If you feel like you’re hearing about — and seeing — a lot of mattress stores coming to Long Island, it’s not your imagination.
Yet another player has entered the local market. Tempur Sealy International Inc., a Lexington, Kentucky-based company, opened its first Tempur-Pedic store on Long Island — at The Shoppes at Carle Place — June 29.
Also, Minneapolis-based Sleep Number Corp., which has five stores on Long Island, recently signed a lease to open a 3,500-square-foot location at The Shops at Riverhead, according to Kristen Moore, spokeswoman for Brixmor Property Group, the Manhattan-based developer of the shopping center. The store is expected to open in mid-2019, she said.
In addition, last month I wrote about another retailer, Jericho-based Fortunoff Mattress, opening its first store in Paramus, New Jersey, in May and planning to open three stores on Long Island — in Carle Place, Huntington Station and Massapequa Park — this summer.
Back to Tempur-Pedic. Located in a 3,000-square-foot space at 233A Glen Cove Rd. in Carle Place, the store is among 23 that Tempur Sealy International has opened this year. The company now has 34 stores in North America and plans to have 40 to 50 in the United States by the end of 2018, spokesman Rick Maynard said.
Tempur-Pedic stores encourage customers to touch and try the merchandise, which includes pillows and bed bases. They are also likely increasing the brand’s awareness in the local market, he said.
“These stores are intended to serve as a ‘halo’ for the brand in the markets where they are located, with the ultimate goal of driving retail sales whether at our retail location or through one of our retail partners in the market,” Maynard said.
As for Sleep Number, it opened 13 stores and closed 11 in the first quarter of this year as part of a plan to optimize growth, spokeswoman Sarah Reckard said.
"We expect to grow our total store base by mid-single digits in 2018, ending the year with around 580-585 stores. We expect to end 2019 with up to 650 stores," she said.
Also, as part of Sleep Number’s plan to locate in areas of “fresh retail energy,” the Lake Grove store in Smith Haven Mall is relocating to a non-mall location at 145 Alexander Ave., where it will open July 26, Reckard said.
Nationwide in 2017 there were 15,525 mattress stores, a 21 percent increase over the 12,975 in 2012, according to IBISWorld Inc., a New York-based market research firm.
So, what’s up with that?
For one thing, some retailers are trying to fill a gap left by Hicksville-based Sleepy’s, which was the second-largest specialty mattress chain in the nation when it was acquired by the largest player, Mattress Firm, in 2016, said Peter J. Keith, an analyst at Manhattan-based Piper Jaffray & Co. who covers the retail mattress industry.
“And I think they’ve had some … issues with integrating Sleepy’s into Mattress Firm, and that Mattress Firm brand hasn’t resonated well with customers in the Northeast and the New York City area,” said Keith, who said Tempur-Pedic and Sleep Number are high-end competitors.
Also, South Africa-based Steinhoff International Holdings NV, which bought Mattress Firm in 2016, has been mired in controversy since trying to dig its way out of an accounting scandal revealed in December.
Another factor in the bedding bonanza is that more consumers have shifted from general furniture stores to specialty retailers for mattresses.
Mattress store growth was stronger nationwide from 2012 to 2015, but it’s been slowing down the last few years, Keith said. Blame online sales, the usual suspect when brick-and-mortar retail starts to falter.
Retail Roundup is a column about major retail news on Long Island — store openings, closings, expansions, acquisitions, etc. — that is published online and in the Monday paper. To read more of these columns, click here. If you have news to share, please send an email to Newsday reporter Tory N. Parrish at email@example.com.