You have probably heard by now that Mattress Firm has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The good news is that they are planning to pay all of their suppliers what they are owed, so everyone can exhale and go about planning your business. The bad news is that they are going to be closing down 700 stores so they can reconcile some bad real estate which means many will lose their jobs. That’s always the worst part with something like this.
I’ve had a lot of conversations with people about how all of this happened. Too many stores, mismanagement, the break up with Tempur-Pedic, no consistency with their marketing, I’ve heard it all. At the end of the day, I guess it really doesn’t matter because what’s done is done. Now everyone has to figure out what comes next right?
The big question I keep running into is “Will Mattress Firm and Tempur-Pedic get back together after a very nasty separation.” It’s hard to imagine that would happen given all of the lawsuits, hurt feelings, egos, and supply agreements on both sides but never say never. Fact is that both companies would likely benefit a great deal from a reunion. For Tempur-Pedic, they would pick up about 3,000 retail locations which could plug some holes on the map for them and deliver a significant boost to their top and bottom line. For Mattress Firm, they could bring back that great Tempur-Pedic brand that drove their traffic for so long and shore up those big ticket averages. But are they better off keeping things the way they are?
Mark Kinsley and I dug into this a little on our most recent Dos Marcos podcast so check that out HERE but allow me to recap that for you. Tempur says that they are doing great in their company-owned stores. Scott Thompson has made some public comments about the fact that in those stores they are running up 200% year over year and their average tickets are much higher than what they were seeing at Mattress Firm which I don’t doubt, but how many of those stores do they have? It’s going to take a lot more of those company-owned stores to make up for the lost Mattress Firm volume.
After speaking to Steve Stagner, CEO at Mattress Firm, I got the impression that he was not opposed to the idea of Tempur-Pedic coming back but wants to make sure that the product value is there for the consumer. They are testing a few of their own brands now and getting some great results with big margins and they are seeing some of those big-ticket transactions come back. But can it replace the net benefit you get from the Tempur-Pedic products and brand strength?
This issue is way more complicated than I am making it here but when you write a blog, you can hit the easy button anytime you want. What do you think the chances are, will they get back together? Somebody call Vegas and see what the line is please. 🙂