ABOUT MATTRESS KING
Mattress King joined the Innovative Mattress Solutions family in 2012, and has grown along with sister companies Sleep Outfitters and Mattress Warehouse to more than 160 stores in six states. United under one vision, these stores strive to deliver the best mattress brands for less to customers looking for a personalized solution for their sleep needs. Armed with our highly-trained sleep specialists, the lowest prices, and reliable service, Mattress King is determined every day to help you sleep better every night.
While carrying on the spirit of the original business, Mattress King is in the process of updating its name. "I opened my first Mattress Warehouse in West Virginia over three decades ago,” said CEO Kim Knopf. “A lot has changed since then. What hasn't changed is my belief that good sleep is as important as diet and exercise for good health. That's why we're changing the name of our Alabama stores to Sleep Outfitters—a name that better describes what we do. We all sleep. Why not sleep well? Sleep Outfitters—outfitting you for a healthy life."
Are you sleeping or sleeping well? We could be the difference. Visit a conveniently located Mattress King near you today!
Learn more about Mattress King’s ongoing rebranding to Sleep Outfitters, our CEO Kim Knopf, and our company timeline below.
SLEEP OUTFITTERS REBRAND
Tap, tap, tap.
"We want you to sleep better and save you money," so said the Mattress King for a decade to Huntsville and Birmingham television viewers.
It was around 2002 that Mattress King founder Wayne Koswoski donned a king's costume and began tapping the imaginary glass lens of a TV camera in order to get viewers' attention.
"That worked out well," Wayne told the Huntsville Times in 2012. It did indeed.
But after 23 years in business, owners Wayne and Kay Koswoski were thinking about retirement, but it isn't easy giving up something you've spent more than two decades building, to entrust your employees' futures to strangers, much less your good reputation among your customers.
However, in 2012, an offer to purchase Mattress King came along from then West Virginia-based Innovative Mattress Solutions (iMS), a company the Koswoskis thought they could trust, and one whose history was, in many ways, similar to theirs.
Mattress King was founded in 1989 in Huntsville with the opening of a single store. Kim Brown Knopf, a Louisville, Ky. native, founded iMS in 1983 in South Charleston, W.Va. with the opening of her first store, called Mattress Warehouse.
Over the next 23 years, Mattress King grew to 19 stores across Huntsville and Birmingham. During Kim Knopf's company's first 20 years, she opened 20 stores under the Mattress Warehouse and Sleep Outfitters names in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.
Both companies were committed to sensible, steady growth and superior customer service. In iMS, Wayne and Kay had indeed found a company they could entrust with their own company.
Wayne said at the time, "We have been blessed to see our company grow during trying times in our industry. When other companies were closing stores, we were opening more. Kay and I are excited about retiring ... almost as excited as we are for our employees. This acquisition (by iMS) will allow them all some wonderful opportunities and career paths greater than what we could have provided on our own."
THE NEXT GENERATION
Another similarity between the two companies is the presence of the founders' children in the businesses. Kim's daughter Karrie serves as IMS's digital marketing director, while the Koswoski's son Joseph runs iMS's Alabama operation as the state's division vice president.
Said Joseph, at the time of his family's company's sale to iMS, "This is a win-win. It's a wonderful opportunity for my parents as well as me and the other Mattress King employees. Partnering with iMS allows us to take this company to a whole new level. I'm more excited than ever to see where this takes us."
Today, iMS, now headquartered in Lexington, Ky., operates 160 stores in six states (Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia) under the Mattress King, Mattress Warehouse and Sleep Outfitters names. The company’s over three-decade growth has been a combination of organic expansion ("This looks like a good place for a mattress store") to acquisition of existing companies. The purchase of Mattress King was one of the better acquisitions, since the two small, privately-held companies had so much in common.
That the ownership change went smoothly is due mainly to Joseph Koswoski's leadership during the transition. Joseph knew how his parents had done business, knew his customers and what they expected and helped iMS continue offering the same customer-focused approach Birmingham and Huntsville consumers had come to expect. In short, while ownership changed, daily operations and company philosophy did not.
Under Joseph Koswoski's leadership, Mattress King of Alabama continues to flourish in both sales and customer satisfaction.
But managing a growing company under three different brand names is challenging and expensive. Kim Knopf knew that sooner or later she would have to decide on one name for all her company's stores. Both the Mattress King and Mattress Warehouse names are owned by different people in different states. But Sleep Outfitters is an original name that Kim and her staff came up with when they expanded into Kentucky many years ago, where the Mattress Warehouse name was owned by someone else.
So, Mattress King is changing its name to Sleep Outfitters for the reasons mentioned above, but also because it better describes what we do - outfitting our customers for a healthy life. We know that quality, restorative sleep is just as important to healthful living as diet and exercise.
Like the successful transition in ownership years ago, this name-change to Sleep Outfitters should be "fit for a king."
Learn more about the Mattress King rebrand here
KIM KNOPF BIO
In 1983, Kim Knopf responded to a newspaper ad for a salesperson in a bedding shop. The interviewer’s enthusiasm for the prospects of the business sparked her determination to run a shop of her own rather than someone else’s. At the tender age of 23, Kim Knopf plunged headlong into the rough-and-tumble world of free enterprise. Just one year removed from her college days at the University of Kentucky, the young businesswoman put $25,000 on the table and set out to live the American dream.
Kim began by doing research and attending seminars offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Next, she prepared a business plan. The parents of her then boyfriend, now husband, looked at her business plan and let her use a certificate of deposit for collateral to borrow half of the start-up money, and bought 50 percent of the company’s stock to give her the rest that she needed.
Over the next several decades, she grew her company to 160 retail locations. She had two children along the way and went back to work when they were two to three weeks old, taking them to the office with her every day. She maintains a family-friendly atmosphere and views her employees as her second family, taking pride in helping them develop different skill sets and giving them opportunities to grow and succeed.
“I must make sure that the company’s culture is right. I think our employees take pride in and really find a purpose in their jobs and their role in the company’s success.” -Kim Knopf
Kim has won several awards for professional achievement, including being a 1995 finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year, the 1996 GERS “Power User of the Year, a national technology award, and was profiled in Nation’s Business in 1998. In May 2010, iMS was one of only four bedding stores in the USA honored as a Retail Giant of Bedding by Furniture/Today.
She served as director of the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce (1997-1999), director of the Putnam County Rotary Club (1997) and president (1999-2000); she is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization, served as communication chair for the 1997-1998 year and as membership chairman.
You can tell a lot about a company by its history.
Less than a year after graduating from the University of Kentucky, insurance agent and Louisville-native Kim Brown Knopf answered an ad looking for people to sell mattresses. Her interest piqued, she began investigating the bedding business. Decisive and entrepreneurial, the 23-year-old chose Charleston, W.Va. as the place to open her own business. She moved there in August 1983 and opened her first store, Mattress Warehouse, in October in nearby South Charleston.
Kim handled all facets of her budding business, from buying merchandise, to advertising and selling it, to finally delivering it. There were days when she wouldn’t see a single customer, but she persevered in the knowledge that hers was the first business of its kind in the state – a specialty sleep shop offering brand name mattresses, on-hand inventory, excellent service and the lowest prices, guaranteed.
Kim continued opening new Mattress Warehouse stores across West Virginia; however, licensing agreements dictated that the name could not be used outside the state. So, when the company wanted to expand into Kentucky in 2002, the Sleep Outfitters brand was born. Over the next two years, a series of acquisitions would double the company’s size. In 2004, the acquisition of Westco Group in Akron, Ohio and Mattress Firm in Louisville, Ky. added 15 stores to the chain, making it 30-stores strong. Now, with stores all over West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama, the Innovative Mattress Solutions (iMS) family of stores is prepared to serve a large regional footprint.
Today, Kim Knopf’s little mattress company is over 160-stores strong and operates in six states (West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Indiana) as Sleep Outfitters, Mattress Warehouse, and Mattress King. Kim’s founding philosophy of providing the best products at the lowest prices continues to drive the company’s success.
- 1983 – Opened first store, in South Charleston, W.Va.
- 1986 – Opened corporate office in Winfield, W.Va.
- 1986 – Built first distribution center, in Winfield, W.Va.
- 1993 – Invested in GERS computerized retail point of sale system
- 1995 – Kim selected as finalist for WV Entrepreneur of the Year
- 1995 – Second distribution center is opened in Bridgeport, W.Va.
- 1996 – iMS presented GERS Power User of the Year National Technology Award
- 1997 – 10th store opened, in Ashland, Ky.
- 1998 – iMS profiled in Nation’s Business magazine
- 2002 – Sleep Outfitters brand launched
- 2003 – Acquisition of Mattress Barn in Lexington, Ky.
- 2004 – Acquisition of Westco Group in Akron, Ohio providing iMS 10 stores in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky.
- 2004 – Acquisition of Mattress Firm in Louisville, Ky. (10 more stores)
- 2004 – Third distribution center is opened, in Lexington, Ky.
- 2004 – Opened 25th store (Columbus, Ohio) and first Indiana store (Clarksville)
- 2006 – Fourth and fifth distribution centers opened (Cleveland and Columbus)
- 2006 – Opened 50th store, in Delaware, Ohio
- 2008 – Silver Anniversary Celebration – 25 successful years in business
- 2008 – Opened 75th store, in Louisville, Ky.
- 2009 – Opened our 85th store
- 2010 – One of only four bedding stores in the USA honored as a Retail Giant of Bedding by Furniture/Today
- 2010 – Opened our 90th store
- 2011 – Acquisition of Mattresses Unlimited in Louisville, Ky. and Nashville, Tenn.
- 2012 – Acquisition of Mattress King in Alabama
- 2013 – 30th Year in Business – Opens 150th Store in Louisville, Ky.