Matouk, the nearly 90-year-old bedding and bath company, is getting a makeover. Or at least its website has a new look. This month, the company revealed a redesign and improved experience for matouk.com in a move that symbolizes the brand’s investment in digital as well as its pivot to being a more consumer-facing company.
In addition to providing a more user-friendly (and mobile-compatible) shopping experience, the brand now offers new features like free swatches and shipping, which position it more competitively in the digital retail era.
Of course, with the meteoric rise in direct-to-consumer bedding companies, this change begs the question: Is Matouk looking to compete? “No,” George Matouk, the company’s third-generation CEO, responds emphatically when I ask him. “We know what the bedding disruptors are doing, and we respect that, but we don’t see them as direct competition, to be honest,” he clarifies. “We have a much deeper, broader commitment in this category. Our capabilities are vastly different from those companies.”
Photography on the site gives a more holistic view of the company’s bedding, bath, and tabletop products, emphasizing the experiences that happen around them.
Chief among those differences, even more so than longevity, is the manner in which today’s startups approach the bedding industry. Many of the direct-to-consumer models see themselves first and foremost as technology companies, with bedding simply as their chosen market, elected for its potential for disruption (read more on that here). “Matouk is not a digital company taking advantage of a disruptable industry,” its CEO stresses. “We are to the core a bed and bath linen company. We control our manufacturing, we touch and feel the product every day, we’re intimately familiar with the true nature of what makes sheets and towels what they are.”
A free swatch program gives some of the tactile aspect that’s lost in digital sales.
It should come as little surprise, then, that a large part of the company’s new website is focused on underscoring these differences. Visitors to the site are immediately met with a video sharing the history of Matouk, and the e-commerce section of matouk.com is rounded out by a robust editorial component. A shareable, Pinterest-like moodboard feature is coming in a month or two. “We want to tell that story more clearly so that the customer can see the difference between us and the other brands out there,” Matouk says. “What we’re doing now is deeply rooted in what my grandfather was doing 90 years ago. What makes Matouk a uniquely American story is that we not only are maintaining the traditional craft of making beautiful products, but we’re pairing that with the most innovative technologies to make those products better and with a truly American approach to service and delivery and reliability and a familiarity with the American home.”
The company wants users to focus on the personal moments that happen with its products.
Alongside its digital investment, Matouk has also been ramping up its hospitality business, which it sees as yet another way to interact with consumers. “The Matouk experience is one about comfort, intimacy, personal spaces in the home, and these are all emotional areas that are different from why people would buy jewelry or watches or shoes or other luxury products,” Matouk says. “It’s speaking to the lives you live every day inside of your home. There’s a lot to talk about there. The editorial portions of our site are designed so you can do that. And when you’re not at home, you’re traveling, these same ideas of comfort and security are something you seek out in the hospitality space.”
Beyond growing his own family brand, Matouk says he believes that a better understanding of the product will serve the industry as a whole. “We’re not just promoting Matouk, but we aspire to grow the entire category by helping people understand the importance of surrounding yourself with things you really love using,” he says. “The process of drying yourself after a shower or climbing into bed at the end of the day can really be a transcendent experience. And if people start to think in those terms then they’ll realize the importance of the right products.”