The recent demise of America’s most known mattress retailer shows that more and more buyers find online shopping better and easier. opened their first shop in 1986 and since then, they’ve thrived selling mattresses and opening showrooms all over the country (in 2016, they had 3,600+ locations in 48 states).
However, in 2018, they are contemplating filing for bankruptcy as another of their stores is being closed because it is losing money. But how is this possible? Why is one of the biggest retail chain stores in America no longer profitable?
According to from Top Mattress, the reason is obvious but, in many ways, unexpected. The online mattress industry is at a full blow right now, and they have three features with which brick and mortar stores simply can’t compete.
#1: A Highly Simplified Purchase Process
The biggest realization of online stores is the simplification of the purchase process. The fact that a buyer can browse through products from the comfort of their home is monumental! When compared with going through several showrooms and laying on mattresses all day long, the online way wins by a long shot.
Furthermore, many people are extremely happy that there is no middleman (aka the salespeople).
The general impression is that people in brick and mortar stores will always care about selling the most expensive product, not about your needs as a customer. So, when you can shop in peace, without being bothered by the incessant yapping of a salesperson, there’s no doubt which version will be chosen.
#2: Lower Prices
When you eliminate the middleman and the showroom, the prices seem rather reasonable. We now have access to better materials at better prices. Even luxury designs seem a lot more affordable than in a brick and mortar store!
Modern companies are more motivated to invest in research because the resulting products will be more appealing to the public.
#3: Better Incentives
How would you like a mattress that comes in a small, lightweight box? It is easy to maneuver, you don’t have to clear a path to the bedroom, and it doesn’t need too much accommodation.
Now think about a mattress delivered from a regular store. It’s big, heavy, and you need to rally up all your friends and neighbors to carry it up the stairs.
And that’s not all! With online stores, you have lots of time to test the bed on your own terms. You may also get a better warranty, and in the dire situation you decide to send it back, most companies will cover that for you (no extra payment). Oh, and you get your money back for sure!
I know that this sounds like a bad infomercial, but it is the current situation. Online companies found a way to offer a good product and support it with interesting incentives. As a result, big stores that must invest in presentation and product storage have a lot to lose (which is already happening).
As you can see, the fall of Mattress Firm and other similar establishments is not as unexpected as it seems. With the current boom of the online mattress industry, it was only a matter of time until the giants would start falling.