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But after three years of robust sales as it lured customers through Facebook ads and podcast sponsorships, Casper is finding it can no longer shun the storefront. The startup is turning next month to Target Corp. to sell pillows, sheets and other accessories - though not yet beds - in 1,200 stores nationwide.
The New York company is among several specialty web retailers shifting to brick-and-mortar stores after finding the pool of online buyers is only so deep.
“You have to start with digital,” said Philip Krim, the chief executive and co-founder of Casper. Now that more people have learned about the brand, “offline distribution — that’s where you’re really able to get a lot of scale.”
Target, which said the deal came together after about a year of talks, doesn’t yet sell mattresses in stores, and the Minneapolis retailer has walked away from or ended some e-commerce efforts over the past 12 months to focus on in-store sales. But Casper said it would become the exclusive mattress of Target.com and is discussing the possibility of bringing the bed into stores.
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