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Is Purple’s brick-and-mortar push paying off? 

Is Purple’s brick-and-mortar push paying off? 

With DTC mattress brands entering the wholesale side of the industry in droves, Purple stands out as a sweetheart because of the effort it has made to connect with brick-and-mortar retailers. 

The company’s Q4 and full-year 2023 results will be announced on March 12, and we checked in with Janis Greenspan, vice president of brand and marketing strategy, to learn about Purple’s push into brick and mortar ahead of the announcement.

The company entered the brick-and-mortar space in 2017 and started by displaying models at handpicked Mattress Firm locations. But since then, it has grown its retailer base significantly — working with more than 3,400 partner retail stores ranging from national chains to local family businesses today.

In 2020, Purple opened its first standalone showroom and now operates 60 showrooms across the country. 

“We know it’s important for our customers to experience mattresses in person before making a purchase decision, so our goal is to make that as easy as possible,” Greenspan says. “Brick-and-mortar retailers know there is lots of excitement about Purple mattresses and the word of mouth that it generates. 

However, many DTC brands say that the simple fact that consumers find them online and drive them into stores is reason enough for retailers to carry DTC brands. 

We questioned that notion — is that enough, and is that sustainable? Can DTC brands rely only on the fact that they drive traffic to stores and not that their product actually sells? 

“Driving traffic is great, but unique technology that drives sales and satisfaction is also important,” Greenspan explains. “Retailers are looking for compelling reasons to raise selling prices and Purple’s innovative GelFlex Grid technology is what keeps brand fans coming back for more because they genuinely love sleeping on our mattresses. They will tell their friends and even return to the same store for the same brand once they find an experience and mattress they love.”

In fact, Purple has data that proves it. Greenspan says 98% of Purple sleepers consider buying another Purple mattress “because they love the experience” and this year’s J.D. Power Results echoes that. 

“Purple offers an innovative approach to the premium mattress offering — a unique product line that is proven to deliver deeper sleep and that drives traffic to their stores,” Greenspan adds. 

What’s so special about Purple’s GelFlex Grid technology? 

The hyper-elastic gel flexes in a way that the gel grid folds onto itself, which is just one of many patented designs the company holds on the grid. And because the grid is designed with open columns, heat is naturally drawn away from the body — like a built-in cooling device. 

The gel also molds to the body of the sleeper, helping relieve pressure from hips and shoulders, while the column structure of the GelFlex Grid holds up to broad areas of weight to support the back and legs for ideal body alignment, reducing aches and pains by 40%. 

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And the company has found success expanding its product by adding new materials.

“The all-new Restore hybrid mattress line combines the benefits of the GelFlex Grid with additional upgraded comfort layers and a supportive coil core,” Greenspan says. “Thermal tests and heat flux research found that Restore is two to four times more effective at removing excess heat than major competitors.”

There have also been updates to the gel grid itself since the company launched in 2015, such as adapting the shape and size of the grid and developing new products like the award-winning Harmony Pillow and seat cushions. 

“We’ve also innovated the way the GelFlex Grid works with other components of the mattress, like individually wrapped coils and comfort layers,” she explains. “Our Innovations team is focused on making deep sleep effortless by enhancing and highlighting the four key benefits of the GelFlex Grid — pressure relief, support, temperature regulation and motion isolation.”

In the stock market, Purple has been on the move — and moving in the right direction. Shares are up to $2.06 at the time of this writing, up more than 50 cents from just a few weeks ago. 

The company appears to have turned a corner and placed more importance than ever on wholesale retail, so it will be exciting to see if the company reports similar news during the upcoming earnings call. 

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