The initiative builds on a pilot project first launched last fall and the second phase will bring the total number of “Sleep Country Express” stores to 17, including three Dormez-vous locations in Quebec.
“With this new expansion into Western Canada and more parts of Ontario, we’re thrilled to strengthen our ongoing mission to awaken Canadians to the power of sleep,” said Stewart Schaefer, President and CEO of Sleep Country. “We’re excited to continue our strategic retail expansion with Walmart Canada to provide more consumers with convenient access to premier and transformative sleep brands that encourage healthy sleep habits and overall wellness.”
Schaefer said the presence in Walmart stores gives Sleep Country exposure to the giant retailer’s massive foot traffic across the country.
“Another reason (for being in Walmart) is broad customer segmentation. I think Sleep Country is considered mid to high. It expands into a broader customer segmentation not only for maybe a mid and maybe lower end consumer but also the 400,000 immigrants that come to Canada on an annual basis know companies like Walmart and maybe Costco and maybe IKEA but may not know Christine Magee ‘why buy a mattress anywhere else?’ (slogan). So it’s a great way of exposing the brand to those 400,000 immigrants because for sure they’re shopping at Walmart.
“We’re seeing it driving customers to our stores. The stores that are near those Walmarts and we’re already seeing that in our data.”
Schaefer said the potential is to expand to perhaps as many 100 store-in-store locations in Walmart.
Sam Hamam, Senior Director, Licensees of Walmart Canada, said the first year of the partnership was a success and reinforced the company’s commitment to the wellbeing of all Canadians.
“We look at our licensee program as part of our portfolio strategy where we try to provide a one-stop shop for our customers where they can complete all their shopping in one place,” he said. “Their groceries, their apparel. They can grab their kids a meal, etc.
“By launching this pilot about a year ago this time, we launched 10 stores, seven in Ontario and three in Quebec. We had some good success with it and together with Sleep Country we said ‘okay let’s continue to roll out more’ and we will have more to follow after this as well.”
Typically, the Sleep Country Express stores are in the front of Walmart locations. The seven new “Sleep Country Express” locations have an average footprint of 700 square feet, a substantial increase in size from the initial 10 stores, which averaged 400 square feet. The larger footprint features an expanded selection of pillows and a greater assortment of mattresses, including a well-curated assortment of bed in a box mattresses that are conveniently ready for purchase and carryout, as well as traditional mattresses delivered with the company’s white glove service. “Sleep Country Express” will be staffed by the brand’s highly trained Sleep Experts.
“I think there’s obviously the ability to continue to expand this. We’ll have 17 by the end of this year. Our objective is when we find a service or an offering that our customers like and both the partner and us are both enjoying the value there we’ll continue to roll that out and that’s what we’ll do in this case,” added Hamam.
The Walmart portfolio strategy includes services such as health care, quick service restaurants and mobile phone repairs.
“We have a bunch of different concepts we continue piloting and trying and we’ll continue to add new concepts like Sleep Country and others,” said Hamam.
New “Sleep Country Express” store locations and opening dates:
- Scarborough Walmart, 5995 Steeles Avenue East, Ontario (Opened September 30)
- Bolton Walmart, 150 McEwan Drive East, Ontario (Opened October 21)
- Saskatoon Walmart, 3035 Clarence Avenue South, Saskatchewan (Opening November 2)
- Lethbridge Walmart, 3195 26th Avenue North, Alberta (Opening November 15)
- Sage Hill Walmart, 35 Sage Hill Gate Northwest, Alberta (Opening December 1)
- Duncan Walmart, 3020 Drinkwater Road, British Colombia (Opening December 3)
- Edmonton West Walmart, 18521 Stony Plain Road Northwest, Alberta (Opening December 17)