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.