Tediber, the first French online brand of mattresses, is one of the laureates of the 2016 Grand Prize for the Young Retail Entrepreneurs, a competition organised by Unibail-Rodamco to urge on innovation in retail and entrepreneurship. Tediber won the Boutique.com Prize, rewarding an e-commerce concept eligible for a development in physical retail in the view of a multi-channel strategy. Thus, during the second semester of 2017, the startup will showcase its mattresses in Unibail-Rodamco shopping centres.
On Internet, pillow fights gave way to mattress fights. There is a rising number of startups selling a product people spend a huge part of their lives on. Indeed, the global market for bedding is rather attractive. Last year, it represented €1.3 bn, bed bases included, with a progression of +5.5% according to the Ipea.
The trend started in the United States, in 2012, when Tuft & Needle was created. In France, Tediber was the first to go for it, in November 2015. It was joined by other brands, such as Ilobed (French) or Eve (British). The latest newcomer, Simba, is also British. And the American Casper, already active in other parts of Europe, is to launch on the French market in Q2.
“The growth potential is huge”, Julien Sylvain, founder of Tediber, explains. During its first year of activity, the brand sold around 10,000 pieces for €5 million and its goal is to reach €25 million in 2017, 30% of which in Spain and Italy. “People are more and more aware that sleeping is important for their health”, James Cox, CEO and cofounder of Simba, adds. This year, the brand aims to sell 150,000 mattresses in Europe, Canada and the Middle East, 25.000 of which in France, for about £40 million (€47 million).
1. Reassuring consumers
New generation mattresses are reinventing the codes. Online companies only offer a unique model, in different sizes, with prices ranging from €550 and €700 for a 140 x 190 cm format. “In stores, consumers are overwhelmed by choice and promotions. We make their lives easier” James Cox explains. Products are delivered rolled up in easy-to-carry boxes. They have a 10-year guarantee, and people are able to test them for 100 days and get reimbursed if they don’t suit them. “This strengthens confidence among our clients” Julien Sylvain claims. Brands boast a 4 to 6% return rate. For customers willing to test the product before anyway, Tediber is opening a showroom from mid-March in its new Parisian premises. During the second semester, the brand will organise a “road show” in Unibail-Rodamco shopping centres. In the United Kingdom, Simba sells its mattresses in John Lewis department stores; they will also be available in a French distributor.
2. Finding its marketing territory
Each brand has its own territory. Ilobed values its made in France products. Simba plays the technology card. On its advertising boards in Paris, the made-in-Poland mattress is broken down into layers: its responsive memory foam, its latex and springs. A TV campaign will be launched in March.
Tediber, with its made-in-Belgium product, chose a teddy-bear face as a logo and has an offbeat tone, as it appears on the mattress’ package, which reads “This is a night club” [a ‘night box’ in French], or in Tediber advertising spots. “We need to show that the customer experience is simple”, Aude du Colombier, cofounder, explains.
3. Maintaining the relationship
Customers are not only young, urban people. “Many of them are 35-40 years old, or even over 55 years old” Julien Sylvain claims. The case of Simba is similar: “Our clients live either in cities or rural areas”, James Cox explains.
Tediber nurtures its relationships with its community. The brand asked 300 clients for help to test pillows before commercialising them. For Aude du Colombier, the brand is now able to expand. As for Eve, it has already started diversifying, selling pillows as well as duvets and sheets, a good way to maintain relationships with mattress buyers.