retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Bloomberg reports that Amazon is getting into the mattress business, offering an Amazon Basics foam mattress starting at $130 … a move that ratchets up the competitive landscape in this suddenly restless category, and reflects what is happening in so many segments.

Amazon, in fact, is just the latest to this party, following where a number of other disruptors already have gone. For years, you had your traditional mattress companies that sold their mattresses out of traditional stores. Then you had buy-by-phone and online shopping options for traditional mattresses. Then you had mattress-in-a-box companies like Casper and Tuft & Needle that offered a higher end, untraditional shopping and delivery experience with generous guarantees that took the sting out of not stretching out on the mattresses before buying them.

And then … Target invested $75 million in Casper … Walmart launched its own mattress line, and Tuft & Needle was just absorbed by/merged with Serta Simmons Bedding.

The Bloomberg story notes that Amazon’s private label entry was spotted “by TJI Research, which monitors the e-commerce giant’s growing list of more than 120 private label products, including kitchen goods, batteries, clothing and electronics accessories. Amazon’s furniture brands already included bed frames and bedding, but this is the first Amazon-branded mattress, according to TJI. It’s the latest example of the company selling a product that will compete with merchants and retail partners on the site.”

The Eye-Opening reality is this. If your business has not been upended by competition, it will be. Soon.

So don’t get caught napping.
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