How Do Mattress Stores Stay in Business?
People don’t buy mattresses that often, but the stores are everywhere.
How do mattress stores manage to stay in business? They’re all over the place, but the average adult buys a mattress once every five to ten years. With high overhead and infrequent purchases, how are they around? (This question was inspired by a friend, Bethany.)—Not Bethany
I see your query, NB, and raise you. To my mind, it’s not just about how these stores manage to stay in business: The question is, moreover, how are there so goddamnmanyof them—particularly right now? Where I live, in Chicago, entire blocks are all but overrun with the places, which frankly don’t do much for a street’s aesthetics. In June, aTexas Monthlyarticle described the worrisome proliferation of mattress stores in Houston, where the venerably groovy Montrose neighborhood has become known as “the Mattrose” on account of all the new sleep shops. An April headline in theNorthwest Indiana Timesasked, apropos the town of Schererville, “Why the heck are so many mattress stores opening?” So: You and I aren’t the only ones wondering. What gives?
One thing that jars about this state of affairs is that, in the age of Amazon, there’s something very old-economy about mattress stores, beyond their relentlessly cheesy look. No one goes to bookstores to buy books anymore, right? Well, not exactly. A 2014 report by the consulting firm A.T. Kearney found that despite the digital hype, overall a full 90 percent of retail transactions still take place in physical stores. And according to an investor presentation by industry giant Mattress Firm, dedicated mattress stores account for 46 percent of total mattress sales, handily beating out furniture stores (35 percent) and department stores (5 percent) for the largest share of the market.
So mattress delivery by drone is still a ways off. But again, these stores aren’t just surviving, they’re flourishing—that market share has more than doubled in the last 20 years. Why open a mattress store when there’s another just down the street? Turns out the economics make perfect sense:
Running a mattress store doesn’t cost much.Since each store is essentially a showroom, with the product delivered to your home from a warehouse, sellers don’t keep a lot of inventory around. And the salespeople generally work on commission. So contrary to your assumption, overhead is actually pretty low. Plus, the uninhibited signage at these places provides constant free advertising.
The industry is benefiting from postrecession catch-up.According to the trade journalSleep Retailer, the global mattress market saw a decrease in sales in 2008 and 2009; in the years since, the rebounding economy—including increasing home ownership—has occasioned “remarkable” growth in the industry, saysSR, expected to reach $25 billion globally by 2017. The U.S. is the largest retail mattress market worldwide.
The markup is stupendous.This is the big one. Mattress markups are notably higher than for other furniture items:Consumer Reportsputs gross profit margins on mattresses at 30 to 40 percent, both for wholesalers and for retailers, and up to 50 percent for makers of super-luxe products. One estimate (from a boutique mattress upstart, so take this with a grain of salt) claimed that mainstream retailers can charge $3,000 for a mattress (after wholesale and retail markups, marketing costs, and commissions) that actually cost only $300 to produce. What accounts for this? It’s your classic oligopoly, where the market is dominated by just a few makers—think familiar names like Serta, Sealy, et al. More on this below.
A Message from Mattress Firm’s CEO on COVID-19
Updated April 6, 2020:
We know how important sleep is, especially in times like these. We’re still here to help with all your sleep needs. We’re open and available to help you shop any way you want. Browse our unparalleled selection on MattressFirm.com and get guidance from one of our sleep experts 24/7 by phone, text, chat and even live video.
With more than 2,500 stores across the country, we are monitoring local orders to determine the best way we can serve you. In some areas, our stores have been allowed to remain open and in many of those locations we’ve served customers who have found themselves in a situation where they have additional family members who may be sheltering together in the same house, some unexpectedly, or they recently moved prior to this crisis, and they all need a place to sleep. We are making necessary accommodations to ensure we are following all guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the local government.
We want to keep our customers informed and to have peace of mind during this stressful time. Here are a few updates to our policies, products and procedures:
120 Night Sleep Trial
As always, you get to sleep on your mattress for up to 120 nights to make sure it’s perfect. We realize that how it feels on night one may not be how it feels on night 30. That’s why every mattress purchase comes with a 120-night risk-free sleep trial. If you don’t love it, we’ll exchange it for one you do. (NOTE: If you recently purchased and that 120-night guarantee expires from March 15-April 30, 2020, we’ll automatically extend the trial period until May 30, 2020.)
Low Price Guarantee
There’s enough to worry about. Getting the best price possible on the mattress that’s perfect for you shouldn’t be one of them. So, if you find a lower price online or anywhere else, we’ll match it, even up to 120 days after your purchase.
Start sleeping better now and pay over time with $0 down and 0% interest for up to 6 years. It’s just one example of how working tirelessly to make better sleep as easy to come by as possible in these unprecedented times.
Shop How and When You Want
Our highly trained sleep experts are standing by to help you find the perfect mattress. Shop our stores contact-free or even set a private and contactless appointment with a sleep expert. Or for remote, 24/7 guidance from a sleep expert:
- Call 1-800-MATTRESS
- Live video chat by FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp, Google Hangout and more
Free, Contactless and Safe Delivery
Let us take the stress out of delivery with free, zero-contact delivery right to your door. We’ve introduced extra precautions to ensure the safety of both our drivers and our customers. Some of these additional measures include:
- Delivery teams are equipped with gloves and booties.
- All mattresses are delivered in sealed plastic bags.
- Delivery trucks and devices are cleaned and sanitized twice each day.
- Distribution centers in high traffic areas are undergoing expanded and enhanced cleaning.
Shop Online at MattressFirm.com
Whatever your mattress shopping needs, MattressFirm.com has your back. Shop the best mattress brands plus accessories like sheets and pillows. Find your perfect mattress through our AI-powered Mattress Finder tool. Take advantage of limited-time flash deals and free delivery to your doorstep. All from the comfort of your home.
Healthcare Worker Pillow Donation
To honor the healthcare worker community, Mattress Firm has partnered with Protect-a-Bed, a SureFit company, to donate 10,000 pillows to healthcare professionals who are fighting on the frontlines of the Coronavirus pandemic. We will be donating 1,000 pillows a day through April 15.Learn more about this donation.
America’s Top-rated Brands
With America’s best selection of mattress brands, you don’t need to shop anywhere else. From iconic brands like Tempur-Pedic, Sealy, Stearns & Foster, Serta and Beautyrest to popular bed-in-a-box brands like Purple, Nectar, tulo and Sleepy’s—our selection can’t be beat.
Sleep is essential and during unprecedented times like this, it is even more important to get quality sleep every night. We are grateful that we can continue to serve our local communities and ensure all are getting a great night’s sleep.
Updated March 22, 2020:
At Mattress Firm, we know that sleep is essential to overall well-being especially during times of high stress and anxiety. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) highlights sleep as one way you can support yourself as we navigate this time.
We are actively monitoring government orders and consumer demand to determine locations that are able to remain open. To see if your local store is still open, please call the store location.
Deliveries are still occurring in most markets. We are now giving customers the option for contactless delivery, where the customer can sign for their purchase at the door and we will leave the merchandise there.
As always, customers have the option to shop with us online, through chat or over the phone. As the situation continues to evolve, we are monitoring guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and other government officials and will make any necessary adjustments as needed. We appreciate your patience, understanding and support as we navigate these circumstances.
March 16, 2020
Mattress Firm cares deeply about the health and wellness of our customers and employees. During times of extreme stress and uncertainty, it is even more important to ensure you are getting quality sleep to stay healthy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mattress Firm has taken additional measures to ensure our customers and employees remain safe while also keeping within the guidelines produced by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
Steps We are Taking to Address COVID-19:
Practicing safe hygiene has always been a standard at Mattress Firm, however, we have implemented additional measures to ensure our customers and employees are safe. Some of these additional measures include:
- Enhanced, regular cleaning of high-touch points, including our door handles, phones, bathrooms and mattresses.
- Providing customers with pillow napkin protectors for them to use while lying down on a bed.
- Having hand sanitizer or wipes available in customer pick-up areas.
- Sending reminders on the importance of personal hygiene to all associates and informing them to not come into work when sick.
- Suspending large in-person meetings and non-essential domestic travel.
- Per CDC recommendations, we have asked all associates (or immediate family members) who have traveled to at-risk locations for business or pleasure to self-quarantine for 14-days.
- If any of our employees aren’t feeling well or do not feel comfortable working during this time, we are asking them to stay home.
Having your mattress delivered with care and safe practices has always been a standard at Mattress Firm, however, we’re taking extra precautions to address the safety of both our drivers and our customers within their homes. Some of these additional measures include:
- All of our mattresses are delivered in sealed, plastic bags.
- Our delivery teams are cleaning the trucks twice a day.
- Proactively asking customers if they would like for us to use gloves when making their delivery.
- Wiping down all tablets and phones with alcohol-based screen wipes after every delivery stop.
- Enhanced cleaning of our distribution centers in high traffic areas.
- All mattress removals will be completely sealed within the customer’s home before being placed in our truck.
We know these are stressful times for everyone and ensuring people get quality sleep on the perfect mattress has always been an essential part of Mattress Firm. We encourage everyone to look at sleep as a tool to help combat the anxiety and stress during these times, and to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few helpful resources to make sure you’re getting the best sleep you can:
As we continue to monitor this situation, we will keep this blog post updated with the latest information or changes.
As always, we strive to place our customer at the center of everything we do, and we are doing everything in our power to ensure a safe shopping experience and healthy environment for our associates. While our stores remain open for business, we want to remind you that there are many great ways to shop with Mattress Firm — whether it be in-store, online, through chat or over the phone.
Thank you for continuing to be a loyal Mattress Firm customer.
Save an Extra 25% on our Top-Rated Beds with code SAVE25
Sleepy’s Snug Memory Foam Mattress
tulo 10" Medium Mattress
Sleepy’s Doze 10" Plush Memory Foam Mattress
tulo 10" Firm Mattress
Sleepy’s Curve 12" Plush Memory Foam Mattress
tulo 10" Soft Mattress
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MattressFirm.com is wholly owned and operated by Mattress Firm, Inc., 10201 S. Main St. Houston, TX 77025 – Copyright 2018 by MattressFirm.com, a Mattress Firm, Inc. Company All rights reserved.
1 Offer valid 3/11/20 – 4/28/20. Savings applied to our low price. Savings vary by mattress and model (max savings up to $400). Product selection may vary by store. Offer not valid on previous purchases, floor models, clearance items, final markdown, Purple, tulo, iComfort, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster or Sealy Hybrid. Other exclusions may apply. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Limited quantities available; offer valid while supplies last. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.
2 Extra 25% off sitewide on qualifying items. Additional savings is applied to listed sale price. Offer not valid on previous purchases, Purple, iComfort, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster, Sealy Hybrid, Nectar or DreamCloud. Other exclusions may apply. Products & offer may vary by location. No cash value. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.
3 Offer valid 3/27/20 – 4/28/20. Receive a free Head Up 50 adjustable base (up to a $499.99 value) with select mattress purchases with minimum $999 purchase. Free adjustable base offer valid on same size mattress purchased. Split king or split California king base purchases consist of 2 bases. For split king or split California king purchases, consumer will receive one free adjustable base with promotion, with second base at regular price. Free adjustable base offer valid to complete mattress set, has no cash value and cannot be used as credit. Offer not valid on previous purchases, floor models, clearance items, final markdown, weekly deals, daily deals, Purple, tulo, iComfort, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster, Sealy Hybrid, Nectar or DreamCloud. Other exclusions may apply. Adjustable bases not eligible for returns price of adjustable base (up to $499.99) will be deducted from refund if mattress is returned. Adjustable base may be pictured with furniture bed frame and headboard not included with offer. Limited quantities available offer valid while supplies last at participating locations. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.
4 Receive a $300 Instant Gift with purchase of select mattresses in store or online. Purchase select Tempur-Pedic mattresses and receive a $300 Instant Gift or purchase select Stearns & Foster or Sealy mattresses and receive a $200 Instant Gift. Select your Instant Gift from your choice of sleep accessories. Sleep accessories must be added to the same transaction as the qualifying mattress purchase. Offer has no cash value and value cannot be carried over any value not used at time of transaction will be surrendered. Offer not valid on previous purchases, floor models, clearance items or final markdown. Other exclusions may apply. Value of accessories received (up to $300) will be deducted from refund if mattress is returned. Offer valid while supplies last at participating locations. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.
5 Offer valid 3/22/20 – 4/19/20 at participating locations only. Save 10% on any size 2019 Stearns & Foster® mattress. Selection may vary by retail location. Certain offers may not be combined. Not valid on prior purchases. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.
0% APR: 5 years* with a minimum purchase of $2799, 4 years* with a minimum purchase of $1999, 3 years* with a minimum purchase of $1299, 2 years* with a minimum purchase of $999 on your Mattress Firm credit card 60, 48, 36 or 24 equal monthly payments required. *Offer valid 3/11/20 – 4/28/20. Qualifying purchase amount must be on one receipt. No interest will be charged and equal monthly payments are required on promo purchase until it is paid in full. These payments equal the total promo purchase amount divided by the number of months in the promo period and rounded up to the next whole dollar. These payments may be higher than the payments that would be required if this purchase was a non-promo purchase. Regular account terms apply to non-promo purchases. Down payment equal to sales tax and delivery may be required at point of purchase. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 29.99%. Minimum interest charge is $2. Existing cardholders: See your credit card agreement terms. Subject to credit approval.View payment options.
The advertised service is a rental or lease purchase agreement provided by Prog Leasing, LLC, or its affiliates. It is not a loan, credit or financing. While no credit history is required, Progressive obtains information from consumer reporting agencies in connection with lease application. Acquiring ownership by leasing costs more than retailer’s cash price. Not available in MN, NJ, VT, WI, or WY. Merchant participating locations only. Leasing available on select items. Not all applicants are approved. See lease for details.
Mattress Firm is proud to support both current and veteran military members as well as first responders. Save 10% off purchases with valid military/first responder ID. Savings applied to listed sale prices. Offer not valid on previous purchases, floor models, clearance items, final markdown, Purple, tulo, iComfort, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster or Sealy. Offer valid at participating locations only. Visit a store, call (877) 349-1012 or chat online for complete details.
*Among traditional mattress brands based on 2017-2019 Tempur Sealy Brand Tracker Report
Mattress Firm is closing more than 200 stores over the next few days. Here’s the full list.
- Mattress Firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday morning.
- As part of its bankruptcy restructuring, Mattress Firm could close as many as 700 stores, the company said.
- 209 stores will be closing in the next few days. Here’s the full list of those stores.
Mattress Firm has filed for bankruptcy and is closing hundreds of stores.
On Friday morning, the mattress-store chain said it would be closing up to 700 stores across the United States. 209 of those stores will close immediately.
"The process we have initiated today will allow us to strengthen our balance sheet and accelerate the optimization of our store portfolio," Mattress Firm CEO Steve Stagner said in a statement.
"Leading up to the holiday shopping season, we will exit up to 700 stores in certain markets where we have too many locations in close proximity to each other. We intend to use the additional liquidity from these actions to improve our product offering, provide greater value to our customers, open new stores in new markets, and strategically expand in existing markets where we see the greatest opportunities to serve our customers."
With an estimated 3,272 stores, according to Wedbush analyst Seth Basham, Mattress Firm is the largest specialty mattress retailer in the US. It has increasingly come under pressure as startups such as Casper innovate the experience of mattress shopping and take market share.
Mattress Firm has also been struggling under a heavy debt load. It owes the mattress producer Serta Simmons, its largest creditor, just over $90 million, according to its bankruptcy filing.
It has been an eventful few months for the company. In the span of a year, it has been accused by internet sleuths of running a money-laundering operation, announced it would be closing almost 200 stores, and watched as its parent company’s business practices have been investigated.
Last October, Mattress Firm filed a lawsuit against two former employees, a broker, and a group of developers accusing them of conspiring to push the company to aggressively expand and open stores.
Mattress Firm furloughs workers, cuts salaries and suspends some benefits in response to coronavirus
Updated 2:32 pm CDT, Saturday, March 21, 2020
Mattress Firm has cut salaries, benefits and temporarily laid off workers as the coronavirus hammers sales.
Mattress Firm has cut salaries, benefits and temporarily laid off workers as the coronavirus hammers sales.
Mattress Firm has cut salaries, benefits and temporarily laid off workers as the coronavirus hammers sales.
Mattress Firm, the nation’s largest mattress retailer, has furloughed some workers, cut salaries and suspended some benefits in response to the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Houston-based company on Thursday said it furloughed an undisclosed number of employees at its stores, distribution centers and corporate office; suspended some benefits, including disaster pay and paid time off for vacations and personal days; and reduced salaries and store hours at some locations.
Furloughed employees will continue to receive health care benefits.
“As the situation with COVID-19 rapidly changes, we must adapt and operate differently both in how we live our lives and how we manage our business,” Mattress Firm Chief Executive John Eck said in a statement. “Unfortunately, due to the severity of the situation facing the world, our country and our company, we have had to make extremely tough decisions, similar to other companies, to ensure we can navigate this downturn and still have a company with jobs available for our people to return to when this crisis ends.”
Retailers, already challenged by the rise of online and big-box competitors, face a double whammy from the coronavirus and the oil crash. The virus, which causes a respiratory disease called COVID-19, has disrupted the global economy, shuttering schools, malls and factories. Low oil prices are compounding the economic slowdown in energy-dependent Houston as oil and gas companies furlough and lay off thousands of workers.
The company emerged from bankruptcy in November 2018 having slashed its store count by 700 locations.
Mattress Firm just filed for bankruptcy and is closing hundreds of stores — here’s what it’s like to shop there
- Mattress Firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday and said it could close as many as 700 stores.
- It is the largest specialty mattress retailer in the United States, with an estimated 3,272 stores, according to Wedbush analyst Seth Basham.
- Last October, Mattress Firm filed a lawsuit against two former employees, a broker, and a group of developers, accusing them of conspiring to push the company to aggressively expand.
It has been an eventful few months Mattress Firm.
In the span of a year, the mattress retailer has been accused by internet sleuths of running a money-laundering operation, announced it would be closing almost 200 stores, watched on as its parent company’s business practices have been investigated, and battled an ongoing lawsuit against two former employees, a broker, and a group of developers, accusing them of conspiring to push the company to aggressively expand and open stores.
On Friday, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced it would be closing as many as 700 stores.
With an estimated 3,272 stores , it is the largest specialty mattress retailer in the US, and it’s not uncommon to find many of its stores right across the street from each other. Increasingly, it has come under pressure as new startups like Casper find ways to improve the experience of shopping for this high-ticket item.
We tested the experience of shopping at one of its stores back in April. Here’s what it was like:
To hear more of the stories around Mattress Firm’s stores, listen to "Household Name," a new podcast from Business Insider. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app.