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The TSI/Mattress Firm deal is not something to be feared

The TSI/Mattress Firm deal is not something to be feared

With the TSI/MF deal expected to close any day now, it’s worth examining what the potential of the merger means for the industry — again. 

It may seem futile to try and understand what the long-term impacts will be, but knowledge is power. The more you know and talk to others about how the industry might look after the deal closes, the better you can be prepared for whatever happens.  

However, there are a few key parts of the business that we can examine with a closer lens to get a better idea of how things might shift.

In a recent release, TSI CEO Scott Thompson said the company has engaged other suppliers to ensure Mattress Firm continues as a multibranded retailer. This was a main concern of retailers this time last year when TSI had just announced its acquisition place. And while this may have raised the eyebrows of some in the industry, many retailers I’ve spoken to find it a hollow statement.

The reason isn’t because TSI is going to take other brands out of Mattress Firm stores. The consensus from those I’ve spoken with is that, because TSI is a main traffic and profit driver for Mattress Firm — even now, before the acquisition — some feel that after the deal goes through it will become unofficial corporate policy to sell TSI products before all others.   

If this were true, then theoretically it’s already happening. So if the deal goes through, it’s business as usual. If this is false, then it still presents an opportunity to independent retailers and mattress manufacturers. Either way, it’s a win-win. 

Also, think about what would happen if Mattress Firm only sold TSI product. It would essentially be a Tempur Sealy store, which is likely not what the company wants. From a business standpoint, it’s much more lucrative to keep the two businesses separate. 

Boise Mattress Owner Steve Houk talked about the opportunity independent retailers have in a recent article on Bedding News Now — they have heart and can use it to genuinely help customers. 

But beyond that, the business has changed for good, and if you don’t change with it you will fall behind. As long as you keep innovating, thinking outside of the box and finding your niche, there’s a path to success. 

See Also

The breadth of product introductions in Las Vegas this January proved that everyone is upping their game as competition heats up. Smart and savvy bedding retailers across the country are having record-breaking sales each month. The industry will learn to live beside the new Mattress Firm.

About one year ago, many were afraid that this deal would form a monopoly and kill business for everyone else. But in reality, it’s an opportunity for unique mattress brands and retailers to shine in their independent markets. 

There’s no crystal ball telling us what Mattress Firm will look like in three to five years, but remember that any awareness about mattresses is good for the industry, and competition is healthy. It’s not something to be feared, but something to be conquered. 

View Comments (2)
  • I am curious if you actually work for TSI.
    1. By controlling the largest retailer, TSI stands to increase profit 50% on every product they make that Mattress Firm sells. It is foolish to say it is happening today. It is realistic to say it will happen once the deal is done.
    2. What is the incentive for TSI to advertise for other retailers. It is a lower ROI. So, expect TSI to shift advertising dollars, where they will get the biggest return on investment. Also, to satisfy shareholders and justify the investment, TSI must get Mattress Firm to be profitable, again, using advertising to drive customers to Mattress Firm doors.
    3. They are only keeping brands because the FTC forced them too. Once the contracts expire and FTC is no longer monitoring, they will become TSI only. It only makes sense because they earn 50% more on every piece sold at Mattress Firm versus anywhere else.
    This article feels a little naive. Which makes me think TSI had a direct hand in it to keep their other retailers calm, before the rug gets pulled out from under them.

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your comment. This is what we in the journalism business call an opinion article.

      I can assure you I do not work for or with TSI. Further, this article doesn’t praise TSI or reassure retailers that the deal won’t change things. It’s simply a positive way to view the deal and a way to help retailers think proactively instead of fearing for the lives of their businesses.

      There’s no telling what TSI will do once the deal goes through, but either way, retailers need to be ready for a fight.


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