Executive Briefings

Mattress Start-Up Casper Is Opening Its First Store — With Complimentary Naps

Online mattress start-up Casper is opening its first permanent store, a 3,000-square-foot location in New York, where shoppers are invited to not only look at the company’s mattresses, pillows and bedding, but also to use them. Dozing off is encouraged, executives say.

The start-up, founded four years ago out of a one-bedroom apartment in New York, has grown into a $300m-a-year business. Philip Krim, one of five co-founders, says it began with a simple premise: Mattress shopping was a terrible experience.

The industry had long been dominated by a handful of big companies, he said, and many people hated traditional showrooms, where dozens of mattresses were lined up side by side under bright lights. He and his co-founders set out to create a different kind of experience — one where shoppers could pick out a mattress online and have it delivered to their front doors free of charge. Not happy with it after 100 nights? Casper promised to haul away the mattress at no extra cost.

“Before we started this company, the idea of sleeping on your mattress before you bought it just didn’t exist,” Krim said. “This was a stagnant industry.”

The approach worked: The company racked up $1m in revenue in its first four weeks. In 2015, its first full year, sales topped $100m. Casper mattresses are now also sold at Target stores.

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The start-up, founded four years ago out of a one-bedroom apartment in New York, has grown into a $300m-a-year business. Philip Krim, one of five co-founders, says it began with a simple premise: Mattress shopping was a terrible experience.

The industry had long been dominated by a handful of big companies, he said, and many people hated traditional showrooms, where dozens of mattresses were lined up side by side under bright lights. He and his co-founders set out to create a different kind of experience — one where shoppers could pick out a mattress online and have it delivered to their front doors free of charge. Not happy with it after 100 nights? Casper promised to haul away the mattress at no extra cost.

“Before we started this company, the idea of sleeping on your mattress before you bought it just didn’t exist,” Krim said. “This was a stagnant industry.”

The approach worked: The company racked up $1m in revenue in its first four weeks. In 2015, its first full year, sales topped $100m. Casper mattresses are now also sold at Target stores.

Read full article