rdmBlueBackgroundBY RICHARD DE MELIM

Wayfair last Thursday announced the UK introduction of its Nora bed-in-a-box brand in a move that signals its intention to grab a bigger slice of Britain's millennials market (see related).

To the untrained eye — and I very much include myself in that category despite 20 years of lying on beds at trade shows only half-certain if I can tell the difference between one product and the next — there is nothing too out of the ordinary about the product.

Primarily constructed of foam, it comes with the obligatory 100-night trial, packaged in a box and in a range of standard UK sizes.

Unsurprisingly, it is cheaper than its principal competitors.

Its press release said a UK double will be priced at £449, though it has an introductory 20 percent discount meaning consumers can already get it for £359.99.

As of today (Jun. 21), that compares with £550 for Casper; £599 for both Leesa and Simba and £649 for Eve. Apart from Simba, the others are currently offering further discounts on the mattresses, but the net payable still remains north of the Nora.

This market segment increasingly looks like a race to the bottom. For companies with a wider product offering, such as other bed specialists or multi-category home retailers like Wayfair, undercutting others is a logical strategy.

It can be very inexpensive to produce a rolled, folded and boxed mattress of foam construction, but generating sales still costs significant money, which is why many of the specialised bed-in-a-box companies invest so heavily in marketing. These emerging mattress startups can't wait too long before making proper money. The window for big markups is closing.

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Wayfair adds Nora bed-in-a-box to UK offer

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