February 20, 2014
A national mattress company with roots in South Dakota has opened its second store in Sioux Falls.
Mattress Firm co-founder Harry Roberts is a Mitchell native and a graduate of the University of South Dakota.
He and fellow South Dakotans Steve Fendrich and Paul Stork started the company in 1986. It has gone on to become the nation’s top-grossing bedding retailer.
The three men now have other roles in the company, with Roberts serving as head of franchise development and franchisee for the Sioux Falls market with his nephew, Paul Hollister.
They opened the city’s first Mattress Firm in November on 41st Street in front of The Empire Mall.
The second site is at the northeast corner of Russell Street and Minnesota Avenue. It’s a 15,500-square-foot building that has a showroom, clearance center, corporate offices and distribution center.
“We put in more glass, totally gutted it, put in new ceiling and lights, and it’s a whole new building,” Roberts said.
“We’re excited about it. It will look great, and because it’s a warehouse and a showroom, people buy a bed and we load it up and go.”
A grand opening is set for March 1 and will include a promotion offering five mattresses for $5 each.
“Every bed has a major discount on it,” Roberts said. “And they’re all sealed in envelopes.”
Doors open at 10 a.m., and 10 people will be allowed in to choose mattresses and sit on them, Roberts said.
“We had people in line. They were in blankets and stuff at the first store,” he said. “They go pick out a bed and sit on that mattress, and it’s theirs.”
At noon, each person sitting on a mattress opens a discount. At the first Sioux Falls store, a woman who had been sleeping on a 30-year-old mattress won one for $5, Roberts said.
“And they were good ones. We’re talking top of the line,” he said.
The store at Minnesota and Russell will be joined by a Kum & Go gas station that will start construction in the spring.
Craig Hagen of NAI Sioux Falls, who worked with Mattress Firm to lease the space, said the second site was a good fit.
“The old building was very well constructed, and for them to put office and retail and warehousing all in one location, the property is uniquely qualified for that,” Hagen said.
“I’ve enjoyed watching his level of detail in knowing exactly what he needs to be successful.”
Mattress Firm plans to open a third store in April at Arrowhead Parkway and Foss Avenue.
Roberts said the company is hiring.
He plans to return to his alma mater, USD, later this month to speak to business students and do some recruiting.
(Photo: Jodi Schwan / Business Journal )