Maybe it's a sign the economy is improving.
Maybe it's because baby boomers are one of the fastest growing segments of the American population.
Maybe it's because our market seemed underserved when it comes to mattresses and bedding.
Whatever the reason, two national mattress companies are planning to open three new South Bend and Mishawaka stores.
Houston-based Mattress Firm is constructing freestanding locations on Day Road, Mishawaka, and on Ireland Road, South Bend.
American Mattress also announced it is planning a new Mishawaka store at University Park Mall.
"My guess would be that a new mattress is something that is avoided during difficult economic times, so now with the economy improving, mattress sales are improving," says Corey Cressy, senior associate broker and principal, Grubb & Ellis/Cressy & Everett commercial company.
Both American Mattress and Mattress Firm have been around since the 1980s.
Mattress Firm, which currently operates about 1,100 locations, plans to add more than 100 new stores in 2013.
American Mattress, which is based in Elmhurst, Ill., is opening a new location in the former Garfield's restaurant at University Park Mall.
Garfield's closed its doors in November 2007. A year later, Paradise Bakery & Cafe appeared on an online tenant list, but the store never came to fruition and the space has remained idle.
"I think mattresses used to be perceived as pretty much all the same -- except, of course for water beds," Cressy says. "But now there seems to be more variety, for example, Sleep Number, and innovation in that area."
Have you heard?
La Panache Interiors is planning a June opening at St. Andrew's Plaza in Mishawaka, says shopping center owner Don Schefmeyer. Barany's Window World is also opening a store in the plaza at that time. ... Jos. A. Bank is planning a renovation at its Lighthouse Place outlet store in Michigan City. ... Staples is planning a new 12,000-square-foot store at 1050 Lake City Highway in Warsaw, according to a state construction report. Panda Express is also planning a new Warsaw restaurant location near Meijer at Anchorage Road and Lake City Highway. ... Join our next live chat at 1 p.m. Tuesday at www.southbendtribune.com.
Heidi Prescott's column runs on Fridays and Sundays. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-235-6070. You can also talk retail at Facebook.com/thebasket and at Twitter.com/marketbasket. Hear her weekday reports at 6:52 a.m. on The WSBT Morning News with JT at WSBT-AM (960) and WSBT-FM (96.1).