As the CEO of SleePare, a company he started in order to make purchasing large items easier for consumers, Shanir Kol aims to create a network of hybrid mattress stores. Kol has taken an outdated concept—buying a mattress in a traditional store—and given it a modern edge that keeps SleePare customers coming back. Keep reading to learn more about Shanir and why he started SleePare.
Kol started his entrepreneurial journey in 1999. Previously, he had studied at the California State University Business School in Northridge, CA. When starting out in business, Kol wanted to focus on helping people to make informed purchasing decisions when shopping. This principle is what SleePare promotes when shopping in one of the brand’s showrooms. Before SleePare, Kol’s passion for helping customers make smart purchases in his stores led to him starting 4rihut.co.il, the first company ever to offer high-end furniture as a “Try and Buy” concept.
Although he admits his idea for a website that sells high-end furniture with a “Try and Buy” aspect wasn’t well received at first, Shanir persisted. He then found a business partner who Kol has been partnering with for over 14 years now. Shanir’s concept of testing out a product in person before buying it online proved to be successful. It was that success that led to him continuing on and starting SleePare.
The new concept of “Try and Buy” in eCommerce has been met with enthusiasm by customers when it comes to shopping for a mattress. As SleePare continued to develop, the way people shop for mattresses started changing along with it. As online mattress companies grew and continued to dominate the market, Shanir’s “Try and Buy” concept for online shopping found its perfect match.
It’s obvious online shopping is not going anywhere. However, as online shopping became more mainstream, and in some cases, the only option for purchasing certain items in certain locations, people started to miss the in-person experience of shopping. That experience is what SleePare wants every time a customer walks into a showroom.
Another aspect of SleePare is the no-pressure environment, or, no salespeople hassling shoppers and attempting to get them to make a purchase that isn’t right for them. For decades, mattress stores and shopping had a bad reputation for sleazy salespeople and shady business tactics. SleePare is changing that stereotype but allowing customers to privately test out mattresses in our showroom without interruption. When customers purchase a mattress at SleePare, they can enjoy the perks of both in-store and online shopping.
Additionally, along with the traditional in-store shopping experience, people started to miss the human connection you can make when purchasing an item that can end up changing your life. While pursuing a career as an entrepreneur, Shanir’s main focus was always to help people and serve the public. This drive led him to making the experience of shopping at SleePare one that customers wouldn’t soon forget. At SleePare, the mattress isn’t just a mattress that you purchase because you need a place to sleep.
When you purchase a mattress at a SleePare showroom, the staff wants you to purchase the best possible mattress for you. In many cases, buying the right mattress at SleePare ends up helping ease symptoms of a health issue like chronic pain. This care towards customers paired with the superior knowledge of SleePare staff has cemented the brand’s reputation. One customer even drove 100 miles out of their way to visit a SleePare showroom! SleePare has been able to improve the sleep quality of over 10,000 satisfied customers.
SleePare’s design of trying before buying has had an unexpected yet positive impact; a reduction in mattress waste. When a mattress is purchased online and then returned by customers per the brand’s policy, it is often discarded and left in the landfill. Repeating this process for years only ends up harming the environment.
When you give customers the opportunity to test out mattresses before purchasing them, waste is drastically reduced, as is SleePare’s carbon footprint. The try and buy model at SleePare has saved thousands of mattresses from ending up in landfills. Also, when customers buy the right mattress the first time around, the likelihood of returning is significantly lower. Returning a mattress and having the company throw it out also incurs transportation and packaging costs. One of those ends up in air pollution while the other ends in a landfill. By eliminating this all together, SleePare even further reduces their environmental impact. This also has helped SleePare and the brands they partner with save 70% on returns and exchanges.
With a return and exchange rate of twenty percent, there are still around one million mattresses that end up in landfills. Approximately six million mattresses are sold online in the United States each year. Many of these mattresses hit the landfill soon after they leave the factory. However, SleePare reducing this and helping to safe the environment.
Helping to reduce waste as well as the company’s carbon footprint has even further motivated Shanir into making SleePare the best it can be. Along with helping customers find the perfect mattress that can change their life and the environmentally friendly aspect, SleePare manages to encapsulate altruistic endeavors in their business model. These two schools of thought have no doubt added to the success of SleePare—a success that Shanir is proud to have achieved. Shanir credits the thousands of positive reviews from customers as well as unexpected and positive environmental impacts of SleePare’s business model as the motivations that keep him going.
Currently, SleePare has showrooms in Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and Tysons Corner, Virginia. As of 2022, SleePare has generated over $10 million in direct and affiliate sales. In the future, Shanir hopes to expand SleePare in the next five years to have 30 locations in the United States and Canada.
Visiting a SleePare store is not your average mattress shopping experience. In fact, thanks to Shanir’s innovation, you’ve probably never had a shopping experience like the one you’ll have at SleePare before! Shanir’s success in taking a tired concept and effectively rearranging it for the modern shopper wasn’t without setbacks.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, like other stores, Shanir had to essentially start from scratch. Not only did Shanir manage to rebuild his retail team, but he also managed to operate a profitable store during the stagnated economic times of the early pandemic. Thanks to Shanir’s tenacity and drive to help others make informed and beneficial purchasing decisions, SleePare is thriving. Shanir hopes to continue expanding SleePare to new markets to help even more people find their perfect mattress, reduce mattress waste, and provide customers with a one-of-a-kind mattress shopping experience you won’t find anywhere else.