- The Washington Times - Monday, July 10, 2006

Luis Barragan, 34, businessman

SALISBURY, Conn. (AP) — Luis Barragan, president and chief operating officer of the national bedding retailer 1-800-Mattress, died July 7 while vacationing with his family in Connecticut, the company said. He was 34.

Mr. Barragan, of Queens, N.Y., was swimming in South Pond in Salisbury on the morning of July 7 when he experienced cramps and was unable to swim, state police said.

His wife and others brought him back to shore and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but he was pronounced dead at Sharon Hospital, police said.

“Luis was a visionary of how mattress retailing would evolve,” said his father, Napoleon Barragan, who founded the company in 1976. “Through his energy, intelligence and commitment to our brand, he made a tremendous contribution to our company and our employees.”

Luis Barragan oversaw the day-to-day operations of the business, which is based in Long Island City, N.Y., and has annual sales of $170 million.

Under Luis Barragan’s direction, the company said, it was the first in the industry to open a Spanish-language call center and Web site to help customers better understand their bedding purchases.

1-800-Mattress says it is the nation’s leading bedding telemarketing company, selling mattresses, box springs and bedding accessories by phone, Internet and its 104 retail stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and California.

Luis Barragan graduated with a business degree from St. John’s University and joined his father’s business in 1992 as a purchasing agent.

He held several positions before being promoted to president in 2002.

He is survived by his wife, three children, his parents, two sisters and a brother.

“He was a loving, caring father, brother and son who will be sorely missed,” Napoleon Barragan said.

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