Mattress Warehouse – a firm focus on delivering the best sleep experience 

Over the past few years, it has become widely acknowledged that sleep plays a critical role in our overall health and wellbeing. The US Department of Health & Human Services reports that most adults need seven or more hours of good-quality sleep on a regular schedule each night, and the benefits of proper sleep include lowering the risk of serious health problems, reducing stress and improving mood, thinking more clearly, and doing better at work.

In fact, the cost of insufficient sleep has an estimated economic impact of more than $411 billion each year in the United States alone, according to figures quoted by The Sleep Foundation.

Clearly as more studies and data reveal the contribution that better sleep makes not just to individuals but to entire economies, attention is being paid to ensuring our sleep environment is the best it can be – and that starts with the right mattress.

Bill Papettas

Smart system
This is where Bill Papettas and the Mattress Warehouse team of Sleep Professionals come in. “We are the second largest independent retailer of mattresses in the United States, with over 325 locations at this point, and more to come,” begins Bill. “We have larger than average stores, which means we can offer the largest assortment of options both in store for guests to physically try, as well as having a vast range of products on our e-commerce site. Every mattress we sell has been sent to a lab to be tested for quality and a range of other criteria, but what really differentiates us in the industry is our use of technology in our stores.”

Bill is referring to the patented diagnostic sleep system called bedMATCH®, used in every Mattress Warehouse store. This advanced technology uses 18 statistical measurements and thousands of scientific calculations to determine the best mattress for not only body type but for sleep preferences and needs. “It looks at the shape of the body, weight distribution, and takes into account sleep position as well. For example, if you are a side sleeper, hip and shoulder support are vital,” Bill illustrates. “The right mattress means that you don’t keep waking and resetting your sleep cycle – it’s important to get through all the stages of sleep. Our proprietary system is getting smarter each year, learning as it does the diagnostics.”

Product selection
The bedMATCH® system is undoubtedly a USP for Mattress Warehouse, but the business also prides itself on additional offers, as Bill explains: “Our one-year price match guarantee is the best in the industry – if a guest finds a better price at any local competitor (some exclusions apply), we’ll match it, plus refund 50 percent of the difference. This promise is valid for a full year after purchase.

“That said, if guests are not satisfied with their original mattress within 100 days of use, they can do a ‘comfort exchange’, and reselect another product at the store,” adds Bill. “But we’ve found since we implemented our diagnostic equipment in the stores, our rate of returns and exchanges has dropped dramatically.”

While Bill gives credit to the bedMATCH® system, he also emphasizes that it works in combination with the team of Sleep Professionals on the showroom floor, who receive comprehensive training around product selection and sleep science in order to ensure customers receive the best advice, and most appropriate end product.

“People are getting more knowledgeable about the importance of the right mattress and getting quality sleep, so that means there’s an educational aspect of what we do in stores. We know that most of our guests spend time online researching before they come in. They know what’s out there, but we find that having looked at the vast number of options available, there can be some confusion. We have significantly invested in our website to make their lives easier, but when they come into the store, they’re leaning on our staff to help guide them through the process. Price point is also important, and we pride ourselves on offering a range that goes from $99 all the way over to $10,000. Also we are brand neutral, so we focus on what they need. We are confident our guests are getting the right product the first time in most cases, and that’s important to us.”

Given the huge range available from Mattress Warehouse, it’s no surprise to learn that it works with all the major brands, including Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster, Kingsdown, Sealy and Beautyrest, as well as several of the most popular Direct to Consumer brands like Purple, Casper and Nectar, allowing customers to try before they buy. “We also have a robust private label offer, which focuses on providing outsized value for the price,” notes Bill. “We work very closely with manufacturers on product development, and we have a large range of products that are made exclusively for us. Tom McFadden, our Vice President of Merchandising, works with the manufacturers on what guests are looking for, and makes sure we have a product that stands out and provides exceptional value.”

Extensive training
Tracy Jones, Chief Marketing Officer at Mattress Warehouse, acknowledges that customers recognizing the importance of sleep makes their job easier, as they are willing to be educated on solutions. “Thirty years ago, it was a source of pride for people to say ‘I only got three hours of sleep last night’ and that has definitely changed.

“We also offer mattress technology that measures how well you’re sleeping and provides suggestions around how to create a better sleep environment.”

The Mattress Warehouse approach requires significant investments in staff training. “Every associate typically spends a full month in a store with a training manager before they interact with customers alone. We also utilize an eLearning platform, which makes it easier to keep staff up to date as products and technology change. New employees all go through our Sleep Academy, which involves a full week of immersive training. Finally, once a year, we do a sleep seminar with all team members that covers new research and all the latest scientific findings.”

This level of training is designed to ensure that consumers can trust Mattress Warehouse to care about their needs and work hard to ensure they receive the best possible product. “Developing trust is one of our core values,” Bill confirms, “and to deliver that requires a well-educated team to work with our guests.” The results speak for themselves, when looking at Mattress Warehouse’s 100,000+ five-star Google review ratings.

Continued growth
The philosophy of caring and trust also permeates throughout the company culture, and Tracy attests that the overall ethos of the business makes it a great place to work. “Another one of our core values is teamwork,” she adds, “and speaking as an employee, this is an exciting time to be part of the company. We all take pride in the culture, and everybody helps to embrace and adopt it, which ensures its longevity. I believe that is a major contributor to our success and a great source of pride to the business.”

Creating such a positive working environment also helps with recruitment in what can be a challenging labor market. “With new locations planned for the coming years, we are always looking for great team members who want to be part of a growth story. This is across all functions, not just the stores, so it includes back-office functions and our distribution centers,” highlights Bill.

Indeed, the new distribution centers opened by Mattress Warehouse last year represent another significant area of investment for the business – not just in terms of infrastructure, but also in the creation of a great delivery experience for customers. “The final mile is so important, as that is what our guests remember. They have a great experience choosing and buying their mattress, but if anything goes wrong with delivery, that is the part that stays with them. Delivery must meet expectations.

“Our new centers will support our growth in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. We made the investment in distribution centers first and are looking at adding more stores, which is a bit of a different approach, as most retailers expand their footprint first and invest in infrastructure second. But we believe that consumer experience is so important that we put the infrastructure investments in place first.”

With his real estate team continually assessing areas to find the right locations for new stores, the next 12 months look set for exciting additions to the Mattress Warehouse portfolio. “We’re focused on expanding throughout the East Coast right now but are always going to look at the right opportunities and the right places,” concludes Bill. “We have a goal in the next five years to be between 500 and 600 stores and we kind of cover the gamut with our geography, from malls to rural areas and suburbs. But what always unites our stores is that they are all designed to provide a great experience for every consumer that visits.”

As it heads towards four decades in business, Mattress Warehouse is dedicated to adapting, innovating, and evolving to continually meet the needs of an increasingly educated and sophisticated consumer. With an ambitious expansion plan in the works, the business looks set to deliver a good night’s rest to customers across America in the coming years. Retail Merchandiser looks forward to catching up with the business again soon to see what else is coming up in the science of sleep.