Inside Mattress Online’s new flagship store

Steve Adams, CEO at Mattress Online, reflects on the opening of their new store in Doncaster as well as sharing future plans.

The 29th March 2024 marked a special moment for independent mattress retailer Mattress Online. It was the date that the business officially cut the ribbon to their new store, situated Sprotbrough Road Retail Park in Doncaster.

It also signified a fresh in-store design approach, as well as becoming the brand’s flagship staple store, adding to their other three locations. The new flagship store includes warm lighting, relaxing colours and a simple and transparent pricing system. It offers a unique shopping experience from a team of expertly trained staff who place the importance of the customers’ sleep need and style at the forefront of the buying journey. This is supported by ongoing bespoke staff training from Mattress Online’s very own sleep expert, James Wilson – also known as The Sleep Geek.

A few months on, we caught up with Steve Adams, CEO at Mattress Online, to find out how the store is performing and the process behind the big launch. “Trading has been encouraging. “We are seeing footfall steadily increase thanks to a mixture of marketing, brand presence due to location, and word of mouth.

“Feedback has been positive from customers and industry contacts alike too. We’ve made a point of asking our suppliers to come to Doncaster for meetings and give us their thoughts. Customer feedback has been that they’re pleasantly surprised at how relaxed and warm the store feels, and the simple messaging of our USP’s and transparent pricing model makes the purchase journey easier.”

It’s always good to receive positive praise, and for Mattress Online’s latest venture into the physical bricks-and-mortar world of retailing, the business has really done their homework on all aspects, from design, flow and experience, gaining inspiration from Apple for one.

“We did extensive research as a team, going into stores and looking at what worked for us – and what didn’t,” says Steve. “We took inspiration from brands where the layout and design just works well – the feel of Apple stores is a great example of what we wanted to achieve.

“Taking the design away from what we’d call a traditional bed shop style was important, old-fashioned features such as perspex price tickets stuck on mattresses for example. As a hybrid retailer, incorporating some of the simplicity of internet buying was important.

“We took some time to test the design and build in a section of our Rotherham store, which was a perfect test-and-learn environment and meant that when the Doncaster project kicked off it was a very streamlined process with our fantastic shopfitting contractor and his team.”

To celebrate the launch over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, Mattress Online offered 10% off everything in store to customers, while stakeholders raised a glass with a special preview evening. “Doncaster is our first showroom that wasn’t already an existing bed store and we got a completely blank canvas that needed everything, which is was what we wanted,” said Steve.

“A lot of planning and time went into getting it right, not cutting corners, and getting the professional execution we’d envisioned. We held a preview evening in the store and invited the wider team along, as well as all the stakeholders who had been involved in helping us to get the showroom ready and open – it was lovely to have everyone there to celebrate their hard work and appreciate the finished product over a couple of beers.”

The new Doncaster store has not only created three new roles locally in the city, but also gave the company an opportunity to promote some of their colleagues within other stores, which resulted in even more role creation, with a total of six new jobs being created overall.

And there is likely to be more jobs being created in the future too, as plans are firmly underway for another store. “I’m pleased to share that our next brick and mortar store has reached some important milestones recently, and soon we’ll be ready to begin work and hopefully reveal more details on location,” Steve said.

“The clean, modular design we’ve achieved with the Doncaster store is future proofed, so expect to see more of the same.”

At a time where the market is generally tough out there, coupled with “consumers spending less and taking longer to make purchase decisions”, as Steve says, the business is continuing to invest in their future and tackle such challenges head on.

“It’s a relatively tough market out there due to external factors – cost of living, an impending election and the slowed housing market. On speaking to suppliers and industry contacts the challenges seem to be universal right now.

“We have continued to be prudent with performance marketing spend, avoiding getting into the weeds of buying unprofitable business, however on balance we’ve implemented some good work behind the scenes and we’re seeing our efforts pay off after recent Google updates were rolled out.”

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