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Koala’s bed-in-a-van brings the showroom to customers’ doorstep

Koala has launched a new feature that lets customers test a Koala mattress without having to travel to the company’s showroom in the Sydney suburb of Alexandria.

Instead, the ‘Snooze Cruise’, a Koala-branded van kitted out with a mini-bedroom in the back, comes to them. Consumers can go online to book a 30-minute window with the van at their preferred address.

The initiative, announced on Instagram today, is being piloted in Manly to start, with an eye to expand through NSW, then to other regions, according to Koala’s head of communications, Matthew Overington.

Speaking to Internet Retailing, Overington said the initiative came out of customer demand.

“We had some feedback from customers who were asking if there was a way we could come to them. We have customers all over the place. The whole ethos is to take our showroom on the road,” he said.

Overington acknowledged that this is somewhat incongruous with Koala’s core belief that people don’t actually need to try a mattress before buying. Indeed, that’s why it offers a 120-day, no-questions-asked return policy.

But he said the ‘Snooze Cruise’ doesn’t negate Koala’s business model, rather it makes the offer accessible to everyone.

“The thing to remember is we’ve had a showroom almost from the very start. We’ve long since come to realise there’s a small segment of buyers who would like to have that tactile experience. The majority of our customers don’t really care – they know they have 120 days to make a return – but we’re trying to cater to everyone,” he said.

At the moment, this involves bringing showrooms to customers’ doorsteps in a van, but it could involve more permanent locations in future.

When asked whether Koala would follow in Casper’s footsteps – US-based online mattress company last week announced it will open 15 pop-up stores across North America – Overington replied, “never say never”.

“All options are on the table, but we prefer to think we are running our own race. [The van] is something we’ve been thinking of trying for a little while. It’s a really unique experience for our customers – the convenience is a big factor from day one,” he said.

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