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Bedding specialty firm has some spring in its step Therapedic aiming to grow sales by making a serious splash in global marketplace

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Gerry Borreggine says he sees bath products as a growth area for his company, but he’s not losing sight of the bedding arena. ‘We are on a roll,’ he says of efforts to add large producers in both the United States and places like Indonesia and Turkey.
Gerry Borreggine says he sees bath products as a growth area for his company, but he’s not losing sight of the bedding arena. ‘We are on a roll,’ he says of efforts to add large producers in both the United States and places like Indonesia and Turkey. - ()

Therapedic International is growing its mattress sales by signing up high-volume manufacturing licensees in China, Indonesia, Turkey, Florida and California. And the company is taking a dive into bath products while broadening its extensive line of bedding accessories.

While mattresses account for the majority of Therapedic's $500 million in annual sales, its “top of bed” products — memory foam mattress toppers, pads, heated blankets, pillows — are about a third of the company's revenue. The 1,100-store Bed, Bath & Beyond chain — the largest retailer of Therapedic's bedding line — recently started selling Therapedic's first bath products: a bath pillow and a bath mat.

“We think (bath) is going to be very successful for us,” said Therapedic CEO Gerry Borreggine. He said his bedding products are a popular brand at Bed, Bath & Beyond, “and now, we are moving into the bath department.”

Since joining the company 10 years ago, Borreggine has adjusted the network of factories in the United States and overseas that are licensed to make Therapedic mattresses and box springs. “I reduced the number of licenses, but improved their quality,” he said. He slimmed down the international licensees to 23 from about 50; in the United States, the company has 13 licensed factories.

In China, Borreggine replaced a licensee that made about 100 beds a day with one that can produce more than 5,000 a day. The new licensee, Airland, came on board about five months ago, has several factories in China and will sell Therapedic beds throughout the country.

“The middle class is growing in China, and they have a very strong appetite for American branded goods,” Borreggine said. “American goods are viewed as prestigious, quality goods, and the Chinese consumer flocks to the U.S. brands. We hope to be part of that.”

About two years ago, the Massindo Group, a mattress producer with 12 factories in Indonesia, came on board as a licensee; in April, a major European manufacturer, Istikbal, of Turkey, signed on. Borreggine predicted that in five years, those three will be the top producers in the company.

The U.S. mattress business is growing as well: In the last few years, Therapedic has added two large producers, Sleep International, in Florida, and Stress-O-Pedic Mattress Co., in California.

“We are on a roll,” Borreggine said. “The people we are adding are not marginal players, they are very significant contributors to the Therapedic brand integrity and reach.”

Borreggine said he is talking to five big international prospects he hopes will become Therapedic licensees. Plans for the top-of-bed business include a new line of towels, and possibly sheets, while continuing to roll out new bath products.

E-mail to: beth@njbiz.com
On Twitter: @bethfitzgerald8

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald reports on health care, small business and higher education. She joined NJBIZ in 2008 after a 34-year career at the Star-Ledger and has been reporting on business in New Jersey since 1978. Her email is beth@njbiz.com and she is @bethfitzgerald8 on Twitter.

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