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03/12/2021

Online bedding retailer scores with customers on mattress removal

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Purple is teaming up with a third-party delivery and installation platform to satisfy California delivery laws.

Headquartered in Lehi, Utah, Purple is a digitally-native, direct-to-consumer (DTC) retailer selling mattresses, bedding and pillows online and via brick-and-mortar showrooms. The company provides home setup and delivery services through a variety of partnerships. 

As of Jan. 1, 2021, Purple had to begin ensuring its delivery and installation offering in California met the requirements of AB-187, a state law mandating that mattress retailers provide removal and recycling services for old mattresses. For certain deliveries in California, Purple partners with last-mile delivery and installation platform Dolly to haul away and recycle mattresses from customer homes.

“We use Dolly primarily for deliveries made by FedEx and UPS,” Mike Schultz, VP operations at Purple, explained during a recent interview with Chain Store Age. “If the customer opts in for removal, we collect their information on our site and then transmit it daily to Dolly via an API.”

According to Schultz, while not all customers opt in for removal, so far the partnership has been successful, with high satisfaction ratings among shoppers who do use the Dolly service. About 17% of customers who initially opt in for removal ultimately decide not to have their old mattress removed.

Schultz described the burgeoning issue used mattress disposal presents mattress retailers. “It’s a challenge across the industry,” he said. “Mattresses fill up landfills. Purple cares about the environment and we want to be a good corporate citizen. We are exploring other options to provide recycling and pickups, instead of just filling up landfills.”

Schultz said Purple is looking at the possibility of offering used mattress recycling services in other markets. The company also accepts returns of newly-purchased mattresses for 100 days, reselling them via secondary markets. In its local Lehi, Utah market, Purple has been piloting a proprietary delivery service with opt-in removal and disposal.

“We have one van making deliveries six days a week, running two shifts,” said Schultz. “So far, response has been positive.”

Schultz concluded by discussing how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Purple’s supply chain. 

“We are a rapidly growing business with an expanding product line,” stated Schultz. “COVID-19 has been a challenge with our raw materials. Ports are backed up. It’s a challenge in today’s mattress retail industry.”