US mattress company eyes Viet Nam’s enormous potential

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2020 13:00

With a young and growing population, is a promising market for mattress producers. Its potential has increased even more since Vietnamese consumers are now increasingly conscious of their health, including sleep. But to find a mattress in the luxury segment with clear brand origins and of international standards is not very easy.

Seeing the huge potential of the market, World Luxury Mattress Gallery or LMG entered the market with a world-class showroom, the first of its kind in Vietnam dedicated to world class mattress brands, and sleep accessories, in a luxurious and convenient location in Sala City, District 2, HCM City.

As a member of the AmericanStar group, a company that is famous for its mattresses in the US and exports to Europe and many Asian countries, LMG seeks to bring the best products in the world to Viet Nam.

Mr Lee Hinshaw, Chief Operating Officer of LMG

One of the group’s key people who has connected the global mattress industry with Viet Nam and brought made-in-Viet Nam mattresses to a major part of the world is Lee Hinshaw, Chief Operating Officer of LMG. He began to fall in love with mattresses and artistic stories about sleep when he was a small boy during dinner table conversations and attending furniture exhibitions with his father-, a former president and CEO of one of the largest mattress manufacturers in the US and the world at that time.

You take pride in your father’s work and he inspired you as a child and in your early career. But you built your career in Asia rather than in the US. What is behind your choice?

The Mattress industry has been a life-time passion. I started in the mattress industry unofficially when I was about eight years old, attending the High Point Furniture Market, at that time the largest furniture fair in the world, and then working for a mattress company during summer holidays while in high school and university.

Back in 1996 the mattress industry in Asia was a new market for international brands. It was interesting for me to learn and explore the Asian markets and I actually traveled on my first business trip to Japan in January 1997. We exported mattresses from the US to Japan, and then our business in Asia started to flourish.

A corner at LMG showroom in Sala City, District 2, HCM City where customer can try matress’ quality – featuring the Kluft 1.0billion VND[LH1] mattress set.

I relocated to Asia in January 2003, living in Bangkok, Tokyo and now HCM City.

LMG in Vietnam, where I work, is like a start-up although it is a member of a well-known international mattress producer thriving for 25 years. LMG has the largest selection of international brands available in Vietnam. Bringing international brands to the country is a big challenge as well as opportunity.

When we feel sleepy, we just sleep. Most of us do not care about the mattress at all when we want our body to quickly shut down after an exhausting day of work or fun. What are the key elements in the relationship between the mattress and sleep?

LMG has carefully selected brands based on different customer segments in Viet Nam. Each brand offers unique product features to meet specific Vietnamese consumer expectations for comfort and support - what they are expecting from a mattress and a good night’s sleep.

We really focus on innovation, health and wellness to offer Vietnamese consumers selective international brands that help them experience a better night’s sleep.

LMG is the first in Viet Nam to offer “Reveal by Xsensor”, a machine that measures body pressure to advise the mattress and pillows that best fit each customer, guiding them through the brand and product selection. LMG views the shopping experience as a journey, to help consumers understand the uniqueness of the product brands and what is the right product for their bodies.

Visiting LMG, customers experience a world-class mattress collection comprising of American Star, Therapedic, Latexco, Aireloom, Spring Air and Kluft. LMG also sells pillows and bed linen to offer customers a total sleep experience, designing their unique bedroom sleep environment.

It’s perhaps a difficult task to assist consumers to understand the value of better sleep. There is an education process to selling sleep but we can say we have achieved success and great consumer feedback on the LMG experience. Consumers appreciate the chance to understand the products they are investing in. Remember we spend ⅓ of our life in bed, sleep products -mattresses, pillows and sleep accessories - are an investment not just monetarily but also in maintaining our health and wellness. LMG offers a wide range of product options and price ranges to meet our customer’s preference. LMG is the first to offer a VND1.0 billion mattress set in Viet Nam.

So, with LMG, sleep is an art?

That is exactly what our customers will feel when visiting LMG showroom at Sala City. Just like art, finding the right sleeping environment and sleeping experience is very different for each of us, it is an artform.

Consumers are more and more aware of health and personal experience. And beauty along with aging is a daily concern for most of us. The number one action you can take to slow the aging process and stay young and beautiful is sleep, getting better quality of sleep.

Sleep is not a luxury. It is an art and actually a need. Customers value the luxury. LMG offers luxury and a better night’s sleep.

Why did the AmericanStar Group choose Viet Nam as its production and trading base?

AmericanStar group’s headquarters is in Houston, Texas USA. The heritage of the company is actually in the manufacturing campus in Dong Nai Province. This year, 2020, marks AmericanStar group’s 25th anniversary in the mattress industry in Viet Nam, an emerging market that is growing very fast with a young and well-educated population.

AmericanStar’s market extends across four continents: the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Australia. In the US alone, AmericanStar currently has three distribution facilities- Los Angeles, Dallas, and Houston.

In Viet Nam, we have a licence for Therapedic. We manufacture Therapedic mattresses for five countries in Southeast Asia. We have a partnership with Latexco, the No 1 latex manufacturer in the world. We import Belgian latex. We also import market leading brands from the USA - Kluft, Aireloom and Brentwood Home.

And we will soon be launching the Spring Air brand in Viet Nam. We just signed an agreement with Spring Air, one of the top brands in the US and Internationally. We will also launch the Spring Air luxury collection - Chatham and Wells which will be Made in the USA. We are really excited about this partnership.

How do you plan to make made-in-Viet Nam mattresses competitive in the US market?

Competition in the US is very aggressive as this is a mature market and there are multiple mattress brand options. However, AmericanStar is proud that we have a factory in Viet Nam with the capability to manufacture products of international standard for export to the US and for sale in Viet Nam. We have a team that understands what retailers and consumers are looking for in each market to ensure the successful expansion of AmericanStar group on the world mattress map including the USA.

To many employees at AmericanStar group and LMG, Lee Hinshaw represents the development of the whole group over the past few decades.

His 30 years' experience in the mattress industry in the US and Asian countries have helped the group penetrate the world market more effectively. He subtly adopts international work methods for adaptation to the Vietnamese environment to rapidly develop LMG into a sustainable market leader in Viet Nam. He has become a true inspiration to the LMG team.


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