DFS strikes strategic partnership with online pureplay

Furniture retailer DFS has extended its partnership with Emma Mattress, as it looks to tap into the growing success of the online bed-in-a-box retail sector.

Emma Mattress, which has sold 250,000 mattresses online since it launched last year, will sell its hybrid mattress in selected DFS stores, allowing customers to see and try out the products before they make a purchase. The item has already been available via the DFS website for several months.

Over the next six months, DFS stores featuring bedroom and dining furniture ranges will roll out new in-store displays from the online brand. Online and in-store consumers can make their order via DFS, but the product is then fulfilled by Emma Mattress, which prides itself on reducing delivery times to days rather than the weeks traditionally associated with the European furniture market.

DFS is the first and only retailer where customers can see or try out the Emma Hybrid mattress before making their purchase. DFS will use the new in-store displays to promote its own bed frames and bedroom furniture too.

John Rastall, head of beds and dining at DFS, commended the Emma Mattress brand and the quality of its products, saying: “This is the first time we have collaborated with a pureplay online retailer, so it was important for us to choose the right partner.”

Emma Mattress does not own its own factories but has manufacturing partners in the UK and Switzerland, allowing it to serve those markets directly. It also partners with a manufacturing facility in Germany, which serves the rest of the European market.

The online mattress sector has grown significantly in recent years, with the likes of Casper, Simba and Eve Sleep entering the market to take on the traditional furniture companies.

Eve Sleep listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market, in 2017, but despite early sales rises it sacked CEO Jas Bagniewski in July, citing strategic mistakes and the need for a change in direction. The Eve brand is sold in Dreams stores across the UK, as well as in retailers such as Next Home, Fenwick and Debenhams in the UK, Karstadt in Germany, and BUT in France.

Eve is currently undertaking an evaluation of its existing European markets and is set to offer an update on strategy at its interim results in September.

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