SAVE THE DATE: Sleep Summit Oct 8-11, 2024

James Perez’s Lessons from Dad and Reimagining 14 Mattress Firm Stores Post-COVID19

James Perez joins Dos Marcos to talk about lessons from his dad, meeting one of the founders of Mattress Firm, and more.

As a boy, James Perez’s father drove a flat bed pick up door-to-door selling mattress. James road shotgun and gleaned countless lessons from his old man.

Like the time as a teen when James wasn’t getting sales for his lawn mowing business. I told dad, “I need a different neighborhood. Nobody’s buying.” His dad used that challenge to teach his son how to bring his personal story to life and bring people into the purpose behind your business.

James tells the story about meeting Paul Stork for the first time. Paul is one of the original founders of Mattress Firm. James said he was told “no” about 30 times before he was able to secure a Mattress Firm franchise.  

Given the crazy conditions retailers are navigating, James takes us behind the scenes on how he’s dealing with the coronavirus fallout. You won’t want to miss the story at the 25-minute mark about how partnerships are helping him persevere. 

James also says, for him, mattress retail is going to become a serious business. Stores need to be a safe place. Delivery will evolve. 

We first connected with James through our friends at PureCare. Be sure to hop over to the 36:10 mark and hear James talk about the PureCare bar.  James says he told everyone about his idea and PureCare was the only one to listen. Now, he says he’s “all-in on the sleep essentials category.” 

Finally, does James also take a tequila shot? The odds are good. Thanks so much to James for joining us on the show. When we meet in person, tequila shots are on us! 

NATIONWIDE HELP CENTER

Nationwide has launched a full section on their website dedicated to helping retailers: Coronavirus Resource and Best Practices for Independent Retailers. 

For Dos Marcos listeners seeking expert advice as they navigate government programs and coronavirus assistance, we have an email address for you to use: help@nationwidegroup.org.

Send an email to that address, give the Nationwide team about 24 hours, and help will be on the way. Expert guidance, not misinformation that could cost your business.

Thank you to our headline sponsor Nationwide Marketing Group.

As a member of Nationwide Marketing group, you instantly have access to over 200+ ambitious, entrepreneurial-minded advocates who are dedicated to helping your business thrive. Nationwide serves more than 5,500 independent retail members with tools, resources, training, and technology to help their businesses grow.

Also, thanks to our sponsor, PureCare. PureCare designs essential elements necessary to create a healthy sleep environment. PureCare manufactures the official mattress and pillow protectors of both the National Sleep Foundation  and the Woman’s Choice Award.

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Full Transcription:

Mark Kinsley

Hey, it’s Mark Kinsley, a reminder about all the resources available at nationwidegroup.org. If you’re navigating the payroll protection program and how that’s changed, if you’re navigating any of the government programs that have been put in place, and you want expert guidance, go to nationwidegroup.org. And of course, you can send an email to help at nationwidegroup.org and someone will get back to you within about 24 hours with guidance and resources to answer your questions accurately, so you’re not making moves that hurt your business. Check it all out at nationwidegroup.org and of course, emails directly to help at nationwidegroup.org.

Mark Quinn

I am gonna jump right in today, you and I had a conversation in a podcast some time ago and you told a story about havalina the wild pig and I want you to tell that story again because then we said I could really capture that it’s gonna be become part of our language. So if we ever say sometimes you got to shoot the havalina, that actually means something right? And so tell that story, and then I want to take you in a direction. So go.

Mark Kinsley

So it was back when Carol Moran owned Corsicana. And some of the guys that Leggett told me this story about having a meeting with Carol Moran and Chad and some of his team and in the middle of the meeting, they said, this is boring. Let’s go shoot a hog and they went outside and they grabbed their guns and they loaded into the back of the truck and they went shot a hog and then they came back and they got everything else done that they needed to get done as part of that meeting and I thought it was a great example of Hey, when you’re getting bogged down and you feel like the creativity is no longer there or things are stalling out, you need to do something physically and actively to change your mind frame and so that’s where we got shoot the havalina. So whenever you need to change things up, go shoot the havalina.

Mark Quinn

So I got good news. My man James Perez is with us on the show today.James owns a mattress franchise in Corpus Christi and in the valley and they’ve got 14 stores and I’m talking toJames but other cool stuff he’s doing with pure care and this guy like there’s a tiger King likeJames is like that the pig King, if we could call him that, right? And he said he would take us tequila drinking and hog hunting. And he said he could even take us up on a freakin helicopter and we can shoot pigs in there. Is that rightJames? 

James

[Inaudible at 0301] that’s how we do in Texas [Inaudible at 0306-0308] 

Mark Kinsley

I Love it. I Love it. 

Mark Quinn

WithJames, thanks for being on the show. Man. You are gosh I don’t know how to say it, you’re just… every time I talk to you, we get into, it’s so easy to have a discussion withJames. He’s really positive guy. And I just talked to him recently about some of the stuff he’s doing in light of everything that’s going on. So that would be great for me to talk about that fromretail perspective and then just get into like where things are current state and future state because he’s got a really creative mind and he’s really aggressive in the way he approaches his business. So,James, how are things going for you guys? Give us a current status update, if you don’t mind?

James

Well, we’re currently operating under every markets guidelines and you know, it started off real quick about everybody closing down but as we started reading a little closer and talking to city officials, we realized through them how essential we were? So we decided that we put retail aside for us and we’re in retail for the community point blank because there’s no celebration of sales going on at this point. We’re taking care of the community in retail. That’s what we signed up to do day one. So when the rubber hits the road, man, what are you gonna do and that’s what we’re doing. 

Mark Quinn

AndJames, you had some people call you and say hey, look, you can’t close we need you like we have some demands and needs for mattresses and so you were like at one point. I think you were like we got to shut her down and then make that your guess.

James

One was a city council woman and her elderly mom was gonna be displaced and needed us to be in business because they had no other options and She said you are essential. She had to interpret it for me because we were already in the place that you know, all businesses were closing and we were kind of moving along with the flow. But she made us know that now. We need you. So we’ve done that, we’ve scaled down, we reduced the density of people we’ve masked up. But I gotta tell you, this thing has opened up an amazing door for me. I’ll be honest with you. Right before this started, I was already getting out of the mattress store business, I was already done with it. It was tired, worn out, hadn’t had anything exciting to it. So I started taking shots at it and started seeing some incredible success and it’s coming from my 14 year old, you know just a quick story. He was trying to help his 21 year old put together a bedframe and I hear them talking about it on FaceTime would have made you laugh because they’re calling this thing Hey, did they send you with grandma’s frame? What is that thing? And they’re trying to put it together, don’t know how to put together and as I’m watching that, I’m thinking to myself, are you serious? We’ve been in this industry this long, and we’ve never even looked at that ridiculous thing. So I started there and I haven’t stopped. I introduced Knickerbocker friends took old rusty out of every store, give him a nickname, get rid of them. That’s what I say. So I called old rusty and just now you see, oh, Rusty, you don’t even want them. It’s like buying a telephone book. Makes no sense. 

Mark Quinn

You know, I think it’s like, it’s the same color. And it’s the same style. And whenever you see that over, like 20 years, right and it’s kind of the same thing and as it evolved, you know there’s an opportunity. One of the things I loved about our recent conversation was kind of your origin stories and can you take us back to Grandpa and to your dad and give us a little bit of that history and then I want to morph that into kind of what happened and how you actually started your mat firm franchise? 

James

Sure.  Well, my grandfather, you know, back in the day when kids were actually workforces. They weren’t, you know, they didn’t have kids…for fill positions. My grandfather had an independent manufacturing business city opened in Corpus Christi, Texas, and the kids were the workforce, they manufactured bedding, and so actually became successful and was selling bedding pretty much to the Hispanic community. And, you know, we’re talking 1938 when he started in Corpus Christi and so, as my father grew up into the business, my father actually became the salesperson of the business. You mean that’s what he was born to do and so they opened a retail store and my father was the one that was really making a difference there. Long story short, he fell in love with my mom at a restaurant that he would go to after work there at the mattress factory and because he married my mom, of course, I wasn’t born yet. When he married my mom, the family disowned him pretty much and said, you know married that lady from the wrong side of town, you got to go and this isn’t for you. So he left with his flatbed pickup truck, his wife and he went down the street to the competitors and said I got no way to feed my family. So if you can fill up my flatbed pickup truck, I will pay you for that and continue to do that. But if I don’t, the flatbed pickup trucks yours because you need it and so I made the deal and my father saw beds door to door and shut down his own family business because they’d let the only salesman go. So my dad from day one always taught me he said son nothing on top of this world, nothing not one single thing happens until a sale is made. So doesn’t matter we have a factory, doesn’t matter how many factories you got or how many workers you have if you can’t sell that product. Don’t even look behind you. So that’s where I came from.

Mark Quinn

Let me ask a question about that storyJames. When your dad was selling mattresses door to door from the back of his flatbed pickup truck, did you ever tell any stories what was that like? You know, you hear about vacuum cleaners sales people, you don’t hear a lot of door to door mattress salespeople.

James

Yeah. Well, my father would say you know, one was answering the door. Two was keeping the door open and three was him going inside the house if he went inside the house the bed was staying and my father had told stories because depending on where that time was, he said that bed in your house for $1 down in $1 a week because he could not afford to come back with an empty truck. So every bed got out of that truck and my mom told me she said that truck every time it came in was empty. Never have I heard of anybody selling beds door to door in my entire life of doing this thing and that was just as and I’ve got a picture. I’m on the back of that flatbed truck. I made a model of that flatbed pickup truck because that’s what I carry inside. You know, at the end of the day, we can rely on sales. You know, that’s what I’ve always been able to rely on it even from knocking door to door. He pulled me aside when I was knocking door to door I wasn’t getting any sales and he said what’s going on? I said I need a better neighborhood right? He said what are you telling them. Knocking on door get my name saying if they want their yard mowed? That’s the problem. So he took me for a day off, went to go buy me some business but he said, Hey, let me ask you, are you going to go to college? And thought about it and he said, well, you should. I’m not paying for it for you and he said, but you want to be well, you’re going to need to he said let me ask you if you’re going to go to college, what college you gonna go to? The only two I knew was UT and Texas A&M. I said, I don’t know. And he said to A&M, Texas, he said, well, those Aggies you know, that’s landscape. That’s what you’re doing right now. He said so what do you gotta name your company. So I guess Aggie landscape, right. And so the next time you go knock on that door, you let them know what you’re working for. That you’re working to get yourself to Texas A&M and give me your name shown that you named your company touches at Aggie landscape and let’s see, if you find any yards that need to be mowed in the yard. I did every single one of them in the neighborhood, every single one of them. So at that age, he taught me how strong the story was or how strong your story of what you’re working for has to be, you know, because that can give you that direction. So I was blessed early on with my father, those lessons today are the most valuable that I’ve ever had but they came in a very, you know, simple package, you know, so but powerful is all get out. 

Mark Quinn

I love that story. That is so freaking strong and it’s true. It’s like, hey, when you tell them there’s purpose behind your business and where their money is going to go, it changes everything. It morphs from being a business transaction into Hey, I’m actually helping this kid accomplish something in his life. So that’s great.

James

Oh, then you got another pair joining your mission, oh just got easier. And that lady went and told the neighbor that she needed to do that to help me. She wouldn’t close it for many neighbors already knew about me as I was getting to the next one. I thought what the hell’s going on. I went viral. Computer wasn’t even around, the internet wasn’t even around. 

Mark Kinsley

As the kids say these days, man, that’s cold. 

James

That’s cold. That’s ice baby. 

Mark Kinsley

If you can be both cold and sweaty? I don’t know about the two things together. 

Mark Quinn

SoJames, another part of the story I love is when you kind of figured out you’re working at LAX, I think he told me right and so when you were working there, you just kind of came to a point where maybe that wasn’t the path for you and you decided, you stumbled across the Mattress Firm. Can you kind of talk about that a little bit and kind of share with us how you ended up with a Mattress Firm franchise?

James

Well, I you know, I’ll just tell y’all real quick. I believe in God with all my heart and I’ve feel like I can see where his hands been in touched you know, and all the time. But in this particular case, I couldn’t put any human words to it. It was just supernatural because my father and my brother and I, we had attempted to start our own mattress business and realize the banks in town weren’t helping and we couldn’t even get a sealy to answer, anybody to even answer is nobody and well, I know now so I was bugging my Sealy Rep, they’re working at LAX furniture and a couple of things happened that made this you know, I guess jumping into the swimming pool. I lost my brother in 96 and when I lost my brother, it changed my life. I no longer you know the things I enjoyed it enjoying anymore going to work selling furniture I didn’t that just it died that day and it died. So at that moment I had that undesirable… well I want to go shoot the havalina? That’s what I did. I started searching for celiac and telling them my idea really strong. And then they finally said, well, there’s something already going on like that and really the only way Sealy is gonna supply us if you’re a franchise, if you’re a company, they’re already supplying as well. Who’s that? And that’s how I got Paul storks number and when I heard Mattress Firm, the name and Paul stork, it kind of clipped a little bell in me because my brother actually worked for them in 1986 and here I am in 96, making a phone call 10 years later, and my brother was with them when they only had five stores. My brother was an amazing salesperson. I’m nothing compared to him and so I get ahold of Paul storks are telling the story. And he’s wondering how I got his phone number and everything I was sworn to secrecy to how I got that number and so when I mentioned my brother’s name and said, I just have this on my brother was working for you. While back when I mentioned the name. He just clicked. He said as your mom named Mary, I said yeah. He said how the hell is john? I said. Well, he passed away and that gave me a meeting with him and so I got to drive to Houston. But what I didn’t know, was out of respect for my brother he was gonna invite me to a lunch to very nicely tell me no because they had already decided that they were only opening up Mattress Firm franchises of cities that were half a million people or larger and little Corpus Christi was sitting at about 275 and it was just a strong no and of course all of the franchisees came from Mattress Firm. They were matched from salespeople. So they were groomed into the process and I’m the outsider. So it was rough coming in from the outside in but having that lunch with them and being told I’ll tell you it was no less than 30 times that I was told a very strong no. Paul has no problem telling nobody no and so I’ll never forget the lunch. He was at Papa doze, I was having that beautiful fish with lemon caper butter sauce and you know, and I was looking at that meal as it was my last meal. I’ll never forget that until somebody looked over at the grade here at Silver Fox at the end of the table and said art, what’s your role in all this? He said, I’m just here for moral support for my son. That’s it. He said, you know, I’ve got my own business. I’m semi-retired, I had to open up my own business because nobody wants to hire an old man. He said how so? He said, well, when we all left, the Cantwell company mattress company, I took my boys with me, we all left. We all went our own ways.James worked for LAX, john went to Houston and you know, I came over here and open up my own store, carry no bedding, use furniture and he said, but I knew because of the last place I want to go apply. The gentleman at the furniture store said that he couldn’t hire me because it was already 10 people and he would love to hire me because he knew of my talents and I said but I just can’t do that to my people. So I finally told him, made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. I said if you hire me, I promise you I will not take one customer that comes through that door. I can promise you that and if I do you fire me. That way you can guarantee your people that you’re loyal to that they will not lose one thing that came out of their pocket from me that I can assure you.

If you’re not going to take anybody coming through the door, how are you gonna make a living? Why would I hire you? So let me just have everybody leaving your store not buying anything and I’ll make a living for you and I both, we’ll never forget. That’s how I got the franchise. Because when we drove back from that last supper that I thought was the last supper. Paul went into that room stuck a pin and put it in Corpus Christi turned around, said I hope you’re ready. You get what you wish for. He said because we’re opening Corpus Christi and at that point, I thought shit now what? But that’s alright and later on having many of tequilas with Paul, I got to talk to him and he said, and I we bring up the story. He said, when I heard what your brother said I knew who you were. He said I really knew your brother. But when your father said what he did because he said nothing. The man said not one damn thing the whole time he was there and I was wanting to kick him myself like shit help me man, dragging a franchise here. He didn’t said a damn thing. You know, your moral support my butt you ain’t doing nothing and that one statement that the man said blue that table or you gonna hurt a pin drop in that restaurant because at that point, Finney looked up, Harry looked up and they all looked up to what they just heard and today I know what that means. I didn’t know then, then I was, you know, 29 years old. But today, I know what that means. And I know who we are, you know that there’s only a few of us freaks out there. You know [Inaudible at 2033-2034 both s Interrupted]

Mark Quinn

I would love to ask what did your dad plan to do? Take us into that like when people were leaving the store if he was going to take zero ups that walk through the door only the people that are gonna walk away? Did your dad ever tell you what his thought process was for those people?

James

Yeah, my father was very simple. He achieved other people’s goals, missions, desires and he completed his in the process of doing theirs. So whatever it was, if he went out I’ve seen his live the men would go around with no money in his pocket but he never need to because he is always giving but the giving came from himself so I whoever he would get a hold of it, there would be a connection somewhere somehow car person something place anything, he’s gonna be become you but he was genuine in doing that and that’s why I never called it sales. I was just being like my dad. I didn’t. I didn’t know that was sales. But today, it’s all sales the man. He’ll influence a dog, the dog next to him, he’ll influence that dog and I’m watching him influence the dog. I see what he’s doing on purpose. You’ll do it with the little kid, old lady. He’ll even tell me. Hey, when you go visit your grandma, your aunt? Don’t ask her how she’s doing. I’m tired of hearing you say that. That’s an hour long conversation. Just asked her how’s the weather? Has it rained? Ask that question. Do you realize the goal that man did you know how many times I’ve gone to an old ladies that Oh, one of my aunt? How you doing? Oh, Jesus. And by the time we get to the thyroid, you know, we’ve already gone through 50 conditions. Now I just say, hey, has it rained today. Oh, no, that beautiful. But, you know, the man knew, you know, he knew every age, everything. That’s what he did, you know. So he was gonna make him a friend for sure a family member and whatever it was, they would have an emotional connection to him to want to do something for him. I watched it all the times, you know, people just wanting to do something back for him because of how he treated them, told them what he said and at the end of the day, a sale happened every time.

Mark Quinn

That’s such a great story and I love it too, because I can hear Paul, kind of putting you through the wringer there and it’s kind of like, it’s just kids I talk about all the time. There’s Gen Z.

Mark Kinsley

He was pulling my leg 

James

I love dogs. 

Mark Kinsley

We’re dog friendly office here. 

James

Yeah. You’re my kind of people. 

Mark Quinn

But that’s exactly what I was about to say actually, it’s the whole attitudeJames, I think what you and I connect is partially in the faith thing too. But it is about serving people. It’s about serving your customer, it’s about serving your employee and when that stuff happens, then good things come from it. So I love that’s kind of where your head and heart are. So thanks for sharing that with us.

James

It’s happening today. It’s happening real life today, we’re giving people options for their free will to do what they should do. And I’m putting my money on God’s Spirit because I’m already seeing it happen. Landlords, you know, vendors, people I’ve been doing business with for 15 years, you know, we’re starting to see what really matters today.

Mark Quinn

So you got to tell Kinsley this story. This is one of the things. It’s such a great story. SoJames, like everyone that’s having to shut stores down. It’s a very difficult thing from the financial side and so you kind of had to look at how to cut back and cut expenses just like everyone’s doing right now and you had this project where you’re going to reach out to the landlords for your stores and see if you could get some help. Would you mind sharing that story? And then the outcome from that?

James

Oh, it’s a beautiful story. It’s kind of like what you said earlier, you know, when you get two or more people, godly people, God enters the room. I just want to tell you, I’m 52 years of age and you can call me a freak, but I’ve seen it too many times. You can’t mistake it. So in this case, just like everybody else, what are we gonna do? You know, these thing’s going down the meat grinder right in front of my eyes, what are we going to do? So, one of the things that I did was is I moved all the way to the end of this thing I said, let’s go to the end of this thing. And let’s start working back this way and see what it looks like and one of the people that I give credit to Mark Cuban, I heard one of his interviews and one of the things he said, and I don’t know exactly how he said it, but it hit me really hard. He said, You know, we’re all gonna be judged by what we did through this crisis, what we did with our people, our partners, our community, rest assured, you will be judged at the end of this on how you acted through this deal. And that that really said in, that he really said, and so that’s for all of us, you know, so we sat down, I said, Hey, we can have an issue with these rents. So I got A plus plus plus rent in my markets, and it’s the highest dollar per square foot. So there’s gonna be a big math problem coming really quick. So we started getting letters, I said, we need to let our partners and our vendors know what’s happening, where we’re at and what we’re looking at. I said, but at this point, we’re all in the same boat, that math problem is gonna be all of our math problems. So why don’t we just do this? Let’s take where it started, to where it’s gonna end and let’s move that math to the end of our agreements, whether it’s leases or length of year of vendors, whatever the case may be and let’s give people the option to understand what’s coming our way. So they can just simply say, No, you didn’t pay the rent, you’re out of here. That’s their right. But when they got this letter, it now allows them to be human and make that that decision that they’ll be judged on, it’s now out of my hands and in their hands. And so we stack them in our office of who we thought would be we would because we got some really good vendor relationships. But then we have some that we just put one on the backhaul saying that one for sure ain’t gonna happen. We just knew. I mean, that was that one landlord, we’ve done the roof. We’ve done the AC’s, we everything’s been my problem, standalone, no help, no help from the vendor whatsoever. And a lot of problems that we’ve had to do our fire I mean, I can go on and on. So we put that one on the way back no and that one’s going to be no help. Well, low and behold my friend, that’s the one that called and he called and totally different voice talking to my wife, Karen was telling her, Karen runs the whole operations and in our offices, and immediately started asking her if she submitted in for her financial help and was concerned about our business and how you know, and she was taken back by the phone call. And then he said I received your proposal today. And she said, Yes, I’m sending that out to all of our landlords when he said, well, I’m just calling to let you know, it’s not acceptable. It’s not acceptable to me. She said, well, I knew probably wouldn’t. He said, you forget about April, you forget about may and if we need to forget about June, we’ll talk about that, at that, as we get closer to June. And you’re not adding this to the back of the lease. This is from me to you, because of how strong of a partner you’ve been for me for 15 years. If I can do that for you. What does that say about me? He said, so you take care of your business. We were blown away. I thanked God at that moment, because it was literally something that was impossible at that moment. I mean, it was one of our biggest, so it’s at 700 square foot store. It’s, you know, is it and so, but at the end of the day, if you look at his math and what we what he made on our rent for 15 years, think about a prospective client that you would give free rent just to get into a box that size. So you know you have the ability to make the right decision and you have the ability to make a wrong decision but at the end of this thing, I hate to be that guy with social media today. I hate to be that guy. So, doing good is better today. I’m on the side of Jesus. 

Mark Quinn

I love it. Kinsley I can tell.

 Mark Kinzley

No, I keep freezing up. So you’re up my friend.

Mark Quinn

Okay. I didn’t know I couldn’t tell if you’re freezing up.James I love that story. You know, it reminds me I was talking to Mike Whittaker with nationwide yesterday and I may have shared this with you. But one of the things he told me about the thing that he was driving through Krispy Kreme donut shop and he got to payment window and the guy at the payment windows says, There’s no charge for you today, sir. He said the guy in front of you paid for your donuts and Mike said shut up, really? He said, yeah. He said, Okay, I’ll tell you what, I’m gonna pay for the guy behind me and so you know, I’ll take care of that guy. He said, okay, he said, you are the 26th person in a row to do that. Right, 26. 26 person and what’s so crazy about it? He said, yeah, my manager has made me promise not to tell anyone that fact until after they offer. So I’m not like encouraging them to pay for the guy behind that. He said, so I couldn’t say anything until you actually made the commitment to do it. So but that’s a 26 person. So it’s a small example. But your landlord I think, in tough times people show their true selves. And I love that your landlord did that. And I know that you’re probably doing that in every way you can with your people and your customers and so I don’t know, I think crappy times can bring out the best in people, that’s for sure.

James

Well, I gotta tell you, you know, I love that shooting the havalina is because I’ve done that a few times. I’m not gonna lie arrows, all kinds of stuff. They’re fun but we’re doing it right now. Ah, you know, there isn’t a better time to revamp this poor, old, tired, ready to go to the pasture model that we’ve been running for this long, this time this time and I see some huge, my ginormous opportunities where the heavy lifting has already gone through this thing has moved us closer to where we’ve always wanted to be. I’ll be honest with you but this thing could become probably put us back in the serious category that we should have we always belonged in you know, putting us closer to person in scrubs we’ve always wanted to put one of our associates in a doctor’s coat because of the health needs that we provide. Well today that’s even bigger than ever to include the textiles and how I protect you afterwards with that same either dirty dish sponge or item that’s gonna help protect your health you know. We can’t do things the old way anymore I mean if God bless you if you do but that ship come and gone mean in my opinion.

Mark Quinn

What are some of the main levers you’re looking at pulling on the on the backside of this when things quote unquote returned to normal? How are you going to change? What specifically Are you thinking about doing?

James

Oh my Lord. So much. I’ll give you a simple one. We used to just protect your head for a pillow when you try to bed before a person tried to bed. But did we ever protect the bed, that needs to happen now we need to create a barrier for every customer that’s gonna try bed that’s the future. I’m gonna move in a category guys have the safest place in retail. That’s what I’m shooting for. Are you gonna be able to walk into our store and no and be secure that your wife is in the safest place of retail because we’re looking at those little details that matter you know, the delivery of it, we’re not gonna take that for granted anymore. I mean we the Mattress Firm signature red carpet with a blue booties, no no blue booties, gloves and mask because we’re now going into another person’s home and we need to respect that environment as it is a protected environment. So this has been up the game you know this ain’t the time to go back into the mattress store business, figure out how to stack a deep and cheap Good luck to you. This is a time to be the serious guy about the serious product that is very the one of the 5 essential items in that home we’ve gotten to find that out during this time period. We go into an empty house where are you gonna get? You don’t get a refrigerator a mattress, TV slash computer turn on the water turn on the power and get you something to eat, that’s it. Oh, and get a gun. Baby get a gun, that’s it. You know, I mean serious and so moving forward, things of comfort swap. I’ll just throw another one out that has been in my brain. I don’t do that no more the same way anymore. No, I am gonna put that thing in body bags zipped up and take it to a morgue when I leave it from your house because I’m not gonna let it contaminate anything inside my truck, I am gonna seal that puppy up when it comes out if you want me to do this service for you, because it needs to be taken more serious and if I go into your home my boys will have some nice Mattress Firm masks that I’m gonna make you know some nice designer ones not that ugly looking stuff and so when they come in these look like serious people doing a serious job in a serious room and we’re moving up our game more serious is my opinion in it. I think this you know, puts us in a place that we can really, you know, shoot that Havalina, big time.

Mark Quinn

Hey,James, I recommend that you get your 15 year old hypebeast branded loving son to help you design that mask, I think you’ll come out with something pretty fancy there. So you know… 

James

You’ll be surprised with a 15 year old teaching me. We’ll talk about that later. 

Mark Quinn 

Hey, I got one, we can compare notes. Matter of fact, I’ll bring him and you can bring your son and we’ll go shoot pigs. 

James

Oh, there you go. 

Mark Quinn

So hey, listen, you know, pure cares, one of our sponsors, and my sister Carrie Quinn.

James

Shout out. 

Mark Quinn

Yeah. And Sarah and Shawn and Anthony and Halina and all those guys and whoever I’m missing that you work with over there, but they love you and they think the world of you and I want you to share with us what you’ve done because in terms of progressive thinking, and really, I think capitalizing on a segment of our market. So you mentioned the importance of us kind of connecting things to better sleep and better health and better life. The sleep essentials category is a big part of that. But what you’ve done with them as a partner, I think is really cool and kind of talk to us about how do you sell sleep essentials? How do you present it to your customer? And what kind of difference has it made for your business?

James

Well, a big shout out to him because you know I had this crazy idea. I took it to market, told everybody about it. Pure Care was the only one that listened to what I was saying and said, Whoa, whoa, whoa, come here, come here, come here, come here and it really, it aligned with what they were where I mean, Anthony, I’ve had a lot of talks. And that whole crew is amazing because they really are looking at this completely not just you know, adding, you know, an add on. And that’s the thing. That’s the old world of the mattress store business and add on that, that cannot happen. So for this to be successful, we said this cannot be something that a salesperson offers. The moment that happens it goes into the bag of greed and add on. So this has to be something that they experience that they go on their own and play with no help whatsoever, just like the kids to the Lego table. And so we decided to make it a boutique look so I threw out Kendra Scott, I’m one of these you know, I like watching other retails among retail watcher, I am a retail watcher and so I go to Mac stores, makeup stores, that’s where I spend my time where women get attracted to the stores and the one of the ones that blew me away was Kendra Scott. This woman transformed the jewelry business by experiencing her jewelry and it’s not expensive, it’s cheap, but you buy the heck out of it. So that’s what I threw at them and my gosh, they nailed it. They came up with a design, we did it in the middle of the store to where when customers walk in it’s not in a section of add ons, we’re here let’s go look at the ad on, no, it’s it flows in the store, it’s part of the store. So people can go and play there by themselves. You don’t have to take them there, you go do it. That doesn’t have to be a process didn’t want this to be a process where I asked for it here or ask for there, No, no, no, you go enjoy it. That’s what you don’t, you don’t get enjoying the process. And so you go in there and they have fun and before you know it and it has to be the right colors and shapes of the packaging, the packaging has to be right I mean, they buy it because of the packaging. And and it has to look right the smell, the touch, the feel, the color, everything. So the customer goes in there, they play with it. They’ll pick their items before they even pick the bed. They’ll buy one two so we’re getting blown away. We’re learning at this point. I’m not the master of anything. We’re learning but what we’re learning is that when you let them play, and let them become the kid that they really are, they just become that kid with more money and they end up buying the sheets and we’ve watched people do this. That has blown us away and that’s just one store. So we started this before we’re gonna roll it others the end and then this thing happened and it kind of stopped us in our place but the cool thing was is we learned enough more than it. I get up to go to the Owens I’m going in headfirst because this thing has really put a huge light on textiles. Textile is gonna what’s gonna protect you, you know that’s how we’re gonna you know not let that bed be a dirty sponge that’s gonna help you sleep better not. I’ve been selling beds for so long guys I know we all have and are you kidding me? A guy that owned a mattress store been sweating in his bed for 15 years how embarrassing is that and I sell cool sleeping beds. But whatever I put on top negates what that mattress does unless I didn’t put the right textile fiber to enhance whatever I’m trying to accomplish. I could have just totally suffocated it not even know it and that’s what most of us do. We don’t put the wrong sheets on the bed and totally don’t let the bed perform the way it should. So, man I’m all about Pure Care. I’m moving into that category with all my heart. That’s part of the shooting of the havalina, it that helps me get the look also away from looking like a mattress. I don’t even want to look like a mattress store. I don’t even want to be associated with a mattress store. You know, we’re much way above that. Mattress store, yeah, that you know that’s there with Sam’s, we’re professionals. We care about your health. We’re serious people we got this serious product. So I kind of think we can take that Bed Bath and Beyond category inside our brick and mortar and become that new retailer.

Mark Quinn

I love the thought process thereJames about just creating space where people can play. You know, instead of shoehorning something into a process and trying to make it formulaic, let’s put up a little playground and when there’s a playground, people know what to do. They go over there and they jump on the monkey bars and they go down the slide and then you can step back and say, let them have fun and then we can answer questions. I love that thought process. 

James

I mean how many times have we as salespeople want it the person to touch the bed, sit on it, touch it, shoe, they’re over there freakin swinging on this the sheet swings over there, man, let them play. Let them play there and you’ll see them, they’ll come walking over there and make the husband mad. You know, because he knows what she’s doing. He knows she’s racking it up. He’s trying to make the decision on the bed and she’s distracted with the sheets. I love it. That keeps him in the store longer. Oh my gosh, he’ll throw up to both sheets at his head to be he opens his mouth. I love it and so it’s opened up the conversation. We’re not selling them and that’s the thing. We’re not selling them. That’s the beauty of letting them play in there because the moment you go and say, Would you like some sheets? That’s the Harry by the way. Would you like some sheets?

Mark Quinn

I actually thought of Harry, when you did that. I can totally see Harry doing that.

James

It goes up better with a shot of tequila. Would you like some sheets? And, you know, No, man. We’re done with that.

Mark Quinn

Kenzley it’s got to be you and I and Harry andJames, shooting pigs and drinking tequila. You know,James, Harry, we love Harry. We did a podcast with him and you listen to that one. 

James

You know he’s my brother from another mother. 

Mark Quinn

I know. I know. KenzleyAnd I gave a speech recently at the nationwide event in Houston and Harry shows that because we’ve been chatting with Harry about drinking tequila. Harry shows up before our speech in the green room where we were rehearsing. We’re about to go on stage 400 people and do some shit that we had never done. We were like live rapping performing this rap song that we had created with Second City. So here he shows up with a backpack a bottle of tequila and some shooter glasses in tequila right before the show is perfect.

James

Oh God, we must all be from the same cut. Pure Care greeted me with a bottle of tequila in Vegas. I thought wow, who told you? Who told you?

Mark Quinn

By the way I was in the showroom when that happened and I was a little upset that I was not brought into the room for those tequila shots but maybe next time

James

And somebody told him no joke. This was in the room. That’s what I drink. That’s my go to, this is what they had in the room.

Mark Kinsley

You know, guys, that bottle looked a little bit fullJames. 

Mark Quinn

He opened it this morning. 

James

This was just breakfast baby 

Mark Kinsley 

That’s what you pour over your cereal right there instead of milk. Right?

James

Well look, a quick tip, I am give a quick tip since this is about tequila and I learned this on ranch eating pigs. I was out there one day and we didn’t have any creamer. There was no creamer and I’m one of these guys. I gotta have cream [Inaudible word at 4507] it’s all right but I gotta have a little creamer in my coffee can’t just do it strong and black. I have PTSD from the army when I did that. So I love they’re trying to get some cream or some sweet but he got some sugar and the old wise man of the ranch, the ranch hand goes, come here and he had a bottle of tequila and he’s open, I said, What are you doing? Get it sweet and tell him in Spanish want to get it sweet and he said, that’s what I’m doing. Did y’all know you add tequila in your coffee and it’ll sweeten that puppy up and be the nicest little warm blanket that goes down inside your chest like Mama’s little hug, I’m not joking and then later on, I saw that patrol made that XL XL thing, I was like shit I drank that at the ranch. You know, that’s what that is. Yeah, little tequila in your coffee guys. That’s good stuff. Just a little tip. Just a little tip.

Mark Quinn

Hey, when we can all get back together again in the same place at the same time this is gonna happen. We’re gonna wake up. We’re all gonna go to breakfast somewhere, somebody pulls out that bottle of tequila and then that night, Salvatore shots.

James

Oh, that’s it. That’s it. And this is the only Mexican you’ll ever know they didn’t drink limes with his tequilas. Just oranges. 

Mark Kinsley

Oranges.

Mark Quinn

Kinsley, where have we done that before? 

Mark Kinsley

Oranges with tequila? New Orleans, Louisiana, Mike Whitaker, celebration evening at the end of the Primetime show.

Mark Quinn

That is right. Have you ever done itJames?

James

If y’all remember those shots? Didn’t that go down nice.

Mark Kinsley

Loved it. 

Mark Quinn

But here’s the problem. It goes down so well that can get you in big trouble real freaking quick. But you know what he did? He took the orange slices and just sprinkled sugar on the plate. So you took that orange slice, dip it in that sugar you take that tequila shot and you could probably do 2030 of those suckers pretty easily. Right? 

James

You can’t keep on talking about all this. 

Mark Kinsley

A little, here. Fill me up.

James

A little bit in the coffee there for you all. 

Mark Quinn

Thank you. Thank you go. Dos Mattress I would never have this opportunity. But this is famous stuff. I’m taking a shot for y’all, just for you all in the morning with the coffee.

Mark Kinsley

That’s so good. 

Mark Quinn

 You know, that was one of the memes going around right now is if you think things are bad right now, just wait 20 years the country is going to be run by people who were homeschooled by day drinkers. 

James

Oh God. Oh lord. I’m just gonna say this one, man. 

Mark Kinsley

Oh my gosh. 

James

Be careful with your kids zoom when they’re on class. And you’re going to take another shot. You gotta be respectful of the day of time where we forgot about class going on in the house while I’m still working. 

Mark Kinsley

Yeah, oh yeah. 

James

Yeah, I’m learning all kinds of new stuff.

Mark Quinn

So that’s a quick funny story. They had some friends as on a zoom call, which I guess everyone’s doing nowadays. And I had some old high school friends that I was in the call with in. There was six of us and Carrie, one of my friends like whatever did something and then she’s screaming, bastard shut the EFF up and she’s like yelling at their dog. We’re all like, cried tears in our eyes. Like Carrie, what is wrong with you? Why are you so mad at that? She goes, y’all can hear that. She’s like a big, high powered accountant in Houston and we go yeah, we could hear everything. She’s been on zoom calls all day long thinking F1 was a mute key. So she said, I don’t know how many times I said shut the EFF up to that dog. 

James

Oh my God.

Mark Quinn

So in other words F1 is not your mute button. So just know that on zoom. 

James

Yeah, yeah. 

Mark Quinn

SoJames, anything else that you want to share with this audience in terms of retail or kind of thoughts, in terms of where we are and maybe some encouragement to the industry because you’re a real bright light. So anything you want to hit us with before we go? 

James

Uh, you know I think the biggest message of all you know and I have had the message with a lot of mentors and good good friends and that’s, you know, saying goodbyes is hard in anything in the longest relationships and I mean, the longer it is And that’s why this was been more difficult for a lot of us because we loved what we did with all our heart. I mean I was a little boy doing this, you know. So when I started seeing it vanish in front of my eyes, I had to die to myself of the love of the mattress store business the way I knew it. But that’s what is now given me the energy, the positiveness, the wanting to get up tomorrow and go kick some ass is reshaping this and putting it in the statute that it should always be, let me just say this, this thing ain’t gonna the appliance business on my watch, period. And that takes a lot of us and there’s a lot of you and me out there that feel the same way. And we have what it takes already in here to reshape this thing to the most beautiful model that ever and it’ll have some the Pure Care, it’ll add the boutique the experiencing, we have the ability, the talent to do that, you know, I mean, think about England, how long they’ve been doing this thing. You know, we have various things that have… all the heavy lifting has been done of a lot of these brands now. It’s just to reintroduce them to where the 15 year old falls in love with it. 

Mark Kinsley

That’s ice cold right there. 

James

Ice cold. 

Mark Quinn

Ice cold sweater. 

James

When you hear your brand on Migos is rap song, you know, you’re moving in the direction you know, that’s lingo but anyway. Yeah, you know, we have an amazing opportunity. You know, if we just quickly die to ourselves of the old model, get out of that go through the morning because you got to go through the morning like any other death. You got to go through the morning. I wont lie. I’ve drank many, a bottle of tequila go through saying goodbye to that thing that I love so much. But then I woke up and said, wow, but look what’s in front of me. Look what’s in front of me. Real quick. I gave away old rusty bedframes for 22 years my friend, for 22 years. Do you know I’m selling $350 queens and $400 Kings all day long? Because nobody wants to rusty anymore and I would have never thought and you could have asked any salesperson can do you think you could sell a $350 frame? Ship? I can’t even give them $100 one away. I got to take it off the price of the mattress to do it. Gone. Gone? Because we decided old rusty is no longer appropriate for good bedding. So we got rid of it. It’s gone. Oh, no, actually, I do have it. It’s under that $99 twin over there with that box thing right there. You can still see old rusty where it belongs. But it’s not in the main showroom under a serious bed or I’m not a serious retailer. I’m a mattress store guy. So that’s what I leave with.

Mark Quinn

I love your messageJames. I love your positivity. I love Just the thought that we plant in people’s minds in this podcast which is all around. This is an opportunity to rethink our business and we are gonna be reshaped by this incredible, unprecedented event and so now’s the time to do that thinking and do that reorientation around the business and you gave us some real, tangible insights about how this product is going to be essential how we’re gonna be focused on safety and then I just love hearing your stories about the old flat bed. This is gonna be fun.

James

Guys, I want to hang out with y’all so bad. Y’all have no idea when I think about tequila here. We’re gonna have a little fire, we’re gonna go shoot a pig and then we’re gonna stringing and barbecueing. 

Mark Kinsley

I’m hungry now. 

James

PETA stands for people eat tasty animals, my friend. 

Mark Quinn

Well, hey, you know, before I want to post a picture of that Pure Care bar. Can we grab a picture? We’ll put it up on our website at much mattresspodcast.com Can we do that? 

James

Are you asking me? 

Mark Quinn

Yeah. 

James

Yeah, I am sending you a pic or I don’t… Yeah.

Mark Kinsley 

If you have it or I’m sure Sarah and those guys appear would have one.

James

Yeah. In fact, Kerry’s got him. I know I’ve sent kerry. Kerry’s my back door. I send her everything quick. So she can keep them showing what we’re doing because I know you look crazy. Every now and then I talk a lot. And sometimes they’re thinking what is he really saying but you know, yeah, after a couple of tequilas, I am. 

Mark Quinn

Well, you’ve only had one during this show. 

Mark Kinsley

Yeah. 

James

What was before I was waiting.

Mark Quinn

I like this, I like this [Inaudible at 5441-5442]

Mark Kinsley

That’s right.

Mark Quinn

Well, so since we’re still in the middle of this pandemic and though life has changed pretty dramatically for a lot of people, we’re going to roll out on a song by our friend Mike Magnuson, who’s the founder of goodbed.com, and the song is called shelter in place. He’s in San Francisco. He’s been hunker down with his family and they’ve done a full family music video now and the song he wrote it, he performed it, he plays the piano in it and does all the instrumentation. So we’re gonna roll out on this one from Mike. 

James

Nice.

Song

We’re not long ago, we were living our lives, but as normal as can be, but then things got real. And now we’re all home, perhaps indefinitely. You see, to stop the spread, we need to isolate ourselves from one another. But the good news is that means a lot more time with your sister and your brother. Now the kids are home from school, which I think is kind of cool is that we’re blowing up the internet. We’re doing video meetings and virtual classes. Normal know we are sheltered and we can say the population never comes to town when you got to get out of the house to enjoy the day. So we go to the park and just make sure it’s the other people far away. And family time has never been better, at least in quantity, making cookies in the kitchen doing yoga in the yard it’s a parenting PhD. And I’m the only bartender and that means that my glass is always full. And the best part is that in this bar, pants are optional. 

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