Michael Fux returns to home textiles
Matthew Kalash -- Gifts & Dec, March 7, 2011
New York- Michael Fux - the founder and former owner of longtime pad and pillow powerhouse Sleep Innovations - is launching new company, Comfort Revolution.
Fux has sat out on the sidelines for the past five years after selling Sleep Innovations, but will debut the new business next week at New York Home Fashions Market.
"A lot of people think I'm crazy getting back into the business," Fux said recently as work was progressing rapidly on the company's new showroom space at 230 Fifth Avenue. "They told me the competition was going to eat me alive.
"Well, I left five years ago and I haven't seen anything new since then. I know I have a lot more competition now, but I have my creativity, my knowledge of the business and my knowledge of the consumer.
"And I've got something else I didn't have before: I've got money."
When Fux, who had spent most of his career on the retail side of the home furnishings business after emigrating from Cuba as a youth, founded Sleep Innovations in the mid-1990s, the idea of bedding products like pads, pillows and mattresses using viscose memory foam was brand new, an unproven product without any mass acceptance.
Sleep changed that and it did so, most people acknowledge, through an ongoing barrage of new products and new packaging, the foundations of the company's strategy. It proved hugely successful and Sleep Innovations became the dominant player in the field, doing over $300 million a year in annual sales.
Prior to market week, there weren't a lot of details being released about the company's offerings, but it will be focused on the foam pad, pillow and mattress market that Fux knows all too well. He said he expects to introduce products that are not strictly price-plays, although they will be competitive. "The name of the company says it all; we're going to revolutionize the sleep business."
Fux has reassembled many of the members of his original Sleep Innovations team, and the new showroom in room 1500 will carry several of Fux' signature design cues, including wide open spaces, a clean white motif and selections from his personal art collection.
The first line of new products will be ready for fall delivery and will be followed up with several licensed brands. And innovative packaging will once again be a cornerstone of the Comfort Revolution line-up.
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