Mattress-Domino in a parking lot in western Germany. Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst/AFP via Getty Images

Last week, we reported that old retailers are learning new tricks from the younger upstarts. That's happening right now in the mattress business.

What's going on: For decades, a few mattress kings ruled America — Tempur Sealy and Serta Simmons among them. Then, hip startups like Casper, Leesa and Tuft & Needle sold millennials on the concept of the affordable, but high-end, bed-in-a-box that arrives at your door. Now, the big players are playing catch-up.

  • Walmart already offers a bed-in-a-box through its own brand, Allswell.
  • Serta Simmons, a legacy company, is merging with Tuft & Needle, which is only six years old.
  • But Amazon scared all the incumbents when it announced Monday that it's launching its own private label mattress, which will be eligible for two-day shipping.

The bottom line: Companies have learned to beware Amazon's moves into their areas. The tech giant has endless data on what people want to buy, deep pockets and a habit of winning.

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