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Protect-A-Bed Opens New U.S. Headquarters

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The company held an open house on Nov. 17 for the grand opening of a new U.S. headquarters and warehouse facility in Wheeling, Ill.

| November 22, 2011

WHEELING, Ill. — Protect-A-Bed, maker of mattress and box spring encasements, celebrated 31 years in business with the grand opening of a new U.S. headquarters and warehouse facility in Wheeling, Ill.

The new location at 1500 South Wolf Road features 20,000 square feet of office space and a 200,000-square-foot warehouse.

With revenue up 35 percent from 2010, the new space positions the company for accelerated growth, said CEO James Bell. It will “facilitate a quicker turn-around time for processing orders” and help Protect-A-Bed increase its business four- to five-fold, he said.

The company held an open house on Nov. 17 for 277 customers, business partners, employees and local officials. Bell cited the company’s “global vision,” thanked international business partners, and recognized employees for their service. Protect-A-Bed Chairman David Kaplan recalled how the company grew from a South African start-up making terry cloth car seat covers to a global operation selling products in 30 countries, the latest being Panama and Russia.

Village of Wheeling President Judy Abruscato, who cut a ceremonial ribbon with Bell, commended the company on its “absolutely beautiful” renovated facility, which accounts for 1.5 percent of the Village’s industrial real estate.

Other highlights of the evening were narrated golf cart tours of the company’s impressive warehouse facility, champagne, hors d’oeuvres and a sit-down dinner.

Why use encasements?
Pest management professionals who use encasements as part of their bed bug treatment protocol can reduce inspection time and labor costs. Over three service visits to treat a unit with a queen-size bed, PMPs can save one and a half hours of labor, said Protect-A-Bed Industrial Division Sales Director Brian Hirsch.

Phil Cooper, president of Cooper Pest Solutions and BedBug Central in Lawrenceville, N.J., said encasements are standard practice and included in the cost of bed bug jobs performed by his company and BedBug Free companies. The encasements also are sold to the public on the BedBug Central website.

Cooper recalled that his brother, Rick Cooper, wanted to take the time-consuming inspection of box springs out of the treatment equation. He approached Protect-A-Bed’s Bell with the idea of making bed bug-proof encasements. The two went back and forth, with Cooper saying what wouldn’t work and Bell figuring out how to fix it. The result was the company’s patented zipper system.

Hirsch advised PMPs to encase mattresses and box springs on the first service call after eliminating visible bed bugs. Any pests remaining in the bed get trapped in the encasement, and pests migrating to the bed are easily seen or identified by black or red fecal spotting left on the white cover.

To engage hospitality staff, tenants and homeowners in early detection, the company offers Bed Bug 101 posters and smartphone apps to help identify the pests and fecal spotting. It has 75 different bed bug protection encasement products (225 products total) to accommodate the many different sizes of beds.

The most successful bed bug management programs pair treatment with quarterly, early-detection training for customers, Hirsch said.

Pest management-related sales account for 30 percent of Protect-A-Bed revenue, Hirsch added. He expects the Southeast and Northwest to be growth areas in 2012.

Protect-A-Bed products are carried at 7,100 retail stores. Each month, it acquires 50 new customers and ships 4,758 orders.

In addition to its new Wheeling facility, the company has an administrative and sales office in Philadelphia and product showrooms in Las Vegas and New York City. Previously, the company’s U.S. headquarters was a 31,000-square-foot facility in Northbrook, Ill. The company employs 100 people in the U.S.

The company’s Premium Mattress Protector debuted in South Africa in 1980 and was introduced to U.S. markets in 2000 under the name Protect-A-Bed. The company developed the proprietary Miracle Membrane and patented BugLock with SecureSeal and three-sided zipper system.

Its products are listed as Class 1 Medical Devices with the Food and Drug Administration and carry the Good Housekeeping Seal.

This article was written by PCT Contributing Writer Anne Nagro, and the below photos were provided by Bridget Castellini of the Wordsworth PR firm.

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