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From Home Furnishing Business

Matt Firm Sales Fall 16% Amid Store Closings, Operational Changes

Sales at Mattress Firm fell 16% to $638 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31, parent company Steinhoff International reported this week, saying the mattress retailer’s business was disrupted by a raft of operational changes and competition from online mattress players.

The Steinhoff report said the impact of the operational changes, which included converting Sleepy’s and Sleep Train stores into Mattress Firm locations and replacing Tempur Sealy International as its principal vendor, would be short term.

However, the report said average unit selling prices fell during the quarter, and like-for-like sales, a retail measurement similar to same-store sales, were down 10%.

Like-for-like unit sales were down 3%, Steinhoff said.

During the quarter, 99 stores were closed and eight were opened. Steinhoff said about 175 more stores will be closed before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, and about 75 will be opened. The closures will shrink the chain to about 3,300 stores by the end of the year.

In addition to re-branding the Sleepy’s and Sleep Train stores it purchased prior to be acquired by Steinhoff, Mattress Firm also has reorganized its operations into five separate geographic areas, allowing divisional leadership to implement regional strategies to better respond to conditions in their markets, the company said.

And since replacing Tempur Sealy last spring with products from Serta Simmons Bedding, the report said Mattress Firm management has identified “gaps in the product range that are being urgently addressed.”

The report only covered sales for Mattress Firm and other Steinhoff subsidiaries. The parent company didn’t release complete financial results for the quarter, and has yet to release results for the fiscal year that ended last Sept. 30 due to an accounting scandal that led to the resignations of Steinhoff’s president and chairman. Steinhoff has said it may also have to restate its earnings for the two previous fiscal years.

Steinhoff’s only other U.S. holding is an 80% stake in Sherwood Bedding, a Florida-based mattress manufacturer.

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