Mike Gettis is one of the co-founders of Endy, Canada’s biggest online mattress retailer.
Calgary’s Business: What is Endy and how are you different from other brands?
Gettis: From the start, our goal at Endy has been to help Canadians sleep better. We’ve built a vertical e-commerce brand from the ground up that is specifically focused on the needs of Canadians. We’re headquartered here, our mattresses are proudly made-in-Canada, and we exclusively sell within Canada. Even our signature product, the Endy Mattress, is engineered for the Canadian sleeper. While traditional memory foam is temperature sensitive, meaning it gets soft (and hot) in summer and uncomfortably firm in winter, our foam is temperature neutral. This means our customers enjoy a consistent sleep year-round, which is something they really enjoy.
CB: How and why are you disrupting the Canadian mattress industry?
Gettis: We felt the mattress industry in Canada needed a wakeup call and Endy was up for the challenge. If you’ve ever shopped for a mattress in a traditional retail store, you know the experience can be frustrating – at best. There’s a commissioned salesperson trying to make a quick sale, it’s impossible to price check between retailers or read reviews, and you end up overpaying for a mattress that gives you back pain or sags in a couple of years. We built Endy as a vertical e-commerce company, allowing us to deliver a truly exceptional mattress at an accessible price point. All of our mattresses, even the California King, cost less than C$1,000. We’re on track to hit $50 million in sales this year alone, and our revenue to-date reflects about 10 per cent of the annual earnings of the country’s largest sleep retailer. As Canada’s leading online mattress brand, it’s safe to say our disruption efforts are having an impact.
CB: How did the company start?
Gettis; My co-founder, Rajen Ruparell, and I launched Endy in 2015 based on a dream to create a Canadian e-commerce experience specifically around mattresses. After both of us purchased our first real mattresses upon entering into the professional world, we realized that there was a lot missing from the experience. Traditionally, buying a mattress is not fun. Driving around from store to store trying mattresses for 10 to 15 seconds with a commissioned sales person driving you to a specific model was never satisfying for either of us. Also for the price, the quality of the average mattress was mediocre at best. By manufacturing a mattress in Canada we were able to build a better mattress from the ground up that would satisfy the needs of the majority of Canadians. Also, through a vertical e-commerce business model we could focus purely on the customer experience with no commissioned sales people and give the ability to customers to try the mattress in their homes with free returns for 100 nights hassle free. Also, by eliminating the middleman, we are able to eliminate the markups associated with the traditional retail model of mattress retail.
CB: What are your plans for the company’s future?
Gettis: Our goal is to help even more Canadians get the sleep they deserve. We’ll continue to expand on our success by investing in TV and retail, and, most importantly, will continue to connect with communities across Canada. Rather than market to the entire country with a blanketed ad campaign, as a Canadian company we have the benefit of looking at each province and major city as a country of its own. Our customers in Winnipeg have different drives and motivations than those in Toronto, and we strive to reflect these cultural differences in our outreach across the country. We are doubling down on our explosive growth in Western Canada by opening a new distribution centre out west, which will serve customers in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories and the Yukon. This investment will cut shipping times in half across Western Canada, and will help us meet increasing customer demand from coast-to-coast.
CB: Why is Calgary the company’s fastest growing market in Canada?
Gettis: Rajen and I were both born and raised in Calgary, so we’re thrilled to see Calgary is Endy’s fastest-growing market. There’s quite a few factors contributing to Calgary’s growth. First, Calgary is a big (and traditionally underserved) market with a burgeoning tech scene, meaning it’s full of early adopters who are keen on e-commerce. Plus, Calgarians in particular make it a priority to support Canadian brands, and the fact that our mattress is made-in-Canada has certainly given us an edge in this market.
| Mario Toneguzzi
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