The Carolina Panthers’ berth in the big game is translating to big sales for Charlotte-area television retailers.
While the Super Bowl typically triggers a surge in television sales in January, local retailers say they’ve seen more of a sales bump in the weeks leading up to the Panthers’ victory last Sunday over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game.
And they expect sales to stay hot right up to the Panthers’ Super Bowl appearance on Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.
“We expect that our business will probably be up as much as 50 percent over last year’s business, just because of our team and how well they are playing, and getting to the big game out there,” said Roddey Player, president and CEO of Queen City Audio Video and Appliances.
Player said it helps that manufacturers are providing extra discounts and products to his stores, since they’re located in a city with the home team in the game.
Queen City is also launching a special deal for customers starting Thursday: Buyers of TVs at least 50 inches or more will also get a $50 gift card to Harris Teeter to buy snacks for the game. (The numbers are a play on Super Bowl 50.)
Deals site FatWallet.com says 1 in 4 Americans will buy new TVs this year, and of those, 25 percent will buy new TVs during Super Bowl sales this month.
Viewer statistics bear that out: Last year’s Super Bowl was the most-watched TV show in U.S. history, according to Nielsen, with 114.4 million viewers.
According to FatWallet.com, more than half of buyers are willing to spend $500 or more on a new television.
Local retailers say part of the draw for customers is technology: from ultra-high definition, 4K resolution televisions, to sound bars for that surround-sound feel without all the wires around the house.
Television pricing is down $500 to $1,200 off regular prices at the electronics retailer, and new deals are posted daily, according to Donna Ross, Geek Squad supervisor at Best Buy in Pineville
“So you actually feel like you’re at the game,” said Donna Ross, Geek Squad supervisor at Best Buy in Pineville.
This time of year, the deals are even better than the Thanksgiving/Black Friday sales rush, Ross said. Television pricing is down $500 to $1,200 off regular prices at the electronics retailer, and new deals are posted daily.
“There’s definitely been a jump in sales when it comes to TVs, being that the Panthers are going to the Super Bowl,” Ross said this week. “Everyone’s wearing Panther paraphernalia when they come into the store. … People come in and tell you, they want a TV for the Super Bowl.”
On Tuesday, Best Buy customer Barry Phillips of Fort Mill lingered at a 60-inch ultra high-def TV for $1,399.99: “I’m here thinking about it.”
Phillips said although he has a permanent seat license, he doubts he’ll travel to the game. So he may use the Panthers’ appearance as an excuse to replace the smaller, plasma TV in his bonus room – and host a party for a dozen or so neighbors.
Because, Phillips said, “you can never have too big of a TV.”