With New Concept, Casper Highlights Sleep's 'Little Wonders'

Casper Sleep is moving into experimentation mode, reinventing a Costa Mesa, California store with new strategies for coaxing shoppers into dreamland.

The store has the company’s first Snooze Bar, which is a dedicated consultation area, an interactive Pillow Lab, and a bunkhouse getaway for kids, outfitted with a twin-size mattress they can test. The new shop also boasts the company’s first-ever Bedroom DeZzzign Center, which provides a personalized experience with products in Casper's portfolio.

People can book a nap appointment, schedule an E-Zzz curbside pickup, or choose local delivery.

The company hopes the immersive shopping experience will create more sales. “So far, the signs are good,” says Brad Bailey, chief sales officer. While the company has experimented with various retail formats since its launch in 2014, this one focuses on the three core components of the company’s R&D efforts: cooling, support, and comfort.

“The point is to show off things people didn’t expect to see from us, whether in a mattress, a pillow, or a glow light. We call them our “little wonders,’” he tells D2C Insider.

While Casper burst on the scene as a leading D2C disrupter in 2014, with plenty of ups and downs along the way, the mattress business continues to be heavily brick-and-mortar focused, he says. About 70% of sales happen in stores, and as few as 1% to 2% online only. What’s changed is that the remainder, even if they occur in a physical retail location, involve significant shifts, according to online research.

“In the old days, people shopped an average of 2.8 doors before deciding and making a purchase,” he says. Now, that’s fewer than two.

Currently, Casper is sold wholesale in thousands of retail locations and operates more than 60 stores of its own.

The concept test comes as the company shifts its marketing strategy from the lower end of the purchase funnel to brand awareness. A new TV campaign is scheduled for this April. “We’ll go beyond just talking about better sleep, which is what all mattresses promise. We want to show how cozy the experience can be.”

Pillows are an increasingly important business “and are very successful for us in wholesale, especially in the Big Box stores like Target.”

One of the company's best sellers can be reconfigured three ways, depending on whether people sleep on their backs, sides or stomachs.

Most people replace mattresses every eight to 10 years, and while pillows should be replaced every three years, “people often go much longer," says Bailey.

Casper has been privately held since 2021, rescued from a disappointing performance as a public company by a private equity firm. Last month, it appointed Joe Megibow as CEO. He had been CEO of rival Purple and most recently led Bright Cellars, an online wine platform.

Casper’s changes come as experts predict an increase in mattress sales this year. Seth Basham, who follows the mattress industry for Wedbush, writes that he's  “cautiously optimistic” about sales gains, particularly in the second half of the year.

Basham notes prospects are improving at Purple, a Casper rival that has also moved beyond D2C roots into mainstream furniture stores. “The company launched new advertising with its highly successful egg drop test,” he notes, and is planning in-store egg-drops at company-owned stores to showcase Purple’s differentiated mattress construction, Basham writes. Purple has also stepped up meetings with retailers by 30% and plans to increase product training at those third-party locations.

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