The Skift Wellness newsletter is our weekly dispatch focused on what’s happening in wellness from a global business standpoint. Skift Wellness lives where wellness meets commerce, mindfulness meets technology, the yoga studio meets the boardroom, and health meets business.
But direct-to-consumer mattress startup Casper is taking an even more ambitious approach. It has its sights set on winning not just a single sector — like mattresses — but the whole genre of sleep. Yep, what you do for eight hours a day, if you’re lucky.
After realizing mattress sales can only win you so many customers (after all, who replaces their mattress that often?), the company wants a total sleep takeover.
Right now, Casper sells mattresses, night-lights, pillows, and sheets. But considering the proliferation of sleep-themed products, including sleep-tracking wearables, sleep-promoting apps like Calm, and even blue-light blocking glasses, there’s a lot of room to grow — or companies to acquire. While its goal does seem lofty, Casper knows how to build brand loyalty and a cultlike following, and that’s important when it comes to the wellness industry.
Also happening at home: exercise. Not only is Nintendo coming out with a new way to work out in your living room, but Peloton is gearing up for its IPO while still grappling with a lawsuit over music rights.
While Casper wants to win sleep, it seems like Peloton is trying to dominate the exercise category. We’ll watch and see whether either company can pull off such ambitious plans.
— Leslie Barrie, Wellness Editor
Can Casper Really Dominate All Things Sleep? The direct-to-consumer mattress company has an edge when it comes to the bed-in-a-box market. But it’s looking beyond foam mattresses and attempting to take over the entire category of sleep. If that sounds ambitious and vague, you’re right. Its current, self-proclaimed goal is to become “the Nike of Sleep.” Considering customers don’t buy mattresses often, though, it’s probably wise to add a host of other products to its lineup. Read more here.
Nintendo Merges Exercise and Gaming With Ring Fit Adventure: The premise sounds like many other games: You’re a hero in a magical space, attempting to slay an evil dragon. The wellness catch? You play the game with a ring-shaped resistance band and work up a sweat while you’re at it. It’s been described as “Wii Fit crossed with Final Fantasy” and could attract the same audience who still uses Wii Fit, though appealing to a crowd beyond that may be difficult. Read more here.
YogaWorks Instructors Seek to Unionize: Sure, yoga instructors are expected to stay zen and promote well-being, but that can be hard when you’re racing around town to teach at different studios and working unpaid hours to plan classes and research techniques. That’s why yoga teachers at YogaWorks want to unionize and are demanding more job security and better pay and benefits. Because even companies that promote Eastern spirituality are, at their core, as capitalist as they come. Read more here.
We Company May Slash Valuation After Recent Struggles: A $47 billion valuation for We Company, the parent company of WeWork, seemed almost comical. But now investors aren’t laughing. The real estate company, which owns Rise by We, a gym that attempts to connect WeWork office space to wellness, is considering dropping its valuation to around $10 billion after a series of losses and CEO issues. Other brands — such as Peloton, for example — should pay attention to this misstep. Read more here.
Shopify Allows U.S. Retailers to Sell CBD Products on Its Platform: Brands selling CBD products in the U.S. have faced a number of hurdles in recent years as the ambiguous legal standing of hemp and hemp-derived products have brought confusion to the space. But e-commerce platform Shopify, which is especially popular with direct-to-consumer brands, clearly sees a strong future in CBD. It’s officially opening up its platform to U.S. brands that sell CBD products, though the platform will only be available in the 40 U.S. states where hemp-derived CBD are legal. Read more here.
Skift Wellness Editor Leslie Barrie [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Wellness newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.