Ritchie’s Sleep Shop opens with mattresses made in Johnson City

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BZ0429 Ritchie's Sleep Shop Expansion A

A long-time downtown Elizabethton furniture has expanded it’s offerings to include a specialty sleep shop, exclusively selling mattresses made locally in Johnson City.

Ritchie’s Furniture, a part of the Elizabethton business community since 1936, opened the Ritchie’s Sleep Shop expansion in early April. While the store had always carried bedding, the store’s management decided it was time to change the focus and bring the items to the forefront.

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“We had always sold bedding, but it was upstairs,” owner Margo Bentley said. “Some people probably didn’t even realize we did.”

Ritchie’s purchased the building next door, formerly occupied by Ledford Upholstery shop, in November 2014 and after working with contractors, work started at the beginning of the new year. Contractors opened up a door in the wall to connect it to the current Ritchie’s building, and with some redecoration, the Sleep Shop was ready to open.

The change in location also brought about a change in products for the store. Instead of carrying different national mattress brands, the Sleep Shop only offers mattresses made by Johnson City Bedding.

“We are able to offer a better selection this way,” sales manager Shaun Embry said. “We could have offered three different types of the same mattress from different brands, but this way we can offer a wide range of different types of mattresses for all price points in a range of styles and materials.”

The Sleep Shop features 20 different mattresses, ranging from basic inner spring beds to pocketed coil beds, memory foam and hybrid beds, Embry said. A hybrid mattress is one made of different materials, such as pocketed coils and memory foam together.

“We’ve got every type of finish and every type of feel a customer could want,” Embry said.

The decision to offer locally-made mattresses was a way to help support the local economy, Embry said.

“The No. 1 reason for me was to help local jobs,” he said. “I like to do what I can to keep jobs here, and it is a good product. If it was not a good product, I would not offer them. If we can sell more mattress, we give them more business, and if they get more business it could mean more jobs for them.”

Ritchie’s is located at 519 E Elk Ave and is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, contact Ritchie’s at 542-4177.