Casper on Tuesday opened its first standalone store, at 627 Broadway in New York City’s Noho neighborhood, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
The store features six "miniature homes," each with installations set to rotate throughout the year that encourage shoppers to touch, feel, experience and learn about its products, the company said. Shoppers can purchase Casper products in the store to carry out or have delivered. The shop will also host various events focused on sleep and wellness, the company said.
The permanent location follows a series of brick-and-mortar experiments. The company inked a tie-up with Williams Sonoma-owned furniture retailer West Elm in 2016 (which since flipped to Leesa), has run a series of pop-up stores in Los Angeles, New York and London, and now has a partnership with Target.
Scientifically speaking, sleep has endured as a human mystery, with researchers still trying to figure out why exactly we sleep and what happens to us when we do (or don't). Casper, along with fellow upstarts Leesa, Yogabed and Tuft & Needle, has focused less on the why and more on the how, sending legacy retailers like department stores and discounters scrambling.
Traditionally, purchasing a mattress has been a sensory experience — customers go to showrooms, listen to salespeople and lie on options to feel their comfort level. Retailers in the space often embraced humdrum showrooms and convoluted marketing, with special sales or markdown events on endless types of mattresses that made price and quality comparisons nearly impossible.
Casper and rivals eschewed all that in favor of keeping their "mattress-fits-most" offers in basic bed sizes at a single price paired with long try-out times and free returns.
Now Casper is hoping to open a more enticing physical showroom that involves curated experiences and on-brand special events to help consumers figure out how to get a good night's sleep.
"[A]fter four years of tirelessly studying and improving upon the sleep-shopping experience, Casper is reimagining how we shop for sleep," the company said in an email to Retail Dive.
Across channels, Casper has plenty of competition, including from mass merchants looking to increase their furniture and home goods sales. Amazon, for example, in November launched two furniture brands. And just this week Walmart announced a new in-house mattress brand, Allswell, as part of a revamped online home destination effort.