Papa John's pokes at mattress disruptors in promotion with retailer
- Furniture retailer Raymour & Flanigan is giving away free pizza from Papa John's for a year to customers who purchase a mattress that costs $500 or more through June 13. Consumers can also get free next-day mattress delivery, according to Business Insider.
- The campaign tagline, "Mattresses shouldn't come in a box — pizzas do," seems to take a jab at direct-to-consumer (DTC) startups like Casper, Leesa and others that deliver their products directly to customers' homes in a box, per Business Insiders.
- Shoppers who buy a mattress at Raymour & Flanigan will be able to get one large pizza each month from July 2018 through June 2019.
Raymour & Flanigan and Papa John's might make an unusual pairing on paper, but their partnership signals how traditional retailers are feeling competition from newer DTC brands and a subsequent pressure to innovate in order to retain consumer interest. Brick-and-mortar retailers still dominate mattress sales, according to IBIS World analysts, but newcomers are increasingly disrupting the $29.1 billion industry. Casper, which launched in 2013 with one mattress design, had $100 million in sales in 2015 and 2x that in 2016.
Casper and DTC companies like it tend to have lower overhead, more direct relationships with customers and more agile supply chains that can quickly serve consumers' evolving needs, according to analysis from the Interactive Advertising Bureau. While Raymour & Flanigan is going on the offensive with its latest campaign, other retailers are trying to forge closer relationships with their disruptors. Target invested $75 million in Casper last year when the companies forged a retail partnership. West Elm and Pottery Barn have a partnership with Leesa mattresses.
Papa John's, for its part, is struggling to find footing amid poor sales and some major shakeups to its marketing business in recent months. The chain recently dropped out of being the NFL's official pizza sponsor, blaming the league's ratings slump on its falling sales. The company last year named Brandon Rhoten as CMO, who was noted for being a disruptor in the quick-service restaurant space, but the executive stepped down at the end of last month. His departure followed that of CEO and founder John Schnatter in December, who left in the wake of controversial comments he made about the NFL's national anthem protests.