After bitter feud, Lexington mattress company plans on hiring 700

Tempur Sealy, which has headquarters in Lexington, will be hiring now that the company has patched up with Mattress Firm. The new deals will increase sales by $400 million it says.
Tempur Sealy, which has headquarters in Lexington, will be hiring now that the company has patched up with Mattress Firm. The new deals will increase sales by $400 million it says. File photo

Lexington-based Tempur Sealy is hiring in a big way. The company announced Wednesday that it plans to add 700 jobs.

Not all of the openings will be in Kentucky but some of the management positions will be in Lexington, where the international company has its headquarters.

“The new positions include management, operations and logistics, professional sales and other positions, and are spread across the country,” a news release said. Many of the jobs will be in manufacturing and retail, according to the company. Tempur Sealy has no manufacturing plants in Kentucky.

“The popularity of our iconic brands, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster and Sealy, are driving an expansion of our U.S. workforce,” said Scott Thompson, Tempur Sealy chairman, president and CEO. “All three brands are experiencing growth in the U.S., as our innovative products are being well received by consumers and our powerful omni-channel distribution platform is reaching more in-market consumers.”

CEO Scott Thompson
Tempur Sealy CEO Scott Thompson announced that the company has new distribution deals with Mattress Firm, Big Lots and a European partner. Pablo Alcala

On Tuesday, the company announced major distribution deals that are expected to generate an additional $400 million in net sales annually once product launches are completed.

The company will reintroduce Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster and Sealy-branded products to about 2,500 Mattress Firm stores across the U.S., beginning in the fourth quarter. Mattress Firm is the largest specialty mattress retailer in North America but Tempur broke with the company in 2017 after Mattress Firm wanted a bigger share of the profits from sales. At one point, Mattress Firm accounted for more than a fifth of Tempur Sealy’s sales.

Then in August 2018, Tempur Sealy sued Mattress Firm, alleging the company was selling lookalikes under the brand name “Therapedic.” Mattress Firm filed for bankruptcy in October and has closed hundreds of stores.

Now the companies have resolved their differences and will begin working together again and plan major advertising campaigns to support the deals. Tempur Sealy said the agreement “represents a significant opportunity for both companies” and “reunites some of the strongest bedding brands with the more than 3 million people a year that find their right sleep solution at Mattress Firm.” The brands are expected to be back in all the remaining stores in the first quarter of 2020.

Tempur Sealy also announced it will be supplying more mattresses, particularly those under $1,000, to Big Lots, which has 1,400 stores across the U.S. The new Sealy products are expected to hit with Big Lots stores by the end of the year.

Later this year Tempur Sealy also will sell a new line of mattresses in Europe through Beter Bed Holding, one of Europe’s leading bedding retailers.

“Aligning with quality third-party retailers in a win-win structure is consistent with our distribution strategy,” Thompson said. “While the most important aspect of our worldwide omni-channel distribution strategy is third-party retail distribution, we continue to pursue our highly successful direct to consumer initiatives, both online and through company-owned retail stores. Furthermore, the company has also embarked on an initiative to capture additional market share in emerging e-commerce and big box retailer channels as a continuation of our focus to be wherever the customer wants to shop.“