Started in 2013 by Founders Dennis Schmoltzi and Manuel Müller, Emma – The Sleep Company has undergone a meteoric rise in its seven years in operation. Here, RLI sits down with Co-Founder and CEO Dennis Schmoltzi to discuss the explosive growth of the brand and how it is continuing to dream in 2020.
After its first year of operation, Emma – The Sleep Company was a company whose headquarters was just 14sq m, today it stands at an impressive 4,500sq m. After stratospheric growth between its launch and now, they are a team of 370 who made over 150M in revenues in 2019 and who are on course to make over 200M in revenues this year.
The Emma headquarters are in the centre of Frankfurt just a ten-minute walk from the Main Train Station. It is ideally located in one of Europe’s most culturally diverse cities that has earned itself the nickname ‘Mainhattan’ due to its location along the Main River and its unique Manhattanesque skyline.
“Our online store is now available in 22 countries across Europe and even beyond as we are in the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Australia and we have just launched in South Korea so we have a really international, global reach now,” explains Dennis Schmoltzi, Co-Founder and CEO of Emma – The Sleep Company. “We also work very closely with retailers across many countries so we are present with our brand in more than a thousand physical brick-and-mortar stores of our retail partners.”
As the effects of Covid-19 are felt by every business in the world, Schmoltzi explains they are fortunate at this time to be a direct to consumer brand with a strong focus on online sales. However, they have seen by working within retail how brick-and-mortar stores have been hit in terms of sales by the virus. “Overall revenue for mattresses for this year will be down because people would rather postpone their mattress purchase but a mattress purchase really is just postponed, it’s not like the travel sector for example.”
From 2018 to 2019 the business almost doubled its revenue and saw an almost 86 per cent growth. The company has become the most searched mattress in the UK having established a strong brand and brand awareness in the UK market. It is through recognition like this in the UK and in other large countries that such impressive growth numbers have become achievable.
“We are also working on expanding our product portfolio, so not just mattresses, we’ll be expanding into beds and additional products will be coming in the future that we expect more growth to come from,” says Schmoltzi.
When asked about how the business will maintain trust with its customers moving forward, the CEO explains that you cannot and must not become complacent and to always question what you are doing. For example, they have reworked their product, they have reworked their marketing and they have tested various ways of having a physical retail touch point in the past.
Schmoltzi believes if you have happy customers, they will talk about the great experience, how great the product is and how great they sleep and that further contributes to future growth and success. “One of our core elements and a key part of our DNA is, question the status quo, ask yourself how we can improve things and go beyond what exists in an agile way; that is what is at the core or our company and I think that is what has helped make us very successful.”
The power of technology and social media has been an integral part of Emma- The Sleep Company’s marketing. This marketing consists of multiple pillars where the core elements are google adverts and then social media touch points and while these can be paid advertisements, for the business it is also about trying to build a community, engagement and interaction across its social media platforms. The third element is TV, they are on TV across the UK every day and these are the three key elements of the marketing plan currently in place.
Having a superior product quality is the main driver behind the phenomenal success this brand has had to date. When customers sleep on these mattresses they wake up feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and energised. Schmoltzi feels it is this, combined with the marketing and the service that has got the company to where it is today.
Looking forward, the growth trajectory remains intact, but with growth comes with it additional challenges. “We have production on a global scale; we have at the moment the team mainly in Frankfurt and a new office in Manilla but there might be more offices coming what with the growing complexities of running a global business,” says Schmoltzi.
“This phenomenal project has eight F&B outlets, one of the largest spas in the Caribbean, three pools, 30,000sq ft of conference space, and the very latest in-room technology and building management systems.”