Sleep Country enters e-commerce to broaden appeal

TORONTO — The head of Sleep Country Canada hopes its new bed-in-a-box e-commerce business will appeal to tech-savvy customers and those who live too far to visit its stores.

But CEO David Friesema said its latest foray doesn’t mean the company has plans to abandon its showroom business model any time soon.

“In the mattress industry, the majority of customers still want to buy in the store,” Friesema said in an interview Wednesday following Sleep Country’s quarterly conference call with analysts.

“It’s a very tactile purchase. They want to know what they’re going to be spending a third of their life on.”

Compared to Casper, Endy and Leesa, which launched two to four years ago and also sell a bed-in-a-box product that can be delivered, Sleep Country (TSX:ZZZ) has been slow to enter the e-commerce space.

Sleep Country went online this month with its e-commerce website, where customers can buy its $995 Bloom mattress and accessories such as bedding and pillows. It doesn’t plan on expanding its online offering to its other mattresses at this time.

“This is all new to us, so this is just a possible increase to us,” Friesema said.

“Do I view them as a threat? I view them as a good competitor just like I view other competitors.”

He said what sets Sleep Country apart in an industry he estimates to be worth $1.5 billion to $2 billion is that it sells a variety of mattresses, while its rivals only offer one.

Friesema said the company remains focused on expanding its presence and renovating its existing stores. There are plans to open between eight to 12 new locations a year, he said.

Sleep Country reported its first quarter earnings after markets closed Tuesday, showing a year-over-year rise in net income from operations of 40.6 per cent to $10.3 million in the three-month period ending March 31.

Revenue increased 15.8 per cent to $124.3 million while same-store sales, an important metric in retail, were up 11.9 per cent.

Sleep Country went public in July 2015. It had originally been listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange as an income trust from 2003 to 2008, when it was bought out for $356 million by Birch Hill Equity Partners and Westerkirk Capital.

Founded in 1994, the company owns and operates 237 stores in Canada under its own name and the Dormez-Vous? banner as well as 17 distribution centres.

Just Posted

Driver crashes into Red Deer business while fleeing police

A car smashed through a Red Deer business’ front window while fleeing… Continue reading

Police informer talks about his role in Castor undercover sting

Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank were convicted of triple murders last month

City of Red Deer invites residents to Let’s Talk

Interactive public forum to be held April 7

Lessons in altruism learned by Red Deer students

St. Francis of Assisi School launches community foundation project

Sylvan Lake council approves fire pits and mobile stage

Large fire pits for group gatherings will be located on pier next winter

Sutter Fund Chiefs ready to host Midget AAA Female Provincials

The second half of the season did not go as planned for… Continue reading

Wickenheiser says strengthening Olympic hockey bridge behind North Korea trip

CALGARY — Hayley Wickenheiser was conflicted about the unified Korean women’s hockey… Continue reading

Watch: Volcanic thunder is real, and this is what it sounds like

Behold, the rumble of volcanic thunder. No, this is not the sound… Continue reading

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal buys Toronto augmented reality startup ModiFace

TORONTO — When University of Toronto engineering professor Parham Aarabi first began… Continue reading

Report: ESPN president resigned over cocaine extortion plot

LOS ANGELES — The former president of ESPN said he resigned from… Continue reading

Conductor Levine, ousted after sex abuse inquiry, sues Met

NEW YORK — Conductor James Levine sued the Metropolitan Opera on Thursday… Continue reading

Five things about ‘Fortnite,’ the video game Drake shared with his fans

Drake’s a fan, as is Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, along… Continue reading

Former Devils forward Kovalchuk aiming for NHL return after five years away

MOSCOW — Former NHL forward Ilya Kovalchuk says he wants to return… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month