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Bike-friendly business sense from a mattress store

Posted by on June 6th, 2014 at 10:14 am

Still from Path Less Pedaled video showing
Mattress Lot owner Michael Hanna.

A mattress store is the last place you’d expect to cater to bicycle riding customers. But that’s the case at the Mattress Lot on NE Sandy.

We mentioned this place back in 2010 when they started delivering mattresses by bike and they’re still going strong.

Now, in a new video just released by Path Less Pedaled, Mattress Lot owner Michael Hanna speaks some important truths about doing business in a way that respects more than just one transportation mode. In the excellent short video below, Hanna spells out why his approach works and why it makes sense.



My favorite takeaway from his comments are how he realizes — and so eloquently explains — that people who ride bikes aren’t some strange group that needs to be specially catered to. “These are not fringe people,” Hanna says in the video, “the cyclists we see day in day out are the same people who send their kids to our local schools, the same people who have jobs all over this area. It’s very, very mainstream.”

— Check out more great videos about how bicycles are having a positive impact on Oregon’s economy at PathLessPedaled.com


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Comments
  • Josh G June 6, 2014 at 10:34 am

    …they sleep on mattresses like everyone else. Well, maybe used futons.

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  • Dan June 6, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Beautiful piece.

    As someone who rides without a u-lock, I’d love to see more places with ‘park bikes inside’ signs. Come to think of it, indoor parking is one of the reasons I stop in Western Bike Works regularly (not a plug), and the reason I don’t stop other places.

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    • Joseph E June 6, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Universal Cycles and Velo Cult both offer indoor parking. I suspect other large bike shops do as well, and even small ones are usually happy to let you bring your bike inside while shopping.

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  • RJ June 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Michael has a tremendous backstory, too. Really a great guy.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/06/former_katu_reporter_starts_th.html

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  • El Biciclero June 6, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    “the cyclists we see day in day out are the same people who send their kids to our local schools, the same people who have jobs all over this area.”

    …And sometimes the same people one might see driving occasionally around town. Us vs. Them is such a frustrating pattern of human nature.

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    • Pete June 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      Yes, and it’s amazing how some businesses treat you differently when you show up by bike! I was shopping for a particularly rare car several years ago and rode to the nearby auto dealership – they were super-snotty to me, virtually ignoring me to help other people who clearly hadn’t waited as long! I had the car shipped from a brokerage in Chicago and drove it to the dealership not long after to see if I could find the same salespeople and how they would treat me. Sure enough, they were kissing ass! I told them I had to buy it elsewhere because they treated me like crap when I showed up on my bicycle and I was there now to buy a license plate bolt.

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  • Anne Hawley June 6, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Even if I had a car, I wouldn’t vs able to bring a mattress home in it, and would request delivery. There’s no definite link between car ownership and interest in purchasing large items. It’s nice that Mattress Lot gets the simple fact that I might arrive by not-car to look around their store.

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    • Pete June 7, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      This is a good point. We have a Ford ‘SuperVan’ cargo van and still had to have our king delivered (not by bike, sadly).

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  • Scott H June 6, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    This guy knows what’s up.

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  • Chris I June 6, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I wonder if they have considered a new trailer design that would allow for up to four mattresses or box springs? The main disadvantage I can see with the bike delivery is that they are paying two employees to transport it, and they can only deliver to one customer. If you move the rear wheels back another 2 ft, you could span a low-profile deck between them, allowing enough vertical room for four stacked, without compromising stability. If both employees towed one of these trailers, you could deliver to four customers with one trip.

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  • jeff June 6, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    parents just bought a CA. King from them and we bought one there about 4 years ago….great business.

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  • Nicholas Skaggs June 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Bike N’ Hike also has indoor bicycle parking at all four of it’s locations.

    It would be kind of odd for a bike shop *not* to offer parking, wouldn’t it? (I suppose it’s an odd world we live in.)

    Joseph E
    Universal Cycles and Velo Cult both offer indoor parking. I suspect other large bike shops do as well, and even small ones are usually happy to let you bring your bike inside while shopping.
    Recommended 0

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  • e June 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    I bought a bed from them last month. Super nice people, super comfortable bed!

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  • NG June 7, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Not only bike friendly, but they are the best mattress store in town. We looked at a lot of stores before wandering into the Mattress Lot. They are really low pressure and helpful. We must have spent 3 hours lying on different mattresses and asking questions. They were incredibly patient and knowledgeable and never tried to pressure us into making a snappy decision. They are an awesome business in every way.

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