The bed maker in the DONNERSBERG AREA

Schramm Werkstätten in Winnweiler have focussed on the dual mattress system for a long time / chances and risks of the boxspring trend.

Winnweiler.  For decades the Northern Palatinate manufactory Schramm has settled in the high-end niche of boxspring mattresses. But then it got hit by the boxspring trend. So far, Schramm Werkstätten managed to surf the crest of this wave.

The manufactory’s CEO Axel Schramm turned a dream into a business model: To enable the sleeper by his beds to approach the ideal experience of resting on a cloud  as closely as possible. Just like his father and his grandfather he is still convinced that this is more likely by using the bed technology of the dual mattress system - also called boxspring mattress - than using the still dominating technology in Germany, consisting of a slatted frame combined with a foam mattress, he says during the  RHEINPFALZ interview. Schramm Werkstätten, having been founded by the grandfather in 1923, have continued to hold on to their well-tried dual mattress bed even when the trend after the end of World War II went off in the completely opposite direction.

Schramm settled for the boxspring niche, focussing on highest quality by handcraft. The flagship is the triple mattress system ,,Grand Cru‘‘: a handmade divan featuring handcoiled hourglass springs, braced and tied by hand, topped by an intermediate mattress ,,Silhouette‘‘, followed by the top mattress ,,Grand Cru N°1‘‘ which is equipped with thermally furnace-tempered - i.e. hardened by heating – twelve-coil springs. They are individually handsewn into cotton pockets. The new wool is obtained from French free-range sheep. Furthermore, the mattress offers silk and linen with an additional cashmere cover: the double bed version totals from 17,500 up to 50,000 Euros.

As soon as the original business site in Alsenborn grew too small Schramm moved to  Industriepark Langmeil, district of the community of Winnweiler in the Donnersberg area. Back then, the company’s staff totaled 65. In 2012, production space was almost doubled by a construction investment of 8 million Euros – just in time for the boxspring boom. Today, 200 people work at Schramm’s. The company’s CEO - who has also presided the Association of German Furnishing Industry since 2014 - welcomes the ”boxspring hype‘‘ on the one hand, as he says. But, on the other hand, he is also aware of the danger of copycats jeopardizing the image of the traditional dual mattress system by throwing cheap products of inferior quality onto the market. This is the reason why he doesn’t sail under the boxspring colours but rather talks about the dual mattress system, box mattress and classic upholstery technology.

The price of a double bed by Schramm ranges from 4,800 and - equipped with a motor-driven, adjustable base mattress - 50,000 Euros. The ,,Grand Cru‘‘ is available for 18,000 Euros or more. As an average, Schramm customers spend from 8,000 up to 10,000 Euros for their bed. The price of combination of base and top mattresses ranges from 1,750 to 3,600. There is no direct sale by the factory; distribution is limited exclusively to furniture and bedding dealers.

In the current year, Schramm intends to surpass the turnover target of 30 million Euros (2015: well over 29 million) for the first time. The sale of 11.500 (10.800) mattresses and 4400 (4300) complete beds is projected. He judges the profit situation as good. The export quota amounts to almost a third of the turnover.

Axel Schramm has been managing the bed manufactory since 1998. During his business studies in Mannheim he did internships as upholsterer, carpenter and sewer. He turned 60 currently. At the age of 65 he intends to pass on a part of the responsibility to the next generation. His four ,,children‘‘, aged 19 to 25, would be interested. In 2023, when Schramm Werkstätten will celebrate their 100th anniversary, the boss wants to retire completely.

The association presided by him represents the interests of a branch counting  84,000 employees, achieving an annual turnover of 17.4 billion Euros and 499 companies with more than 50 employees each. Schramm regards the international design leadership and the implementation of digitalisation as the most important targets of the branch.