The New York store is located in Manhattan's Noho area, on the popular shopping street Broadway. It took the design team a year to create the concept and just over a week to get it up and running. When we visited, parts of the store were still under construction.
Casper wants to eliminate the mindset that shopping for a mattress has to be a dreary experience by creating an engaging space where customers can trial products and have fun. There are no salespeople working on commission. "It's really meant to be the antithesis of a traditional mattress retailer," Emma Frane, communications director at Casper, told Business Insider.
"We want to create places that are fun and exciting. More like the Apple stores and less like a traditional mattress store, where you're like, 'Ugh, I have to go take a shower after I've been inside,'" Parikh said.
Casper created a pillow with two different types of fiber — when you switch sleeping positions, the inside rotates to support your head. You can touch and feel the fibers in the store's pillow section. "It's like the science museum. That's kind of a hard thing to conceptualize online," Parikh said.
The store will evolve over time with its customer. "There used to be this idea that a retailer would spend thousands of dollars on a flagship store and then it is done forever. Today you're going to see a lot of continuous iteration cycles," Parikh said.
One of the big advantages of this store is that you can buy the products then and there, including mattresses. You don't need to wait to have them shipped to you, which is typically what other digitally native brands do to minimize the footprint of their stores. Below the shop is a large basement where inventory is stored. Products can be shipped within two hours if you live in New York.
One of the unique parts of the store is the "birdhouses" where its test mattresses are stored.
The idea is to make the experience of trying a mattress more discreet. Parikh describes it as an intimate moment if you go in with a partner. "You have your own bedroom here," he said.
They created open ceilings so that customers wouldn't feel trapped. "You want to feel you're in an enclosed space but not scared," Parikh said.
Each room has a different design and sound effects, such as bird noises that activate as you walk in.
The use of steps in the shop was also strategic. "Kids and families love going upstairs, as it makes like you're going somewhere," Parikh said.
Krim told the Journal that he hasn't decided on the size and layout of the 200 stores or confirmed where they will be.
The company will test different store models and adjust them based on customer feedback.