Super Bowl Bet Costs Furniture Store $7 MillionBy: Val Powell - February 4, 2014
A few weeks ago, Houston furniture store owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale lost $685,000 in a promotion that gave 100 of his customers free furniture for correctly guessing that the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks would square off in this year’s Super Bowl.
Apparently, Mattress Mack is a gambling man. The store owner upped the ante and bet $7 million that the Broncos would be victorious in the big game.
In the two weeks leading up to the game, McIngvale said he would issue a full refund to customers who spent more than $6000 at his Gallery Furniture store 5pm Sunday.
Well, the Broncos lost. Now, all eyes were on McIngvale to see whether or not he would deliver on his promise. Shortly after the Seahawks victory, the store owner used the company’s website and the large screen electronic billboard just outside the store to announce that “Customers Win $7,000,000.”
“The accountant is pulling his hair out this morning, but the customers are happy and that’s what’s most important,” said McIngvale to ABC News.
McInvale also said that Gallery Furniture plans to throw a celebratory party on Feb. 17 for over 1000 lucky customers.
The store owner believes his promotion will increase awareness of his business and translate in more customer loyalty and greater profits in the long run. According to experts, the furniture in McIngvale’s store likely cost him less than half the retail value and helps him get rid of overhead.
Given the overwhelming media attention to his promotion, and the new customers it has generated, what seems at first like a bone head bet may very well be a savvy business strategy.
McIngvale doesn’t seem to be too concerned either. In fact, he seemed visibly elated at his $7 million loss. “It worked for making the customer say ‘This guy does what he says he’s going to do,'” said McIngvale.
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