A desperate mattress retailer

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

4 June 2018

How desperate can a mattress retailer be? Check this out.

You wanna talk desperation? Check this out. Mattress retailer Raymour & Flanigan partners with…Papa John’s to sell more mattresses.

Now, check out the logic. Raymour is a brick and mortar mattress retailer, competing against online retailers for relevancy. So, its deal is that you get a free Papa John’s pizza every month for a year. Why? Because “mattresses shouldn’t come in a box. Pizzas do.”

“Partnering with Papa Johns tells audiences that your mattresses aren’t worth much. Because it has to throw in a free pizza to get you to buy one.”

The desperation runs so thick both brands are gonna choke on it. Mattress retailers are struggling, but not just because of online. Just drive down any city’s busiest roads and you find three, four or even five mattress retailers lining the road. How’s that helping anybody? Aren’t they competitors too?

Here in Greensboro, NC, I swear there’s a mattress retailer every block on Battleground Avenue. Hell, there’s a building going up replacing an old IHOP that looks suspiciously like another mattress store.

Desperation? You bet.

A mattress retailer like Raymour needs different thinking

And how about Papa John’s? Sales are declining at a rapid pace for the pizza chain. A 5.3% decline in same-store sales last quarter continues the trend. Its share price drops 31% over the last year. Founder John Schnatter, never a very likable presence anyway, was ousted months ago.

mattress retailerSo what’s new CEO Steve Richie doing? Promoting a $12.99 family meal in the continuing losing effort to battle on price. Oh, and partnering with a mattress retailer.

Wow. What a winning strategy.

Both Raymour and Papa John’s are simply ignoring the obvious issue. Neither brand creates preference because they don’t mean anything beyond mattress retailer and cheap pizza.

In Raymour’s case, positioning against online is a losing game. Its strategy is persuading you to try out a mattress before buying. Really? It’s a mattress! And there are five other mattress retailers down the street!

Instead, Raymour must figure out what its brand should mean that makes consumers covet the brand, not the process. And partnering with Papa Johns tells audiences that your mattresses aren’t worth much. Because it has to throw in a free pizza to get you to buy one.

See more posts in the following related categories: retail branding

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