How SleePare’s Innovation Reduces Global Waste

Shanir Kol’s drive as an entrepreneur has helped lessen the carbon footprint globally—as the CEO of SleePare, his mission to match customers with the perfect mattress diminishes returns and saves mattresses from going straight to landfills, counteracting the prominent issue of worldwide waste.

SleePare is a national retail company that specializes in high quality and individualized service when purchasing mattresses.  Shanir Kol, sole owner of SleePare, facilitates each customer to make well-informed and risk-free decisions when selecting any of his merchandise. Kol is a furniture connoisseur as he has been in this industry since 2004 when he established the first-ever company to introduce online furniture sales to the Israeli market. After facing skepticism from its citizens who were apprehensive about an unfamiliar website, Kol brought a new aspect of online merchandise to Israel for customer convenience.

Kol studied Business administration at California State University Business school in Northridge, CA in 1999 and soon after began the novice business venture of online furniture. As an entrepreneur, Kol has a thirst for innovation.“Being able to get up in the morning and do what you really like to do is probably one of the biggest gifts you can get. To be excited about being able to think of ideas and execute them and do things your way;it’s an amazing gift that I’ve got the chance to do that,” said Kol.

Innovation

SleePare rejects the traditional concept of the mattress purchasing process. Kol revolutionized this typically exhausting and time-consuming task by turning it into a personalized experience. SleePare’s spacious showrooms create a calm and welcoming atmosphere by providing a secluded environment for consumers to privately test the mattresses without interruptions. Perspective customers have the ability to access an online booking system that displays available times to reserve an appointment bae for a private shopping experience. The brand puts a heavy emphasis on a stress-free shopping experience. During 30-minute scheduled showroom appointments, SleePare pairs customers with experienced sleep specialists who present them with a specific mattress based on the customer’s preferred sleeping position, challenges they may experience during slumber such as issues with temperature and sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

An improper mattress can cause you to develop health issues when it does not provide the necessary support for your head and neck that you require while sleeping. The company takes the time to educate the customers on how to select the right mattress. The innovation continues as SleePare prepares to begin providing chiropractor appointments for customers to further aid their health needs.

SleePare provides guests with informed recommendations based on proprietary software. The SleePare online provider has an AI technology that gathers feedback from various sites and platforms on the internet in order to analyze a vast range of sources and calculate 1 average score for each mattress. SleePare’s reviews are based on real data, not advertisement. The company used transparency to sustain long term customer satisfaction.

SleePare’s customized experience drastically diminishes the rate of returns for the brand. The company’s exchange policy allows customers to return a mattress purchased in their showrooms (within 100 days) for any other model or brand offered in the store with a complete 100 percent refund.

SleePare’s showrooms have reduced the rate of exchanges by more than 70% the typical online mattress shopping returns. SleePare holds its efforts to reduce waste with the utmost importance. Approximately six million mattresses are sold online in the United States each year with a 20% return and exchange rate leaving ultimately one million mattresses to be transported to landfills shortly after they’re manufactured. This creates an immense loss of resources and an impossible waste mountain clog landfill.

“About 10,000 mattresses have been bought through SleePare since we opened and because we have a 5% return exchange rate versus 20% average in DTC market, meaning about 1,500 are being used and enjoyed instead of going straight to landfills. Think of a line of 150 UPS trucks full of new mattresses waiting in line to throw them all to the landfill,” said Kol. These heartbreaking figures are demolishing ecosystems around the world as more and more waste accumulate.

This environmental issue intensified as the ‘bed in a box’ concept emerged, making purchasing this massive product that much easier. In 2014, an abundance of online mattress companies released the ‘bed in a box’, a mattress that is rolled and compressed into a box for immediate online purchase and delivery directly to a customer’s door step. As brands saved on retailers and shipping costs, offering much higher value for customers, the issue of frequent returns and exchanges created a whole new problem. With an estimated, industry wide 20% of the mattresses purchased returned, all of the environmental aspects to source, produce, pack and ship them are in vain as the beds are simply sent back to be thrown out contributing to a huge problem of global waste as a repercussion of this booming market. The liberty to buy something as large as a mattress with a click of a button has led to consumers making purchases impulsively or without the proper information about the product.

Almost 20 million mattresses are discarded in landfills around the world every year, with each mattress occupying 40 cubic feet of space. Mattresses are much too large and bulky to decompose as fast as they need to. Waste of this magnitude can’t be compressed as easily as other trash. Such a massive landfill occupancy significantly contributes to negative ecological and environmental effects and hazardous working conditions globally.

“Mattresses are huge, there’s a lot of materials and resources that are needed to make one mattress and I don’t think people are fully aware of that. A lot of C02 is involved in the packing and the transporting process and the numbers are so big when you think of all of those mattresses that are manufactured and almost immediately going to the landfill,” said Kol.

Kol’s most proud achievement is being able to help over 10,000 people improve their health and sleep quality as well as being able to contribute significantly less mattresses to landfills with every informed purchase. The company plans to clean, sanitize, and donate mattresses in an extra effort to eliminate waste, refusing to contribute to this environmental crisis.

Successful cases

Shortly after Kol came up with the idea in 2017, the brand launched the online retail site www.SleePare.Comin January of 2018. The doors of their first physical location opened in Downtown Manhattan later that year. The flood of positive feedback from the public led to the succession of a second showroom in the Washington, D.C. market in 2019. The momentum persisted as SleePare established showrooms in Midtown Miami in 2020, Boston Metro in 2021, and a recently opened 5,000 square foot store in Mid City Los Angeles after exceeding sales of 10,000 mattresses nationwide.

SleePare has successfully made itself known in five major business hubs in the United States. The brand has opened five SleePare showrooms in the United States so far and generated over $10 million in direct and affiliate sales. As the CEO, Kol’s ambition is to continue to expand and launch 30 stores in the next five years across the U.S and Canada. Kol plans to grow to 22 metro areas in the US, giving more than 90% of American residents access to test the online mattresses before they buy at their convenience.

Under the leadership of Shanir Kol, the company has effortlessly immersed itself into the U.S economy, partnering with brands such Nectar, Helix, Winkbeds, Puffy, Brooklyn Bedding, Dreamcloud, etc. SleePare’s coexistence with these brands has become mutually beneficial for all involved. SleePare is consistently overbooked in their showrooms with brands that want to be displayed alongside their merchandise. Kol is pleasantly surprised by how eager these giants in the furniture industry are to be displayed right next to their direct competitors. Such benevolence amongst businesses in this retail environment encourages more genuine brands to participate as opposed to companies that are more focused on great advertisements.

Satisfactory feedback

SleePare’s 5% is a clear indication of their customer satisfaction. Guests drive for several hours and even from across state lines to make appointments with their experts and experience SleePare’s quality stock in person. “I just can’t believe it. I see people visiting us from two states over and take the full day to drive here and then drive back home the full 3,4,5 hours away which is really overwhelming which I didn’t see happening. But people are really concerned with sleeping well and their health so they take the effort and it’s great to see,” said the CEO.

Not only is Kol nourishing the U.S. economy with the revenue his company has created and the salaries his employees are earning but he is actively becoming an environmental steward and providing the public with a much-needed service.

The specific sector of the furniture industry is especially gratifying for Kol because not only has he been able to achieve immense success in such a short time period but he also is delighted to be of service to the public in helping them improve a function that is so vital to our mood and overall health. “I’m being told by people how happy they are just to be able to use our services and I don’t think a lot of businesses get that reaction from customers on a daily basis, so that’s really rewarding every time,” said the entrepreneur. “Meeting people in the store and seeing how happy they are just to learn that we exist makes me happy every single time. When I meet people in the stores and the first sentence out of their mouths is ‘oh my god I’m so happy you guys exist I’ve been going crazy for so long looking for a mattress’.”

Kol’s greatest strength as an entrepreneur is his motivation to consistently progress and advance.“Obviously when you are operating in over five states there are constantly challenges. You need to have that internal strength to keep going and not let yourself get tired or slow down with all of those challenges that you face every day,” said Kol. With the direction the rapid success is going, Kol expects to be able to help over 40,000 American citizens choose the right online mattress and obtain the quality of sleep they deserve each year.

LA Weekly