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Super Bowl TV Sales Could Soar 50%: NRF

Washington — Shoppers plan to purchase 3.9 million TVs for Super Bowl Sunday, up more than 50 percent from last year, according to a new consumer survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Young adults, ages 18 to 24, will be the best customers, the survey suggested, with nearly one in 10 (9.8 percent) planning to buy a TV for the Feb. 3 event.

The 2008 Super Bowl Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, commissioned by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), a division of NRF, was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Super Bowl. The poll of 8,447 consumers was conducted from Jan. 2-8 by BIGresearch, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percent.

According to RAMA executive director Mike Gatti, retail promotions will have a big influence on buying behavior. “Smart shoppers hold off on major purchases like televisions and entertainment centers until retailers are offering special discounts and promotions,” Gatti said. “After a lackluster holiday season, retailers will be courting consumers with their very best deals on electronics, furniture and even food in anticipation of the Super Bowl.”

One of the first national retailers to herald its Super Bowl plans is Circuit City, which is reviving its Super Bowl TV delivery and installation guarantee. Under the policy, TVs sized 32 inches and larger can be purchased as late as 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30, and still be delivered and set up in time for the game, or the customer receives a $50 gift card. The chain is also continuing its 60-day HDTV price guarantee, which refunds 110 percent of the difference within 30 days, or 100 percent within 60 days, if a customer sees the same in-stock set advertised at a lower price by a local competitor.

The NRF/RAMA survey projects total spending for the game to reach $9.5 billion, with some 158 million people tuning in. Although the contest pits two regional rivals, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, Phil Rist, strategy VP for BIGresearch, believed that “people across the country will be watching the Super Bowl for entertainment. For many Americans, there is nothing better than watching football with friends and family — especially if they’re also showing off a new TV.”