The strip mall at the corner of Westheimer and Montrose now sports two “Mattress Firm” storefronts right next door to one another, operating independently. The western Mattress Firm, on the right in the photo above, has been converted from a Mattress Pro through the subtle but definitive application of a small banner, filling the gap left by the removal of the word “Pro”. All Mattress Pro stores had until November 6th to convert signage, following a mid-September announcement that Mattress Firm would be discontinuing the subsidiary brand.
What exactly has changed? Not the Mattress Pro logo, which still bounces along in contrast to Mattress Firm’s aggressive yellow swipe. The relabeled store, now styled as a Mattress Firm: Final Markdown facility, will sell Mattress Firm products at a bargain-bin discount, while the regular Mattress Firm next door will continue to sell those products at full price.
The Pro-to-Firm conversion has produced at least 1 other pair of directly adjacent stores (at Sienna Plantation off of Highway 6 in Missouri City). There are now at least 6 locations in and around Houston where 3 to 5 independent Mattress Firms operate within 1 mile of one another, in an already mattress-dense landscape.
Ken Murphy, COO of Mattress Firm, told Houston Matters in July that the high ratio of storefronts to consumers is actually a customer experience design feature, creating an “intimate environment” for the 5 to 7 customers that the average Mattress Firm store sees on a daily basis:
The feedback we get from customers is that having an environment [which] isn’t overrun with customers allows folks an opportunity to lay down, to really try to experience the mattress a little bit better.
Murphy also alluded to a real-estate-as-advertising marketing strategy:
Because purchasing a mattress is something that happens so infrequently in our lives, the billboards on the stores themselves — they very much do serve as a reminder for folks.
Mattress Firm CEO Steve Stagner told HBJ that the company expects markets in Houston to remain soft while oil prices remain low.
- Mattress Firm to scrap subsidiary brand, extend acquisition moratorium [Houston Business Journal]
- Why Does Houston Have So Many Mattress Stores? [Houston Matters]
- Previously on Swamplot: Now It’s 2 Mattress Stores Moving in Right Next To Each Other at the Corner of Westheimer and Montrose; Your Map to Houston Mattress Chain Stores; How and Where Mattress Firm Is Conquering Houston, One Sleepy Strip Center Storefront at a Time
Photo: Swamplot inbox