What Happened to Mattress Firm? 10 Marketing Lessons

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What Happened to Mattress Firm? 10 Marketing Lessons

The nation’s largest mattress retailer, Mattress Firm, finally filed for bankruptcy after years of grappling with declining sales as discussed over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. Several reasons can be attributed to its decline, something this article is going to try and help with, as well as outlining some of the marketing lessons we can take from the company’s experiences.

Too many stores

One of the main reasons behind Mattress Firm’s woes was the fact that it was operating too many stores, with discussions over at runrex.com & guttulus.com showing how the company’s appetite to open one store after another ended up costing it dear. The company probably didn’t anticipate that there wouldn’t be as much of a need for its stores, and opening all these stores ended up increasing costs, which in the end proved to be too much.

Poor planning when opening stores

It wasn’t enough that the company had too many stores, the company also had too many locations that were close to each, highlighting a lack of planning that also ended up costing them as per the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. The fact that nearly 43% of the company’s stores are located within one mile of another one is a worrying statistic and goes to show why the company has been struggling so badly in recent times.

Too many acquisitions

Yet another thing that contributed to the company’s decline was the fact that it carried out a series of acquisitions in recent years, which led to it ballooning in size. The company took on too much too fast, from their acquisitions of Mattress Giant in 2012 to their acquisition of Sleep Train in 2014, among others, all of which are discussed in detail over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. These acquisitions brought with them stability issues as far as the company’s operations were concerned, as well as issues with costs and debt.

Online competition

Another factor that led to the decline of Mattress Firm is the pressure they faced from online competitors. Bed-in-a-box sellers such as Casper and Leesa have in recent years shot up in terms of popularity, offering services such as free delivery, easy ordering, free trial periods and so much more. This has meant that a huge chunk of Mattress Firm’s customer base has switched towards online purchases and these new companies, which had a big role to play in the company’s decline.

Their poor bed-in-a-box offering

To their credit, Mattress Firm tried to adapt to the changing times by introducing their bed-in-a-box offering. The problem, as is revealed in discussions over at the highly reliable runrex.com & guttulus.com, is that their product was, in all honesty, a poor one, as compared to that of their competitors and therefore they were unable to make much progress in this sector. An important lesson we can take her is how crucial it is to get things right when trying to pivot to a new sector.

It took too long to adapt

Many industry experts, including the highly-rated ones over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, agree that Mattress Firm didn’t adapt quickly enough to changes that were occurring in its marketplace. The company was slow to realize that most of its marketplace was moving online, and ignored the threat posed by upstarts like Casper, and by the time it became aware of this threat, it was too late and its grip on the industry had already been loosened badly. This just the importance of moving quickly and decisively when adapting to current trends, otherwise you risk being left behind.

They invested in the wrong areas

As mentioned earlier on, and covered in detail over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, the company invested a lot on acquisitions in the last few years. This decision to expand its store base was a wrong one, as what the company should have been doing is investing in digital tools and shipping infrastructure. What its acquisitions did was make the company over-retailed, which proved to be the wrong decision as store traffic slowed down. Mattress Firm really ought to have invested in other areas of its business.

An old and tired shopping experience

Mattress Firm was also badly damaged by the fact that customers began getting tired of the old and tired shopping experience in their stores. As per discussions on the same over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, this included going into a store, testing out one or two mattresses for a few minutes, and then making a rushed decision on which one to buy. This was one of the main reasons why most of its customers began looking for online alternatives such as Casper which were offering a better shopping experience.


The mattresses and products sold at Mattress firm were also more expensive as compared to bed-in-a-box rivals such as Casper. In the end, no one is going to buy expensive products when there are cheaper alternatives available to them, as per the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. On top of the costs, customers were put off by expensive and complicated delivery options and preferred to shop online where the delivery was free. An important lesson here is to make sure that you are not missing out due to costs as compared to your competitors.

Steinhoff International’s woes

On top of all the pressure Mattress Firm was facing from its competitors, from online retailers to Walmart and Amazon, with the latter launching its memory foam mattress under the AmazonBasics line, the company was also affected by an accounting scandal concerning its parent company, Steinhoff International, which brought so much bad PR that it led to the resignation of the CEO. The bad publicity brought about by this scandal was another reason behind the company’s decline, and an important lesson worth learning.

This article is only just the tip of a very big iceberg, and if you are looking for more information on the same, then the brilliant runrex.com & guttulus.com have you covered.