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Steinhoff's Mattress Firm to close 200 stores

Steinhoff International Holdings NV's U.S. specialty bedding retailer, Mattress Firm Inc., will close about 200 stores over the next 18 months in an effort to improve its performance.

The retailer's executive chairman, Steve Stagner, said during an investor presentation on Dec. 18 that the company has identified roughly 300 "underperforming or duplicate stores." Stagner noted that Mattress Firm already closed about 90 locations in the past year.

The store closures are part of what Stagner called a two-year "transformation" of Mattress Firm, an effort that will also include a $200 million "store optimization," a new organization into five geographic divisions and the expansion of the company's private label products. In total, the plan carries a price tag of $500 million, according to a transcript of Stagner's comments.

The Texas-based retailer, which has 3,400 stores and 120 franchised locations, was acquired by the embattled South African retailer Steinhoff for $3.8 billion in 2016. Steinhoff is under investigation for possible accounting irregularities.