By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Washington – More than 7.5 million households that plan to watch the Super Bowl are in the market for a new TV, an increase of 39 percent over last year, a new survey shows.
What’s more, chances are their new flat-panel purchase will be a 55-inch Samsung LED, a separate study of online and mobile searches suggests.
The household survey, by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), showed that 7.1 percent of the record 179 million fans who plan to tune in to this Sunday’s big game will also buy a new TV, regardless of income. Of those, young adults ages 18-24 are most likely to purchase new displays, and men are only slightly more inclined to do so than women, RAMA observed.
Separately, a study of online and mobile shopping trends by comparison shopping site and mobile app BuyVia found that the majority of TV searches over the past 60 days zeroed in on 55-inch panels. LED was the most looked-for display technology, with plasma representing less than 5 percent of searches, while three out of the five TVs most frequently barcode-scanned with hand-held devices were Samsung sets, followed by LG and Toshiba models.
Only 5 percent of shoppers expressed an interest in Smart features.
“When it comes to pre-Super Bowl purchases, clearly bigger is better,” said BuyVia CEO and co-founder Norman Fong. “Whether consumers are searching online or ‘showrooming’ in stores by scanning TVs for price comparisons, the 55-inch TV is king this year.”
He attributed the greater demand for Samsung sets to their “aggressive pricing, high quality, and superior design with a strong feature list.”
None of this has been lost on retailers, for whom Super Bowl is the second most critical TV sales period after the holidays. Indeed, Best Buy pointed to data from the NPD Group showing that the week prior to the big game is the third most popular time for consumers to purchase large-screen TVs after the week before and the week following Black Friday, and also cited the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which estimates that 1.7 million plasma and LCD TVs will ship in January.
Best Buy is making hay this week with steep discounts on TVs including two 55-inch Samsung LED models: a 120Hz set for $900, representing a discount of $500, and a 240Hz Smart 3D model for $1,500, a savings of $1,100.
The chain will also continue to match prices of online and brick-and-mortar competitors, offer free shipping for orders placed on BestBuy.com, and pick up and return any recent purchase of a 46-inch or larger TV from customers’ homes at no charge.
Best Buy is also offering AAA and AARP members and State Farm customers $580 off and free delivery on a package that includes a 60-inch Samsung plasma TV and Geek Squad installation, and will air its third consecutive ad during Super Bowl, this one featuring comedienne Amy Poehler.
Elsewhere, this week’s Walmart promotions include a 70-inch Sharp LED TV for $1,598; a 60-inch Vizio 120Hz Smart LED TV for $888; a 47-inch LG LED for $548; an Emerson 50-inch LCD for $498; a Samsung 5.1 HTiB for $248; and a Vizio soundbar and wireless subwoofer for $198 .
At h.h.gregg, the chain is offering up to 30 percent off TVs, major appliances and furniture, a new category for the company that includes chairs and recliners, sofas and love seats, TV stands and entertainment centers, and coffee and end tables.
Sale items include a 70-inch 120Hz Sharp Aquos, marked down 37 percent to $1,700; Sharp’s 60-inch, 120Hz Aquos for $900, a 47-percent savings; and a 51-inch, 720p Samsung plasma TV for $530, a savings of $120, h.h.gregg said.
The chain is also offering an extra 5 percent discount on TV and majap purchases of $499 or more made with the company’s private-label credit card, and special two-year financing terms are available in stores.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.