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Published: Friday, 12/20/2013 - Updated: 9 months ago

Mattress Firm to open store next to Art Van

Owner seeks to create destination location

BY TYREL LINKHORN
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Construction is under way on Mattress Firm’s large, new store right next to Art Van Furniture in Springfield Township, which the company hopes to have open by Memorial Day. Construction is under way on Mattress Firm’s large, new store right next to Art Van Furniture in Springfield Township, which the company hopes to have open by Memorial Day.
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Less than six months after Art Van Furniture opened its Springfield Township superstore, construction is under way right next door for a competitor’s specialty bedding shop.

“You want to be where the retail is ground zero,” said George Dudek, the local franchise owner of Mattress Firm.

Mr. Dudek operates five Mattress Firm stores in the greater Toledo area. He has 12 stores total, including locations in Defiance, Findlay, and Mansfield. He hopes to have the new store open by Memorial Day.

Mattress Firm has a store in the nearby Springfield Commons shopping center, but Mr. Dudek said he needed more warehouse space in Toledo and wanted to better compete with the other stores in the area. In addition to Art Van, a Furniture Row is also nearby.

“Us moving there is going to be good for us, and it’s going to be good for Art Van, and it’s actually going to be good for Furniture Row,” Mr. Dudek said. “Is this a defensive move or an offensive move? It’s kind of neither. It’s like the Central Avenue Strip [for automobiles] if we can create a destination so that people can shop conveniently.”

The Mattress Firm shop in Springfield Commons will stay open, though it eventually could be rebranded under one of Mattress Firms’ other banners. Mr. Dudek said research from Mattress Firm’s corporate marketing department has shown the stores will attract different types of customers.

And while he said the decision to open a store there wasn’t motivated 100 percent by the new competition, Mr. Dudek said Art Van is a game-changer for Toledo.

“Other local retailers are concerned with Art Van’s. We welcome it. Good competition makes us better,” he said.

Mattress Firm Holding Corp. is a publicly traded company based in Houston with more than 1,300 stores across 31 states. The company reported net sales of more than $1 billion last year.

With a showroom of about 12,000 square feet, the new Mattress Firm store in Springfield Township will be considerably larger than the corporate average and will be Mr. Dudek’s largest store. In addition to the showroom, the location will have 7,000 square feet of warehouse space.

Officials say as the number of mattress choices has increased, it has become more difficult to keep enough models on hand to live up to their same-day-delivery promise. The new warehouse should help.

Mr. Dudek said the growing number of specialty mattresses has been a major change in the industry. When he opened his first Mattress Firm 20-some years ago, specialty bedding was nearly nonexistent. Today, with memory foam and adjustable beds, it makes up 30 to 40 percent of his business.

“When we first opened, an $800 to $900 mattress set was a lot of money. You can spend $8,000 to $9,000 on the best that’s out there at this point,” he said.

There are even beds that can detect someone snoring, carefully adjusting themselves to rise the sleeper’s head until he or she stops sawing logs, and gently lowers his or her head back down.

“Bedding doesn’t exactly sound like an exciting business, but it has changed so much,” Mr. Dudek said.

The new store represents a $3 million investment.

Bruce Kearns, the project’s developer, said it is another example of growth in the Toledo market.

“From the real-estate standpoint, there is growth going on,” he said. “There’s retail growth going on in northwest Ohio, the Target Center down [Monroe Street]. Art Van coming in. This building.”

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at tlinkhorn@theblade.com or 419-724-6134.



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