How Is Mattress Firm Still Open

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In a leaked memo, Mattress Firm’s general counsel explains why it’s keeping New York stores open even as the state orders non-essential businesses to shutter

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  • Mattress Firm stores remained open in New York after Governor Andrew Cuomo closed down all non-essential businesses on Sunday evening.
  • In a leaked memo obtained by Business Insider, Mattress Firm General Counsel Kindel Nuno explained that the company was keeping its New York stores open because the executive order exempted businesses with only one on-premise employee.
  • Mattress Firm stores are closed in Massachusetts and Michigan, where "stay-in-place" orders didn’t include the one-employee exemption.
  • New York has roughly half of all confirmed US coronavirus cases, with more than 30,000.
  • Last Wednesday, Mattress Firm began to furlough an unspecified number of employees and cut benefits.
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In New York, all non-essential businesses have been closed since Sunday evening in a bid to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Pharmacies, hospitals, and grocery stores remain open. So are many Mattress Firms locations.

In a leaked memo obtained by Business Insider, Mattress Firm General Counsel Kindel Nuno explained the company’s legal justification for staying open even though it doesn’t fit into the 12 categories that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office has designated as essential.

The company will now only have a single staff member working in all of its New York locations, which Nuno says in the memo will allow it to continue operating. The guidance on essential businesses from the governor’s office said that "any business that only has a single occupant/employee" doesn’t need to be designated an essential business, giving the example of a gas station.

"We have concluded that opening and operating stores and warehouses in New York will not violate the order," said the memo. "We will single-staff all the retail store locations and will continue to operate the warehouses in the state with the social distancing and sanitation practices that have been recommended."

This comes as the business has closed all stores in Massachusetts and Michigan as a result of their own "stay-at-home" orders, neither of which have the same exemption for stores with one on-premise employee.

A company spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the memo to Business Insider.

"We are meticulously reviewing the specifications of state and local orders," the spokesperson said. "At the time Michigan and Massachusetts did not allow for the single staff exemption, while the New York order did. We know the situation and orders are evolving quickly and it is never our intention to ignore a government order. We will continue to work through them as they change to ensure compliance."

New York has roughly half of all confirmed US coronavirus cases, with more than 30,000, and 6% of all confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide. New York City’s morgues are projected to run out of room next week, while some hospital morgues have already hit capacity, according to a Politico report.

The mattress purchase process is not conducive to social distancing, a Mattress Firm sales associate not based in New York told Business Insider, on condition of anonymity to protect their employment.

The sales associate said that customers have continued to extend handshakes to them while they’re trying to sell a mattress, and noted that customers usually try out multiple mattresses before making a purchase.

That sales associate said that Mattress Firm typically sprays a mattress down with disinfectant spray after someone lays on it, and often uses pillow napkins to prevent direct contact with a pillow.

On March 16th, Mattress Firm CEO John Ecks released a statement outlining steps to prevent coronavirus spread in the company’s stores, including the use of pillow napkins, and enhanced cleaning of all surfaces, including mattresses.

Coronavirus can last up to two to three days on nonporous surfaces like plastic and stainless steel, though there aren’t clear guidelines of how long it can live on porous fabrics.

Last Wednesday, Business Insider reported that Mattress Firm is furloughing an unspecified number of employees and cutting benefits in response to the squeeze coronavirus is putting on retail businesses. Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Mattress Firm sent a letter to landlords that coronavirus will prevent the company from paying rent on its stores, and requested a temporary suspension of rent.

Mattress Firm filed for bankruptcy in October 2018, emerging in November 2018 having closed roughly 660 stores. Following bankruptcy, it had 2,600 stores and 9,500 employees. It has been owned by South African retail holding company Steinhoff International since 2016.

Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you’d like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email [email protected] and tell us your story.

Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries.

Mattress stores want to rip you off. Here’s how to fight back.

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At Walmart, Best Buy, or Whole Foods, the listed price on any item is usually what you pay. You might be able to get a discount with a coupon, but asking store employees for a discount generally won’t work.

But not every industry works like this. Haggling is common in expensive industries, like car and jewelry sales. Because customers don’t participate in these markets very often, there’s less incentive to win customer loyalty with fair and transparent pricing, and more opportunities to dupe unsophisticated buyers into overpaying.

Or take the mattress industry. It’s notorious for inflated prices, confusing branding, and gimmicks that trick consumers into overpaying.

Yet underpaying for a mattress can also be a big problem. After all, most people spend about eight hours per day — that’s a third of their life — sleeping. And a good mattress will last a decade or more. So it’s worth investing in a mattress that will help you wake up well rested every morning.

So how do you buy a mattress that will help you get a good night’s sleep without getting ripped off? Read on for details.

Knowledge is power

Sleepy’s is one of the nation’s largest mattress chains. (John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Mattress salespeople’s power comes from the fact that they know what a fair price is for each mattress and you don’t. Many mattress stores invent hugely inflated "standard" retail prices and then offer "discounts" that still price the mattress way above its actual cost. Department stores are particularly notorious for this.

For example, a price tag might claim that a mattress normally costs $3,000 but is currently available for 60 percent off at $1,200. In reality, no one ever pays $3,000; $1,200isthe regular price. And if you negotiate effectively, you’ll be able to get it for hundreds of dollars less.

As with any negotiation, the key to getting a better deal is to demonstrate that you know the product’s real value and won’t pay more. The easiest way to do that is by playing brick-and-mortar stores against online ones.

Once you find a mattress you like at a brick-and-mortar mattress store, use your favorite search engine to find the lowest price for that same mattress from an internet retailer. If you have a smartphone, you might be able to do this right in the store, though it might make sense to go home, do your research on a PC, and then go back to the store.

Once you know the best price offered by competitors, ask the salesperson to beat it. He or she might say no, in which case you can go to another store or just order online. But most stores will agree to match the price.

Mattress stores make price comparisons unnecessarily difficult

Of course, the mattress industry hates this kind of comparison shopping. To discourage it, some mattress manufacturers will give the same mattress different names in different stores.

For example, the popular Simmons Beautyrest line has different brand names at different stores. The "Beautyrest Recharge Allie" at Macy’s is called the "Beautyrest Recharge Devonwood Luxury" at Sears, the "Recharge Signature Select Hartfield" at Mattress Firm, and the "Beautyrest Recharge Lyric Luxury" at US-Mattress.com. If customers don’t realize these are names for the same mattress, it’s harder for them to bargain effectively.

Fortunately, this kind of obfuscation isn’t too hard to overcome. Often you’ll be able to find charts online that tell you exactly which mattress models are equivalent. Otherwise, you should be able to figure it out by comparing features. US-Mattress.com, for example, says that the Beautyrest Recharge Lyric Luxury has 1 1/4 inches of AirFeel foam, an inch of AirCool foam, a half inch of GelTouch foam, one inch of energy foam, 476 "800-series" coils, and so forth. Ask your brick-and-mortar store for this kind of information on the mattress you want, and then find prices for similar mattresses from online retailers.

Make sure the store has a good return policy

One thing that makes mattress shopping hard is that there’s no fast, foolproof way to tell if a particular mattress is going to be comfortable. The only way to be sure is to spend a lot of time on it.

Experts recommend setting aside several hours for mattress shopping. Bring a book to the mattress store and spend about 15 minutes lying on each bed.

mattress salespeople’s power comes from the fact that they know what a fair price is for each mattress and you don’t

But even a leisurely in-store evaluation period won’t guarantee that it will be comfortable for a full night’s sleep. So you want to make sure that you can return a mattress if it proves less comfortable in your bedroom than it seemed in the store.

Stores’ return policies differ dramatically. Many charge hefty fees. Some charge as much as half the price of the original mattress to swap it out for a new one. So before you agree to buy a mattress, make sure you understand its return policy.

Totally free returns are fairly rare, because it costs money to send a truck to retrieve the old mattress and bring a new one. But if a company charges high fees for returning a mattress, that’s a reason to call around to see if another store will offer a more generous return policy.

Mattresses also come with separate warranties provided by the manufacturer. These generally range from 5 to 20 years. Longer warranties may be a sign of quality, but don’t put too much stock into warranties longer than 10 years, since it’s a good practice to replace your mattress after a decade of use.

Consider buying a "bed in a box"

Casper’s cofounders on a Casper bed. CEO Philip Krim is in the center. (Casper)

We don’t think of the mattress industry as a hotbed of innovation, but the last two years have seen the emergence of a new generation of direct-to-customer mattress companies. The most famous of these companies is Casper, but it faces competition from Tuft and Needle and Leesa.

These companies are all based on the same basic idea: they sell mattresses made of foam that can be compressed enough to fit in a box the size of a dorm fridge. That lowers shipping costs and makes it easier to get the bed into tight spaces. Once removed from the box, the mattress expands to its full size.

You might think a mattress that expands from a box wouldn’t be very comfortable, but reviews so far have been generally positive. These mattresses use materials similar to those found in high-end memory foam beds that can cost thousands of dollars through conventional retail channels.

Casper and Leesa charge around $850 for a queen-size mattress. Tuft and Needle is even cheaper at $600. And because the companies sell their product directly to consumers via the web, there’s no haggling.

To entice customers to give the mattress a try, Casper and its rivals have introduced another innovation: a free, no-hassle return policy. All three companies let you try their mattresses for free for 100 days, and then return them if you’re not satisfied.

The big downside with these companies is a limited selection. Each company sells just one model (though it’s available in a variety of sizes). All three companies have targeted the middle of the firmness scale. That means if you prefer a mattress that is particularly firm, or particularly soft, these products won’t be a good option.

Also, some people find conventional coil mattresses more comfortable than high-tech memory foam ones. These mattresses do not come in a box the way foam mattresses do, though there is at least one online-only retailer that sells them.

Turmoil again at Mattress Firm? CEO suddenly exits six months after bankruptcy

Two mattress company CEOs are suddenly jobless in another shakeup for an industry mired in upheaval, raising questions about the future of a sales partnership between their companies.

Mattress Firm CEO and Executive Chairman Steve Stagner resigned abruptly this week about six months after the company plunged into bankruptcy and closed about 640 stores following an expansion binge.

One analyst said Stagner’s exit was likely necessary to open the door for Mattress Firm to patch up a previously acrimonious relationship with one-time supplier Tempur Sealy International.

Mattress Firm, the nation’s largest mattress retailer, did not name a permanent replacement or an interim leader, saying that its board would "work closely with the senior management team to execute a strategy for operational growth" while it searches for a new CEO.

Stagner was on his second stint as CEO of Mattress Firm, having first served in that post from 2010 through 2016 and then taking over again in March 2018.

"Through his leadership, Mattress Firm successfully emerged from bankruptcy in the fall of 2018, and is now positioned to pursue a disciplined and healthy retail strategy," Mattress Firm spokesperson Sunni Goodman said in an email. "Knowing Mattress Firm is in a good place, Steve felt this was the right time to pursue other interests and spend time with his family. We are grateful for his guidance and commitment over the years."

Goodman declined to comment on speculation that Stagner’s exit from Mattress Firm was connected to a desire to reconnect with Tempur Sealy.

His exit came at nearly the same time that mattress maker Serta Simmons Bedding, the key supplier to Houston-based Mattress Firm, disclosed that its CEO, Michael Traub, is also leaving.

“While the Board is grateful to Michael for his many contributions, we believe the time is right for this transition,” the new Serta Simmons CEO, David Swift, said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

The corporate departures come as the latest development in a period of turmoil for an industry that has engaged in intense competition, discounts, expansion and contraction.

Mattress companies are under pressure from digital competition, including surging bed-in-a-box sellers like Casper, which is opening dozens of stores this year to go along with its strong digital sales.

Taken together, the two departures call into question the future of the sales deal between Mattress Firm and Serta Simmons, which was formed after Mattress Firm’s previous deal with Tempur Sealy International collapsed suddenly in 2017.

Piper Jaffray analyst Peter Keith said it’s more than 90% probable that Mattress Firm and Sealy would get back together, with both parties "highly motivated" to renew the deal.

“We believe trust and durability of the relationship was the final hurdle, but these criteria would be hard to meet with Steve Stagner as CEO given his tenure during the period when the (Tempur Sealy-Mattress Firm) relationship deteriorated and ultimately blew-up in what can only be described as an irrational and emotionally charged fallout because it made no economic sense for either party,” Keith said in a research note to clients.

Tempur Sealy CEO Scott Thompson told investors in February that his company, a rival of Serta Simmons, has had "constructive" talks with Mattress Firm.

"When it comes to the Mattress Firm relationship, I would say it’s trending well," Thompson said at the time.

Mattress Firm, which still has about 2,600 stores, did not respond to questions about the possibility of a sales switch from Serta Simmons to Tempur Sealy.

Thompson had previously criticized Mattress Firm for "irrational" discounts. His company had also sued Mattress Firm in 2018 over accusations that the retailer was selling mattresses that looked like the Tempur-Pedic brand after the contract between the two companies ended.

Bed-in-a-box desires: Serta Simmons merges with bed-in-a-box company Tuft & Needle

Digital disruption: There’s a fierce battle over your bed: Industry goes to the mattresses

But Tempur Sealy said in February that it had settled that lawsuit.

Tempur Sealy’s stock has risen by more than 8% since Tuesday, when the Mattress Firm CEO’s departure was announced.

Tempur Sealy declined to comment Thursday. Serta Simmons representatives did not respond to a request seeking comment.

Serta Simmons CEO Traub told USA TODAY in August that the company had "a very strong relationship with Mattress Firm." He declined to comment on the retailer’s future but said Serta Simmons was already planning its 2019 products with Mattress Firm.

Casper CEO Philip Krim said digital disruption is roiling traditional mattress companies.

"The incumbents in this space continue to be distressed," Krim said in an interview Thursday. "They continue to not understand where the consumer landscape is going in this category and the owners of the respective businesses clearly are starting to see that."

Casper has 23 stores open so far and plans to open "dozens" more this year, Krim said. But he predicted that more traditional retailers will close stores.

"I think you’re going to continue to see a substantial retail shakeout," Krim said.

For Serta Simmons, supplying Mattress Firm has turned out to be much less lucrative than it originally hoped. Mattress Firm’s 2018 bankruptcy dramatically reduced the retail footprint of the nation’s largest mattress retailer.

S&P Global Ratings estimated in October that the fallout from the Mattress Firm bankruptcy would reduce Serta Simmons’ revenue "by at least the low- to mid-single-digit percent area" while increasing its debt relative to sales.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.

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.

Special Financing

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

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Sleepy’s Doze 10" Plush Memory Foam Mattress

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Sleepy’s Curve 12" Plush Memory Foam 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

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.

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