Mattress Firm moves into Wisconsin

Houston–based bedding retailer Mattress Firm has signed a multiunit franchise agreement with Chuck Dawson, a former Sealy executive. Dawson will develop markets in two Wisconsin cities—Madison and Milwaukee—and plans to open several stores in 2010. This marks the retailer’s entry into Wisconsin, giving it a presence in 22 states.

“For the past several years, we’ve concentrated primarily on opening new corporate–owned locations and acquisitions, while focusing on operations, training and the store experience,” said Gary Fazio, Mattress Firm chief executive officer. “We see this as the first in a series of development agreements as we look to aggressively build in franchising. Our team has developed a complete turnkey package—from operations to sales to store design—to assist franchisees as they work to build market leadership. We have the systems in place to grow the Mattress Firm brand with the goal of becoming a true national retailer with locations border to border and coast to coast.”

Dawson is a mattress industry veteran who began his career as owner of Classic Mattress, a sleep shop chain in Florida. He spent more than 20 years in sales management positions at Sealy, most recently as senior vice president of national accounts.

“I am extremely excited to be partnering with Mattress Firm on this new venture and look forward to leading the company’s plans to stimulate growth through franchising,” Dawson said. “I’ve had the privilege of working closely with the Mattress Firm team as part of my work at Sealy and have a great deal of respect for the organization and their business model.”

Mattress Firm has more than 500 retail locations. It carries Sealy, Simmons, Sleep to Live and Tempur–Pedic brands.

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