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As Mattress Firm struggles, Casper plans to open 200 mattress stores across the US

As Mattress Firm struggles, Casper plans to open 200 mattress stores across the US

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As Mattress Firm reportedly mulls filing for bankruptcy in order to get out of leases and shutter stores, online start-up Casper is planning to open 200 locations within the next three years across the U.S.

Casper opened its first permanent store, in New York, earlier this year. CEO Philip Krim told CNBC at the time that the retailer’s goal was to learn from the store before growing. “We are very much in learning mode, testing different formats and understanding what the right setup is for our customers,” he explained.

Casper’s growth comes as a wave of e-commerce brands such as Bonobos, Warby Parker and Untuckit are bulking up their store fleets, where it’s cheaper to acquire customers, on average, than online. For a company like Casper, stores also provide shoppers the opportunity to touch and feel products — in this case mattresses and sheets — before they buy.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the news Wednesday morning.

Casper has been testing temporary shops at shopping malls and within street-level retail across the U.S. Now, the 200 permanent locations will give the retailer a space to sell directly to consumers, while it also distributes through Target, Nordstrom and Amazon.

According to Krim, New York is Casper’s top market, followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta and Chicago. The company has declined to disclose revenue figures but is believed to generate more than $1,500 per square foot at its existing locations.

Following a fundraising round in 2017 that brought Casper’s total funding to $240 million, Krim told CNBC he wouldn’t count out going public, either.

Mattress Firm’s biggest fault, according to retail analysts, is opening too many stores too quickly. With more and more shopping moving online today, it’s important for retailers to run just as strong businesses online, which has been less of a focus for Mattress Firm.

When speaking to CNBC earlier this year, Krim said, “For better or for worse, buying a mattress is pretty terrible across the whole country. We see the opportunities in the market and we want to continue to play across the country with a diversified approach.”

Casper also earlier this summer opened a “Sleep Shop” in New York, where you can take a 45-minute nap for $25.

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