Truth in Advertising: Mattress Firm CEO Responds to Tuft & Needle’s Lies
I was hired as a sales associate in a Mattress Firm store in 1998, nearly 20 years ago. Since then, I’ve served in a variety of different roles at our company, but I’ve never forgotten the most important thing about working in a store: always tell the truth.
Not only is telling the truth the right thing to do for our customers, it’s also the right thing to do for our business. Most people know when they’re being pushed toward a higher-priced product to boost a salesman’s commission, or when outdated technology is being sold as cutting-edge. Mattress Firm has been in business for more than 30 years, and we know that our growth and success is due to the loyalty of our satisfied (and well-rested) customers who know we gave them honest, unbiased advice.
Unfortunately, our commitment to the truth has been called into question the last few years, as several online-only competitors have sprung up and targeted us using false and misleading advertising. We’re certainly open to fair competition, but the story that is being told about us is simply untrue. They have used our logo and name with incorrect facts. It has gone too far. Today, we’ve taken necessary steps to stand up for our amazing customers, our passionate and loyal employees and the communities we serve. Tuft & Needle has intentionally misled its customers about our business, and we’ve responded with a lawsuit that will set the record straight.
Here are a few of the false things that Tuft & Needle has said to try and win new customers.
They Claim: Mattress Firm is “over-priced.”
The Truth: We price our products competitively and fairly.
Tuft & Needle has claimed that Mattress Firm marks up the price of our products through “gimmicky marketing, unfair retail markups, sales commissions and snake oil.” They say that their product is a more fair price, because they’ve “cut out the middlemen.” But, when you take an objective look at the claims they’re making, the truth is easy to find. Like every retailer, including Mattress Firm, Tuft & Needle works with suppliers to source their products, then uses a store (whether online or in-person) to connect those products with customers. Every retail transaction follows these same steps.
On the subject of price, the International Sleep Products Association publishes quarterly data on business activity in the mattress industry, based on monthly sales information reported by 13 US manufacturers. ISPA reports that the average unit price of all mattresses sold in the United States in 2016 was only $302.16, and we sell more mattresses than anyone. Our prices are in line with the rest of our industry.
But, based solely on their advertising, you would be led to believe that a comparable mattress sold by Mattress Firm would cost more than 2.5 times more than Tuft & Needle’s $325 twin-size mattress. That’s not true -- there are nearly 20 twin-size mattresses on our website right now priced under $400, each with a different combination of materials, technology and support. Again, we believe that each customer ought to have the opportunity to choose the bed that is right for their unique needs. By creating this competition within our stores, we ensure that we sell great brands at fair and competitive prices.
They Claim: Mattress Firm is “greedy.”
The Truth: We work to improve the communities where we live and work.
Since we started as a single store in Houston in 1986, we’ve grown to be the largest and only national specialty bedding retailer. I understand that this makes us an easy target, especially for new companies who are looking to break into a highly-competitive industry.
But just because we’re big doesn’t mean we’re “greedy.” Is a Mattress Firm employee in Miami who volunteers his time organizing soccer leagues for underprivileged kids greedy? Are our team members in Central Texas, who organized drives to collect items for Hurricane Harvey victims, greedy?
Mattress Firm isn’t just a faceless corporation; we’re made up of more than 11,000 people in 49 states who are passionate about helping people sleep better and making the communities we live and work in better. Just last month, we were able to donate nearly $6 million worth of beds and bedding accessories to victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Earlier this year, our team members raised $435,000 for foster kids nationwide and we continue to host six donation drives annually to collect essential items like shoes, clothing and toys for foster care nonprofits around the country.
They Claim: Mattress Firm is a “scam.”
The Truth: We offer a variety of name brand, high-quality products because we believe everyone has different sleep needs.
Tuft & Needle has accused Mattress Firm of selling “snake oil” and using “sales tricks and gimmicks” to mislead our customers. I guess that a company trying to convince people that the same mattress is right for every single person might think it’s a “gimmick” to offer more than one product, but we pride ourselves on the carefully curated selection of beds that are available in our stores.
Every person has a different body with unique needs, and our expert staff is trained to find the right mattress for you. It’s genuinely upsetting to hear false claims made about our in-store team members who work tirelessly to be experts in their field, especially when they’ve earned over 141,000 5 star reviews.
Our employees work incredibly hard to stay knowledgeable about the latest innovations and technology in bedding so they can help our customers, whether they’re looking for a luxury mattress from a premium brand or a basic mattress for a toddler’s bedroom.
The truth is that we’ve built our business on honesty, product expertise and excellent customer service. Here are a few other truths that make shopping at Mattress Firm a great experience:
- We require every store employee to complete approximately 200 hours of training to help you find the right bed.
- We offer a 120-night trial. (Tuft & Needle only offers 100 nights.) We’re so confident we’ll match you with the right mattress, you can take it home and sleep on it for up to 120 nights. If it’s not perfect, we’ll find you one that is or you can return it for a refund.
- We also offer a 120 Night Low Price Guarantee. We’ll beat any price on comparable mattresses, even ones you buy from us, for up to 120 nights.
To all our loyal customers, thank you for giving us the opportunity to help you sleep better. If you’ve never shopped with us before, please give us a chance to prove ourselves before you believe the untrue things that are being said about us. Come visit us today and we’re confident that we can help you get your best night’s sleep.