Casper To Join the Wave of Online Retailers Going Offline in SF
Casper, the buzzy direct-to-consumer mattress company, is setting up shop in Cow Hollow in the former American Apparel space. Reps aren't releasing details about the space or the opening date, but there's signage in the windows at 2174 Union Street announcing that the brand is cooking up something in the spot.
While the traditional retail landscape may be contracting, a number of online brands have set up a brick and mortar presence in San Francisco this year. Allbirds opened a shop in Jackson Square, the Reformation expanded to the Mission, Modern Citizen launched a concept shop on Union, and Away confirmed that it will open a store in the city before November. Casper is just the latest to embrace the IRL shopping trend.
Like many DTC brands you know and love—Everlane, Warby Parker—Casper's business model centers around online sales. Shopping online for a large, comfort-driven purchase like a mattress can be intimidating, but Casper has offered creative solutions like pop-up stores in major cities, a try-and-buy partnership with West Elm, and a roving summer "faux-tel" mattress trailer called the Stay Inn. (The Stay Inn will be visiting two Bay Area locations—Jack London Square in Oakland and Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose—later this month.) The Union Street store, whether permanent or pop-up, is another way for Casper to connect with customers.
Beyond the standard ol' human mattresses, Casper also sells pillows, sheets, and dog beds. The last category really speaks to me because I'm completely bonkers about my pup, and I wish more brands would create products with her in mind. So Casper, if you're still trying to figure out what that Union Street space should be, why not make it a dog lounge/concept store? Given the number of dogs in San Francisco, it would be the most popular store in the city.