In a recent trend, eCommerce mattress brands have been moving into the world of brick-and-mortar retail by opening their own stores and pop-up shops to help let customers test-drive their products in real life.
But some brands are choosing to make the move with the help of others: They are opting to partner with retailers to get their products into existing stores.
News came this week that eCommerce mattress brand Nectar Sleep was moving into brick-and-mortar distribution through a tie-up with Mattress Warehouse. Through the partnership, Nectar Sleep’s mattresses will come to over 250 of the retailer’s locations on the East Coast in 2019. At the stores, customers will be able to choose to take their mattresses from the store or have them delivered. They are also said to receive a discount on the mattress along with a one-year “risk-free” trial.
Mattress Warehouse President Bill Papettas said in an announcement that “Many direct-to-consumer brands are afraid to put their products alongside competitors in store, and this move shows that Nectar Sleep is confident in their product and proud of their brand.” And Nectar Sleep Co-Founder Craig Schmeizer noted that the company was “excited to work with Mattress Warehouse as our largest brick and mortar retail partner to enhance our distribution channels” and allow its customers to experience its products in a new setting.
The move isn’t unprecedented: In 2017, it was reported that Target would start to carry Casper-branded mattresses and bedding through Target.com and that Casper accessories would be available in brick-and-mortar stores.
At the same time, it was reported that Target — and other brick-and-mortar retailers — were introducing online and exclusive brand offerings as younger shoppers default to digital-first brands. (Target had also teamed up with personal grooming brand Harry’s and clothing brand Who What Wear with the reported aim of bringing in younger customers to its locations.)
Then, in 2018, Pop-In@Nordstrom partnered with Casper to bring pop-up stores to select Nordstrom locations and online. The store was to feature the brand’s original mattress along with pillows, sheets, and, yes, a dog bed made for man’s best friend. The shop was also said to exclusively launch the Casper Airy Linen Sheets, which was reported to be the company’s newest sleep offering at the time. And, in the same year, Casper decided to open its first brick-and-mortar store in New York City.
As for Nectar Sleep, Schmeizer, the company’s co-founder, told PYMNTS.com in a prior interview that the company is “constantly trying [to] crack new channels.” And with the company’s latest move, along with that of fellow eCommerce mattress brands, brick-and-mortar looks to be an emerging channel for sales heading into the future.
In Other Brick-And-Mortar News
Starbucks is bringing additional cities to its delivery network through a partnership with Uber Eats. The coffee chain was launching the expansion in San Francisco on Tuesday (Jan. 22) before reportedly extending the service into Boston and New York, among other cities. But Starbucks is no stranger to the offering: It tested out the service in Miami last year and saw “strong demand” with repeat business daily.
Rosalind Brewer, the company’s president and chief operating officer, said per USA Today, “we’re building on key learnings from past delivery pilots and by integrating our ordering technology directly with Uber Eats, we’ve unlocked the ability to bring Starbucks to customers for those times when they’re not able to come to us.” As it stands, the aim is to have the service in a quarter of U.S. stores by the conclusion of the second quarter.
The tech company said that Taco Bell, Target, Speedway convenience stores, Jack in the Box and Hy-Vee supermarkets in the Midwest support the digital payment service. With the addition of those national brands, Apple said that 74 of the leading 100 merchants in the U.S. now support Apple Pay.
Apple Vice President of Internet Services Jennifer Bailey said in a press release, “Whether customers are buying everyday household items, groceries, snacks for a road trip or grabbing a quick meal, Apple Pay is the easiest way to pay in stores, while also being secure and faster than using a credit or debit card at the register.”
On another note, Walgreens has agreed to pay $60 million to settle allegations that it overcharged government healthcare plans for prescription drugs. The settlement allows the retailer to resolve claims that it purposely defrauded the U.S. government as well as 39 states by submitting false and inflated prices for prescription drugs to boost its government reimbursements.
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