Needless to say, the online mattress business has exploded in recent months with competing start-ups popping up at an almost furious rate. The trend has also been embraced by a number of Canadian entrepreneurs, some with experience in the mattress business and some without.Among them are Endy Sleep, Naked Mattress and Sleep Envie, all headquartered in Toronto. Joining them is Novosbed, which calls Edmonton home and then there’s BC's Haven Mattress with manufacturing located in New Brunswick.
It's also important to note that are a number of traditional brick-and-mortar furniture and mattress retailers selling mattresses to consumers using an e-commerce platform. Among these are Sears Canada, Leon’s, The Brick, Brault & Martineau and Mattress Mart. Sleep Country Canada, this country’s biggest mattress retailer is expected to go live with its e-commerce platform sometime in the first half of 2017.
Interestingly enough, HGO recently reported – contrary to the seemingly powerful online shopping trend – that e-commerce only accounted for 2.2% of all retail sales in this country in 2014. While statistics were for 2015 weren’t available at press time, Statistics Canada also reported e-commerce accounted for just 1.8% of sales by furniture and home furnishings stores that year.
It is important to note Statistics Canada divides the retail community into two groups: ‘location-based retail’ or ‘brick and mortar’ stores; and, ‘non-store retailers’ which includes ‘pure play’ e-commerce merchants such as Novosbed and The Naked Mattress as well as other catalogue and mail order vendors. In its most recent report, the agency said ‘non-store retailers’ had sales of $7.51 billion in the trailing 12 months ending February 2017. Their sales are currently growing at a rate that is about 10 times higher than location-based retail.
Selling online has also become a growth driver for many brick-and-mortar stores, both inside and outside of the furniture and mattress segment. For the first nine months of 2016, Canadian location-based retailers had e-commerce sales of $2.95 billion. So with e-commerce doing well, it makes sense that more business owners are taking the plunge.