October 4, 2019 12:00 PM PT

Why Are There So Many Mattress Stores

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It seems like a new retailer closes its doors every day, but mattress stores remain strong. There are even more mattress stores than Starbucks—but why?

What's the story behind the massive number of mattress stores? Is it a huge dark web conspiracy or something more practical? Read on for the answers.

Reasons There Are So Many Mattress Stores

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There's no great mystery behind the number of mattress stores. They serve a need (and make quite a bit of money). Below are the top reasons you may see a mattress store on every corner.

Mattress Stores Have High Profit Margins

The exact markup on mattresses remains a mystery, but rumor has it they are marked up 100% or more. That makes for quite a profit margin.

Compare that to your average retailer with a profit margin of 1.5%-3%. You can see why mattress stores are so popular.

How Often Do People Buy a New Mattress?
On average, mattress manufacturers recommend replacing your mattress every 7 to 10 years. This varies by the type, quality, and use of each mattress, though. At the 10-year mark, however, most people should start looking for a new mattress.

Mattress Stores Have Low Overhead

The average mattress costs between $950 and $2,250, according to Tuck.com. Even with a 50% profit margin, they can make a big profit on one sale.

They also don't have a lot of overhead. Many stores keep most of their inventory at warehouses to ship directly to customers. Some deliver directly from the manufacturer.

And most employees work on commission. If they don't make a sale, they don't get paid.

Consumers Like to See, Touch, and Try Out Mattress

Consumers aren't quite comfortable buying some products online yet, including mattresses. Sure there are plenty of online retailers selling "beds in a box," but many consumers still want to test a mattress in person.

The average person spends a lot of time in bed. And most people buy a new one very 8–10 years. That's why many consumers prefer to see, feel, and try mattresses in person.

And since mattress names are so easily manipulated, it's difficult to tell what you want in a mattress shopping online. Even with retailers' generous "trial periods," many consumers prefer to try the mattresses out in the store.

When Is the Best Time to Buy a New Mattress?
Try shopping for a mattress during the later winter/early spring. This is when retailers make room for new models and discount last year's model. If you miss that window, try shopping around major holiday weekends—Presidents Day, Labor Day, and Memorial Day are a few examples.

The Economic Downturn Created High Demand for Mattresses Today

If there's one purchase consumers skip when money is tight, it's a mattress. Who's going to blow $1,000 or more when they are living paycheck to paycheck?

During the 2008 recession, many consumers cut back on expenses, including a new mattress. Since the economy bounced back, many are shopping for a new bed.

Competition Drives Sales

Ever wondered why there are groups of similar stores or restaurants near one another? They drive sales to one another.

Consumers love to comparison shop. Why not make it easy on them by offering a store on every corner? It only takes a little effort to pop across the street to see what Mattress Store X will give you after you already shopped at Mattress Store Z.

How Many Mattress Firm Stores Are There?

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There are almost 16,000 mattress stores in the United States, according to IbisWorld. That's more locations than Starbucks.

Mattress Firm, one of the most popular mattress chains in the United States, has 3,500 stores alone. The biggest number of all? Mattress stores have a total revenue of $14 billion.

How Many Starbucks Are There in the U.S.?
There were 14,300 Starbucks in the U.S. as of 2018. That's fewer locations than the number of mattress stores but more than McDonald's (13,905).

Can You Negotiate the Price of a Mattress?

Because of the large markup, you can definitely negotiate the price of a mattress. Some experts recommend haggling the price down as much as 50%, if you can.

When you negotiate the price, don't leave any detail untouched. You can also haggle the price of delivery and get the mattress store to haul away your old mattress for free.

You'll be doing the environment a favor by recycling the mattress. You may even save the money and effort involved in disposing of a mattress.

Remember, the sheer number of stores make it easy to shop around. The salespeople may even see you hopping across the street to a competitor. This pressures them to agree to your terms if they want a sale.

Bottom Line

Mattress stores on every corner are a sign of good economics, not a secret conspiracy. Everyone needs a mattress and they are one of the least expensive retail stores to run.

Take advantage of the numerous stores in your area by comparison shopping to find the best deal.

More from CreditDonkey:

How to Choose a Mattress

How Long Does a Mattress Last

How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress

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