Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Keetsa Mattress

(Post: English)
"There are plenty of mattresses on the market, but how many can be squished into a box to be delivered to your door - and claim to be green at the same time?"

Joe Alexander started selling compressible, eco-friendly mattresses in mid-2007, after selling conventional mattresses for 15 years.

He and two friends pooled $300,000 to open their first store, in San Francisco.

Called Keetsa, the retail shop was profitable within three months - thanks, says the 43-year-old co-owner, to its low-cost business model.

That starts with manufacturing: The father of one of Alexander's partners has a factory in China that constructs the products from recycled and natural materials such as foam and steel coils.

The company pays a fixed cost to ShipWire, a fulfillment and warehousing company, to maintain its inventory.

The mattresses, which list from $439 to $2,159, are available from four Keetsa outlets, partner retailers such as Blu Dot in New York, and online.

Because Keetsa mattresses don't have rigid frames, they can fit easily in the back of a car.

For buyers who can't get to a Keetsa shop in California's Bay Area and Toronto, mattresses are shipped via UPS.

That minimizes the company's carbon footprint since it doesn't have to put its own delivery trucks on the road.

Alexander won't disclose revenue, but he says the partners are talking with a venture capital group about opening up to 20 stores in the next two years.

Source: BusinessWeek

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