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Mattress Firm, 131 Harbison Boulevard Suite A: Fall 2018   7 comments

Posted at 11:36 pm in closing

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Apart from all the conspiracy theories, apparently the ubiquitious Mattress Firm just thought that Nothing succeeds like excess. It's not always a terrible business model. For instance, if you see two Circle K stores located across from each other, the thought is that This is a busy intersection, and *somebody* is going to put a gas station across from us to catch cars going the other way -- it might as well be *us*.

It can be more problematic for something like mattresses, which aren't a convenience purchase, or as the Houston Chronicle puts it:

Why store-on-every-corner strategy didn’t work for Mattress Firm:

Mattress Firm, as it gobbled up rivals and tripled its store count to more than 3,300 locations, seemed to have a storefront on every block — sometimes two storefronts. In its quest to become the biggest player in the $15 billion U.S. bedding industry, it pursued a strategy of clustering shops close together with the aim of crowding out competition.

It didn’t work.

The Houston retailer said as much when it filed for bankruptcy Friday, acknowledging that it operates too many stores and plans to shutter as many as 700 locations as it tries to get out from under $3.2 billion in debt through its Chapter 11 filing, which allows companies to restructure operations and finances while protecting them from creditors.

“I think they’re humbled,” said Seth Basham, an analyst with Los Angeles-based Wedbush Securities. “They grew far too fast with ambitions to be a national retailer.”

The Wall Street Journal has some more details including that the crisis is a world wide one in some sense:

The bankruptcy marks a rapid fall for the once high-flying bedding retailer and Steinhoff, the South Africa-based retail conglomerate that has been called “Africa’s IKEA.” Steinhoff, whose purchase of Mattress Firm marked its entry into the U.S. market, has been caught up in an accounting scandal that erupted in December. Its creditors, who hold billions of dollars of the company’s bonds, agreed to suspend all payments on its debt for three years. Steinhoff is expected to launch a debt restructuring for its European business in the U.K. later this month.

Commenter Andrew supplies a link that lists the South Carolina stores affected (so far). For the record, they are:

7381 Rivers Ave., Ste 102 Charleston SC
131 Harbison Blvd., Ste 100 Columbia SC
6208A Garners Ferry Road Columbia SC
106 Percival Road, Ste 100 Columbia SC
5075 Sunset Blvd Lexington SC
2391 Dave Lyle Blvd, Suite 106 Rock Hill SC

This particular store is next to Jimmy Johns, more or less near the top of the Harbison hill going towards Saint Andrews Road. As of yet, they have not posted any closing signage.

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on October 10th, 2018

Tagged with , , , , ,

7 Responses to 'Mattress Firm, 131 Harbison Boulevard Suite A: Fall 2018'

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  1. Too bad they chose the one on Garner's Ferry over the newer one on Divine in the Flood zone.

    Mr BO

    11 Oct 18 at 6:15 am

  2. Drove by this location yesterday. Looked as if they were loading inventory into a big box truck. If this location isn't already "Closed", it soon will be. They're not letting any grass grow under their feet on these closings.

    Lone Wolf

    11 Oct 18 at 8:19 am

  3. The one on Percival Road is the Petco shopping center. This will make 2 openings out of 4 (or 5) stores since Tijuana Flats already closed.

    Matt

    11 Oct 18 at 9:10 am

  4. Maybe the Carriage House will reopen in the Percival rd location.

    :)

    John

    11 Oct 18 at 12:11 pm

  5. For some reason, the one at Harbison Court (264 Harbison Blvd) didn't make the list (and I checked the list on the article linked in the main post) but that is the one I saw the liquidation signage on...the only thing I can say is that that one is closing on top of all the ones (so I figure each of them shall feature here in due course)...

    Andrew

    11 Oct 18 at 9:13 pm

  6. I used to work for Mattress Firm, so I could probably shed a little light on this stuff, as far as my experience goes.

    There should be two on Harbison that are closing. The first (pictured in the listing) is one of the oldest MF stores in Columbia which (after the store right off the highway opened) never saw much traffic due to sharing a parking lot with Jimmy Johns (Jimmy Johns drivers as well as their customers would fill up all available spaces), and it being hard to notice. So it would be too late to turn in by the time you saw it, and there was no place to park even if you did.

    The second is an outlet store that hadn't opened that long ago and sold old floor models and stuff. But since it was all old stock, the prices they were selling them for made that a place a net loss every month.

    I'm not surprised that the one on Garner's Ferry is closing, since they've been discussing closing it for years. You'd see like maybe one or two customers a day. The one across from McDonald's is fairly popular though. Never was a point in having two.

    The Lexington one was built because there was big plans for a shopping mall there, but that was abandoned and MF was stuck with the lone store. Still, it's funny it's shutting down since there's another store in Lexington that does worse, is smaller, much older, and looks crappier, but is staying open. Percival Road store has kinda the same story.

    I remember hearing about MF bringing forward a lawsuit against corrupt former contractors or something that had given bribes to get certain execs to rapidly expand against common sense. I was thinking "That sounds about right". Then I heard the contractor was counter-suing claiming what they're accusing is true, but MF was totally in on it and encouraged that behavior from the top down. I remember thinking "That sounds even more right".

    All this is to say, the people working at these stores aren't as shady as their owners... or at least not any more than any other place you go to. It's really a case-by-case basis. Which isn't a great compliment, but it's honest. I imagine most people look at this news and go "I KNEW they were shady! I'm going to go to this mom & pop place/online bed-in-a-box/sleep-number store instead!" However, I've got bad news for you.

    Mattress Firm sucks, I worked there and I know. Local places suck just as much if not more. They pull MUCH shadier stuff to try to out-do bigger stores, specifically because they're desperate and know there'll be less blowback if it bites them later. If a customer of a large company is upset, the parent company says "Give them whatever they want regardless of who's in the wrong", where the local places can and will say "Get off my property, or I'm calling the police".

    The bed-in-a-box Ghostbed/Casper/Tuft & Needle/Nectar/Purple/+100 stuff is weird. Their talking point is technology, which is bunk because most of the ones I've had to research were made out of the lower-midgrade materials, which is to say high enough quality to not feel like crap, but low enough that it breaks down super quick, and thin enough that it will destroy your back if you sleep on your side. They also are the biggest proponents of "accuse your enemy of what you're actually doing", and also make a more difficult return process. They're pretty much like any startup company that has only one product, and can market it much better than it can perform.

    This all sounds pretty pessimistic, and it is, because mattresses are necessary items, and you're going to get screwed one way or another.

    Advice from someone who worked in mattress sales and will never work in sales for the rest of their life:

    Price -
    Are they overpriced? Hell yes. Absolutely. Everywhere. No exceptions. If you have trouble sleeping, expect to pay $1500-3000 to get a good night's sleep consistently for 8-10 years. That price range sucks, and might change someday, but it's not someday yet.

    I remember having multiple people weekly say "I'm not paying no $300-400 for a BED. I know someplace that'll give me king size for $200!" Great. Enjoy. If you found a great deal, you are probably getting ripped off somewhere. Comfort, longevity, warranty, ability to return. Somewhere. Again, no exceptions.

    "My brother's friend's cousin got a $700 mattress and it's lasted 50 years!". I love anecdotes. My grandmother smoked 10 packs a day and lived to be 110. Smoking is now good for you, I guess!

    Is the price worth it? I honestly slept about 2-4 hours a night with backpain before I got a good one. If that ain't you and you can sleep on a rock, rocks aren't very expensive. Under $1500, it's either going to be comfy but not last long, or last long but be uncomfortable. Over $3000, you're probably paying for extra space, extra cooling, an adjustable base, or something you probably don't need. Full disclosure: I have an adjustable base, and I LOVE it, but I definitely don't need it. I just love playing video games in bed.

    Comfort -
    You have the money? That's only part of the equation. Everybody's different. There's no one-size-fits-all. You can spend $3000 on the wrong mattress. You need to try it out for a few weeks to let your back get adjusted to it. Took me a month before I slept the whole night through, but I've had my mattress for about five years now and wouldn't know what to do without it. It's paramount that you buy from a place that has a no-hassle return or exchange policy. Every salesman is going to be disappointed if you return, but if they have a very liberal return policy, they have a much bigger stake in you finding a mattress you sleep well on, or else they don't get paid. If you switch out a bunch of times and your back still hurts, return the mattress and spend that money at a doctor.

    If you have any other questions I'd be happy to answer. Thanks for listening to my TED talk.

    Mattress Boy

    13 Oct 18 at 12:14 pm

  7. Great post Mattress Boy - Thanks

    skyguy

    13 Oct 18 at 1:49 pm

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