Photographer: Yana Paskova/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Target Is Said to Invest $75 Million in Bedding Startup Casper

  • Retailer already announced partnership with mattress seller
  • Company is looking for ways to catch up to Amazon, Wal-Mart

Target Corp. is investing $75 million in online mattress seller Casper Sleep Inc., according to a person familiar with the situation, part of a bid to boost its e-commerce presence while brick-and-mortar sales decline.

Target made the funding deal after considering a bid for the entire business, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations were private. The Recode news site previously reported on the investment.

Company spokeswoman Katie Boylan declined to comment on the funding figure, but she confirmed that Target invested in the startup.

“We believe in their team, their ideas and their vision for reimagining sleep,” she said in an email.

The move follows the announcement of a partnership that lets Target customers buy beds and accessories from Casper, which typically ships mattresses to online shoppers directly. That rollout begins on June 18.

Target’s sales declined less than Wall Street expected last quarter, but the company is still playing catch-up with larger rivals. Amazon.com Inc. has the edge online, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has far greater scale. That’s forced Target to get creative in finding ways to compete.

The Casper products will complement Target’s own bedding products, which include items sold under the Threshold and Room Essentials lines.

“The strategic partnership offers Casper access to an established retail brand,” Target’s Boylan said, “and gives Target an opportunity to work with a future-focused digital brand that is exploring an area that is meaningful for our guests -- sleep and wellness.”

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