Adjustable Beds Are FREE!

First things first, you may have noticed a new look for the blog. I figured I should change it at least once every 4-5 years so here you go.  I have more wrinkles and less hair, but I do have more joy in my heart so all in all a net positive. In this picture my buddy Zac Jankovic from Cut To Create is interviewing me on set for a video we did together. (Check them out, they do great work.) Also a shout out to Carlos Arnavat at C5 for always looking out for me and making me update my stuff! I would like to tell you we had an extensive review of hundreds of photos and ended up with this one because it captured me in a good light doing what I love. Truth is, it was one of only a few photos I could find in landscape/high resolution and it sucked less than the others did. 🙂

Over the holiday I had several e-mails alerting me to the fact/complaining about Mattress Firm running the free adjustable bed base with the purchase of a queen over $500. “It kills average tickets. It drags the market down. They are taking a profitable product category and ruining it.” I understand this and if I were a retailer in their market I might not like it either. However, isn’t there something good that comes from this?

When someone as big as Mattress Firm drives a promotion this compelling with a significant amount of media, doesn’t that also shine a light on the mattress category and benefit other retailers at the same time? Does it drive traffic into the market and allow you to possibly introduce them to adjustable bases, maybe for the first time, and then sell them up to something with more features?

There has been a lot of criticism aimed at Mattress Firm this year about what they have been doing or not doing. Now that they are going big there are even more critics so we all know the reality. If you are the leader in a category you are going to draw fire so just be sure that whatever your strategy is, your tactics move you toward your ultimate goal.

In full disclosure, I do some consulting work for a company that sells adjustable bases to Mattress Firm so this is obviously a good thing from where I sit. But I also think that getting more consumers to sleep on adjustable beds is a very positive thing because most people that own an adjustable base absolutely LOVE THEM, and the more people we have out their LOVING their bed, the bedder. Right? (See what I did there.)

What do you think? Did Mattress Firm screw up the market or do us all a favor?




8 thoughts on “Adjustable Beds Are FREE!

  1. Anytime you take the value away from a item by slating it as free isn’t a good thing . Now going forward there will be those who see adjustable bases as they do pillows with a large purchase ( a freebie)! As you also know bases last years and the future purchase of a base won’t be as valuable. They will say I got this for free last time. So there isn’t any value this time in the consumers eyes. I am not a fan of giving anything away. No other industry gives as much as the mattress industry does. We seem at times to push to reach the bottom. I would like to see this industry push to be more valuable in consumers eyes. Instead we look to move units not margin. Until we value our items we represent as the most valuable it can be. This industry will be looked on as a smoke and mirrior industry. We have gained some ground in recent years. So let’s not allow a withering giant such as mattress firm take our progress to the pitts with them.

  2. Mark I appreciate your positive spin, but it’s not a good thing. It’s not good for Leggett & Platt if everybody buys their base unit as we race to the bottom. Not much profit in that for anybody is there?
    Adjustable beds have been a boom for mattress retailers, because of the high ticket and good margins. It’s true sooner or later the bottom would drop out to some degree, but the precipitous drop to “free” was in my opinion way ahead of its time.
    I think you’re a great guy and usually agree with the your commentary, but this time I have to differ… Keep up the good work 🙂

    1. Thanks Mike, I appreciate the comments and the opinion! If it were my business I’m not sure I would give them away either but if you are Mattress Firm trying to make an impact I get what they are trying to do.

  3. I agree that free is not good. However, it has been less of a problem for us than the home improvement chain Menards selling adjustable bases. We simply ask the customer to compare the “in your home cost” of the mattress & base compared to our in home cost. Our base was not free but the total cost was usually less. Menards however, has a bed on display and a skid of beds in the yard. You drive around back with your truck, they load it and you are on your own. Their starting price is $100.00 less than ours for a queen. Customers expect us to meet the price and deliver and set it up. I have told several customers “I will meet the price if all I have to do is put the box in your truck”. The problem is even if they take it away in the box they expect phone support from me if they can’t figure out set up. Often they even want me to come and set it up for them. If they buy from Menards they don’t hesitate to call the 800 number of the bed manufacture for help, they know nobody at Menards would have a clue how to help. However, when they by from the local family mattress store they fully expect the store to provide the customer service. If I say “call the 800 number” they get upset and may even leave a bad internet review.

    1. I understand where you are coming from Ryan based on some of my past experiences. Level setting the consumer expectation based on price isn’t always easy that is for sure. For a company like yours, it is hard I’m sure to strip everything out of the sale in terms of service just to meet the price when that isn’t how you operate. Great retailers and producers will continue to find ways to build value in what they do and win the day. There is certainly a consumer that wants “bare bones” but luckily for us, they are not the majority. Many people value the value add! Thanks for reading and for the great comment.

  4. Hey I have had problems with free beds too as well. One of the beds we got had bed bugs in them, where we had to spend the next two months constantly removing them. Not fun! So I will focus on quality consistently when it comes to buying new beds. Thanks so much for the article and getting a chance to learn from your guys ideas.

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