February 11, 1951 |
|Other names||"Mattress Mack"|
|Known for||Gallery Furniture|
Jim McIngvale (also known as Mattress Mack) (born February 11, 1951,) is a businessman from Houston, the founder of the Houston furniture store Gallery Furniture.
McIngvale was born on Feb 11, 1951, in Starkville, Mississippi. He graduated from high school in Dallas. 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. 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".
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.
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 were 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.
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. The store has around $200 million in sales per year. It originally sold less expensive furniture targeted toward lower income individuals, but has since expanded to include higher-end furniture.
Gallery Furniture engages in a number of charitable projects. 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. Annually, Gallery Furniture offers a Christmas Furniture Giveaway, in which furniture is given away to those in need.
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. The fire is believed to be arson, pursuant to the ATF, and a suspect was apprehended a few weeks later.
Gallery Furniture vs. Hilton Furniture ads
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 won the Late Night battle of the ads contest, and O'Brien brought Hilton to New York for "an advertiser makeover." 
Jim McIngvale supports the Tea Party movement. 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.
- Malisow, Craig. "Big Mac". Houston Press. May 5, 2005. Retrieved Nov 5, 2010.
- Pilkenton, Jenn. "Houston's Mattress Mack Uses His Success to Help Others". Philanthropy World Magazine 12 (1). Retrieved April 27, 2009.
- Duening, Thomas; Ivancevich, John; McIngvale, Jim (March 19, 2002). Always Think Big. Kaplan Business. ISBN 0-7931-5375-1.
- 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.
- Patel, Purva. "McIngvale sued over unpaid taxes." Houston Chronicle. May 29, 2009. Retrieved on May 30, 2009.
- Engel, Clint (May 29, 2008). "Gallery, Select Comfort Lead in Performance". FurnitureToday.com. Retrieved June 14, 2008.
- Williams, Roy H. (November 28, 2005). "What Are You Offering?". The Monday Morning Memo.
- "USO WorldWide Strategic Partners". USO.
- "Holiday Gift". Houston Chronicle. December 20, 2007. Retrieved June 14, 2008.
- Desel, Jeremy; Zubowski, Courtney; Ponto, Michelle (May 28, 2009). "Investigators look for cause of 4-alarm fire at Gallery Furniture". 11 News (Houston, Texas).
- 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.
- Conan O'Brien show finally gets early time slot here "." Houston Chronicle. June 8, 2005. Retrieved on April 18, 2013.
- Anonymous group targets McIngvale for supporting Tea Party "." KHOU. May 26, 2010. Retrieved on April 18, 2013.
- Houston Tea Party, Boycott Sponsor Mattress Mack and Gallery Furniture "." Kick. April 12, 2010. Retrieved on April 18, 2013.