Houston-based Gallery Furniture owner, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, is betting big on oil prices. He recently kicked off a campaign which will allow customers who purchase US$7000 or more in furniture to receive a full refund if the price of West Texas Crude tops $85 by the end of 2015.
On the furniture store’s website, he points out that everyone knows how important oil is to the Houston area economy. Everyone from construction to retail depends on how well the energy industry prospers.
Houston is bracing for a tough year as the price of West Texas Intermediate Crude (WTI) has dropped to below $50 a barrel.
The “85 or its free campaign” is a very limited time offer, as "Mack can lose only so much," Gallery Furniture's website cautions.
He has led similar promotions in the past. More recently in January 2014, Mack refunded $8 million to customers after losing a bet that the Denver Broncos would win the Super Bowl. The Seattle Seahawks won 43-8.
Mattress Mack has deep roots in Houston. With only $5000 and a dream to build the world's biggest furniture store, Mack opened Gallery Furniture under tents on the side of the freeway over 30 years ago. He weathered the 1980’s oil bust with the slogan “Gallery Furniture saves you money!” where he famously pulls out money from his pocket and jumps up into the air.
Recently voted one of “Houston’s Most Fascinating People” by the Houston Chronicle, Mattress Mack isn’t only into selling furniture. His philanthropy is also well known. "We believe in 'Capitalism with a Cause'," explains Mack when asked why he gives so much to the community, schools, universities and more. "Why work so hard if you can't do something positive with what you earn?"
His work on special projects has led to the first Mobile Stroke Unit in the US for patients in Houston and raised millions for the Bush-Clinton Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund.