James Franklin McIngvale
February 11, 1951
Starkville, Mississippi, U.S.
|Other names||"Mattress Mack"|
|Known for||Gallery Furniture|
McIngvale was born on February 11, 1951, in Starkville, Mississippi. He graduated from Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas and attended North Texas State University, now University of North Texas, in Denton where he played football. He and his wife have three children. Their daughter Elizabeth was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder at age 12, and at one point several doctors declared her illness too severe to be treatable. McIngvale and his wife sent her to the Menninger Clinic when she was 15, where she underwent Exposure Response Prevention Therapy and eventually learned to manage her OCD. She later became an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Baylor College of Medicine, and founded the Peace of Mind Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with OCD.
In 2002, Jim 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.
In May 2009, the Houston Chronicle reported 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.
When Hurricane Ismelda flooded Houston in 2019, McIngvale once again opened the doors of Gallery Furniture and partnered with Crisis Clean Up to provide free meals and shelter at the North Freeway location.
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. 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. "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!'" 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. 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.
In 2010, Jim McIngvale supported the Tea Party movement. He funded full-page ads for the Tea Party that 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.
- Pilkenton, Jenn. "Houston's Mattress Mack Uses His Success to Help Others". Philanthropy World Magazine. 12 (1). Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2009.
- "After conquering severe OCD, Dr. Liz McIngvale now helping others manage mental health". ABC News. February 21, 2018. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
- Snyder, Mike (March 15, 2007). "OCD controlled Elizabeth McIngvale". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas: Hearst Corporation. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
- Duening, Thomas; Ivancevich, John; McIngvale, Jim (2002). Always Think Big. Sydney, Australia: 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 Archived March 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine." Houston Chronicle. Thursday April 5, 2007. B1 MetFront.
- "Mattress Mack". Free Enterprise Land. Archived from the original on August 23, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
- McIngvale, Jim (June 1, 2000). Mossman, Alan (ed.). "Presentation at BDA Forum 1999". UK Deming Newsletter. Transcribed by Henry Neave. ISSN 1470-5672. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2018 – via The Change Business Ltd.
- Patel, Purva (May 29, 2009). "McIngvale sued over unpaid taxes". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas: Hearst Corporation. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
- Butler, Kevin (February 7, 2000). "Retailer Jim McIngvale - Giving Customers Good Service Has Him Standing Tall". Investor's Business Daily. Los Angeles, California: Investor's Business Daily, Inc.
- Engel, Clint (June 12, 2008). "Gallery, Select Comfort lead in performance". Furniture Today. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
- Williams, Roy H. (November 28, 2005). "What Are You Offering?". The Monday Morning Memo. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
- "Mack-o-Pedic Mattress". Gallery Furniture. Archived from the original on April 24, 2016. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
- "Now Introducing the Mac-O-Pedic". Gallery Furniture. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
- Anonymous group targets McIngvale for supporting Tea Party ""Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)." KHOU. May 26, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- Houston Tea Party, Boycott Sponsor Mattress Mack and Gallery Furniture "." Kick. April 12, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- "Houston business icon Jim 'Mattress Mack' McIngvale endorse Bill King for mayor in new TV ad". Bill King for Houston Mayor. Archived from the original on September 18, 2016. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
- "Mattress Mack picks a side in close Congressional race". October 2, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2019.