For the last few months, my wife has been “reminding” me that we need to replace our old mattress. Our previous mattress was purchased around 2003 from Sit N Sleep, so I agreed with her it needed to be done. I wasn’t that crazy about the mattress purchasing experience, so I guess subsconsciouly I was pushing it off. We had tried some mattresses at Ikea, but hadn’t done anything. About a month ago, the “reminding” began in earnest, and this coincided with an article in Consumers Reports about mattresses. Part of the problem is that no two stores have the same “named” mattress, making comparison shopping difficult. You can compare brands or number of coils, but you still don’t know you are getting the same thing. Consumers top rated mattress was the Simmons Beautyrest Glover Park Firm Pillowtop at Sears, which was a CR Best Buy at $780. The Ikea was rated #5.
Today was the first chance we had to look. Sears was having a mattress sale — 10% off, free delivery and haul away, and 12 months at 0%. Sit N Sleep was also having their usual sale of mattress sets and 2 years at 0% (although I have a vague memory of some bad experiences with Sit N Sleep’s delivery process). Ikea never does sales. So we decided to take a little time and go over to Sears to look at the top-rated mattress. We tried it, and it was perfect. This meant that we had no need to go further in our mattress search. Further, we must complement Sears (and especially our sales associate Alice (#1156)), who did not pressure us in any way. She knew the product, and did not press us to buy unneeded items or replace our box spring, which was in good condition. Thanks to Consumer Reports and a great experience at Sears, we have a new mattress scheduled for delivery on Friday, and a very positive experience. Even the price was reasonable — just over $700 before taxes. Ikea was perhaps $50 cheaper, but for a foam pillowtop (the fancier mattresses were not available in queen, only in twin, full, or king); the price was certainly lower than what we would have been upsold at Sit N Sleep.
But all of this is actually not why I wrote this post. A while back, the Daily News had an article on the death of the cash register. This is something we saw today at Sears, where they were moving to using iPads to handle the purchase, and transmission of receipts electronically. The only thing we needed to do at a register was the actual final card swipe and signature. My guess is Sears will be doing away with that as well, with only an occasional register for the cash purchases. This, to me, is one of the reasons the PC-based register will die in retail. When the iPad first came out, it was ridiculed as a useless device. Today, it has moved into the business and retail world, and its flexibility and ease of use is signalling a sea change in the market. There are some people that will retain their PCs, but as the application world grows and the size and computing power of tablets increases, who will need the old PC. It will go the way of the IBM 5100.
Music: Come Fly With Me (Frank Sinatra): “London By Night”