CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A locally based business just announced the opening of its 150th store.
Mattress Warehouse's landmark store is in Louisville, Ky. -- the hometown of Kim Knopf, the woman who founded the company 30 years ago.
In 1983, Knopf opened her first mattress store in South Charleston. Today, she has stores in six states.
Employing close to 500 people, Innovative Mattress Solutions, the parent company, is based in Winfield.
"Kim started the company in South Charleston back in 1983 with one store. Now, she is opening her 150th store. She is a pretty well-known success story," said Steve Plantz, the company's director of communications.
Today, Mattress Warehouse has stores in West Virginia, Indiana and Ohio, in cities including Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Cincinnati.
"In Kentucky and Nashville, Tenn., we are Sleep Outfitters," Plantz said. "In Alabama, where we have 20 stores in cities including Birmingham and Huntsville, we operate as Mattress King. We have different names due to names of companies we acquired."
According to the June issue of Furniture Today, the industry's major trade magazine, Innovative Mattress Solutions is the 61st-largest furniture chain in the country. The magazine ranks the company eighth among bedding specialty companies.
Kim went to the University of Kentucky, where she met her husband Ken Knopf, a Kanawha Valley native who had a law practice.
"She had that entrepreneurial spirit," Plantz said. "In 1983, there was no one around her selling mattresses exclusively. She sort of blazed a trail."
Most of Knopf's mattress stores employ two people, a manager and a retail sales associate. Some of the larger IMS stores have more employees.
"After opening her first store in 1983, Kim opened her corporate office and built her first distribution center here in Winfield in 1986," Plantz said. "Kim likes to visit her far-flung enterprises, but she still lives in Charleston."
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.