Toledo Talk

This is John from Banner Mattress - we're done

Banner Mattress & Furniture Co. will officially shut down later this year, but a group of four employees including the firm’s general manager have plans to build a new business around the 85-year-old company’s central Toledo mattress factory.

Bard Strand, Banner’s general manager, said the family that owns the company wants to get out of the business.

“They want to unload what they own currently — inventory, real estate, you name it. But a deal has been made between the current owner and myself with my partners that we will take over the factory, factory equipment, warehouse, and everything we have downtown.”

The new company will be called Banner Factory Direct LLC.

Mr. Strand said a liquidation sale of the inventory will begin in mid-June and will likely be finished by the end of September.

Once that’s finished, Banner Mattress will officially go out of business. But Mr. Strand said his group anticipates taking over operations the very next day.

Banner will permanently close its two factory-owned stores on Hill Avenue and West Alexis Road in Toledo.

Banner leases a third store on East South Boundary Street in Perrysburg. Mr. Strand said his group is working with the property owner to keep the store for the new company.

“Other locations are being looked at, but that is a little premature to talk about. But there are going to be two to three retail locations in metro Toledo plus our mattress factory and distribution center, which is where it’s always been down off Monroe Street,” he said.

Matthew Karp, the president and owner of Banner Mattress, could not be reached for comment on Monday. A message left at his office was not returned.

The company was founded in Toledo in 1929. Mr. Karp’s father, Myron Karp, bought the business from the founding family in 1972. Under his leadership, Banner expanded from a mattress manufacturer to a full retail operation.

Myron Karp died in 2004.

Banner currently has fewer than 50 employees, Mr. Strand said. Of those, only four work at the firm’s factory. Still, Banner cranked out some 8,000 mattresses last year.

Mr. Strand expects production to remain steady, though he’s not sure how many employees the new company will need.

“That is far from sorted out yet,” he said. “Some current employees will absolutely come on to the new company, but that’s all I can say right now.”

Mr. Strand, who has been with Banner for nine years, said the new stores will continue to carry a variety of furniture, but will be smaller in size than the two Banner superstores. A name for the retail stores has not yet been decided upon.

Though they intend to start in metro Toledo, the group believes the smaller store format will be better suited to expanding beyond the region in the future.

“I think the company in some shape or form should continue. The thing has been here for 85 years, the Toledo community has been very good to us all these years, and the company is a very valid business. It’s viable, it’s good, so why not continue it?”

Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Retail/2014/06/10/Mattress-firm-to-change-hands.html#x6z4YcxHGvEgkMc9.99

created by justareviewer on Jun 10, 2014 at 12:17:32 pm     Comments: 11

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Comments ... #

If your looking at North Toledo, there is the old Toys-R-Us store on Alexis that is opening up.

posted by MIJeff on Jun 10, 2014 at 12:24:26 pm     #  

If the liquidation prices are good, I have a room in the house that needs new furniture !

posted by Hoops on Jun 10, 2014 at 12:47:15 pm     #  

I bought a Simmons mattress from Banner last summer at the Hill Ave. store. I was surprised that the sales lady didn't show me the Banner-made mattresses, and when I asked her about them, she said most people just don't buy them.

posted by Anniecski on Jun 10, 2014 at 01:10:25 pm     #  

How is this different from any other close out or going out of business sale? Sounds like a better told story - that's all. Mattress places do this all the time - I'm not falling for it. Ha!

posted by Molsonator on Jun 10, 2014 at 02:06:58 pm     #   1 person liked this

Buying a mattress is about one of the biggest pains in the ass around. The manufacturers give different names to the same models when they are sold at different stores so it makes it impossible to comparison shop. There is really no objective standard for mattresses since some like softer, memory foam, etc. I think the mattress stores know that the trick is to get you in the door with one of their "sales" because you are going to just buy one at the first place you go.

posted by Ace_Face on Jun 10, 2014 at 04:52:32 pm     #  

15 years ago, we bought a 'top end' mattress and box spring from a 'top end' specialtystore, did as much research as we could, tested, tested, almost fell asleep on the one we bought, spent way more than we would have for a Sealy, Simmons, or Posturpedic, and the p.o.s. broke down in 7 years. I fixed the swayback on my side by jamming some cheap throw pillows from Big Lots between mattress and boxspring, but The Hub has refused to give in and let me do it to his side, so it's like rolling down hill from my side to his. Never again.

posted by nana on Jun 10, 2014 at 05:53:17 pm     #  

Ace_face said: "Buying a mattress is about one of the biggest pains in the ass around. The manufacturers give different names to the same models when they are sold at different stores so it makes it impossible to comparison shop."

You got that right, Ace! A major pain in the ass. I spent weeks testing mattresses, doing research, etc. before buying one about seven years ago. Almost impossible to determine which will hold up.

My mom bought Banner mattresses for three bedrooms at her lakehouse 20 years ago and we always slept like rocks on them. Always very comfortable. I bought a Sealy Posturepedic about seven years ago after the Sealy I used for over 30 years finally gave out. It was my first mattress as a child and lasted that long. I never got used to the new Sealy. It's just not as comfortable.

There has been such a huge number of mattress companies opening in the area over the years. Even Menards sells them. I'm surprised more aren't going out of business.

posted by renegade on Jun 10, 2014 at 06:55:40 pm     #  

I hope someone buys the Alexis Road store and turns it into a disco.

posted by mixman on Jun 10, 2014 at 07:38:09 pm     #   1 person liked this

I bought a Banner Mattress and box spring in 2007. The mattress was OK, but the box spring was a cheap piece of shit that broke under our weight. I'm 180 and my wife is 125. We're not huge.

Wood was about the same weight as what they make those model airplanes out of. I patched it back together for another 5-6 months of use, then it broke on the other side...and we just went to Sams club and got a better mattress.

I dubbed more than my share of "John from Banner Mattress" commercials during my radio years. Those f@#kers and "Carpets by Otto" will be playing in my special section of hell on a loudspeaker....

posted by oldhometown on Jun 11, 2014 at 12:38:22 am     #   1 person liked this

I have out of town family that visits and always makes the joke, "Hey Banner Mattress is having a sale this weekend!"

It'll be a sad Saturday morning without that joke from now on.

posted by slowsol on Jun 11, 2014 at 08:25:24 am     #  

At least they're not doing the never ending Bedland Going Out Of Business sale that seemed to last 3 years.

posted by JoeyGee on Jun 11, 2014 at 08:35:31 am     #