Casper Business Insider/Mary Hanbury
Casper’s first store opened in New York in February.
  • Casper, the online mattress startup, announced this week that it is opening 200 stores in the United States.
  • Meanwhile,Mattress Firm is considering filing for bankruptcy as it seeks a way to close some of its 3,000 locations that are losing money.
  • Casper CEO Philip Krim said that store closures and bankruptcies do not signal the death of retail but rather the death of “poor retail,” as stores that fail to provide an exciting shopping experience will suffer in the future.
  • A commercial real estate crisis is enabling Casper to win cheaper rents and favorable leases.

When Casper launched in 2014, it had one simple objective: to take the hassle out of shopping for a mattress at a store. To do so, it enabled customers to buy a mattress online, have it shipped to their home, test it for 100 days, and then return it if they didn’t like it. A store played no part in the service.

Fast forward four years, and after testing the waters in brick-and-mortar retail with a collection of pop-ups around the United States, it opened its first store in New York City in February. Now, 200 more will join it.

“It’s definitely counter-intuitive, but I think it almost puts as a bit of a contrarian, which we are happy to be,” Casper…