Buffalo in the ’80s: Jim Pachioli knocked out high mattress prices

By Steve Cichon

In every era of Buffalo television, there have been local commercial pitchmen who’ve left us wondering if maybe we should go read a book. While the usually low budget spots become grating when they play over and over, like most things familiar — they become fun to remember when they’re gone.

Jim Pachioli was the owner and raspy-voiced pitchman for Factory Sleep Shop. He was often seen in energy-filled TV commercials wearing boxing gloves as he delivered the company slogan, “Nobody beats us, we guarantee it!”

The commercials weren’t great, and Pachioli knew that. “I think it’s a bad commercial,” he told The News in 1985. “But if it’s bad, they remember.”

If you were near a Western New York TV set in the early ’80s, you couldn’t avoid the TV spots. Factory Sleep Shop, reported News Critic Alan Pergament, was spending about $35,000 every month on television ads.

“Not since car dealer Dan Creed looked into the camera and said ‘Shame on you,’ has one local television commercial gotten so much mileage,” wrote Pergament in 1983.

Pachioli admitted in an interview with News reporter Jane Kwiatkowski that while he was embarrassed when people told him his commercials were terrible, the pain was eased when those words came as the people where buying a mattress from him. He was on the floor of his shop 12 hours a day, six days a week. A Buffalo guy who came from a poor family, Pachioli was proud of the business he built and operated from 1960 until his death in 1999.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.