Casper announces 200-store expansion in North America

Casper recently announced plans to open 200 stores in Canada and the United States, as well as expand experiences and branded goods, to bring its sleep products to a larger breadth of consumers (link to news articles at end).

Philip Krim, CEO and co-founder of Casper, shared insights into his company’s success at the 2018 GRMA C-Suite Executive Leadership Forum, serving as a speaker on the CEO Panel (pictured at far right, with Jesse Horwitz, Co-CEO of Hubble).

Casper tested the field for four years as an online outlet with periodic pop-up stores but now is embracing brick-and-mortar. Krim told Business Insider, “We do not think there is anything near the death of retail, but we do think that there is a death of poor retail,” Krim said.

“ We found there was no global sleep brand that really stood for something more, that connected with customers.”

He added: “The traditional mattress store where you are met with a commission salesperson, you’re lying on products you know nothing about under fluorescent lights, where there is a sale every day because they are able to play games and use tricks to deceive consumers, is not going to survive.”

Casper’s intent is to be the antithesis of that experience.

Philip Krim at the 2018 GRMA

C-Suite Executive Leadership Forum:

Philip Krim is one of five co-founders of Casper, which launched on April 22, 2014.

“We set out at first to think about how we can make buying a mattress better and easier, and the five of us had different perspectives around the industry.”

Krim learned about mattresses from an e-commerce company he started while he was a student at the University of Texas.

“What I had learned there was the consumer experience in stores was one of the worst experiences out there, period. Worse than buying a used car, worse than pretty much any other consumer product. And yet buying a mattress is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. You’re spending a third of your life on your mattress and it influences the other two-thirds of your life. And some of my other co-founders had that perspective as well.”

“In 2013 there was new research coming out every week about how sleep really does impact your health, your happiness, your productivity, your creativity. And so whether you’re a professional athlete, or a fireman, or a stay-at-home mom, getting a great night of sleep is critically important to doing your job well and being happy and being creative. We saw the brands in the space and there was nothing out there that connected with us as consumers.”

“We found there was no global sleep brand out that really stood for something more, that connected with consumers, more deep about sleep. When we did our focus groups, we found maybe they would recall their brand, but they had not idea the model, and that’s very much the industry dynamics,” which Krim called the industry “consolidated” and “opaque,” where consumers don’t have transparency around pricing, promotion, product. And they do this so they can drive high margins and overall that resulted in a very poor consumer experience.

“We want to build the world’s first global sleep brand. We think sleep is quickly becoming a third pillar of wellness. The first pillar is wellness and having an active lifestyle and second is eating quality food. And that’s becoming more top of mind with consumers who are investing in getting a better night’s sleep. And we want to be the brand that is top of mind and we want to do that on a global basis.”

“We are in the first innings of this playing out and building our business to be the brand that helps catalyze that movement. And we’re doing that on a global basis, in Canada, Europe, and the U.S. and we will continue to expand development and engineering and creating our own products that we think are best-in-class and do solve some fundamental needs for getting a great night of sleep. We have a full suite of products beyond mattress; we now design our pillows, sheets, etc. And we want to be that first end-to-end branded company for helping people getting a better night of sleep.”

Links to news stories about Casper’s expansion: