Furniture stores lost thousands when Seahawks wonon February 4, 2014 @ 9:11 am (Updated: 9:49 pm - 2/4/14 )
The Tacoma store ran a very specific special. If the Seahawks ran back a kick off for a touchdown, then everything a customer bought between Thursday and 1:30 on Sunday was free.
Owner David Harkness says they're doing about $70,000 in refunds to about 65 customers - and he couldn't be happier.
"We figure we might have created some customers for life, and it's a small part we could play in some success for the Seahawks here," said Harkness.
The local furniture store certainly wasn't the only business offering a Super Bowl promotion. Stores across the country to do it every year. But they usually have insurance in case they have to pay out to the customers.
There is a furious online debate going on about whether Jim McIngvale, known as Mattress Mack, the owner of Gallery Furniture in Houston is a genius or just crazy.
McIngvale ran a Super Bowl bet with his customers. After tossing a coin, he promised that if the Seahawks won, he would give a full refund to any customer who bought at least $6,000 worth of furniture anytime between Jan. 24 and on game day. The furniture had to be delivered by 5 p.m.
Since McIngvale has claimed he doesn't have insurance on the special he's run, others have claimed that he must have made another wager of equal value that will help cover all of his refunds.
"No place in Las Vegas would take a $7 million bet that I know of, so we were totally on our own," McIngvale told KIRO Radio's Dave Ross.
That's right, he's refunding $7 million to his customers. But McIngvale is convinced the promotion will be worth it.
"It brought a lot of additional people," he said. "Lots of affluent millennial. People (were) telling us they'd never seen a store that was this exciting before. You got the husbands that never want to go shopping, whereas the wife always wants to go."
Mattress Mack has been in business for 32 years, and as Dave Ross said, "No one's in business for 32 years if they're stupid."
McIngvale said he had no idea the store would get such a huge response. They even found that in order to make deliveries in time for the game, they had to cut off the promotion early.
And on Sunday, from his vantage, there were a lot of Seahawks fans in Houston. "They texted actual videos of themselves and their kids jumping up and down in their Seahawks jerseys during the game."
Jumping up and down on their new, free couch, that is.
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