Continue our growth as America’s largest network of independently owned mattress stores, enriching the lives of our owners, customers and the communities where we operate.
To make it easy for our customers to find the perfect mattress for a great night’s sleep, to provide our employees with a rewarding place to succeed, and to be a partner of choice for our product vendors.
America’s Mattress is based on a business test that took place in the Chicago suburbs in the late 1990s. At the time, Serta® held a negligible market position in the area – a fact that Serta wanted to change. Instead of focusing on broad distribution at retail, they partnered with a small bedding specialty store in the northwestern suburbs. At the time, the owner only had three locations, but together they had a vision of over 70 stores throughout the Chicagoland area. Serta agreed to help the retailer achieve that goal in exchange for converting their multi-vendor format to a single-vendor (Serta) format. In the years that followed, the partnership flourished and grew to over 90 American Mattress locations in Chicago and Indiana.
Upon realizing that single-vendor partnerships were highly profitable for both the dealers and Serta, Serta decided to approach dealers in other markets with the same agreement – they sell Serta product and Serta will help them grow their business. What began as individual plant agreements was formalized and centralized in May of 2001 with the creation of the America’s Mattress program. With 144 Serta-Exclusive locations “grandfathered” into the program and a Group Office team of two people to expand and support the dealers, the program quickly grew by leaps and bounds – doubling its store locations in just 2 short years!
In 2006, the America’s Mattress department at Serta underwent a complete overhaul, dividing the responsibilities into three main areas. Each area was designed to grow and support its part of the department to provide stable footing for a rapidly growing network: Prospecting to add new, qualified dealers, Growth and Development to train and support both new and existing dealers, and Operations to maximize the growth of the network and the benefits of the program. In 2010, the support structure was brought even further into focus as the network began to take advantage of its growth and create a format similar to that of a franchise support system. The support team was re-branded as Retail Concepts Group to oversee the growth of the America’s Mattress and America’s Mattress Gallery retail programs with a renewed mission on long-term partnerships that would be successful for both the retailers and for Serta. Some of the support programs in place today include a complete set of Brand Guidelines with modular advertising templates to support all media formats, a national website with the ability for each dealer to completely localize their content, a full-scale Operations Manual, application of the purchasing power to secure significant value for the retailers in the consumer financing category, increased cooperative local advertising contributions, additional team members to implement the more thoroughly documented launch and ongoing support programs, proprietary store design and support retail sales process, and more.
While America’s Mattress is supported and provided the business tools for success much like a franchise system, there are no royalties, licensing fees, or up-front fees. All of the support tools and services are provided in return for the dealer’s agreement to sell Serta exclusively in their stores. In addition to all of the ongoing support, Serta provides an up-front investment per-store which includes professional store design services, a proprietary and consumer-focused in-store display program, significant floor sample discounts, and financial credits toward exterior signage to ensure every store is a top-notch representation of the brand and the brand experience for the consumer is consistent across the country. The initial investment helps ensure a consistent experience while helping with the cash flow for each new store and the ongoing support provides the greatest opportunity for long-term and profitable operation. A primary objective in the Retail Concepts Group is to provide every America’s Mattress retail partner the format, tools, knowledge, and active support to be more profitable more quickly than if they were building the business on their own.
Over the past few years, the store retention rate (percent of stores open and successful as a percentage of the size of the network) has increased from a low point in 2006 to all-time highs each year from 2010 through today, all while continuing rapid store growth. This has been achieved through a combination of finding the right partners, providing the necessary tools and training to operate profitably, and working closely with the local Serta sales force to continually grow each business.
Today the America’s Mattress program boasts nearly 200 dealers with over 300 locations and it is the 8th largest bedding retailer in the United States (Furniture|Today – November, 2015). With aspirations of continued growth and a strategy and team in place to support those aspirations, the America’s Mattress program continues to be a strong example of Serta’s mission – We Grow Our Business by Growing our Retailers’ Businesses! Please complete the inquiry formand learn more about how you can become part of our growing network!