In June 2013, Furniture First Buying Group unveiled the Mattress 1st store concept. This initiative was created for Members to open either a free-standing mattress store or incorporate a store-within-a-store concept into their full line furniture store. Working closely with Knorr Marketing and Martin Roberts Design, the Mattress 1st store concept allows Furniture First members to successfully compete with specialty stores and big box stores in their area. With dedicated advertising strategies, display elements, floor layout and other branding initiatives, this concept promotes a specialty store presence.
Members are encouraged to use their store name in conjunction with the Mattress 1st branding elements. Each participating member uses a personalized Mattress 1st logo to promote their Mattress 1st store, which lets their customers know that the Mattress 1st store is part of their trusted hometown furniture store.
Each Mattress 1st store owner is part of the Mattress 1st Advisory Council which meets once a month. The council plans all future initiatives and promotions, giving each owner the opportunity to be involved in setting the direction for the Mattress 1st store concept.
Since launching the Mattress 1st store concept, participating Furniture First members have not only seen a dramatic increase in their overall mattress volume, but also in the amount of their average ticket. They are also enjoying a better attachment rate for soft goods and power bases.
“It’s been a really rewarding project to work on,” said Andrew Kauffman, Furniture First’s Vice President of Sleep Products & Markets. “Each owner brings their best ideas to the program, which is a truly collaborative effort. It’s been great to see how their percentage of mattress sales to overall business has increased. Some of our store owners have doubled their sales percentage. Another wonderful result is seeing the RSAs get excited when the stores open. It energizes their sales presentation which in turn gives the customer a better shopping experience. We are working on having at least 25 approved stores by the end of 2014.”
On August 28, 2014, the Furniture First Board of Directors approved two more applications, bring the total to 21 Mattress 1st stores.