Houston's Gallery Furniture store owner Jim McIngvale has struck publicity gold.
First, the man known to Houstonians as Mattress Mack offered customers who bought at least $5,000 worth of furniture a refund if they correctly picked the winners of the NFC and AFC Championship games, a stunt that cost his business more than $650,000.
Undaunted, McIngvale upped the stakes in his next promotion, offering refunds to customers who bought at least $6,000 worth of furniture provided that the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl, which they did 43-8, much to the chargrin of Denver Broncos fans. Making good on that one cost McIngvale more than $7 million.
But he isn't perturbed by the cost. In fact, he's requesting that contest winners post pictures of their furniture on Gallery Furniture's Facebook page.
McIngvale is no stranger to off-the-wall, attention-seeking promotions. His stores are home to parrots and a group of monkeys he calls "our board of directors." Customers are also treated to fresh-squeezed lemonade, coffee, warm cookies and chocolate cake.
"It was a stress test for the business," the hyper-kinetic businessman said in an interview. "This is about as wacky [of a promotion] as it gets. It was certainly the most expensive."
The Pigskin Promotion was a touchdown for Gallery Furniture, which McIngvale figures got at least $20 million worth of promotion from it. It also attracted the millennial customers he was seeking, and it brought many people into his stores who had never shopped there before.Said McIngvale: "It was a tremendous response."