Ohio State’s win in the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship last week resulted in one furniture chain’s big loss – a nearly $1.5 million loss to be exact. Ohio-based furnishing store Morris Home will be refunding a total of one and a half million dollars to consumers as a result of an in-store promotion run a few weeks ago.
In late December, Morris Home pledged to refund consumers spending over $1,999 on purchases between December 17th and January 1st if Ohio State won the championship game by 7 or more points. The deal extended to any of the four Morris Home Furnishings stores along with eleven licensed Ashley Furniture HomeStores in Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati. The promotion was a risky gamble, but Morris’ VP of Marketing, Rob Klaben, said they would “…absolutely do it again.” And it makes sense. The publicity stunt has generated a great amount of exposure and national coverage for the furniture chain, all without sponsorship deals or money spent on buying media during the championship game. In addition, the $1.5 million refund is not coming directly from Morris Home Furnishings’ profits, but rather from a third-party insurance company. Morris cut a deal to give a portion of the profits from its December 17th-January 1st sales to this unnamed insurance company, who would cover costs of the payout in the event that Ohio State won by seven or more points. Morris’ purpose for running the promotion was to boost end-of-year sales and drive store visits at a time when consumers are focused on holiday shopping for others rather than themselves. However, the opportunity of potentially receiving expensive, high-quality furniture for free resulted in nearly 500 customers taking advantage of the promotion within a two-week period.
By providing such a unique purchasing experience for these consumers, Morris can expect to resonate highly in their minds. It can be expected that if these customers are pleased with the quality and functionality of their purchases, at least a good portion may return back to Morris for eventual furniture needs. Overall, the promotion was a hit and representatives for the store are hoping to run a similar one in the upcoming future.