Online mattress brand Casper has plans to open a fleet of physical stores, according to help wanted ads placed on its website. The two-year-old company has plans to sell its foam mattresses — which are currently delivered tightly folded in a box and inflate on their own when opened — in other stores, and to even get a few hotels to buy its products, according to the ads. No timetable for the retail store rollout could be learned.
Total Retail's Take: Casper is following what's become an increasingly popular route for digital-first startups — online-only to start before opening their own brick-and-mortar stores. Other brands like Warby Parker, Bonobos, Birchbox and even Amazon.com have made the transition from e-commerce to physical retail. In today's omnichannel world where consumers are connected at all times (thanks to smartphones), being able to interact with consumers via multiple touchpoints has proven to be an advantage, especially for brands that sell a product line that lends itself to being touched and felt before being purchased — like mattresses. Casper isn't going into the physical retail business blindly; the startup has tested its brick-and-mortar strategy with a series of six pop-up stores in Los Angeles, London and, most recently, New York City.