By Craig Patterson
New York City-based sleep brand Casper has announced that it will commence a Canadian retail expansion that will include permanent standalone stores, as well as a new Canadian headquarters and manufacturing facility. The company has seen explosive growth after being founded as an online retailer in 2014.
Casper says that it will open stores across the country, including in provinces such as Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta. Its first two stores will be in Toronto, one of which will open next month. Casper will also open a new Canadian headquarters in Toronto, and it will also begin manufacturing its products in Canada, creating about 75 jobs.
[Above: Casper's first permanent store location in NYC's Soho, which opened in February of 2018. Photos: Casper]
Casper’s first Canadian ‘Casper Sleep Shop’ will open next month at Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens, which is one of Canada’s top performing shopping centres in terms of annual sales per square foot. Casper’s move into the centre signals that it will be seeking out premium locations for its expansion and according to Senior Director and General Manager of Casper Canada, Nicole Tapscott, Casper’s second Canadian location will open later this year in downtown Toronto.
Ms. Tapscott said that she wasn’t yet able to provide further details as to the location of Casper’s new Canadian headquarters as well as other store locations, and that more exciting announcements will be made next month to coincide with the CF Sherway Gardens store opening. Details pertaining to that store will be released as well, with Casper launching a Canadian retail expansion that landlords have said has been in negotiations for months.
"We've seen tremendous success in Canada with three years of triple digit growth," said Philip Krim, co-founder and CEO, Casper. "Investing further in the market and expanding our local presence will enable us to bring better sleep to even more Canadians across the country."
Casper launched a US pop-up expansion in the fall of 2017, opening 18 locations across the country. Casper’s first permanent US location opened in February of this year, which means Canada wasn’t far behind. Ms. Tapscott noted that Canada is a very strong market for the brand, and that Casper’s pop-up activations were hugely successful here. The first US store, which spans about 3,000 square feet, is located in New York City’s Soho at 627 Broadway. Stores such as its Mall of America pop-up are of a similar size.
Casper is hugely successful and is backed by celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Adam Levine and Ashton Kutcher, launched in 2014 as a direct-to-consumer online mattress retailer, with its product delivered in a "how did they do that?" sized box. Casper's memory foam mattress comes in a variety of sizes, and the company has expanded its product assortment to include a "perfect pillow" pillow-in-a-pillow and soft, breathable sheets, frames, and even dog beds and other sleep-related products.
We first reported on Casper’s Canadian expansion in August of 2016, when the company unveiled temporary “snooze rooms” in selected cities, following a spring 2016 “Napmobile” tour that saw stops in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Casper found that having a physical presence created consumer engagement and provided feedback not found online — not to mention, consumers enjoyed being able to test the popular memory foam mattresses prior to buying.
[Above: Casper 'Nap Pods', which have travelled the country to build awareness. Photos: Casper]
In March of 2017, Casper launched its first retail presence in Canada through a partnership with Williams-Sonoma-owned retailer West Elm, in Toronto. Casper products had only been available online until then, and the West Elm partnership was the first time that Casper offered its products with a retailer on a cash-and-carry basis, anywhere. The partnership has since concluded.
Casper unveiled its ‘Casper Cottage’ pop-up on Toronto’s trendy Ossington Avenue in July of 2017. The unique temporary space was made to look like a home decor store at the front, with a row of beds at the back. The pop-up was a hit and no doubt helped solidify plans for permanent retail stores in Canada.
In February of 2018, Casper announced that it has partnered with Canada’s Indigo Books & Music to house shop-in-store ‘nap pods’, as well as offer pillows in about 30 of its stores that can be purchased on a ‘cash-and-carry’ basis.
Last week, we reported that Sleep Country Canada will be rolling out a mall-based store expansion that will include locations in some of the country’s top shopping centres. The Sleep Country strategy follows the recent closure of Sears Canada, which was Sleep Country’s biggest competitor. Sleep Country Canada also has its own version of the ‘bed-in-a-box’ called ‘Bloom’, and there are other similar memory foam companies such as Toronto-based Endy.
Next month we’ll be reporting on the new CF Sherway Gardens Casper retail space, as well as providing further details on other locations as well as Casper’s new Canadian headquarters and manufacturing facility as details are provided.