CNN reports on COCO-MAT: a ray of hope for Greek business

COCO-MAT received prominent coverage on CNN’s “Marketplace Europe”, following a visit by CNN International in Greece early May. Meeting with COCO-MAT founder Paul Efmorfidis in Xanthi, COCO-MAT’s site of production in Northern Greece, CNN found COCO-MAT to be a company that was “swimming against the country’s economic tide”. CNN correspondent Matthew Chance said COCO-MAT presented a “ray of hope for Greek business”, owing to its focus on quality products and its continued success and expansion abroad.

“Marketplace Europe” is broadcast by CNN International from 17 to 20 May, on Thursday at 19:45 GMT, Friday at 03:45 GMT, Saturday at 16:00 GMT and Sunday at 01:00 GMT and 07:15 GMT.

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CNN International “Marketplace Europe” writes as follows:

(CNN) -- Greece may be in the midst of an economic crisis but one company continues to sleep easy.

Coco-Mat, a family business which makes beds and mattresses out of natural materials, is expanding despite the country's economic crisis.

The company, which has a workforce of 220 and last year raked in over $75 million, is based in the picturesque mountains in north-eastern Greece. But it is now increasing its retail outlets across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the U.S.

Coco-Mat specializes in manufacturing sustainable mattresses and bed products made of coco fibre, natural rubber, wool, cotton, goose down, horsehair, silk, linen, wood and even seaweed.

"Socrates, Plato, Aristotle: they used to sleep on mattresses made out of cotton, made out of seaweed, made out of aroma therapy. So the principle is the same," said Coco-Mat's co-founder Pavlos Eymorfidis.

"We follow the tradition of all these wise people, and nowadays we produce non-metal beds and mattresses," he added.

The design and philosophy behind Coco-Mat has contributed to making it a commercial success both at home and abroad.

It also has a very different approach to the "try before you buy" policy. In Amsterdam and New York the company offers potential buyers the chance to test drive its mattresses in a no-strings-attached napping arrangement.

Shoppers looking to find their dream bed are given complimentary food, drink, slippers, a robe and access to private rooms equipped with showers and comfy big beds in which they will hopefully fall asleep for a few hours at a time.

The idea of giving customers such a different shopping experience adheres to the company's philosophy that it takes more than five minutes to determine what type of bed you would want for the next 20 years.

According to Eymorfidis, Greeks should take this more natural approach as they seek change. "I believe Greeks like me should listen to the birds, they should listen to trees, to the sea, and not to computers, to solutions in Syntagma Square to see what's going on. I really mean it, because nature is waiting for us with a lot of chances, with a lot possibilities, a lot of solutions."

(Source: CNN International)