Experience level: 
Intermediate
Intended Audience: 
Faculty
Authors: 
Paul W. Clark, Joyce A. Young

Going to the Mattresses

This case traces the relationship between Tempur Sealy, the second largest manufacturer of mattresses in the United States, and Mattress Firm, the largest retailer of mattresses. The relationship had a conflictual and litigious history. Several lawsuits had been filed by the parties in the past several years. In January of 2017, Tempur Sealy had terminated the twenty-year relationship and their distribution agreement based on what it felt was unreasonable demands made by the retailer, which subsequently led to a lengthy court fight. Tempur Sealy launched a new legal battle in 2018 when it asserted Mattress Firm had violated the Lanham Act by using its trademarks without permission. In 2019, in a sudden about-face, Scott Thompson, Chairman and CEO of Tempur Sealy International, Inc., agreed to reestablish a relationship with Mattress Firm. Although Mattress Firm was once Tempur Sealy’s largest customer and had the potential to do so again, students are asked to decide whether Thompson make a wise decision in returning to the relationship.