Sleep Country Canada Opening 1st Silk & Snow Shop-in-Shop with Plans for Standalone Stores [Interview/Rendering]

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Canadian retail giant Sleep Country has opened its first store that will include sleep and lifestyle banner brand Silk & Snow.

Stewart Schaefer

The new Sleep Country store, located in Ottawa’s Westboro neighbourhood at 421 Richmond Road, is anchored by a dedicated 1,425-square-foot Silk & Snow shop. The Sleep Country portion of the store has opened with the Silk & Snow portion expected to open November 22nd, 2023.

“We’re very excited to bring Silk & Snow, a leading, direct-to-consumer brand, into its very first tactile environment,” said Stewart Schaefer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sleep Country. “Customers in Ottawa have shown a love for the brand, so it just makes sense for us to introduce its inaugural in-person shopping experience in this market.”    

Rendering: Silk & Snow Westboro
Silk & Snow x Sleep Country Canada

Founded in 2017 by Albert Chow and Kenneth Mo from a successful Kickstarter campaign, Silk & Snow has seen rapid growth and has built a strong following in the Ottawa region. Headquartered in Toronto, the company made Canadian Business’ top 10 start-up list in 2020 and was ranked one of Canada’s fastest-growing businesses by the Globe and Mail for 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Albert Chow

“With our immersive new location, we’re finally able to showcase our offering in a physical environment, creating opportunities for customers to interact with the product and find the perfect piece to elevate their sleep and, ultimately, their home,” said Chow, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Silk & Snow. “At our core, we are a tactile brand; the touch and feel of our designs are as vital to our customers as the aesthetics. We are proud to debut this elevated shopping experience in Ottawa, where our community continues to grow and support us with each step.”

The new store is the first retail location for Silk & Snow, the fast-growing brand of high-quality sleep and lifestyle products, including mattresses, bedding, furniture, sleep accessories and bath essentials. The Silk & Snow store fuses the brand’s two signature aesthetics – “Japandi” (a combination of Japanese and Scandinavian design) and mid-century modern styles – for an elevated serene atmosphere completed by accents of wood, stone, and ceramics. The brand worked with renowned architecture firm, Benoy, to complete the project.

Image: Sleep Country Canada

Sleep Country is Canada’s leading specialty sleep retailer and operates under the retailer banners; Sleep Country Canada, Dormez-vous, Endy, Silk & Snow, Hush and most recently acquired, Casper Canada. The company has omnichannel and ecommerce operations, including 298 corporate-owned stores and 19 warehouses across Canada.

“Over the years, we’ve really carved out a market for very curated, aesthetic focused bedding products,” said Chow. “On January 1, 2023 we were acquired by Sleep Country and joined the Sleep Country family.”

Chow said one of the company’s motivations for joining Sleep Country is that it has always carved out its niche and done very well from a digital audience. 

“We’re one of those unique brands where we felt like we lived a physical channel much better although we were digitally native,” he said. “With the expertise of Sleep Country and joining the Sleep Country family, we’re really able to leverage a lot of the talent and the resources to really look at opening up our first retail channel.

“As things are kind of smoothing back to normalcy, we are seeing that a lot of customers are starting their journey by discovering our products online but their preference is still to finish the journey in the physical channel and that’s kind of our motivation for starting our first Silk & Snow store.”

The retailer has customers in both Canada and the U.S. 

Image: Silk & Snow

Chow said it’s been quite the effort to start one store.

“I do think based on our product assortment and given our products are more tactile in nature and they just look so much better in a physical space, I do believe that for our particular brand it pairs extremely well with a Sleep Country retail presence and we share a lot of synergies in terms of the customer base we track,” he said. 

“I’m optimistic that this is a concept that we can easily replicate across many stores.”

Schaefer said Silk & Snow is the fastest growing affordable luxury bedding brand in Canada.

“In an environment that digital has suffered over the last couple of years, they are in a class of their own and the biggest reason in my personal opinion is the aesthetics that they’ve been able to carefully and methodically procure beautifully. You look at the website, it is something that Canada hasn’t yet seen in the bedding area and far exceeds what we do at Sleep Country which is one of the reasons we wanted to partner up with Albert and team because they’ve done a beautiful job,” he said.

Image: Silkandsnow.com

“As beautiful as the website is, tactilely, their product just to look at it, to touch it, to feel it, even the design they’ve created for the store that’s going to be joined to us, is just beautiful. I have come across a lot of retailers whether it’s digital or brick and mortar and I have not yet met a crew like Albert and his team.

“There’s going to be many Silk & Snow stores in the future and they’ll go at the pace that they’re ready to go and some of them will be in Sleep Country stores because they will definitely complement the products and our brand. But expect Silk & Snow stores to be on their own because it is something quite special.”

Schaefer said the game has changed for Sleep Country in the square footage of future stores. It will be looking for spaces larger than its typical 5,000-square-foot footprint to accommodate Silk & Snow stores. The first Ottawa location is about 6,500 square feet in total.

“The beauty of this particular location is that it has street visibility because we want to build the Silk & Snow brand independently of Sleep Country and if we can with Sleep Country,” he said. 

“As we focus more and more on the accessory part of our business, which is a very big part of where we want to go, especially now that Bed Bath and Beyond is out of this market and other players have left this market, Canada is desperately seeking an operation like Silk & Snow. I think it will be incredibly well received and probably happen quicker than expected.” 

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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