Foamcraft Inc., an Indianapolis-based foam-products manufacturer than began selling mattresses less than two years ago under its own Comfort Option brand, is going to test the waters of retail.
The company plans to open a pop-up store in Circle Centre mall under the Comfort Option name on May 1. The store is initially scheduled to be a one-month endeavor, but could be there much longer if things work out.
Under a real estate development program called St’artUp 317, Comfort Option will take over the 2,200-square-foot space on the second floor formerly occupied by Clark’s Shoes, which closed in late January.
Comfort Option said it will get the space rent-free as part of the program, but will pay a small fee to cover utilities.
“Our hope, goal, and current plan is to make this work long term,” said Foamcraft Chief Marketing Officer Nathan Elliott in an email to IBJ. “We’re developing some detailed analytics and working very closely with the mall’s management to set goals that would prove we can afford the space once May is over.”
Comfort Option’s only physical locations previously have been showrooms attached to their manufacturing facilities—one in Lawrence and the other in Greenfield.
The company began selling mattresses online nationally in January.
Elliott said the store won’t be lined with beds, because Comfort Option sells customized mattresses, but it will display the available options.
Not-for-profit booster group Downtown Indy launched the St’artUp 317 program about a year ago to connect landlords with people who might be interested in becoming tenants. Develop Indy and the Indy Chamber took over the program in January, with Downtown Indy remaining as a partner.
“The program is a great concept,” Elliott said. “It helps brands like us give retail locations a try, and it helps fill vacant storefronts which can become problems over time.”