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Furniture store owner pays up on $7 million Super Bowl promotion

Furniture store owner loses $7M on Super Bowl... 01:52

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."
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