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The Washington Post reports that “Mattress Firm Holding Corp., the country’s largest mattress chain, filed for bankruptcy protection … The Houston-based company, which has 3,400 locations nationwide, plans to close 200 stores in the coming days and as many as 700 by year’s end, according to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.”

The story goes on: “Mattress Firm is the latest in a string of national retailers, including Brookstone and Nine West, to file for bankruptcy as consumers flock online. The company, which was founded in 1986, has long had a stronghold on the mattress industry. In 2015, it bought rival Sleepy’s for $780 million and announced plans to expand throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

“But analysts say the company had too many locations — and did too little to keep up with the crush of online competitors that are winning over shoppers with convenience and more transparent pricing. Sales fell 11.2 percent last year to $3.29 billion, Mattress Firm said in an investor presentation.”
KC's View:
The irony here is that over the weekend I got the following press release:

“Nectar Sleep, one of the fastest-growing e-commerce companies in the world, today announces its expansion into the U.S. Hispanic Market. The company's growth is marked by the unveiling of a custom-made consumer journey including a Spanish-language website, dedicated social media, and Spanish language servicing.”

The press release went on to claim that “Nectar Sleep is one of the top online memory foam mattresses available to consumers searching for a better night's sleep.” It described the product as “a better mattress at a better price,” and says that Nectar arrives conveniently in the mail via an easy to open bag and is backed by Nectar's 365 Night Home Trial Comfort Guarantee plus Forever Warranty.”

You just get the feeling in reading about companies like these that, when times got tough, traditional-laden companies like Mattress Firm were not willing, able, or equipped to go to the mattresses.

I’m sure the next thing we’ll see is that senior executives will be asking for retention bonuses so that they’re properly motivated to stay and fix the mess they didn’t prevent from happening.