Struggling Mattress Store

by Goliathstwin 73 replies
Hey All,

I am the store manager of a struggling mattress store. We offer quality products, name brand (Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, Sterns and Foster, Tempurpedic) all new, and 10 year warranties on everything, and the products are the same if not less expensive then big box stores(Sears, Rooms to Go etc.). We are just a small business trying to make it.

The other locations(3 others) are pretty successful but this store (Which is next to a publix in a very populated area) just doesn't seem to get any traction.(It has only been open for 6 months, but they were hoping for more than 4 or 5 people in the store total each week by now) We do facebook ads regularly, and have recently added signs at all the Publix entrances along with big signs on the windows.(And a Chalk Sign right outside on the sidewalk with balloons attached) We have an up-to-date website, and even started going around to businesses to pass out discount cards to local business owners. But the owner is relying on me to turn the store around(I have been here for just over 1 month), and I just don't know what else to do. I suggested a mattress costume and I could go outside and wear it, till people came in but that could be a bad idea as well, I just don't really know what else to try. They have given me some money to spend on the store(Ideally less than $200)

My ability to sell the mattresses is decent(I have done sales for several years, though in the past I would see lots of people during the day), because they are all quality products and I can feel good about them, especially since the prices are truly fair, but I just can't seem to get people in the door.

Do any of y'all have any ideas. I have always relied on WF in the past, and have usually gotten some great advice with other things.

Thanks for anything you can think of. No idea will be discouraged!

P.S. The Store is locked in a 3 year lease so we can't just lock it up and try another location.
#offline marketing #mattress #store #struggling
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  • Profile picture of the author TP84
    Hi Goliathstwin,

    I'm only starting out in my own journey to help business owners, but my first question would be:

    Why should I come to your store to buy a mattress instead of going to one of the big box stores?

    I assume they also offer the brand mattresses, the 10 year guarantees, the similar prices etc. So what do you offer that will make me want to buy from you, rather than the big box store I'm so used to buying everything else from?

    I think if you can offer something here that no one else can,

    (I'm thinking off the top of my head here - maybe you can offer a bigger guarantee, maybe its free delivery on all your mattresses, maybe you give people the opportunity to return their mattress for up to 3 months if they don't like it and get a different one etc)

    then you can start promoting that selling proposition to get people coming into your store, and not the big boxes.

    What do you think?
    TP
    • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
      Originally Posted by TP84 View Post

      Hi Goliathstwin,

      I'm only starting out in my own journey to help business owners, but my first question would be:

      Why should I come to your store to buy a mattress instead of going to one of the big box stores?

      I assume they also offer the brand mattresses, the 10 year guarantees, the similar prices etc. So what do you offer that will make me want to buy from you, rather than the big box store I'm so used to buying everything else from?

      I think if you can offer something here that no one else can,

      (I'm thinking off the top of my head here - maybe you can offer a bigger guarantee, maybe its free delivery on all your mattresses, maybe you give people the opportunity to return their mattress for up to 3 months if they don't like it and get a different one etc)

      then you can start promoting that selling proposition to get people coming into your store, and not the big boxes.

      What do you think?
      TP
      Thanks TP84 for the response,

      I would say the best thing we can offer is excellent customer service, but I suspect almost every store will say they do the same. We do have about 40-50 reviews on Google and they are all 5 out of 5 stars so that is something. We offer a 120 day exchange policy where if they purchased a mattress they can exchange it in 120 days and swap to a different mattress, but I suspect other places have similar. We can't do free delivery as delivery makes up most of our cost on the inexpensive mattresses, and seriously would hinder our ability to sell the higher end mattresses.

      However, maybe next month we could start a big promotion, make signs and what not for FREE Sheets, FREE Frame, and FREE Delivery and post it on the glass at the front of the store, and see what happens. Either way thanks for the advice.
  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Was any promotion done at the beginning - e.g. "grand opening day"?

    Who are your customers? Are your customers actually in the footfall? As an example opening a Gucci store in a poor area is unlikely to be successful...

    Take a trip to the other stores. Find out who their customers are. Find out who their most profitable customers are. If you can, talk to some of their customers. Find out why they're buying there. Find out what they like and what they don't like about the other stores.Then ask yourself, do these people frequent your area?

    If not, then you will need to attract people from further away. Or close the store.

    Once you know who your customers are, then you can target them more specifically.

    And/or set up JVs. JVs are great if you have low budget. Find what else your customers are buying and JV with the stores selling those products. You only pay when a sale is made.

    And also consider what else people need after buying your mattresses and JV with other stores selling those goods. These sales are all profit for you.

    $200 is laughable as an advertising budget. And I'm dubious that Facebook is a good place to spend your advertising budget.

    Oh, and take a read of Obvious Adams:
    The Story of Obvious Adams | Abraham.com
    Page 8 might be relevant :-)
    Signature

    I stayed up all night trying to figure out where the Sun went.
    Then it dawned on me...
    What I do for a living

    • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      Was any promotion done at the beginning - e.g. "grand opening day"?

      Who are your customers? Are your customers actually in the footfall? As an example opening a Gucci store in a poor area is unlikely to be successful...

      Take a trip to the other stores. Find out who their customers are. Find out who their most profitable customers are. If you can, talk to some of their customers. Find out why they're buying there. Find out what they like and what they don't like about the other stores.Then ask yourself, do these people frequent your area?

      If not, then you will need to attract people from further away. Or close the store.

      Once you know who your customers are, then you can target them more specifically.

      And/or set up JVs. JVs are great if you have low budget. Find what else your customers are buying and JV with the stores selling those products. You only pay when a ale is made.

      And also consider what else people need after buying your mattresses and JV with other stores selling those goods. These sales are all profit for you.

      $200 is laughable as an advertising budget. And I'm dubious that Facebook is a good place to spend your advertising budget.

      Oh, and take a read of Obvious Adams:
      The Story of Obvious Adams | Abraham.com
      Page 8 might be relevant :-)
      Thank you animal44 for the reply,

      This Obvious Adams guy really knows what he's doing. I guess sometimes the most obvious answer is the best one.

      The other stores in this shopping strip are Subway, Pizza Hut, A local Chines Restaurant, a 3 dot alcohol store, Publix, an investment firm, Barber Shop, Kickboxing, and then us on the corner towards the busy intersection. After reading page 8, I think I might put out a giant RED Arrow sign that just points at our store that would be easily seen by everyone coming in from the intersection, and it can point to our storefront windows that mention what sale is going on. Also I should probably get in good with all the stores that are on my side of Publix as we are not food, and can only help each other.

      Thanks!

      P.S. As for the $200 I know isn't much but it's better than the last place I worked at for 3 years selling mattresses. It had a budget of 0 for me to make changes lol, so something however small, is better than nothing
  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    First reactions:
    you are in the wrong place (either because the people walking around are looking for something cheaper / more expensive or because your store is not easy to see when you walk/drive by)

    you need to advertise and $200 a month is not advertising, it's more like thinking about thinking about starting to start advertising.

    People often buy new furniture (mattresses, included) when they move. Make friends with real estate agents and home insurance agents, real estate appraisers and home inspectors. They often buy furniture when they refinance their homes, so make friends with some loan officers (not as good as real estate agents and insurance agents).

    Anyway, from what you said, it seems the problem is visibility.

    Like Animal said, what did the other store managers do to get it?

    To add to Animal's great advice, $200 will allow you to print some flyers for some nearby store for that store that's going to let you use part of the flyer for your store in their store. Let me rephrase, when I order pizza, the box has a flyer with a few offers on top. You can offer to pay the pizza place to print their fliers as long as they let you stick your info and offer there too. They stick the fliers with your info on every pizza box that goes out.

    By the way, you never mention if you have any offers they can't resist. You need one.
  • Profile picture of the author mojo1
    Several of the national brand named mattress companies you mentioned may have free co-op advertising money available for your retail establishment. Reach out to each of the product lines and ask if they offer any form of co-op marketing money.

    An example of co-op marketing on a larger scale:
    1. Digital campaign boosts in-store mattress sales | Furniture Today

    2. Co-op creative way to increase your advertising budget. | PNJ Media Solutions - Pensacola (This company will help you discover if there's any co-op funding available to your store. Check out the last paragraph)

    3. Get More Advertising Without Investing More Money!

    4. http://www.guntalk.com/uploads/Compa...ering_COOP.pdf (*one mattress brand listed, not sure if you carry this brand)

    5. MEGA Group USA - Categories ( The MEGA Group program includes attractive advertising co-op, national pricing schedule, volume rebates, and corporate circular support. It provides the dealer with a program to drive traffic in the store and increases sales in related categories.


    Please report back and let us know if any of these resources proved helpful to you.

    Good luck!
  • Profile picture of the author mojo1
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

    Hey All,

    I am the store manager of a struggling mattress store. We offer quality products, name brand (Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, Sterns and Foster, Tempurpedic) all new, and 10 year warranties on everything, and the products are the same if not less expensive then big box stores(Sears, Rooms to Go etc.). We are just a small business trying to make it.

    The other locations(3 others) are pretty successful but this store (Which is next to a publix in a very populated area) just doesn't seem to get any traction.(It has only been open for 6 months, but they were hoping for more than 4 or 5 people in the store total each week by now) We do facebook ads regularly, and have recently added signs at all the Publix entrances along with big signs on the windows.(And a Chalk Sign right outside on the sidewalk with balloons attached) We have an up-to-date website, and even started going around to businesses to pass out discount cards to local business owners. But the owner is relying on me to turn the store around(I have been here for just over 1 month), and I just don't know what else to do. I suggested a mattress costume and I could go outside and wear it, till people came in but that could be a bad idea as well, I just don't really know what else to try. They have given me some money to spend on the store(Ideally less than $200)

    My ability to sell the mattresses is decent(I have done sales for several years, though in the past I would see lots of people during the day), because they are all quality products and I can feel good about them, especially since the prices are truly fair, but I just can't seem to get people in the door.

    Do any of y'all have any ideas. I have always relied on WF in the past, and have usually gotten some great advice with other things.

    Thanks for anything you can think of. No idea will be discouraged!

    P.S. The Store is locked in a 3 year lease so we can't just lock it up and try another location.
    Maybe I mis read this. But, your boss owns three other stores? And they are successful?

    First off, HE already knows about C0-op ads, those namebrands make sure he does. Then, what research did he do? You saying he just opened a store willy nilly, threw a dart on a board? Where is his traffic count?

    And 200 bux for promotion? LAUGHABLE. Either he is an idiot and I'll be glad to tell him that or he is pulling a Trump, losing money on this one operation so he saves tens lf thousands in taxes depending on how he goes bankrupt.

    OR, we aren't getting the details. You may be the guy he blames so he can either close or try to weasel out of his lease, who signs a three year deal.
    without a lot of retail research?

    Show me a mattress store (other than the ones that make their own on location) who don't compete on price. Big boxes can carry their own credit, offer a better financing plan, but apples to apples, there is someone in your area killing you on price.

    GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Hi Goliasthstwin,

    There is a *small* mattress company that is always kicking some goals here in Oz.

    You may want to study some of their material.

    Early on they branded their premium product as "Belissimo" and used a young attractive character as their voice in the marketplace.

    Every promotion they attacked one of the market leaders in subtle ways.

    The company - Makin Mattresses homepage-new - Makin Mattresses

    I would also suggest searching out some of Ewen Mack's older posts [Dr E Vile] in relation to marketing mattresses and beds.

    In some of his and other's observations in relation to purchasing a new bed the purchase occurred shortly after a vacation.

    Logic is that people have slept on a new (or comfortable) bed whilst on vacation and upon returning home they find their bed less than adequate.

    You might like to look at local travel agents for leads.

    You might want to look at buying leads from reputable list brokers [think acxiom.com] who can give you the returning vacationer market. People who have recently travelled and are 55 years plus. - They deserve a new bed now that the kids have left home and they now have money to spend on their comfort.

    Focus your attention.

    Contact the ideal prospect.

    Grabbing attention isn't really the right approach.

    Approaching the right prospect might work better.

    Best regards,

    Ozi
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

    Hey All,

    I am the store manager of a struggling mattress store. We offer quality products, name brand (Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, Sterns and Foster, Tempurpedic) all new, and 10 year warranties on everything, and the products are the same if not less expensive then big box stores(Sears, Rooms to Go etc.). We are just a small business trying to make it.

    The other locations(3 others) are pretty successful but this store (Which is next to a publix in a very populated area) just doesn't seem to get any traction.(It has only been open for 6 months, but they were hoping for more than 4 or 5 people in the store total each week by now) We do facebook ads regularly, and have recently added signs at all the Publix entrances along with big signs on the windows.(And a Chalk Sign right outside on the sidewalk with balloons attached) We have an up-to-date website, and even started going around to businesses to pass out discount cards to local business owners. But the owner is relying on me to turn the store around(I have been here for just over 1 month), and I just don't know what else to do. I suggested a mattress costume and I could go outside and wear it, till people came in but that could be a bad idea as well, I just don't really know what else to try. They have given me some money to spend on the store(Ideally less than $200)

    My ability to sell the mattresses is decent(I have done sales for several years, though in the past I would see lots of people during the day), because they are all quality products and I can feel good about them, especially since the prices are truly fair, but I just can't seem to get people in the door.

    Do any of y'all have any ideas. I have always relied on WF in the past, and have usually gotten some great advice with other things.

    Thanks for anything you can think of. No idea will be discouraged!

    P.S. The Store is locked in a 3 year lease so we can't just lock it up and try another location.

    I've worked with mattress store, promoting them online. No, you can't afford me...you'll have to do this yourself;

    Get a video camera, create lots of short videos, showing the features of your different types of mattresses. Upload these videos to Youtube.

    In the title of the video, be sure to use the words; Mattress, (brand of mattress), your City and State. This is important, or your videos won't show up in the Google searches.

    These videos are not ads, they are product demonstrations. Make sure the phone number and city is at the end of the video (along with store name)


    Right now, in your town, every day, there are people shopping for a mattress. They just don't know you exist...and they don't know what you sell. And they are going online to find a place they can buy what you sell.

    When people go online to buy something (or get information on a product they want to buy) they are going on Google and Youtube. They are not searching on Facebook, friends groups, forums, and other social media. You need your videos on Youtube, because Youtube videos show up in local searches...as long as the city and state are in the title and descripton.

    These videos will be seen by more people than your Yellow Pages ads, will be virtually free, and will stay online forever.


    I own a retail store. This is the single most profitable thing I do to promote my store. Here's an example;

    • Profile picture of the author animal44
      This comment raised a smile...
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I own a retail store. This is the single most profitable thing I do to promote my store. Here's an example;
      Let's look at some figures...

      That video has just short of 9,000 views.

      I think I'd be generous in guessing that 10% of those view turned into sales - 900 sales in 6 years.

      Last year I did a single JV deal where we made over 38,000 sales in around a month.... If you combine the other deals we did, then easily double that figure...

      Single most profitable thing...?

      Goliathstwin, learn how to put together JV deals with other businesses. It's the single most profitable thing you can do... by far.

      JVs have made me rich. And in the process have provided exponential growth for my clients... In 39 years in business, I've never found anything that comes close...
      Signature

      I stayed up all night trying to figure out where the Sun went.
      Then it dawned on me...
      What I do for a living

  • Profile picture of the author sunsetcoder
    For such marketing you should concentrate on local market first, you should use fb specially and try to post it using local friends group and ask them to share. News papers advertisements and pamphlets are good option for you too
  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
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