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updated: 3/28/2011 9:39 PM

Protect-A-Bed to relocate to Wheeling

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This summer Protect-A-Bed will relocate its headquarters from Northbrook to Wheeling to occupy a 200,000-square-foot warehouse and 18,000-square-foot office space along South Wolf Road.

Wheeling's village board unanimously approved the idea on Monday for one of the largest industrial facilities in the village.

The company's flagship product, the Premium Mattress Protector, was born in South Africa in 1980 and began building a United States presence in 2000 under the name Protect-A-Bed. The company's patented BugLock mattress protectors are popular with hotels and motels that are fighting the bed bud epidemic, which started to increase in the United States around 1998, said James Bell, the company's CEO,

"It's a big part of our business," said Bell after the meeting. "It's a devil of a problem. Bedbugs have an immunity to chemicals. It's all about creating a healthy sleep zone."

The company sells mattress protectors in department stores and online.

Village President Judy Abruscato had a bedbug experience and said it wasn't pretty.

"I was about 17 and living in the city," she said. "It's not a comfortable thing."

Mattress protectors also help allergy sufferers and extend the life of a regular mattress, Bell told trustees.

Protect-A-Bed will maintain an administrative and sales office in Philadelphia and product showrooms in Las Vegas and New York City. The company has 72 employees in the United States, 35 of whom will be working from the Wheeling location when company moves.

The move should to Wheeling complete by June, Bell said.

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