Six stories, to be exact, for the company’s new store
For years, Home Furnishings Association member Jeff Garfield thought his Bedrooms & More store on the corner of 45th Street and Latona Avenue in Seattle where he got his start in 1972 was all he’d need. Business was good, customers were faithfully returning whenever it was time for a new mattress.
Plans changed when his three sons decided to join the family business.
“We were having fun with the whole family working together,” says Garfield. “That’s when I started thinking we needed to grow – certainly not for me and my wife, but for the boys.”
So, when a vacant lot just 100 feet down the block from his store went on the market, Garfield didn’t hesitate. He bought the land with the vision of building a bigger store for his sons to take over. Maybe not that year or the next, but someday.
That day came in October, when Bedrooms & More opened its second store, a six-floor edifice of wood, glass and steel that stands as a gateway into the Wallingford neighborhood just north of Seattle’s downtown.
There are no official records, but it’s safe to say there aren’t a lot of six-story mattress stores in the U.S. The store’s open design starts with massive windows on all sides of the building. There’s also an atrium that shoppers can view most of the store from. From a catwalk that wraps around the mezzanine, shoppers have sight lines throughout the store.
“The idea is to intrigue you once you come in and start walking around,” says Garfield. “We’ve had a lot of people tell us how nice it is and how easy it is to shop. We have reps come in and tell us they’ve never seen anything like it.”
There are no official records, but it’s safe to say there are few – if any – six-story mattress stores in the country. Then again, Bedrooms & More is not your typical mattress store. Garfield only sells two-sided mattresses, so consumers have more options to rotate them and extend their lifespan.
Bedrooms & More isn’t a factory-direct store, but it does control and oversee the strict manufacture of its products in a way few other retailers do. Many of the company’s mattresses and sleep accessories fall under its 45th Street Bedding brand, named after the street on which the store sits. The company created the brand, which it also sells to other retailers, out of frustration with what Garfield saw as a trend toward lower-quality components in bedding that he believes worsened with the Great Recession.
“The race to the bottom with price has killed the industry, but it helped us because it separated us from the pack,” says Garfield.
The same could be said for the new store as well. The original architectural drawings called for a lot of steel throughout the building. Garfield sent the plans back. “The plan just didn’t lend itself to furniture and bedding,” he says. “It was too cold. I thought we needed something warmer.”
The architect’s next rendering included less steel and more wood, a nod to the Pacific Northwest. Today shoppers are walking through a store with Acacia wood flooring imported from Vietnam and whitewood used for ceilings and beams.
“It has a great feel to it on the inside and outside,” says Garfield. “I’m proud of it.”
Garfield still has his original store down the street, only now it sells seating such as Ekornes, American Leather, Rowe and Flexsteel. Rain falls often in Seattle. When customers want to get from one store to another, Garfield provides a covered golf cart ride for them.
“We want to take care of them,” says Garfield. “Really, when you think about it, for all these years they’ve taken care of us.”