Mr. Omofolarin Omolayole, Chief Executive Officer of Bed in a Box, a brainchild of contemporary furniture company, Tekno Nigeria Limited, in this interview with Nume Ekeghe, speaks on the innovative concept of an adjustable and easy to install bedroom furniture, the first of its kind in Nigeria, and how he plans to use e-commerce to roll out the products
As an entrepreneur, what sets your company apart from others?
Bed in a Box was established as a subsidiary of Tekno Contemporary Furniture Limited. Tekno was incorporated in 1998 and is well known as one of the pioneers in the retail of modern and contemporary furniture in Nigeria. Bed In A Box is our new online portal that is designed to revolutionise the way bulky items such as beds and mattresses are bought and sold in Nigeria and all products offered on our website are designed to be e-commerce friendly. The idea is to enable our customers purchase high quality goods, and compactly packaged goods which when ordered, will be delivered to their doorstep anywhere in the country with a five year warranty.
How has the journey been so far?
We have been at it for about a year now, we have a partner company in turkey and our ultimate aim is to increase our production in Nigeria in a year.
Are there plans to include other easy to install furniture?
For now, no, because as the name connotes, it is more or less centred on bedroom products. If we are going to expand to any other product we would stick to the bedroom theme maybe including bed sheets, blankets and others that have to do with the bedroom. So for now, we are not going to go into the conventional furniture products like dining tables and dining chairs. Bed in a box is going to centre on bedroom products that are compactly packaged just like ones we are introducing now that can be shipped easily to our customers.
It is mentioned on your site that your matrasses are orthopaedic, what are its advantages?
Most people think that when you say orthopaedic they expect the mattress to be hard. However, that is not the case. What it actually means is that it has to support your joints in such a way that when you get up from bed you are not feeling any pains. If you have pains in your back, knees or wherever, it should be able to support you adequately.
So what makes this mattress different from other mattresses is that normal ones found in the market now are usually spring mattresses. And the way they are manufactured is that they usually have the normal springs that are tied to a metal frame that makes up the mattress and then you would have a thin layer of foam on it. However, the way our mattresses are manufactured is that each spring is covered in its individual pocket of fabric. So each spring works independently to respond to your weight, shape, movement and sleeping position, by providing support and an even distribution of weight. Because of this, a pocket spring mattress prevents ‘roll together’ which means the mattress won’t dip towards the heavier person, or bounce if one person moves. And also, it lasts longer than regular mattresses. The life span of regular mattresses is about three or four years but ours is five years but it can actually last for up to eight years and we are also giving a five year warranty.
What other products do you offer?
We have an adjustable bed frame which features a unique design that enables the length of the bed to be increased or reduced by simply changing sections of the side frame to your needed size. For example, a (6ft x 6ft bed) can be extended into a (6ft x 7ft) or vice versa .This eliminates the need to buy a new bed when moving into a bigger or smaller room. Furthermore, the entire bed ships in one carton with the frame, legs and wooden slats stored in the compartment at the back of the headboard for easy transportation. Also, we have what is called a crushed memory foam pillow which is a dual-layer pillow that delivers a restful sleep night after night. With two different loft supports it fits sleepers of all shapes, sizes and positions, this revolutionary pillow will feel like it was custom made just for you.
Our deluxe shredded memory foam pillow gives you the benefits of memory foam with a feel more superior to a traditional pillow. The shredded memory foam fill makes the pillow breathable and easy to fluff, while the 250 thread count cotton cover is easy to remove and wash as needed.
Who is your target market?
People are now getting used to shopping online. So our target is everyone and most especially young professionals. A lot of people don’t have time to go from showroom to showroom so first and foremost, in order for the products to be appealing to them, it has to be of good quality and it has to be well packaged.
A conventional mattress could take acquire about five people to carry up a stairs so in order to address that issue, we had to come up with something that is well packaged, light and of good quality that can be easily shipped to our customers.
Compared to others, how competitive are your prices?
With regards to our mattresses, the most expensive line of leading mattress manufacturers in Nigeria now go for about N120,000 to N125,000 while our most expensive is N140,000. But in terms of the quality, I think ours is of a better quality and we offer a better warranty to the product. Also, with the convenience of the free delivery in Lagos, you don’t have to come to our showroom to make purchases.
In terms of logistics, how do you intend to deliver your products?
We are working with three delivery partners namely DHL, UPS and we are presently speaking to a logistics company in Lekki called GIG. And we deliver within 48 hours in Lagos and outside Lagos would take us about five to six days.
During the tour around your showroom you mentioned that this was an experience centre. Are there more around Lagos?
Why we have an experience centre is that when you come on our website and you like the products but you also want to see the actual products before you make your purchases. So what we have done is that we narrowed down to partner with about four different furniture companies where our goods are going to be displayed. So instead of coming to our office in Anthony you can go to any of those places to view the actual products before you make your purchases. So if you live in Ikeja for example you easily come here to look at the products before purchasing and so we can answers customers questions on our products.