It all started with a shopping trip. When Sam and Kacie Malouf started their search for new bed sheets over fifteen years ago, they were unaware that the pursuit would lead them to start a business of their own. But as they hunted for quality sheets within their budget, they came up empty. This frustrating shopping experience highlighted a clear hole in the marketplace—and helped them realize that they could be the ones to fill it. With careful consideration for material sourcing and design, the duo developed a line of Egyptian Cotton Sheets that fit their expectations.
“As soon as retailers picked up the sheets, they recognized something unique,” explained Jake Neeley, communications director of Malouf. “They saw the attention to detail that went into every part of the process: where the sheets came from, the material used, how the sheets were made, cut and sewn, and the packaging that supported the product. A big part of what kicked off the company was retailers saying, ‘We love your stuff—can you do more?’”
Today, Malouf’s product portfolio includes mattress protectors, pillows, bed frames and toppers. With this comprehensive suite of sleep accessories, the company continues to deliver on the promises Sam and Kacie set forth from the very beginning: quality products, attainable pricing and stylish packaging.
Emerging as a leading player in today’s bedding retail marketplace, Malouf now has distribution in more than 10,000 stores across the United States. Beyond its exceptional product offerings, Malouf sets itself apart through its consultative sales approach, extensive support services and by creating a company culture that empowers from the inside out.
Committed to fostering meaningful relationships, Malouf’s tenacious management team ensures that each retailer is matched with a dedicated district, territory and account manager. With access to personalized contacts, the company’s retailer partners always know who to call and how to reach them.
“We are a huge team of dozens of people focused on building somebody’s retail business,” Neeley said. “We consult with them on the products that the people in their area are looking for, the price they can pay—then how to talk about products, how to display them, how to train their employees on selling them. We’re doing that from top to bottom, consulting with the senior buyers and managers down to the RSAs who are talking to consumers about the product.”
With that tailored approach in mind, Malouf recently expanded its manufacturing capabilities to include more private labeling programs. The company is now able to support larger retailers in promoting their own individual brand names. No matter the size or scope of the account, Malouf can support each retailer in building a customized product assortment that works for them.
“We have a robust product offering but not every product is right for every retailer, depending on who their customers are and what markets they serve,” said Scott Carr, brand manager. “We try to provide specific products for each retailer that will be most successful for them.”
With distribution facilities in Utah, Ohio and North Carolina, Malouf services retailers across the United States with marked efficiency. The company customizes ordering as well; there are no minimum order quantities or extra charges for splitting up case packs. Retail partners both big and small can get exactly what they need, when they need it.
“We’re extremely adept at getting our products into the stores as quickly as possible,” said Erica Miller, copywriter. “What that translates to is that 96% of our customers in the United States receive their order within two business days. We ship out the same day it’s ordered, as long as the order is placed before 11am, and they receive their order within two business days.”
Supported by the company’s in-house software development team, Malouf’s custom-built customer relationship management (CRM) system was designed specifically for the unique needs of the business and their retail partners. “With that, we’re able to connect really easily into our shipping, our logistics, our inventory,” Carr explained. “They’re all connected by one mainframe, if you will. This ties all the pieces together, making it really easy to track all interactions with each person so we can provide greater convenience and support.”
The company even employs a dedicated staff member to negotiate shipping rates everyday. “We’re not only getting it there,” Neeley remarked, “we’re getting it there for less money than anybody else.”
Cognizant of all of the different facets that contribute to retail success, Malouf strategically positions each one within that bigger picture goal. By assembling an enthusiastic team of in-house employees to tackle every retail need, it provides its customers with an unparalleled level of service and support.
One facet Malouf addresses particularly well is marketing. The company houses a fullscale lifestyle studio in its Utah headquarters, supporting its slate of professional photographers, copywriters and designers. This investment in in-house marketing and design expertise is evident throughout all of its sleek brand assets. From in-store displays and banners to social media imagery, Malouf offers high-quality materials available for download 24/7 via the company’s Wholesale Resource Center.
“Marketing assets can be expensive and hard to find for small mom-and-pop stores,” explained Miller. “But because they’ve partnered with us they get access to really everything they need to make their showroom represent the quality of products they’re carrying.”
In addition to housing marketing materials, the company’s online resource center provides customers with access to a host of educational tools like RSA training videos as well as a complete archive of email campaigns. Designed to deliver key information on the features and benefits of Malouf’s products, these resources equip retailers with all the tools they need to sell them successfully.
This level of care extends beyond the sale as well. Instead of following a set of standardized procedures, Malouf’s Customer Experience Team is trained in what director Joshua Cummings calls a “principles-based process.” Cummings explains, “With this approach, we can customize the experience for each and every customer and be as individual as they are, making sure that we’re not blindly following something that doesn’t cater to the particular instance.”
Like every department, the Customer Experience Team is guided by a set of “Malouf Values.” From “Act With Integrity” to “Work To Win” to “Make It Fun,” this list includes eight principles that scaffold all of the company’s decisions, ensuring that every member of the team is working together towards a common goal.
“One of the biggest ones for our team is ‘Be Kind,’” Cummings explained. “Thoughtful actions provide a positive, energizing and optimistic environment. I think in our current society there’s a lot of cynicism and a leaning towards disbelief. Instead of assuming that a customer is not genuine in their needs, it’s better for us to provide everyone with the best experience possible.”
This subtle shift in focus delivers dividends for Malouf and its retailers. Not only does it allow for more creative problem solving, it helps the brand maintain positive relationships with customers.
Malouf’s commitment to integrity and focus on empowering its employees are both driving forces behind the company’s growth. Serving as proof of the old adage, “happy employees lead to happy customers,” the company was recently named one of the Best Work Places of 2018 by Inc. Magazine—and in June, Sam Malouf earned a Glassdoor Employee’s Choice Award as one of the Top CEOs in the U.S.
“It’s exciting being a part of a growing company and seeing great new partnerships with other exciting companies,” said Cummings. “And everybody participates in helping to build the brand. When employees are able to see how their work connects to the greater picture of what the company’s trying to accomplish, that drives up satisfaction, which makes them happier—and you can hear that in their voices when they talk with our customers.”
Nurturing a culture where each member of the team is eager to bring something to the table, the company translates its employees’ efficiency, positivity and creative problem-solving into valuable products and increased retail bottom-lines. More than just a manufacturer or supplier, Malouf is a true detail-oriented partner that is able to offer comprehensive solutions to day-to-day challenges as well as long-term strategic guidance and support.