Jim McIngvale

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Jim McIngvale
Born (1951-02-11) February 11, 1951 (age 63)
Starkville, Mississippi
Residence Houston, Texas
Nationality American
Other names "Mattress Mack"
Occupation Businessman,
Known for Gallery Furniture
Religion Roman Catholic[1]
Website
www. GalleryFurniture.com
The main Gallery Furniture store in the Northside
Gallery Furniture store in Uptown

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale (born February 11, 1951) is a businessman from Houston, Texas. He is known for owning and operating the Gallery Furniture retail chain.

Biography[edit]

McIngvale was born on Feb 11, 1951, in Starkville, Mississippi. He graduated from high school in Dallas.[2] He and his wife have three children. In 2002, McIngvale co-authored the book Always Think Big with Thomas Duening and John Ivancevich, which chronicles the ups and downs of McIngvale's entrepreneurial career.[3] He lived in the Northgate Forest community in an unincorporated area of Harris County, Texas. Ericka Mellon of the Houston Chronicle said that he was "one of Northgate's most recognizable residents."[4]

McIngvale is best known for his energetic, fast-paced sales pitches, typically ending with some variant of his catchphrase "saves you money!" His distinctive sales style originated from an incident that occurred early on in Gallery Furniture's history. Faced with financial difficulties, McIngvale invested all his remaining money, approximately $10,000, in a television commercial to be aired on two stations. While watching the commercial being produced, he became dissatisfied and ad-libbed a sales pitch, speaking rapidly because of the limited amount of time available. The commercial proved very effective, and his sales increased dramatically afterward.[5]

In 1999 McIngvale spoke to the British Deming Association annual conference about the influence of W Edwards Deming on his business methods. A transcript of the talk appeared in the UK Deming Newsletter in June 2000 and is reproduced here

The Houston Chronicle reported in May 2009 that McIngvale refused to pay $48,000 dollars of taxes to the Greater Northside Management District that was assessed from 2005 to 2007; he paid taxes to the district in 2008. His northside facility is within the district's boundary. McIngvale said the management district does not do enough to maintain the area; the business owner described the management district's taxation policies as "taxation without representation." The district sued McIngvale to try to force him to pay the taxes, and McIngvale said he's willing to dispute the charges in court.[6]

Gallery Furniture[edit]

Jim McIngvale started Gallery Furniture with $5,000 and his own pickup truck after a potential investor did not follow through with a proposed loan. [7][8] Initially, he did fairly well. But when the oil industry took a turn for the worse, he found his business slowing dramatically. Taking the last $10,000 to his name, Mattress Mack invested in local television commercials in 1983.[9]"I was doing an ad, and I was frustrated," said McIngvale. He continued, "I couldn't come up with a punch line. Finally, I pulled some money out of my pocket and yelled, 'Gallery Furniture saves you money!' "[10] The phrase caught on and has become well known throughout the greater Houston community. Gallery Furniture, established in 1981, has been consistently ranked in Furniture Today’s Top 100 Furniture Retailers for some time and currently ranks as the Sales-per-Square-Foot leader for independent retailers in the United States.[11] The store has around $200 million in sales per year.[12] It originally sold less expensive furniture targeted toward lower-income individuals but has since expanded to include higher-end furniture.

On May 21, 2009, the Gallery Furniture store on Interstate 45 North between Tidwell and Parker caught fire. There were no injuries. One hundred and fifty firefighters battled the 4-alarm blaze, which did not spread to the inside of the showroom, although it devastated the warehouse.[13] The fire is believed to be arson, pursuant to the ATF, and suspect Robert Gillham was apprehended a few weeks later.[14] Gillham has been incarcerated since his initial arrest in 2009. According to his attorney, Gillham has been deemed mentally unfit to stand trial by an expert, and Assistant Harris County District Attorney Steve Baldassano believes it is unlikely Gillham will be tried. Gallery Furniture owner Jim McIngvale commented on the situation, saying, "We wanted to get this behind us, and get some closure on this. But the court system is the court system and if they say he's incompetent, we certainly respect whatever the court system rules."[15]

Gallery Furniture engages in a number of charitable projects.[2] It aims to refurnish, redesign, and revitalize the more than 130 USO Centers around the world, and has become a USO Worldwide Strategic Partner Sponsor.[16]For 30 years, Gallery Furniture has been holding its annual Christmas Giveaway, outfitting needy Houston area families' homes with brand new furniture. For the 30th anniversary of this tradition, 30 families received all new furniture, delivered by Gallery Furniture.[17][18][19]

In 2015 the company announced it will open a new store in Fort Bend County.[20]

Gallery Furniture vs. Hilton Furniture ads[edit]

Conan O'Brien staged a competition between two of Houston's middle-of-the-night advertisers, Jim McIngvale ("Save You Money") and chain-saw-wielding Hilton Koch ("That's a fact, Jack"). Hilton Furniture was determined to be the most annoying advertiser, thus winning the Late Night battle of the ads contest, and O'Brien brought Hilton to New York for "advertiser makeover." [21]

Salvation Army[edit]

In 2007, Jim McIngvale held a fundraising event at Gallery Furniture for The Salvation Army. It attracted former President of the United States George H.W. Bush and former First Lady of the United States Barbara Bush as bell ringers. McIngvale donated $50,000 of his own money to the Salvation Army. [22]

Super Bowl XLVIII Promotion[edit]

Gallery Furniture, prompted by McIngvale, ran a promotion for Super Bowl XLVIII promising customers a full refund on any purchase of more than $6,000 if the Seattle Seahawks, selected as the team of choice by a coin toss, won the Super Bowl. Many customers took advantage of this offer, buying an estimated $7,000,000 worth of furniture in the weeks leading up to the game. The Seahawks went on to win the game; thus, the customers will receive their refunds. McIngvale stated he was pleased with the promotion and would do it again.[23]

Political Views[edit]

Jim McIngvale supports the Tea Party movement.[24] Jim has funded full-page ads for the Tea Party that have appeared in the Houston Chronicle. He was a guest speaker along with many local conservative radio hosts for The North Houston Tea Party Patriots at Sam Houston Race Park.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Malisow, Craig. "Big Mac". Houston Press. May 5, 2005. Retrieved Nov 5, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Pilkenton, Jenn. "Houston's Mattress Mack Uses His Success to Help Others". Philanthropy World Magazine 12 (1). Retrieved April 27, 2009. 
  3. ^ Duening, Thomas; Ivancevich, John; McIngvale, Jim (March 19, 2002). Always Think Big. Kaplan Business. ISBN 0-7931-5375-1. 
  4. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "SUBURBAN SECESSION / Neighbors petition to join Klein / Northgate Forest residents complain of lower property values and performance with Spring." Houston Chronicle. Thursday April 5, 2007. B1 MetFront.
  5. ^ http://www.freeenterpriseland.com/BOOK/MATTRESSMAC.html
  6. ^ Patel, Purva. "McIngvale sued over unpaid taxes." Houston Chronicle. May 29, 2009. Retrieved on May 30, 2009.
  7. ^ Duening, Thomas; Ivancevich, John; McIngvale, Jim (March 19, 2002). Always Think Big. Kaplan Business. ISBN 0-7931-5375-1. 
  8. ^ Butler, Kevin (February 7, 2000). "Retailer Jim McIngvale - Giving Customers Good Service Has Him Standing Tall". Investor's Business Daily (Los Angeles, California: William J. O'Neil). 
  9. ^ Butler, Kevin (February 7, 2000). "Retailer Jim McIngvale - Giving Customers Good Service Has Him Standing Tall". Investor's Business Daily (Los Angeles, California: William J. O'Neil). 
  10. ^ Butler, Kevin (February 7, 2000). "Retailer Jim McIngvale - Giving Customers Good Service Has Him Standing Tall". Investor's Business Daily (Los Angeles, California: William J. O'Neil). 
  11. ^ Engel, Clint (May 29, 2008). "Gallery, Select Comfort Lead in Performance". FurnitureToday.com. Retrieved June 14, 2008. 
  12. ^ Williams, Roy H. (November 28, 2005). "What Are You Offering?". The Monday Morning Memo. 
  13. ^ Desel, Jeremy; Zubowski, Courtney; Ponto, Michelle (May 28, 2009). "Investigators look for cause of 4-alarm fire at Gallery Furniture". 11 News (Houston, Texas). 
  14. ^ Glenn, Mike, Dane Schiller, and David Kaplan. "ATF says Gallery Furniture fire in north Houston was arson." Houston Chronicle. May 28, 2009. Retrieved on May 28, 2009.
  15. ^ Rogers, Brian (March 13, 2013). "Gallery fire suspect likely to never face trial". http://chron.com. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 
  16. ^ "USO WorldWide Strategic Partners". USO. 
  17. ^ Khou Staff, KHOU Staff (Dec 13, 2013). "Gallery Furniture gives 30 Houston-area families new new furniture". http://Khou.com. Retrieved December 15, 2013. 
  18. ^ Butler, Kevin (February 7, 2000). "Retailer Jim McIngvale - Giving Customers Good Service Has Him Standing Tall". Investor's Business Daily (Los Angeles, California: William J. O'Neil). 
  19. ^ "Holiday Gift". Houston Chronicle. December 20, 2007. Retrieved June 14, 2008. 
  20. ^ Wray, Dianna. "Five Things We're Hoping Will be in Mattress Mac's Biggest Store Ever." Houston Chronicle. Monday March 31, 2014. Retrieved on April 3, 2014.
  21. ^ Conan O'Brien show finally gets early time slot here "[1]." Houston Chronicle. June 8, 2005. Retrieved on April 18, 2013.
  22. ^ U.S. Donors Contribute $117 Million To 2006 Salvation Army Red Kettle Christmas Campaign "[2]." "PR Newswire". March 15, 2007. Retrieved on December 14, 2013.
  23. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/super-bowl-loss-how-the-seattle-seahawks-cost-one-small-business-7-million/2014/02/03/5e4c330a-8d0f-11e3-98ab-fe5228217bd1_story.html?wpmk=MK0000202
  24. ^ Anonymous group targets McIngvale for supporting Tea Party "[3]." KHOU. May 26, 2010. Retrieved on April 18, 2013.
  25. ^ Houston Tea Party, Boycott Sponsor Mattress Mack and Gallery Furniture "[4]." Kick. April 12, 2010. Retrieved on April 18, 2013.

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