A Portrait of the Sleepy Work Life of the Mattress Salesperson

A PORTRAIT OF THE SLEEPY WORK LIFE OF THE MATTRESS SALESPERSON Mattress Stores in Strip Center at Kirby Dr. and Wroxton St., West University, TX 77005James Haynes takes a look this afternoon at the other side of the mattress retail expansion equation that has led to the 9-stores-in-11-blocks Rice Village mattress district and other high-mattress-density landscapes around Houston: the salespeople who may work a full 10-hour shift alone with no customers. While employees can spend part of that time on tasks like cleaning, inventory, advertising, or sharpening their mattress expertise,  Haynes writes that its still usually the case that “Houston’s mattress salesforce spend hours upon hours with nothing to do but wait for customers to appear. At the Urban Mattress store on Kirby, [part time mattress salesman Rick Goulding runs a contracting business — on the three days of the week when he’s not at the mattress store, he makes site visits. Then, during the quiet hours at the store, he works on inspection reports, writes descriptions for photos and sends e-mails. Without anything to do, he says, the job can put many store managers to sleep. Literally. ‘One of the first weekends I was here by myself… there was one bed I really liked, and I was lying on there, not much happening,’ Goulding remembers. ‘I laid back there and was almost asleep when the front door opened.’” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo of mattress stores on Kirby Dr.: Swamplot inbox

11 Comment

  • It seems like I’ve been away from this site for many months.

    I come back and mattress stores is the first story I see. Glad to see some things never change :)

  • Welcome back! I was starting to wonder where you’d gone off to :)

  • And you missed all kinds of tree stories too. How did you manage?

  • Welcome back! We wondered where you were. In fact, you could probably search for your name and find where we were talking about you. ;-)

  • I NEED to know why there are so many mattress stores.
    How can a mattress be an impulse purchase? I mean, it’s not like a smoothie you can carry out.
    Are people really afraid of dust mites and skin cells, so, if 8 years is too long to keep a mattress maybe 8 days is also too long?
    Maybe new girlfriends/boyfriends require this nowadays – as proof of good intentions.
    Until I get more info, I’ll continue to believe these stores are fronts for weed or crack dealers. Which is why you never see customers inside; the action at the dock out back.

  • I always wondered what those guys do. I’d probably do the same and run a side business if I had nothing to do all day at work. Perhaps a blog on mattress stores.

  • If a retail center has storefront that for whatever reason isn’t getting leased, a mattress store is low overhead, minimally invasive and can move out quickly when a permanent tenant is found.

  • Just get a decent allergy bag for your mattress, no more worries about doubling its weight in skin cells and dust mites.

    Clearly there is way to much mark-up on a mattress if they can afford to employee so many people with so few sales daily.

  • I think it is a strong endorsement of his merchandise that the salesman was asleep on his mattress.

  • If you want to learn something about the mattress business and get a good laugh watch the Penn and Teller Bullshit episode.