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May 26, 2010 | By Joan Verdon
At his Newark, N.J., factory, Michael Hammer, chief executive of Shifman Mattress, sees all the evidence he needs to be convinced the economy is on the rebound. Workers are busy filling orders for the company's premium mattresses, some of which sell for as much as $20,000 for a queen-size mattress and box-spring set. Sales jumped 42% in January compared with the same month a year earlier, and year-to-date sales increased 30% over the same period in 2009. "We're still down a little from 2008, but let me tell you, it's fabulous," Hammer said.
September 26, 2009 | Times Wire Services
Simmons Co., the maker of Beautyrest mattresses, said it planned to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a move that would put new owners in charge of the bedding unit and significantly lower the Atlanta company's debt. Sales have slumped for mattress makers as consumers pull back on their spending during the recession, especially on big-ticket items.
July 19, 2009 | Times Staff And Wire Reports
As part of a new marketing campaign, Sit 'n Sleep has launched a mattress buyback program to encourage customers to trade in their old mattresses toward the purchase of a new one. The promotion is available at all 22 Sit 'n Sleep stores and ends Aug. 23. Any old mattress will qualify, and customers do not need to bring the mattress to the store -- it just should be ready to be picked up when the new one is delivered. The Gardena company said it would use a "sliding scale" to determine the worth of the old mattress.
May 3, 2009
I enjoyed Valli Herman's article "Grab More Than Just the Towels" [April 19]. My wife and I recently stayed at Marriott's Grand Chateau in Las Vegas. Both of us have arthritic backs, and we were amazed at the comfort of the mattress in our room. We contacted Marriott and were told that we slept on a memory foam mattress made by Jamison and that we could purchase one through marriott. It cost $1,900. Jamison mattresses are made on the East Coast and are not easily available in California.
April 19, 2009 | Dana Milbank, Milbank writes for the Washington Post.
The enemy is stealthy and bloodthirsty. It attacks innocent victims without warning, while they sleep. Fortunately, the federal government is on the case. The Environmental Protection Agency convened the first National Bed Bug Summit -- a veritable Yalta conference for the species Cimex lectularius -- in an Arlington hotel ballroom last week. With help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and even the Pentagon, the EPA assembled scientists, state and local officials, and a colony of exterminators to buzz about such topics as "Bed Bug Perspectives," "Bed Bug Basics" and "Government Responses to Bed Bugs."
April 17, 2009 | Gary Goldstein; Robert Abele
It's a bit heavy on the metaphors, a few fun supporting players prematurely vanish and there are tonal issues (what's with the homeless assassin?), but the offbeat comedy "Gigantic" remains quite the confident juggling act. First-time feature director Matt Aselton, who co-wrote the darkly funny, well-observed script with Adam Nagata, has crafted a disarming tale that's one of the better independent films in recent memory.
January 23, 2009 | Ashley Powers
In revenue-strapped Nevada, where foreclosed homes dot suburban streets and poker tables sit empty, it's come to this: A state legislator wants to talk about legalizing -- and taxing -- prostitution in Reno and Las Vegas. "It's almost de facto legal. It's running unregulated," said state Sen. Bob Coffin, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Taxation Committee. He also said legalization would better protect sex workers.
January 4, 2009 | P.J. Huffstutter
In this Ohio city, it seems, it really is tough to stop the bedbugs from biting. When complaints about the bloodsucking insects first trickled in to Cincinnati's public health department three years ago, officials assumed it was an anomaly -- or perhaps the overactive imagination of a bug-phobic public. After all, Cimex lectularius had all but vanished here by the 1950s because of the frequent use of DDT and other now-banned pesticides.
October 16, 2008 | Tina Susman and Said Rifai, Times Staff Writers
Mohammed Fawzi Radhi makes his living putting people to sleep. His is a trade on the edge of extinction, but as Iraqis come to appreciate the comfort of his hand-fluffed cotton mattresses, Radhi says, business is picking up. Like many other businesses in Iraq, Radhi's was affected by the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003. In his case, newly imported merchandise competed directly with his age-old trade after Iraq's borders opened up and foreign goods poured in.
August 31, 2008 | Camilo Jose Vergara, Camilo Jose Vergara is a photographer and 2002 MacArthur Foundation fellow.
Of all the big cities in the United States, Los Angeles is the one where the mattress and furniture recyclers, the bottle and can collectors, the food vendors and other street hawkers are most ubiquitous. Their workshops -- where they repair the items they've salvaged, do piecework for sweatshops, make pinatas to sell to variety stores or craft mantelpieces to sell to their neighbors -- are often in rented garages or in their backyards. Driven by the need to survive, these fringe workers -- often young Latino immigrants -- work at their own pace, setting their own schedules and acting as their own bosses.
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