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Mattress Hub keeps growing in Kansas City

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, at 7:04 a.m.

Wichita-based Mattress Hub is continuing its rapid expansion in the Kansas City area.

“We’re opening a store in Shawnee this weekend,” Ryan Baty says.

He and Mark Barrientos founded the company in 2008. With the new Shawnee store and one that will follow in Olathe in the first week of 2013, the chain will have 23 stores in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

The first two Kansas City-area stores were in Overland Park. Baty says he’s working on a fifth in Johnson County but doesn’t have a lease signed so he doesn’t want to say where yet.

“Kansas City’s a big mattress retail market,” Baty says. “It’s dominated by Nebraska Furniture Mart and Mattress Firm.”

Still, he’s projecting to do about a dozen stores there in the next two or three years.

“We feel like there’s room to come in and grab some market share,” Baty says. “We just feel like there’s room for a different customer experience in Kansas City.”

Baty says the company had double-digit growth in 2012, and he’s predicting big growth in 2013 as well. It won’t be outside the company’s three-state area, though.

“We have a pretty narrow focus right now on where we’re trying to maximize our growth,” Baty says. “We have some opportunities we’re going to try to capitalize on.”

‘Spade work’

Most business owners like a little publicity for their new businesses, but Dan Carney isn’t most business owners.

The Pizza Hut cofounder and some partners are opening a ’Til We Meet Again franchise in Phoenix this weekend, but Carney would rather not discuss it.

Franchise founder Nathan Smith and his business partner, Traci Smith-Cone, have been consulting with Carney on their business.

“I consult with anybody that’s really interested and calls me and asks for help,” Carney says. “This is what happened with Nathan.”

He says he’s “hopefully helped him form some ideas that have been successful.”

Carney says the two disagree on how much publicity a business should have before it’s proven successful.

An ex-employee of Carney’s wanted to open the Phoenix store, and he agreed to back him.

“I think there’s a marketplace there,” Carney says of the custom casket business in general. “The competition is the funeral homes. I think the variety of what (Smith is) offering exceeds what the funeral homes at least are willing to do at this time.”

There’s already talk of a few more Arizona stores, but it’s not coming from Carney.

“I’m going to do one until it works,” he says. “There’s a lot of spade work to do.”

Then a few more?

“How about 100 if it works.”

You don’t say

“I see it happen every four years.”

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Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.

Got a hot tip or a quirky story? Call Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or e-mail crengers@wichitaeagle.com.

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