The bankruptcy filing today by the largest bedding retailer in the country, Mattress Firm, was both very much expected and only the opening move in what promises to be a lot of twists and turn on its way back to a sound business strategy.
For company executives, shareholders, employees, industry suppliers and probably more than a few shoppers, this will no doubt mean a lot of sleepless nights before it’s all resolved.
The company said it is closing 700 of its 3,500 stores over the next two months, including about 200 almost immediately. It has arranged for all of the requisite interim financing and is talking about coming out of all of this better, if not necessarily bigger, when everything is done.
And although that is quite possible, it’s by no means a certainty. While this is not a Toys “R” Us total meltdown, Mattress Firm is dealing with a whole slew of problems that it needs to resolve before we’re talking about its successful resurrection.
• Even after the closings, it will still have 2,800 retail locations, the result of a seemingly never-ending expansionary roll-up that saw it buy competitors Sleepy’s, Sleep Train and others. This created a physical footprint with extensive overlap and more than its fair share of rotten real estate. Don’t be surprised if that 700 number gets bigger somewhere along the…