Earlier this week, we chronicled our frustrations in trying to penetrate Mattress Firm’s cone of silence.
The mission was honest and simple: Find an explanation as to why the country’s leading provider of comfy kings and queens decided to set up shop on opposite sides of burgeoning Moreland Avenue—with stores that have the same hours.
Mattress Firm operates more than 80 stores in metro Atlanta. And now they have two within an alarm clock’s toss of each other, just south of Little Five Points. The move has left intown Atlantans scratching their well-rested heads for months.
A day after the story published, Casey Zuber, Director of Communications for Mattress Firm, shed some light on the MF empire’s tactics with the following one-graph statement:
“We want our customers to keep us top-of-mind when it’s time to buy a mattress, which comes around about every eight years. Our real estate strategy is to have stores in highly-trafficked intersections and shopping centers in our key markets to maintain visibility. This results occasionally in having Mattress Firm locations in close proximity. Regardless of what store you stop into, our goal is to deliver a superior shopping experience so that you can find the right mattress that will give you a better night’s sleep.”
So Atlanta’s new mattress district was born of a company’s real-estate-like philosophy — location, location, location—and eagerness to flood the zone.
This mind-bending proliferation of mattress retailers is hardly exclusive to Atlanta, however.
Freakonomics Radio took a deep, cushioned dive into the question of a “mattress-store bubble” in America last year, finding that an estimated 9,200 mattress retailers have sprung up around the country. (That’s fairly ubiquitous, considering America has just 2,500 more Starbucks locations). Thus, some demographic overlap is inevitable, and high margins on mattress sales and plentiful retail space makes “clustering” possible. And that, in turn, allows mattress stores to share labor force, products, and customer base for generally higher profits, researchers founds.
So maybe the great Moreland Avenue Mattress Firm Mystery can be put to bed.