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STORE SPACES

First Look: Sleep Number goes high-tech in New York

BY Marianne Wilson

It’s not just online upstarts disrupting the mattress category — Sleep Number is also doing its part.

The mattress retailer’s new location, in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, is designed to take shopping for a mattress — and sleeping — to a new, “smart” level. It offers an inviting, experiential environment, with interactive technologies and digital experiences woven into a modern, loft-inspired setting.

The new store brings to life the company’s line of 360 smart beds. The high-tech mattress, which integrates hardware and software, is powered by Sleep Number’s proprietary biometric sleep tracking system. The bed automatically adjusts comfort to keep users sleeping soundly all night, adjusting itself as sleep positions change. It intuitively responds to each person’s bedtime routine, and also has an accompanying app with a number of customization options, including setting a smart alarm that awakes a sleeper at the optimal moment.

“Most people don’t realize what a difference their bed makes to their sleep, which is one of the most important aspects of their health and wellness,” said Shelly Ibach, president and CEO of Sleep Number, which operates more than 560 stores nationwide. “Our new Sleep Number store in the Flatiron District demonstrates the transformative impact of our smart bed on individual comfort, restfulness and well-being.”

The store experience begins just inside the entry, which boasts a large digital map illuminating the sleep patterns (including the average wake-up and to-bed times) of different neighborhoods across Manhattan. (The map is made possible via Sleep Number’s sleep tracking and biometric technology.)

The interior is divided into several rooms, which makes the space feel intimate. Customers are invited to try out the smart beds on display, and can participate in an individualized experience using 3D imaging to identify their pressure points and better understand how the 360 smart bed will alleviate them. There is also a three-minute, immersive “ride” where the consumer learns about the technology built in to the bed

A mix-and-match display of pillows, comforters, etc., features a large-scale digital display that allows customers to customize their ultimate bedroom retreat.

Sleep Number’s tech enhancements are complemented by the store’s associates, or “sleep experts,” who are dedicated to the company’s mission.

“The Sleep Number store experience combines the latest in technology with the expertise of our sleep professionals, to deliver a value-added experience for our customers,” said Andy Carlin, chief sales and services officer. “For us, it’s all about helping people find solutions for their best possible sleep.”

Sleep Number is well positioned in one of the Flatiron District’s few standalone retail spaces. Located at 136 Fifth Avenue, it occupies 3,650 sq.ft. on the ground floor and 3,650 sq.ft. in the lower level. RKF vice chairman Ariel Schuster and senior director Ike Bibi helped arranged the lease.

“The Flatiron District is the go-to destination for innovative retail concepts wishing to attract younger, engaged and wellness-focused consumers, making this the perfect location for Sleep Number to plant its flag in New York City,” said Bibi.

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