Gallery Furniture moves forward after fire

May 22, 2009 11:09:20 AM PDT
In typical Jim 'Mattress Mack' McIngvale fashion, during an interview last night, he seemed more concerned with his customers than his personal losses from the fire. And he has wasted no time moving forward.[PHOTOS: See images from the blaze]

McIngvale told Eyewitness news this morning that he has to keep going for his hundreds of employees and his customers. Work stared early this morning.

"We're going to get the business up and going. That's the way we are," said McIngvale.

McIngvale arrived at his Galleria area furniture store location on Post Oak and Westheimer after getting two hours of sleep. He was on the phone doing business and ready to make a new round of commercials to reflect changes following the devastating fire at his flagship location on the North Freeway.

McIngvale has shifted his business to the substantially smaller Post Oak location and is already looking for new warehouse space, with a long list of things to do. It was an emotional morning.

"That's his life's work that he had built up. He and Linda together, they started with a little bitty tiny store and have built it up gradually over time," said Brenda Love with Love Advertising. "We've worked with him and been part of that for 20 years."

"We're open and we're going to take care of our customers, going to take care of our employees, and make sure our employees can come to work and get paid. That's what we do," said McIngvale.

One of the trademarks of Gallery Furniture is same day delivery. It's a promise McIngvale is still aiming to keep.

"It'll be a more limited inventory, but certain items we can still deliver today, like mattresses. Other items it may take 2, 3 or 4 days," he said.

McIngvale says he does have insurance, but prices the loss of inventory at about $5 million or more, and that's not including the value of the building.

Some 300 employees work at the North Freeway location and some will be at the Galleria area location today, continuing plans for a Memorial Weekend Sale.

"We're going to come back by doing what we've always done, selling and delivering furniture and taking care of customers," said McIngvale.

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