Gallery Furniture lost nearly $700,000 two weeks ago in a promotion which promised to refund the purchases of customers who correctly guessed the winners of the NFC and AFC championship games.
Owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale vowed “never to do another contest” after losing $685,000 on a promotion giving away free furniture to 100 customers who correctly guessed the winners of both the AFC and NFC championship games.
The attention-grabbing furniture store owner then launched a new and wackier promotion (given the higher winning probability with only two possible outcomes) following, offering to refund the purchases of anyone who spent at least $6,000 and had their furniture delivered by 5 p.m. on gameday if the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.
Of course, Seattle dominated, so McIngvale knew pretty quickly he’d be losing a lot of money: $7 million, in fact, from savvy Houstonians willing to bet against Peyton Manning. The Seahawks won 43-8.
It’s great,” he said. “It’s the perfect outcome for our customers.” McIngvale said he did not take out any insurance to cover the bet. While it’s his biggest loss of any contest, he prefers to consider it an investment. “In the long term, we made a lot of happy customers,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about: building customers for life.”