Fleet’s Conspiracy Corner: Mattress Firm

Fleet's Conspiracy Corner: Mattress Firm

Fleet Wilson, Editor in Chief

Quietly it sits, masqueraded in modesty. Welcoming doors distract from secret backrooms. While the rest of the world sleeps, it waits. Hidden in plain sight, it plots its domination. Mattress Firm.

Think back to the last time you visited ‘The Firm.’ Were you actually shopping for a mattress? No. You wanted to jump on the beds and press your hand into the memory foam. The Firm usually sits barren in the parking lot of a shopping center, devoid of customers, economic integrity, and life itself.

As online mattress vendors such as Casper or Leesa have disrupted the mattress business, the brick and mortar industry is wrapped in uncertainty. In theory,  Mattress Firms should be closing their doors and pivoting to a digital marketplace. Alas, The Firm defies conventional wisdom.

A quick Google search shows that there are 17 Mattress Firms in the greater Winston-Salem area. 17. Seventeen. A closer look shows that there are three Firms on Hanes Mall Boulevard alone. All within walking distance from each other. This defies logic, this defies basic economics, this very well may defy the law.

In recent months the internet has taken notice of the strange clustering of Mattress Firms across the country. A popular Reddit post suggested the sleep magnate may be a money laundering front, yet after received thousands of upvotes, it was mysteriously deleted. This alone is enough for my conspiracy senses to tingle, but this story gets juicier by the day.

As speculation of Mattress Firm’s devilish intentions ramped up across social media, the retail giant’s parent company, Steinhoff published some troubling news that only adds fuel to my investigative fire. As the fiscal year came to a close, Steinhoff reported a $15 Billion loss in market value. They fired their two head executives, and credited the financial fiasco to “accounting irregularities.”

I’m no economist, but “accounting irregularities” and “super illegal money laundering stuff” are actually exact synonyms. This all coincides with a viral movement that suggests money laundering, and you expect me not to notice? Well strap in folks, because I am now officially on board the Mattress Firm-is-a-shell-organization-for-the mob-and-or-drug-cartel train, and you are coming along for the ride.

So we’ve pretty much established that Mattress Firm is doing something illegal, populating the cityscape with cold and empty franchises. Now we must find out why. What brings an international retail superpower such as Steinhoff to stoop so low as to sell mattresses as a front for their villainous extracurriculars? The answer comes in an unassuming Bloomberg article from January 18th. “U.S. Banks Have Lost More Than $1 Billion on Steinhoff Loans.” And there it is, that is our bombshell, our smoking gun. Why is The Firm funneling money through it’s 17 locations in Winston-Salem? Because it failed the banks that invested billions in its success.


A live look at investigative journalism. When asked why there are so many Firms in W-S, the representative snidely replies “their must be a lot of volume.” The smiley face after her comment only adds mystery to this potential scam.
A headline from the Houston Business Journal on January 28th, soon after a suspicious theory populated the internet.

It’s so simple that I can’t believe this isn’t front page news on every major media outlet. It’s honestly embarrassing that I am the only one who has totally figured this whole thing out. This must have been what Woodward and Bernstein felt after breaking open Watergate. I guess now I just wait for the Pulitzer, my career in journalism thoroughly vindicated, the mattress superpower destroyed.