New York — Mattress Firm, the largest US mattress retailer, is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection as soon as this week, as it seeks to exit costly shop leases and shore up its business, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The retailer, with 3,000 brick-and-mortar locations, has been squeezed by online upstarts including Casper Sleep. Mattress Firm’s South African parent company, Steinhoff International, faces its own debt problems. Mattress Firm and Steinhoff did not respond to multiple requests seeking comment. Once Mattress Firm files for bankruptcy, the process is expected to be completed within a couple of months, and Mattress Firm’s vendors are expected to be repaid in full, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorised to speak to the media on the matter. Mattress Firm would shed some of its stores in the process, the sources said. Steinhoff acquired Mattress Firm for $3.8bn in 2016. Mattress Firm had acquired HMK Mattr...

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