You can tell a lot about a company by its history
Less than a year after graduating from the University of Kentucky, insurance agent and Louisville native, Kim Brown Knopf answered an ad looking for people to sell mattresses. Her interest piqued, she began investigating the bedding business. Decisive and entrepreneurial, the 23-year-old chose Charleston, W.Va. as the place to open her own business. She moved there in August 1983 and opened her first store, Mattress Warehouse, in October in nearby South Charleston.
- 1983 – Opened first store, in So. Charleston, W.Va.
- 1986 – Opened corporate office in Winfield, W.Va.
- 1986 – Built first distribution center, in Winfield, W.Va.
- 1993 – Invested in GERS computerized retail point of sale system
- 1995 – Kim selected as finalist for WV Entrepreneur of the Year
- 1995 – Second distribution center is opened in Bridgeport, W.Va.
- 1996 – IMS presented GERS Power User of the Year National Technology Award
- 1997 – 10th store opened, in Ashland, Ky
- 1998 – IMS profiled in Nation’s Business magazine
- 2002 – Sleep Outfitters brand launched
- 2003 – Acquisition of Mattress Barn in Lexington, Ky.
- 2004 – Acquisition of Westco Group in Akron, Oh. providing IMS 10 stores in Cleveland,
Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky.
- 2004 – Acquisition of Mattress Firm in Louisville, Ky (10 more stores)
- 2004 – Third distribution center is opened, in Lexington, Ky.
- 2004 – Opened 25th store (Columbus, Oh) and first Indiana store (Clarksville)
- 2006 – Fourth and fifth distribution centers opened (Cleveland and Columbus)
- 2006 – Opened 50th store, in Delaware, OhOpened 50th store, in Delaware, Oh
- 2008 – Silver Anniversary Celebration – 25 successful years in business
- 2008 – Opened 75th store, in Louisville, Ky.
- 2009 – Opened our 85th store
- 2010 – One of only four bedding stores in the USA honored as a Retail Giant of Bedding
- 2010 – Opened our 90th store
- 2011 – Acquisition of Mattresses Unlimited in Louisville, Ky and Nashville, TN
- 2012 – Acquisition of Mattress King in Alabama
- 2013 – 30th Year in Business – Opens 150th Store in Louisville, KY
Kim handled all facets of her budding business, from buying merchandise, to advertising and selling it, to finally delivering it. There were days when she wouldn’t see a single customer, but she persevered in the knowledge that hers was the first business of its kind in the state – a specialty sleep shop offering brand name mattresses, on-hand inventory, excellent service and the lowest prices, guaranteed.Kim continued opening new Mattress Warehouse stores across West Virginia; however, licensing agreements dictated that the name could not be used outside the state. So, when the company wanted to expand into Kentucky in 2002, the Sleep Outfitters brand was born. Over the next two years, a series of acquisitions would double the company’s size. In 2004, the acquisition of Westco Group in Akron, Oh. and Mattress Firm in Louisville, Ky. added 15 stores to the chain, making it 30-stores strong. Now, with stores all over West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama, the iMS family of stores is prepared to serve a large regional footprint.
Today, Kim Knopf’s little mattress company, Innovative Mattress Solutions (IMS), is 150-stores strong and operates in six states (West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Indiana) as Mattress Warehouse, Sleep Outfitters and Mattress King. Kim’s founding philosophy of providing the best products at the lowest prices continues to drive the company’s success.