Sleep on This! Mattress Firm sells for $4B

Sleep on This! Mattress Firm sells for $4B

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In a cash ($2.7B)  and stock ($1.3B) transaction, Tempur Sealy International, Inc. just bought Mattress Firm, the largest multi-location retailer in the U.S.

Despite massive changes in the sleep category, Mattress Firm still operates 2,300 brick-and-mortar locations in the U.S. According to a press statement, “[The acquisition will result in] 3,000 retail stores, 30 e-commerce platforms, 71 manufacturing facilities, and 4 state-of-the-art R&D facilities worldwide.” The combined companies will employ 21K people in 100+ countries.

The average person spends approximately 26 years of their life sleeping. That number creeps up to 33 years when you count other time spent in bed — eating, reading, and other activities that we don’t necessarily want to know about.

Globally, the mattress market is on the upswing and is currently valued at $50 billion.

The bedding category has not been immune to the omnichannel and direct-to-consumer online shopping trend.

Industry disruptors make online mattress purchasing simple, and the percentage of people who buy their bedding online is on the uptick, with 43 percent of consumers ordering their mattresses that way.

But people who buy in-store spend more, meaning the industry is not in a slumber. Trying before buying is critically important to close to half of the population, and some popular brands have retail locations and robust websites. For example, Purple has 3,000+ locations and, like other online mattress retailers, offers a 100-night free trial. The “bed-in-a-box” is now commonplace.

As with cars, a “test drive” is important to many buyers. As with many consumer products, shopping habits vary based on demographics. Unlike cars, mattresses are usually essential purchases. The number and types of beds in a household change as people move in together, split up, have kids, and change their living environments. Few other purchases are “sure things” throughout our lives.

Mattress prices haven’t changed radically over the years, but the number of purchase options continually evolves. Most mattress stores have entire sections on their websites dedicated to sleeping options. They range from the materials used in manufacturing to high-tech gadgetry (including multi-functional “smart beds” that heat, cool, adjust, and have features like LED lighting and built-in gadgetry and drink holders).

The average high-quality mattress ranges in price from $1,000 to $5,000+ for a Queen size bed. The Sleep Foundation recommends replacing a mattress every three to five years. 

Mattresses are sold in dedicated retailers (like Mattress Firm) and furniture and variety stores. A search for “mattress near me” reveals the major players and discount/bulk stores like Sam’s Club and Big Lots.

Online and conventional marketing of mattresses abound. Soon after we started researching this article, the writer was bombarded with targeted social media ads, prompting her to buy a new bed.

Consumer media has stressed the importance of quality sleep in physical and mental health, so today’s mattress shopper has been trained to believe that a “bed is not just a bed.”

Apparently, Tempur Sealy believes this too. We’re staying awake to discover what they do with their new purchase and how the mattress store evolves in the days and nights ahead!

Nancy A Shenker, senior editor with Street Fight, is a former big brand (Citibank, Mastercard, Reed Exhibitions) marketing strategist and leader. She has been featured in, the New York Times and Forbes.