Next up in our mattress executive interview series we’re chatting with the CEO of Nest Bedding, Joe Alexander, about his expertise in the mattress space, unique “brick and click” business model and full line of high quality mattresses that makes Nest stand out from the crowd.
Check out our conversation with Joe below and learn about what makes Nest unique.
Also, when you finish reading, enter to win a brand new Nest Alexander Luxury Hybrid Contour Mattress at our giveaway launched in partnership with Nest!
Introduce yourself and give us a brief history of your involvement in the world of mattresses/sleep products.
Hi, I’m Joe Alexander. I started selling mattress in 1999 and have worked with or for some of the top bedding and mattress retailers in the country since, in either a sales or management role.
Tell us a little bit about how you go about doing R&D and the product development at Nest.
I have the great fortune of not only having years of personal experience in the industry, but have 2 veteran manufacturers in Rob and John Merwin, owners of the R&S mattress factory in Phoenix, as our partners. Having these guys and the factory at my disposal and as a part of my team gives us a combined 60 years of experience and the factory to get it done, unlike the majority of my competitors who rely on third parties to make their products.
You’ve expanded the number of Nest retail stores significantly over the last year which is quite unique in the BinB/Direct to consumer space. Talk to us about the logic there and whether this will continue to be a major strategy of the business moving forward.
I get at least once a week the comment “Your business model is superior to everything out there”. Honestly, I never even considered it revolutionary, it’s just that so many of the entities who entered the space tried to force the one size fits all and online only thing that my model has risen to the top. It’s a no brainer to combine the two as far as I am concerned, and one of the reasons we are growing so quickly.
In a world where mattress brands are using 5,000 square foot storefronts to showcase one mattress, how are you training your customer support and in-store sales staff and laying our your smaller spaces to help shoppers find their ideal mattress?
Smaller spaces cost less. Bottom line. Cost savings mean better products for less to the consumer. We encourage customers to funnel from the site into the stores to lay on the beds, and by having more options and models to choose from, but not too many, it really gives us an advantage to the one feel bed companies.
With growth comes increasing demands around customer service, how has customer service changed for Nest Bedding since launch?
I keep it in house, don’t trust it to overseas solutions, and keep hiring more and training all the time. Customer service is the hallmark of this industry, and shortcutting it will be the downfall of many.
You’re a family man and have included your kids in the development and growth of Nest in a big way. What do they bring to the table and how have they shaped the business in ways that have surprised you?
Passion, hard work ethic and love of the brand. It’s unique and it’s personally very fulfilling.
What’s the most important issue facing consumers and the industry as a whole that isn’t being discussed but should be?
Marketing and gimmicks, bottom line. Consumers are focusing away from quality and durability and making choices based on slick and funny marketing and gimmicky add ons.
If you had one piece of advice for mattress/bedding shoppers, what would it be and why?
Visit several review sites, look at service reviews, and then test out a bed.
What is the most common customer complaint you hear about mattresses/pillows and the shopping experience from Nest customers and how have you addressed it with your offerings?
The one everyone deals with: comfort. It’s a tricky thing to find the right bed and everyone no matter what you are selling whether it’s a one size fits all bed or a selection like we have, you are not always going to get it right. We have the beds to swap out and the staff to guide them. When you have one bed and promise the moon and the stars, you have nothing left to offer the customer once they return the bed.
Looking ahead at 2018 and beyond, are there any new products our readers should keep an eye out for from Nest?
We’ve got the following for your readers to look forward to: cooling sheets, flat packed furniture that requires no tools to assemble, luxury pet beds, certified Egyptian cotton sheets, and a travel pillow.
What are the biggest trends you see in the mattress space and what predictions do you have for the next 12-18 months?
One of the top 4 brands will be completely gone in the next year. Lots of the little one bed fits all/online only companies will start to shake out as Google costs, foam prices and impending tariffs on beds from China all hit.