Gallery Furniture owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale is once again changing his business model. He is transforming his larger stores, converting one-half of the floor space into community centers.
He made the announcement at the Houston Business Journal's non-profit breakfast panel Thursday.
Mack says he pictures the centers as a gathering place and resource center for Houstonians, where they can learn trade skills and entrepreneurship. There will also be classes in English-as-a-second-language.
The idea is still in its infancy. McIngvale is discussing partnership opportunities with Houston Community College, the local Urban League, and child advocates. He hopes to have the centers open by the end of the year.
The community center effort is the latest in a series of activities that anchors "Mattress Mack" to the community. During Tropical Storm Harvey, he opened his stores to operate as shelters for evacuees who were being flooded out of their homes.
Later last year, he chartered a 737 to fly about 40 first responders, military personnel, and fans to Los Angeles for Game Six of the World Series. He also provided World Series tickets at Minute Maid to first responders and their families.
"Mattress Mack" has drawn national attention in recent years for his high-profile giveaways. He's conducting another "Win it All, Get it All" promotion; customers who spend at least $3,000 on a mattress or mattress set will get it free if the Astros manage to repeat as World Champions.