I don’t think anyone would argue that Mattress Firm has its hands full at the moment. Some of their problems are self-inflicted and some came about due to no fault of their own, but either way, you have to own where you are and battle out of a bad situation.
Mattress Firm is putting new products in place, they have downsized their management team, and are trying to figure out how to keep the business funded while reconciling bad real estate. They recently brought in a new Chief Marketing Officer Scott Thaler with a strong and successful background, and now they have just hired one of the top merchants/ strategists in the industry. Lorie Silva, formerly of Jordan’s Furniture, will start work at the Mattress Firm on May 15th.
Lorie and the team at Jordan’s created mattress stores inside of the six Jordan’s stores they call Sleep Labs, that are some of the best performing and best-looking mattress departments in the United States. Their sales process is totally unique and their sales associates are some of the best in the country. How many mattress departments do you know of where the customers get a pager on a busy Saturday that will buzz when it’s their turn to buy a mattress? NOT your average store.
Spink and Edgar started doing business with Lorie about three years ago and when we landed on their floor I was very excited about it. Not just because Jordan’s is one of THE MOST prestigious furniture stores in the country, but because if Lorie Silva says you are good enough to be on that floor, it means you have really accomplished something. Lorie is a no-nonsense person that can sniff out the BS a mile away so if you are showing her product, you better have your “A” game.
At this point, I consider Lorie to be a really good friend so the people that know this have come to me asking why Lorie made the move from Jordan’s to Mattress Firm or said differently, from stability to uncertainty. The funny thing is that’s exactly why she agreed to the new position. Mattress Firm is the largest bedding retailer in the U.S.A. so you’re talking about taking the biggest merchandising job in the country. On top of that, they have a lot of opportunity with their product strategy so they need help and Lorie knows that if anyone can give them a solid shot at success, she can. Don’t misunderstand that last comment, Lorie isn’t an arrogant person. But she knows that she has been very successful in the industry and fully believes in her ability to do a job. So do I. She’s got a lot of work to do and has to figure out how to navigate a totally new culture in a company significantly larger than what she is used to, but there is no doubt in my mind that if she is supported properly, she will get it done.
Lorie leaves Jordan’s in great hands. Josh Tatleman, the VP of Merchandising is awesome and will continue leading the bedding team made up of Keith Levine, Nicole Kendall, Cathy McNeal, Donna Shea and many others, plus a very solid staff of Sleep Lab Managers and sales associates they call sleep technicians. They will all be supported by SUPREME SLEEP GEEK and Chief Operating Office Peter Bolton so there is no doubt, Jordan’s will thrive long after Lorie is gone.
Mattress Firm is at a point where they have to make some big moves and this IS a big move. I firmly believe that you have to have the best people if you want the best result so get the best if you are in a position to do so. You have to start there and Mattress Firm just did.
“The man (or woman), on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” Vince Lombardi
Congratulations Lorie, you’ve earned it!