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Bed in a Box: The Good, The Bad and The Opportunity

Are Mark and Mark breaking up?

Do you prefer boxed wine or boxed beds?

No, it’s not a trick question because we hear both are making a comeback.

On today’s episode, Quinn and Kinsley are chatting industry disruptor: Bed in a Box, or more informally, mattresses in a box. King size behemoths compressed to postage size boxes and shipped to eager consumers. They discuss:

the benefits,

the economics,

how other major players are responding,

how far compression technology can go, and

and answer the elephant in the room, are shippable mattresses the future of the industry?

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Mark Quinn 

You know is it mattress in a box is a bed in the box. I don’t know which one it is but I know this there’s a lot of conversation around it right now. What are you doing with it? Are you making beds in the box? are you storing them in bathrooms are your stores. We’re going to talk all about it in 60 seconds.

Mark Kinsley 

headlines up on fam dot news right now Columbus mattress wholesale names a new CEO and I love this when omni channel optimism beds Express succeeds with our E commerce we get to hear from Austin all those articles up on fam dot news and of course the brand new podcast the fam Marketing Show with its own newsletter shake your marketing money maker every Friday. You don’t want to miss that so be sure you’re subscribed at fam dot news and shoot us a text and we’ll keep you plugged in and what’s up Quinn you know

Mark Quinn 

a lot of Kinsley but you know what is most important two things Austin bond loved hearing his name can’t wait to read that. Number two very fired up for this marketing podcast. I think the concept is awesome. I think you are a average mediocre talent on air. Adrian is going to make you look brilliant. That’s what I think.

Mark Kinsley 

Hey, it’s all about

Mark Quinn 

you know that I’m teasing. I think Adrian is going to be awesome for you. You guys are gonna crush it. I’m teasing.

Mark Kinsley 

Quinn, I’m not above getting my picture taken with a celebrity. Just so I can look cool because I’m with a celebrity. Okay. And that’s, that’s what happens when I’m on screen with you and with Adrian, and I’m okay with it.

Mark Quinn 

Yeah, me so much, Adrian, I think you know, problem is everyone’s gonna love Adrian, more than they love watch. Love us, which I think is probably already happened. And so we both may be out of a job. But just like if you’re gonna replace me with another mark, I just like to meet them first and make sure I have some sign off on that. That’s all

Mark Kinsley 

Yeah, I think I think you’re gonna drop the gloves right then and there. While you’re speaking with the

Mark Quinn 

market, you can’t bring a bill in and it’s those markets like that doesn’t work. So I’ve tried to limit your options. That’s what’s happened. But anyway, it’s great to see you my friend. Hey, bet in the box. So Right. So have you have you noticed a shift Mr. Kinsley, of bed in the box versus mattress in the box? It used to be VIB. Everything was bab. Now I’m starting to see MIB. I’m like it might be what does that that’s mattress in a box and like wait a minute, who officially changed it from VIB to MIB. But anyway, that’s what’s happening. So

Mark Kinsley 

Well, I think that I know a little bit about the backstory of this, tell me a bed in the box is a registered trademark to better box. That’s true. And so if you’re using that on your site, or in your advertising, that could be trademark infringement. Because Bed In A Box is actually a brand name. And so a lot of people move to mattress in a box or box beds. Yeah, so I’ve seen all the acronyms and and heard all the different variations on it. And it’s interesting, because there’s been such a dramatic shift to manufacturing and shipping mattresses and warehousing mattresses in this type of this type of environment, I guess. Whereas in the past, you know, mattresses were made, they were bagged up, they were flat packed, and you know, off they went. Now we have compression technology, through amazing mattress machinery that puts them down in this little burrito box. And you know, companies are getting smaller and smaller. I remember talking with Mark de Chardin from C three, and over at the ISP Expo, and they had this box that I it was pretty easy to pick up. Now if it would have actually had a king size mattress in it, it would have been heavy. But it was about I mean, it was about half the size or so of the regular boxes that they were putting beds into. And so this as this technology evolves, it really starts to make you wonder, you know what’s going to happen in the space? And how are the logistics going to really change the manufacturing process permanently because of the logistical advantages?

Mark Quinn 

Did you hear about the elite comfort solutions that are in the box you can put it in a backpack and then you take it out and then you add water and it grows like those sponges in your bathtub?

Mark Kinsley 

You’re making stuff up but I like it.

Mark Quinn 

How do you know Can you can you just is it the look on my face? I thought I sold that Alright, so that’s not true. Be cool if it was though

Mark Kinsley 

Oh Put in a glass of water like one of those little superhero pills relative to the next day, come back and it grows in there. Holy

Mark Quinn 

crap. I got a bed in my in my room now that’s incredible. Now, you know, so mark the cash. I mean, so we’ve all been around, right? I remember cash Ed, I can’t think of his last name at the minute at the moment. I’m so sorry. I used to be with Restonic actually. Anyway, so he was doing some stuff with China. This is I’m telling you 15 years ago, and this was before mattress in a box was big. And then everyone was like, oh, no, that’s not going to work. It’s not going to recover. And then people were like, oh, but it is and we had to find fabrics that would recover better. And then the evolution and then you had Michael Fuchs, he was putting it in Costco and Sam’s and then he saw it started seeing stuff on shop television, and then you move forward. And now the direct to consumer stuff and bedding the Bucks guy, I think the evolution of the bed in the box, or the mattress in a box has come so far. And here we are in like, I think there’s a lot of questions around. Okay, so the box size, it’s one thing, right? So that’s a big thing going forward to innovation could happen there. And I think people are working on it to your point. But the other one is like so what’s the play, so it cost more mark to make a bed and roll pack it in, put it into a box because you have the roll pack process, it slows down production. And then you have a box that you have to pay for to put it in, right. So it’s not cheaper. But it could be cost effective for you, depending on your business model, right. So if you’re loading up a trailer, and you can get, you know, 50 to 100% more product on a 53 foot trailer, that’s a huge benefit. If you can do it any warehouse if you own this space in your like, there’s a warehousing space, there’s delivery truck space, if you’ve got a store, there’s back of the room space, what’s your strategy going to be? Do you have a fixture in your store? Like how are you selling bed in the box? What’s the boy was strategy, buy online pick up in store? Like there’s so many things? And then what are the product limitations? Right? So how thick of a bed? Do you really want to put in a box? What are the price limitations or sensitivities? How high can you go selling a mattress in a box? What’s recovery time? And we’re gonna start having born on dates mark for mattresses in a box. So like if you it’s like the beer nowadays, right? How smart with a well, it was manufactured a month ago like back in my day where like a month like they give me something a year old. I’ll still drink that beer, right? So Drink, drink by dates? Are we going to have sleep by dates on mattress? Is it about? There’s so many questions, but I have good news, we’re going to have all the answers in the very near future. Where’s your head? Does it spin out like mine? Like all these questions that don’t have answers? Or if they do you ask five different people the same exact question you get five different answers Go. Just go out on that. Go ahead just

Mark Kinsley 

kind of read my faces that surely that’s not my enduring sunburn that refuses to go away?

Mark Quinn 

What was from having to listen to me rant for like it last two minutes. But anyway,

Mark Kinsley 

you You seem to have a lot of questions about this world, I almost just see it as the evolution of of the way products are going to be developed, shipped, and unloaded into consumers home. You know, I remember looking at data years ago that, you know, by the year 2026, and a half of all units were going to be roll packed? Well, we hit that early, you know, I think I think we’re probably there in terms of the number of units I’m not talking about being sold online, I’m just saying that units that actually get rolled. And so if you’re doing volume at the lower end, it makes a lot more sense to roll roll these beds. So it’s just it’s almost like a foregone conclusion to me, I don’t have, I think as many questions about where that world shakes out, I think it continues to trend in that direction, I think, you know, at the medium and lower price points, you’re gonna have, you know, those units, it’s almost like going to become a mandatory for them to be, you know, role packed in many cases. Whereas, you know, at the affordable luxury to luxury price points, I think there’s probably a little bit of a scepticism on the part of the consumer about you know, is that actually going to hold up you know, if you’re going to 1617 inch bed inside of one of these roll pack machines, I think a lot of them with with good materials that you would put into a bigger profile mattress like that are going to struggle to actually compress and fold and roll and stay rolled and recover properly and not have border panels with wrinkling issues and all that. But yeah, I mean, I think it really comes down to what part of the market you’re gonna play in. And you know, I’ve seen a lot of people you know, even even our customers are like, Hey, can you make a roll pack, you know, England or mattress and so we did it. And that was just because some some of the independence we have. They operate with smaller footprints, they have smaller warehouse space, they had people wanting to cash and carry from their store they wanted to do contactless delivery during COVID. And you can’t leave a mattress that’s, you know, fully inflated on somebody’s front porch and just walk away. So there’s so many logistical advantages to moving into programmes like this. And then of course, you know, the consumer, you know, sees it online, buys it online and gets it to their house. And if you have a good experience with that, they’re cool with it, you know, you did some research, and we remember, we looked at the research about people online 81%, were happy with having bought online, and didn’t plan to do anything differently in the future, which is a big number one, we saw that more than half of people that bought at a Sleep Shop, or a furniture store, were saying, hey, next time, you know, it’s likely that I might actually just, you know, skip that process. So I think that’s where having your hooks in the water, and as many places as possible, really becomes a good piece of your strategies, meeting the consumer where they are.

Mark Quinn 

Yeah, so So where do you think it goes? Mark? Do you think like bed in the box in terms of Oh, delivery system, right? So do you think someone walks into a furniture store, and they see a mattress flat on a bed frame in a store, and then they buy that bed, they test that bed and then it gets shipped to their home? Guy brings it in in a box in unboxes? it in? In puts it out? Is that a reasonable experience for the consumer? Or when they come into your store? You’re like, Hey, listen, here’s the bed. And by the way, just so you know, like how how, how much of the business do you think at brick and mortar specifically do you think is going to be eventually is every bed on a floor going to be bed in the box mattress in a box at some point?

Mark Kinsley 

I mean, every bed I think might be a bit of a stretch in my mind, just because of the kind of the reasons I described. I think you’re gonna get compression technology on the manufacturing side that could handle these monster mattresses. But but one of the other constraints just comes on the logistics side of things, in terms of paying the overages to UPS and FedEx to be above the 150 pound weight limit or the 130 total box inches. So once you get beyond that, you’re going to have to start paying heavier fees. Whereas it’s going to be a much more cost efficient, I think to to you know, have that as a regular mattress and ship it out of warehouse, make sure it’s set up properly, make sure there’s no product quality and damage issues, from shipping it to the consumers house and making sure that somebody has from a delivery team eyes on that. It’s just a different little bit of an experience. And if you think back to the history of the industry, it’s one of the reasons that we’ve been so insulated for so long. And so resistant to major disruption was the regional nature of making and manufacturing and delivering mattresses. It’s a heavy product. You know, mom and dad, were either strapping it to the top of the station waggon or you talk to guys like James Perez years ago, who were walking around door to door and his dad had his flatbed pickup truck out front, stacked high with mattresses and saying we’ve got one for you right here right now. So we’ve been insulated for a long time. And this definitely has been one of the most probably the most disruptive thing to happen to this industry. while also being you know something great for people that want to get their mattresses quickly. So depending on your operation, gosh, you know, look at look at Walmart, you know, I’m right here in Bentonville, Arkansas, Walmart’s in my backyard if you go over to store one 100, you know they built on, but it wasn’t because they needed more shopping space for consumers they built on because they needed to turn that store into a bigger warehouse. And they’ve got a drone flying over my house every day, carrying boxes all around. Now I say that just to kind of reinforce this idea that store as warehouse as a concept, I think is really interesting. Now furniture, business, bulky items, the efficiency of having warehouse, things like that. But if your sleeve shop and you could turn it into one footprint, you could do Cash and Carry. There’s a lot of there’s a lot to be said for putting it in the back of the Tercel versus having you know, Jim and Andy loaded up in the truck and be one of 20 deliveries today. You’re out the door. You save that delivery cost.

Mark Quinn 

Yeah, no doubt. And and I think so building on what you just said, I think what’s going to drive it. Kinsley is costs considerations. Right? So it’s efficiency. So it’s the cost to Kubota. Truck. It’s delivery, it’s surcharges on fuel. It’s containers coming from foreign countries. It’s back rooms. It’s, hey, if we can consolidate warehouses and we can max out our cube, it’s technology on the different types of phones because now certain people will tell you that it’s got to be this distance density to be in a box. It’s got to be This density to be in the box. So I think it has technology and the raw materials improve. And we get, you know, we better understand how to manufacture it the right way. I think there’s still some learning in that. If you ask people that question like, what’s the shelf life of a mattress in a box? They’re like, that’s one of those questions, you get, like five answers when you ask five people. And so I’m always like, what’s the testing? What’s the data saying? So I think costs are going to drive a lot of it. And then I think the consumer is, in a sense, right? Like when all this first started, you know, a mattress in a box, like, I’ll never forget, like doing qualitative research when I was back at legget. And I had people lay down on a foam bed, and they in this is back when timber was out, and they were crushing it. And it still are, of course, but it was early for timber, and they laid on it, and they felt memory foam. And they I immediately identified that with a TempurPedic. And then I said, Would it surprise you to know that mattress came out of that box, I would spin them around in another chair, and they saw the box? And they’re like, no freakin way. Is it possible that that came out of that. But so but now fast forward? I think people like like, that idea is, there’s been so much business being done, I think the concept is more accepted. Therefore, price sensitivity, I think people would tell you why you don’t want to go much over $1,500 for a mattress in a box, because consumers don’t want it necessarily a really nice bit delivered in a frickin box. That’s not the experience we’re after. But I wonder now that it’s becoming so common for beds to be sold that way does that even move north. So two things to react to cost will drive the concept. And consumers acceptance, given the amount of time in the market will allow people to push matches is any box in a higher price point thoughts on those, those things,

Mark Kinsley 

those two things actually overlap in my mind. Because if you can push the cost, you know, let’s call it the ticket. So if you could push the ticket higher, for a mattress in a box, you can go north of 1500, you can start getting up into 2000 luxury price points, if the consumer is going to accept that the economics of selling them that product in a box are probably going to be more beneficial to the manufacturer or the retailer. So yes, if you can push those numbers north of 1500 $2,000, and the consumer accepts it, then I think people would absolutely people companies would absolutely go in that direction. Because of the cost savings now that Britain kind of begs the question of, okay, let’s do a purist. Let’s do a purist Excel spreadsheet on in its purest form. If you’re going to manufacture a mattress in a box and get it to somebody, what really are the all in costs, and in its purest form of just doing, let’s call it a regular mattress and giving it to the retailer and the holding costs and delivery costs and all that the same product, you can put them both in boxes, which one is going to be cheaper to deliver, I mean, guessing here, but I’m guessing it’s going to be now that that there’s another layer to that now, is the retailer selling it through their website, or is the manufacturer of the mattress, selling it through one of the brands that they own in a DTC website capacity. So if it’s the manufacturer, selling one of their brands, online, with the cost to acquire customer being so high, and one time we heard it was $250, just to get, you know, a customer to come to your mattress website and buy, like what are those all in costs versus all in cost of kind of going regular through retail with a regular, let’s call it a mattress that’s just, you know, uncompressed? I don’t know that cost stack. But you’re right, the economics of that conversation are going to drive the market because we’re going to market to the consumers in such a way that get them to adopt whichever direction we want that to go. And it seems that we’ve been very successful at that over the years, because it is a infrequent purchase. When people come back from the market, they start paying attention. They’re like, oh, a lot has changed. Surely it’s changed. It’s been 10 years since I bought a bed or hopefully seven.

Mark Quinn 

You knew Yes, I think it is going to change in Listen, that stat you talked about earlier, where 80% of people or whatever that was our Okay, buying online that had a good experience. Aren’t they already kind of proving the concept out right, so the mattress centred box concept, high degree of satisfaction, I don’t think the consumer is as concerned about it as it used to be. I would like to see the data. Mr. Kinsley, that shows us where the price sensitivity is. And since we’re totally in the research field these days, maybe we should do that right. What is the price sensitivity to a mattress under bucks? Can you put a $3,000 mattress in a box? Is the customer going to be okay with that, as long as it recovers? Well, I’m interested in that answer.

Mark Kinsley 

I’ve seen data around it. And, look, I mean, that’s not where the volume is done. So, you know, whenever you start talking about higher price points, you’re thinking margin dollars at that point, and then it’s just it’s not where that’s not where the volume play is. So our customers sensitive to it at that price point. Well, number one, you’re talking about, I mean, $2,000. Plus, you’re talking about, like, 22 ish percent of buyers, is what I would guess, you know, based on that’s changed over the years, but I’ve seen some data data that’s not terribly old. So it’s called One in five buyers are coming in those luxury price points. So your your data set is going to be quite a bit smaller. But it makes you wonder, like, if they’re comparing two products, and they’ve got one that’s role packed, and one that’s not Do they even care like? Or if it’s the same product, and one comes not compressed, and one comes compressed? Are they even gonna care? Or heck are they even gonna know? I mean, the retailer, the manufacturer, or the brand, or the delivery guys, or whoever could pop that thing, let it inflate and delivered at the last minute, you know, do it in the back of the truck? I don’t I don’t know if anybody cares, as long as the products Good.

Mark Quinn 

Well, okay, so play the game, right? I just sold you a $4,000 mattress, and you’re like, okay, cool, I’m gonna have it, it’s gonna get delivered Wednesday, Wednesday comes you open the door, and they bring in this box, they bring it into your room, I suppose part of this is the presentation like they like warn you, okay, this is just so you know, it’s really cool to be there when your bag gets delivered. Because we’re going to open it, you’re gonna get to see it, like, you know, maybe there’s a way to sell it as a cool thing, right. But I’m kind of with you, I don’t know that I care. As long as when I put it on my bed, it looks and feels like it did in the showroom. That’s probably where my head would be. And I think also, if it had coils in it that need to explain to me why the coils weren’t damaged. Right? If it’s rolled back, they’d be like, maybe like smashed all those like that would probably concern me that maybe in the higher band, price band, maybe more of that’s about the white glove experience where they want someone to come in and lay it out and set up all the stuff. And maybe it’s more about that and mattress in a box doesn’t really lend itself to that as much.

Mark Kinsley 

I’m interested in why you’re interested in this now. Because we’ve had these we’ve talked about this trend since Gosh, 2012. So here it is a decade down the road. And we’re revisiting this conversation and you have a lot of questions about okay, take me into your head. Why now? Yeah,

Mark Quinn 

well, because, you know, now that now that I’m a merchant, right, so I think about this stuff a bit differently. And when you’re asking questions to people, and you get different answers, like, like, for different places you go, it just makes you wonder like, okay, so everyone’s kind of got different thoughts about that. So that was a spike. Another one was, I’m with a guy who I’ve been friends with my family has been friends with for a long time, and he manufactures a lot of stuff inside the industry. And he was telling me about an item, I can’t get into what it is, but like it’s out in the market today. And he can get instead of 500 of them on a truck, he can get three times that many because of a new way he you know, configured the the engineer the product. And I’m like, That’s massive. That’s a massive difference. Right? In so I just got to thinking about now more than ever, right? So maybe that’s why it’s also peaking, like cube on a truck space in a backroom, efficiencies, everybody is going to be turning over every rock and every part of their company. And I think that this is maybe one of those things where people might see an opportunity. And I’m just curious where everyone else’s head is and I think that people listening to this hopefully they’re going yeah, you know what I agree like, there’s a lot of questions I’m not even sure about so be kind of cool if we had the answers.

Mark Kinsley 

And if you have the answers, and you have some data you want to share, drop us a note I mean you can you hop over to fam dot news and shoot us a text and you know, we’ll give you our email addresses. We’re always interested in chewing on some of that data. So maybe you do have some of the answers to these questions around mattress in a box or box beds or however you want to put it these days.

Mark Quinn 

What you know and we’re going to be doing a piece on this market we talked about it I think you and I are lined up on this but be really cool to put together a real nice Expo ze on it really let’s talk to phones suppliers and let’s hear what they think about you know, the life of a mattress in a box and what they think the open by date should be. Let’s talk to tip suppliers. Let’s go to call bud and say Hey, Jeff, Hey, everybody, Christina like what are the Uh, things that like you guys think about and worry about as it relates to the fabrics, let’s go to the Bucks suppliers let’s let’s literally pull the string out and get everyone kind of talking about if you’re one of those people or have any insights into it, you’re a betting manufacturing, you’ve run all these steps. We’d love to hear from you.

Mark Kinsley 

Quinn’s merchant now. Glenn is a merchant now and he’s got different questions, working on different problems and opportunities. Okay, help us out. Help me help him when

Mark Quinn 

I’m interested in all of it for all of us as a team. Now, if you know it all, and you have all the answers, by all means, please share them with us. And we’ll, we’ll publish it for you has that.

Mark Kinsley 

I like that. Hey, and in the meantime, head over to fam dot news. Make sure you’re tapped in. And subscribe. There’s a big green button right up the top right says Subscribe. So make sure you’re signed up. And as we publish the piece that Quinn’s talking about this definitive guide that’s hopefully going to answer all of Cohen’s questions, and maybe all of yours, and at least be a.on The timeline for the evolution of mattress in a box, then make sure you subscribe. And Quinn, what else? Subscribe to the fam Marketing Show, subscribe to our podcast,

Mark Quinn 

the film Marketing Show and the podcast. And if you’re listening to this, we always try to sign off this way. We appreciate you guys have a lot of love for this audience. Appreciate all of that. And listen, this is a campfire. We say it all the time. Please share it with friends with people, they just came to work for you. And let them know what we’re doing here. They can scroll through the podcast feed pick an episode that’s relevant to them. Share some of the other podcasts we have with some of the incredible talent under the podcast section of fam dot news. And let’s be part of the fan be part of this community and let’s help us help each other get better and evolve into the next phase. You got a big face What was that about?

Mark Kinsley 

And as we try to connect with each other more and more, let’s connect in Vegas. So we’re going to be at summer market and coming up the after. It will send out an official invite but it’s going to be the afternoon of Sunday and market come to the England or showroom and we are going to do something special meaning when you’re going to be there it’s a fam meet up. Okay, so plan on it for Sunday afternoon at market, fam meet up and we’ll take the online offline and we’ll get some high fives about that. Let’s go!

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