E-commerce mattress startup Casper will sell its products in West Elm stores starting next week, expanding to all 77 locations nationwide by the end of July, CNNMoney reports.
Casper's patent-pending sleep surface fuses memory foam and latex foam. West Elm stores will provide shoppers with a chance to try out the mattresses, an opportunity that otherwise has only been possible at Casper showrooms in Los Angeles and New York, New York Business Journal reports.
Casper is also expanding internationally, extending its online sales efforts to Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
As a pure-play e-retail site, Casper has devised innovative ways to package and deliver its mattresses-in-a-box, providing free shipping and giving customers liberal time and opportunity to return products that don’t suit them.
But Casper's move to partner with Williams-Sonoma-owned West Elm shows how important brick-and-mortar remains to the touch-and-feel opportunities consumers still desire. The mattress startup is often called the “Warby Parker” of mattresses, a reference to the eyewear retailer that disrupted that space with similarly innovative ways for customers to try on glasses at home. But Warby Parker, too, has discovered the advantages of physical stores.
"I'll be honest with you: We haven't really been focused on the mattress business," West Elm President Jim Brett told CNNMoney. "I would rather move faster and partner with someone who really knows the business. The guys at Casper are living and breathing that product. They're going so much deeper into the category than we typically have."
Casper launched in 2014, raised $1 million in its first month and has generated nearly $71 million in venture capital since. Last year the company logged $100 million in revenues. In addition to the West Elm deal, Casper is also seeking to tap the $6.7 billion European mattress and bedding market, according to the Business Journal. Constantin Eis, former managing director of European home goods e-retailer Home24, is in charge of Casper’s international foray.