Aggies can win Ashley Furniture customers free furniture – Bryan-College Station Eagle

Ashley Furniture HomeStore wants football fans to spend Texas A&M’s bye week buying furniture, and for the third straight year, the store is giving customers a chance to get those purchases for free.

If sixth-ranked A&M beats top-ranked Alabama on Oct. 22, Ashley Furniture HomeStore on Earl Rudder Freeway will offer full rebates to customers covering the first million in sales in a promotion that began earlier this week.

It marks the third straight year the store has held a promotion based on the Aggie football team, but it’s the first year the deal is not contingent on A&M winning by a certain number of points. Two years ago, A&M beat ninth-ranked South Carolina 52-28, easily winning by the deal’s 10-point stipulation with customers being reimbursed for more than a million dollars in purchases. Last year, A&M had to beat 10th-ranked Alabama by a touchdown for free furniture, but Alabama won 41-23.

This year’s deal will stop at $1 million in purchases because there is no point spread. The previous two deals did not have a cap.

“The insurance portion of it was getting harder to afford to do just an all-out no cap on it,” Ashley Furniture HomeStore co-owner Mark Wilks said. “So we were able to get it to where we could do just win, which I think is a lot stronger than saying, ‘Hey, we gotta beat Alabama by six or seven.’ It just makes it more interesting and more attainable as well.”

The store wrote 567 refund checks after the South Carolina game in 2014. If A&M had won by a touchdown last year, the story would have written about four times that many rebate checks, Wilks said.

“Insurance was an issue, because we had to keep buying insurance,” Wilks said. “So it sounded good, but it was a little bit tougher on us. But I was hoping we would win because that would have been unbelievable for us to do that again.”

Ashley Furniture HomeStore looked at having a promotion tied to A&M’s season opener against UCLA, but store officials said the insurance wasn’t affordable.

“When you go out and you’re looking for people to take risks on things like that, honestly the games are getting so close, people just don’t want to take the risk,” the store’s marketing director Chris Clark said.

The market has changed drastically from the first year when Ashley Furniture HomeStore was able to lock in the season-opener against South Carolina, kicking off what has become a tradition.

“The first game made sense,” Wilks said. “The insurance was easier to get and there were no caps on it, and we had no idea what it would do. Then the second one, we sure had no idea it was going to be as big as it was.”

The store didn’t finalize this deal until Friday.

“We almost didn’t do it,” Wilks said. “This one just lined up for us. I hate to say it, but it’s like a game-time decision, because it’s all about the rates.”

Wilks said he felt better about holding the promotion after A&M’s 45-38 double-overtime victory over Tennessee, giving the Aggies their first 6-0 start since 1994.

“And after watching Saturday’s game against Tennessee, I think they’ve got a chance,” Wilks said. “And I’m not just saying that [because of the promotion]. With A&M going 6-0, and Alabama, while not struggling, they’re not the team they were last year or the year before. So it just kind of lined up, and the rates were good for us. So we said let’s just do it, and a lot of people were asking us when are you going to do that again? Are you going to do it this year?”

Ashley Furniture HomeStore sent notices to customers that had crossed out #WINBY10 and #WINBY7 with #JustWin below that in big letters on the maroon and white flier. There’s no minimum purchase necessary to qualify for the deal, which ends as soon as the store reaches $1 million in sales. The offer includes all living room, bedroom, dining room and home office furniture along with entertainment centers, accessories, mattress sets, rugs and lamps.

“I don’t believe in promotions where you can get this or that but you can’t get this,” said Wilks, who opened the store in 2007 along with his wife Cheryll. “This involves everything that we carry in the store. You can buy it and it goes toward that.”

Customers also can sign up for a $1,000 shopping spree with no purchase necessary. The sales from this and previous promotions help Ashley Furniture HomeStore give more than 300 mattresses annually to needy children in the Brazos Valley identified through the local schools. This year’s mattress project is just ending.

Retail stores tying promotions to outcomes of football games is becoming more commonplace.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, placed an ad recently on the restaurant’s Facebook page offering a percentage off the food bill equal to the Michigan football team’s margin of victory each week over its opponents for the remainder of the season. The deal looked great with Michigan’s 78-0 victory over Rutgers, but the restaurant then said the discount would be capped at 50 percent, which wasn’t clear on its initial post, reported the Detroit News.

During the 1970s, the Coach’s Shop Men’s Wear and Fabric Care Service in Bryan did the same thing. A&M’s 58-0 victory over Memphis State in 1978 cleaned out the store in just a few hours via the corresponding 58-percent discount.

Morris Furniture Company, based in Dayton, Ohio, refunded $1.5 million to its customers in 15 Ashley Furniture HomeStore and Better Sleep Shops after Ohio State beat Oregon by more than 7 points in the 2015 national championship game.

Houston-based Gallery Furniture lost $7 million on the 2014 Super Bowl as owner Jim McIngvale offered refunds to anyone who spent more than $6,000 and had their furniture delivered by kickoff if slight underdog Seattle beat Denver. Gallery Furniture also refunded $685,000 that same year for furniture bought by customers who correctly picked the winners of the AFC and NFC championship games.

Gardiners Furniture in Baltimore in 2013 offered refunds for every purchase if the Ravens returned either the opening or second-half kickoff for a touchdown in the Super Bowl. Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff 108 yards for a score, forcing the store to refund $600,000.


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