to the mattress and to the panel fabric, the efficacy for the antimicrobial aspect, antibacterial aspect is greater than 20 years. And then in terms of the antiviral at the moment, the testing that has been completed will show up to three years of antiviral protection, where we expect that it will go longer than that. But the testing that has been conducted thus far, does show at least up to three years. But we do anticipate that potentially will go longer. 

Mark Quinn [22:49]  

Have you considered this in Greg, actually, it’s probably for you too, as a competitive threat. So some of the top of that guy’s doing this on a protector, which I’m sure they’re all thinking about that anyway. And so if you were to treat a protector, and then that kind of thing got washed in a washing machine, what would the efficacy be on something like that? Have you done that work?

Sheri McGuire [23:12]  

Yes, we have. We have we actually have several partners on the accessory front. And in conjunction with high q that testing work has been done from a durability perspective and a wash ability perspective for those types of goods, like protectors or like sheets. And at the moment, the testing would show that long durability of wash ability is up to 20 plus washings. And so again, very effective, and it’s something that can be laundered.

Mark Quinn [23:49]  

So for you that’s like five or six years.

Gregg Schweir [23:56]  

Maybe just one for me.

Mark Kinsley [24:00]  

 I’m in the same room with this person.

Mark Quinn [24:04]  

 Sorry. I’m sorry, I couldn’t.

Speaker (Male) [24:09]  

Oh, yeah, there’s no doubt in my mind action to folk music is the official soundtrack of door counts, because door counts is all about taking action to get out of that funk. The funk of not knowing door counts is the smartest way to count retail traffic, and then do something with that traffic and have proof and tie it to sales results. Our friend Luis Lopez actually won the door count system, installed at one of his stores and saw how well it worked. He went out and purchased the system for all of his other stores. And he said as soon as that camera went in the difference maker.

Speaker 3 [24:48]  

I knew that the minute I would install that camera in my store, I was goanna be able to see why people were coming in where were they coming from? I was goanna make better decisions on my marketing tools. I will goanna make that person accountable to show the importance of, to our salesmen. Every person that comes through the door and how much it cost us to bring that person in, all of that stuff ties in together, and then you know, the CRM to follow up with the customers and after they come in the store has elevated ourselves. Incredibly, it’s been a couple months that we’ve had it and I can already see the results. I’ve seen a 60% growth in our sales for the entire year.

Speaker (Male) [25:31]  

Right now on your phone or computer go to door counts, calm book a demo, Tim does Marco such Yeah.

Mark Kinsley [25:39]  

 If you’re wondering how many letters are in each person’s name, it’s Sheri Maguire with one R, and one in one eye. And it’s Gregg, we’re with two G’s.

Mark Quinn [25:55]  

Let’s figure out where you’re doing a reset. So I’m looking at how you spell via a block. And like, that’s always gonna swing into some connection.

Mark Kinsley [26:08]  

So Sheri is vice president of advanced technology, she leads the alpha innovation team with SSB. And Gregg is the head of innovation, and new to the mattress industry coming this way from the furniture category, though. So Sheri, or Gregg, either whoever wants to take this one jump ball? What is the headline at retail? That is essays and sales people, retail managers can tell consumers? Like what can they confidently and accurately tell consumers at this point? Or is there a weight on some sort of FDA approval? And legally, right? Yeah, I think you’re goanna have retail managers and trainers get into this very quickly, what can we actually say?

Gregg Schweir [26:53]  

Sure you want to go,

Sheri McGuire [26:54]  

I’ll take a first stab at it. Okay. So from an SSP perspective, you know, we are focused on delivering good quality sleep. And at the end of the day, if we can make the consumer comfortable, that they one less thing that they have to worry about is that their mattress is not clean, that their mattress may be harboring some type of bacteria or something else, ultimately, that’s what we’re after. You know, this is the first step and taking our mattresses to the next level to deliver that peace of mind. For both consumers, for travelers, you know, in hospitality, hotels, you know, we’re looking at it across a number of fronts. And so from that perspective, I would say, you know, first and foremost, we’re looking at delivering just a good night’s sleep, such that the last thing you have to worry about is getting sick from your mattress.

Mark Quinn [28:08]  

So as it relates to it, though, are you able to say legally, that it will kill 99.9%, I read that in the press release, that it will kill the virus 99%. Dead, if it comes in contact with the tech, are you going to be able to say that?

Sheri McGuire [28:27]  

So we are currently working with FDA and EPA on the specific level of claims and the testing that’s required to substantiate those types of claims. And so that work is still pending. But we do have information through our partner high IQ, that does suggest that this does deliver this technology viable, it does deliver against COVID and SARS type viruses at a 99.99% effective rate.

Mark Kinsley [29:04]  

I think you know, thematically we’re going to see a lot more of this language emerge as the technology emerges. Correct. And so I understand we might be a little bit early in the process. But when we see things start to bubble up, we want to make sure and you know, hop on board talk about these things and bring them to the surface so that we have time as an industry. And people have time at retail to process these things and how they’re going to be able to effectively and accurately talk about them to consumers. So totally hear what you’re saying Sheri about, you know, this being something that’s focused on comfort and peace of mind. And then as the EPA and the FDA results do take shape. We’ll know more it sounds like

Sheri McGuire [29:48]  

Absolutely in terms of how specific and you know exactly the verbiage that goes around the types of claims that we can make. I did want to hit back on a point that I think that Gregg raised early on and our conversations around SSBS focus really being driven at the consumer level. And that is also the case for this particular technology where the types of claims, what what’s really important for the consumer, that work is being done by our marketing teams and driven and led by our marketing teams in terms of what language truly does resonate with consumers, and what aspects of the viral blog technology are deemed critical and important to a consumer. And so we’re running again, parallel paths where we’re doing that claims testing work from a language perspective, simultaneous with the path of the legal aspects and the governmental agency approval pieces,

Mark Quinn [30:54]  

I see what you’re saying to Sheri about working with other people in terms of top of bed solutions, because I would think I don’t know the science of it. But if a human comes to bed with COVID, or something else, and lays in their bed, they’re going to immediately interact with their top sheet, and then right below that, to protect her and then below that the mattress. So I mean, you could certainly see how having that, you know, that same treatment on the sheet or the protector would work very well in concert with, you know, the fact that you’re having that same shield on the mattress itself. So is that kind of where you’re going with that? I mean, is that would it just be like double triple assurances there.

Sheri McGuire [31:41]  

 Absolutely. Actually, we’re starting, as Gregg again mentioned earlier, the hospitality area, that’s, that’s where we’ve initiated our bundling, I’ll call it of various accessory products in combination that uses that use the viral block technology in combination with our mattress product that also will have the viral block.

Mark Kinsley [32:07]  

I can’t take this opportunity to, I can’t miss the opportunity, I should say, to ask about what else is happening behind the scenes, when we had the head of innovation, we had the VP of advanced technology, give us give us a little more What’s happening? What are we going to see Phil the gsssb doing, right? I want to hear about this more innovation.

Mark Quinn [32:28]  

Now we’re goanna really grill the crap. So get ready. This is we were mildly interested in the viral blog. 

Sheri McGuire [32:36]  

I have got a hard stop. 

Mark Quinn [32:38]  

Oh, wait, it’s my connection.

Gregg Schweir [32:42]  

 Now the connection is terrible. No, I think we’re just going to continue to really focus on meeting the needs of the consumer. And we have obviously a tremendous focus on, you know, helping consumers restore their during sleep, your body’s restoring so many energies and aspects of it to help you sleep comfortably. You know, obviously, heat is a big factor, keeping the body temperature correct. Helping you with the whole environment of the room, and really helping you get this the rest you need. And I think so we’ll look at a lot of things that will help you not only peace of mind, but interacting with your view in the total sleep process and sleep ecosystem. So I think you’ll see a lot of a lot of innovation from SSB we have a tremendous outreach with our suppliers, we have incredible partnerships that are going to continue to build on a couple of these key things. Obviously, sustainability is in our in our DNA, and we have a lot of thoughts around that and technologies we’re working there. And as well as a lot of this. I mean, I don’t think this is goanna leave us I think we’re goanna have to be very aware of the environment, in the end this virus and anti-microbial kind of kind of environments going to be around for a while. And I think the next generation of people, we just, we really goanna have to connect with that too, because I think that’s where sustainability is definitely in their vocabulary. We have to take we have to be good stewards of the planet, good stewards of what we do every day. And we love to help people get the rest they need and wake up feeling great and refreshed. And I think as we as we investigate more and more, you know, biomechanics chemistries, just a number of things that are going to help enable us to do that in the future. So I’m looking forward to it. It’s been it’s been fantastic, kind of starting off with the certain sermons and just the energy that the team has the organization is just invigorated. Obviously, this was one they pivoted on quickly to make happen. And it’s, it’s fantastic and we have tremendous confidence that everything’s going to be successful and we’re going to deliver a great product to the market. Obviously, we know that that hospitality industry needs us. And we want to help enable them. And then we want to build that into all of our consumer brands as well. So I think we have a great future ahead of us and a lot of technologies that will enable,

Mark Kinsley [35:15]  

Gregg, I love talking to people with fresh eyes, on our industry. Talk to us about the attraction, you had to come to work in the mattress business, but also give us some of the harsh realities of what you see us facing as a category and as an industry, and how you think we as an industry may need to respond. 

Gregg Schweir [35:40]  

I think so, kind of coming into the industry, it, it’s what attracted me to it was really talking to the team at the leadership team in the executive group, but SSB just their passion for this business and helping people get that the rest they need so that they can lead great lives and be great employees and great moms and dads and kids can wake up and feel good when they go to school. And really how important it is to think about all aspects of that whether you know, from sleep, health, obviously, nutrition, and exercise, and all those things that enable us to do the things we want to do. And just how important this leg of it is, because we spend about a third of our lives sleeping. So we, we really need to make sure that we’re doing it well. And it’s and it’s we’re getting out of it what we need. So, and the number of people that I’ve just interacted with drama life that have had some issue with insomnia or sleep deprivation, from some type of I’ll say, respiratory problems or back pain are a number of things. I think it’s incredible. And I think we really have to take a stand in and try to address those things and, and help personalize that, that. And I think that’s kind of an end game is how do you personalize the mattress, the environment that every consumer is going to need to help them get to sleep the best way possible. And it can be dependent on so many factors. So we have to try to one understand all the factors, but then control the factors that we can’t control. And, and really help you tune that into what makes you sleep and, and feel rested.

Gregg Schweir [37:28]  

That’s what attracted me to it. I think some of the biggest challenges for us are in the space. So obviously, chemistry is an antiviral and antimicrobial type situation that we’re going to have and how we keep that that room safe. And that that space that you’re lying on safe. But I think it’s also sustainability is a big opportunity, because I think we have to look at the materials we’re putting into mattresses. The cradle to grave discussion, I think is really important for us, as an industry, as you know. And I think as the next generation comes up, they’re going to they’re going to kind of demand that we do that. So I think we have to be really aware of it.

Mark Kinsley [38:07]  

I agree with that. And as a matter of fact, I recently had a call with the mattress recycling council just to get up to speed for my own knowledge on the state of mattress recycling in the states that had have adopted it and what the push looks like beyond Rhode Island, Connecticut and California. And it was encouraging to see what was happening with mattress recycling in those states. But it was also discouraging for me to know the MRC is not charged with trying to get mattress recycling adopted within other states. They just service the states that have already pushed through that legislation. So that was kind of an eye opener for me. So there needs to be a real ground game in different states for adopting mattress recycling. And I didn’t realize that the MRC was not responsible for that. So I think it’s goanna be like you talking about Greg, it’s going to be material science. It’s going to be construction of mattresses, but it’s also going to be legislation. I think that gets us to a spot where we’re not putting 50,000 mattresses I think a day in the landfills. I calculate it for the state of Arkansas. I live in Bentonville and it was 182,500 mattresses a year that were getting plopped into landfills. And if you talk hju0–0to the people that runs these dumps in these landfills, mattresses do not decompose, compress, or deteriorate naturally in any way. That is really reasonable for a quick breakdown. It’s a long multi year cycle. So I think the innovation sustainability, I know I want it, but I think we’re goanna have to rally around as an industry and try to push it through at the state level.

Mark Quinn [39:49]  

You know, it’d be really cool if you could actually grow a mattress on a farm and I’m just saying if you had your own sheet, like share them for the wall and then Yes, I am. Yeah. I mean, that was incredibly smart. So back to you. I couldn’t help myself. Yeah, yeah. So Sherry, forward look from you now, on the material science side and technology. Where is it taking us? What kind of things are you hearing people talk about and what’s exciting in it as it looks, from your perspective about ours. 

Sheri McGuire [40:26]  

Right now, I think a couple of things, I’ll just add on to what Greg has already highlighted, but for sure we SSB are seeing sustainability biodegradability recyclability of various types of materials and componentry within the product such that ultimately, our goal would be that you can put a product into a landfill and it would fire to gray, for example, that ultimately would be one of our key initiatives and goals. We also are looking at along that same vein, how do we simplify constructions? What alternative ways can we produce a mattress build a mattress such that it is not as complex, it’s a fairly complex build, in most cases. And to get to some of these end games, it does take it does mean taking a step back, and our manufacturing and how we manufacture and reassessing that process in order to make that in game achievable. So those two I think, come hand in hand. And then another key area in focus for us on the innovation side would be around performance, materials and yarns and, and other types of chemistries. Other ways to deliver again, they’re right at the sleep surface typically, is a really key area. And, you know, we could be talking about different types of constructions, it could be using some really unique differentiated yarns, it could mean some other types of chemistries that have multiple types of benefits that again, we could ultimately apply to the outermost layer of the mattress system.

Mark Kinsley [42:36]  

Well, it’s been fun talking with you both, because this is like we mentioned early on, you know, a theme, we think that’s going to emerge, I think there are going to be a lot of technologies and innovation in this space within the mattress, business and beyond. And so we’ll kind of keep our finger on the pulse of how these things are going to evolve and change. We would love to hear back from you, you know, as the FDA EPA processes forward. And in that language, I know you work in lockstep with the marketing team to make sure that you know, it’s kind of palatable for the consumer and write the message they can hear and understand. So absolutely. Thanks for thanks for taking time and it’s really, it’s really nice to see some new faces and Sherry, you’ve been in the business for at least with SSB for 13 years. And Greg, you’re brand new. So thank you both for your service to the category. Gregg so far.

Mark Quinn [43:01]  

We’re not saying anything for Greg yet. He hasn’t done anything for me. He’s just saturated zoom calls. Sherry Thank you though, Greg. I’m with Kinsey. I think it’s awesome. You’re in it. I’m glad that you’re interested. As Bob hell. You’re been nice to us since you went met Bob. Bob’s incredible. Yeah, it’s been nice then. Okay. Just me guys. He’s doing really well. Derek Miller, is he giving you trouble? Yeah. Oh, he’s Yeah, he’s Melanie, you gotten yeah, okay. 

Gregg Schweir [43:47]  

It’s been great.

Mark Kinsley [43:48]  

 Right. Well, it’s been great having you both on the show. Thank you for you’re likewise

Sheri McGuire [43:48]  

Thank you for taking time out to learn a little bit more about what we’re doing on the SSP front. It’s been fun.

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