October 9, 2018

Mattress Firm to close local stores

Liese Klein
Liese Klein
The Mattress Firm store at the southern end of the Boston Post Road in Orange that is slated to close.

After an expansion binge that led to the opening of three stores within a single mile of one another on the Boston Post Road in Orange/Milford, retailer Mattress Firm has filed for bankruptcy protection. More than 700 stores will be closed nationwide by the end of the year, including the "South Orange" Mattress Firm at 575 Boston Post Rd. and a location in Branford.

Stores at 1596 Boston Post Rd. in Milford and 484 Boston Post Rd in Orange are expected to remain open, although store employees declined to comment on the company's plans. No details have been released on layoffs both Orange stores visited had only one or two workers on the floor on a weekday afternoon.

The bankruptcy filing ends a period of acquisitions by Mattress Firm parent company Steinhoff International that resulted in a proliferation of stores under the Mattress Firm brand. Poorly performing stores that are in close proximity to other Mattress Firms locations are targeted for closure.

Analysts blamed the company's woes on overly aggressive expansion and the rise of online mattress shopping. The 2015 acquisition of Sleepy's added 1,000 stores to the chain even as traffic slowed industry-wide for brick-and-mortar mattress outlets. Online retailers like Casper are making inroads and Amazon announced this month that it would start selling mattresses as part of its Amazon Basics line, starting at $129.99 for the 8-inch twin memory-foam model.

"This is a wake-up call for traditional mattress chains: The 1960s model doesn't work anymore," Bob Phibbs, chief executive of New York-based consultancy the Retail Doctor, told the Washington Post.

In Connecticut, Mattress Firm said it would close six stores out of 50 locations. Customers seeking new sleeping surfaces on the Post Road in Milford and Orange still have ample options within the mile bracketed by Mattress Firm stores, other mattress retailers included P.C. Richard & Son, Pilgrim Furniture and Mattress City, Raymour & Flanigan, Sealy Sleep Center and Bob's Discount Furniture.

Contact Liese Klein at lklein@newhavenbiz.com

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