How “Mattress Mack” became a retail icon

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Texas-native Jim “Mack” McIngvale knows big when he sees it, which is why it’s only fitting for him to chat with Retail Gets Real at NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show. With a big personality and even bigger heart, McIngvale is known for housing hundreds of people in his Gallery Furniture stores during Hurricane Harvey.

On this week’s episode of Retail Gets Real, Gallery Furniture owner Jim “Mack” McIngvale talks about about what happened when Harvey hit and how important it is for retailers to give back to their communities.

“To make money is one thing — to make a difference is a whole other level of important.”

Jim McIngvale

McIngvale’s core philosophy is “break all the rules, take care of the customers.” He believes it’s important for bricks-and-mortar retailers to actively engage in the communities they serve, through any means possible: By using Facebook Live to spread the word, he was able to provide shelter for hundreds of people during Hurricane Harvey.

Jim McIngvale (left) with co-host Steve Barr (middle) and host Bill Thorne (right).

Jim McIngvale (left) with co-host Steve Barr (middle) and host Bill Thorne (right).

“Mattress Mack” stresses that retail isn’t dying, but changing. In the business for more than 30 years, he’s witnessed the change from analog to digital. Whereas Gallery Furniture’s advertising used to be all print and radio, online advertising now accounts for 60-70 percent of the budget.

Listen to this episode to learn more about how McIngvale strives to make the retail stores centers for the community and ensures an unparalleled in-store experience at Gallery Furniture. For more great stories from NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show, check out the official recap page.

Jennifer Overstreet is a co-host on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. Meet all the co-hosts and learn more about the show.