I’m not sure where my parents obtained mattresses for beds for eight children. Since I can only remember them buying one new bike when I was a kid (the other two being purchased used, with our mythical allowances confiscated for those purchases), I’m thinking the mattresses were never new, just new to us. That when a great-aunt went to her satin-lined final rest, her old mattress was ceremoniously dumped on a wobbly bed frame at our house. The mattress my sister and I shared had a habit of slipping its frame and dumping us on the floor. Sometimes instead of calling for help, we just slept where we landed on the hardwood. You had to be tough to survive in my home.
The National Sleep Foundation did a study of how recently people had replaced their mattresses, but I find the study to be woefully inadequate. The longest category was “more than 5 years,” with 37% selecting that grouping. I want to know how many people—other than my parents—kept previously-used mattresses until all their children grew up, then kept them some more until they downsized when they (I assume) gave the mattresses to some other needy family. Then bought a furnished place in Florida and still have those mattresses on the guest room beds twenty years later.
My parents and people like them are not the reason for the proliferation of mattress stores in the U.S.
Have you noticed that? Every strip mall, appliance store and big department store sells mattresses now. It’s like back in the 80s when every strip mall started out with a dry cleaner, a nail salon and a tanning shop. Then it was banks springing up on every corner and in every grocery store, with pharmacies battling for the same spots.
So what’s the next shop to over-saturate the market? Frozen yogurt? Specialty pet stores? My personal kryptonite would be a combination kitchen shop and bookstore: The Cook and Book. Crockery and Bookery. Valerie’s Bliss.
What new shop would you like to see in your area? Dream big, people!