Lori Feco of Mattress Mattress: Lessons from the pandemic
BRIGHTON, Ontario – COVID-19 has been a life altering event. This is now old news but almost everyone agrees it has contained a multitude of teachable moments. So, HGO approached eight influential independent furniture, mattress and appliance retailers and asked them to share what they’ve learned. They all seem to agree that either despite or because of it, this tragedy has made better human beings and better businesspeople.
Each week for the next eight, one of these responses will be highlighted here. To read the entire report, check out the Spring 2021 edition of the HGO Merchandiser by clicking here.
I want to thank each of these energetic and thoughtful industry leaders for taking the time to consider the questions and respond fully. Aside from some minor editing to ensure clarity, their answers are presented as submitted.
Lori Fecho, vice president
Mattress Mattress, Calgary, Alberta
What have you learned from the pandemic, both as a businessperson and as a human being?
As a businessperson, and a human being, I’ve learned that who we surround ourselves with will determine our threshold for crisis. Those who are okay with stepping outside of their comfort zone and adapting to change are going to pull through the strangest of times. I’ve always felt sales is not for the faint of heart and this strange year has proven that more times than not. I’m so proud of the associates who work for Mattress Mattress and how they have remained focused and motivated during such a stressful and unique time. Every single thing that has been introduced or changed was embraced and taken in stride. I’m grateful for this type of teamwork.
How has it changed your business, your approach to business and how you see its future?
This is interesting. We've made some changes during COVID to better handle the restrictions that will probably stick with us. We’ve learned that scheduling two or three associates together for less hours provides a better retail experience than staggering their shifts and remaining open longer hours. We learned taking a stand and stepping up to various guidelines provides greater customer certainty when they need it most. We learned we sell products people still want to test before buying online, so we’re less distracted by the online mattress sellers these days. Yes, it’s a thing and we offer online sales too but there is still a need for brick-and-mortar, so we need to continue providing a value-added experience in store.