- A high-definition flat-screen TV
- Comfortable furniture
Throw in a few friends for a get-together and your Super Bowl party is set.
Jeremy Cofer, a die-hard Saints fan, expects about 20 friends and family over at his house on Sunday.
“We got the TV for Christmas, but we’re going to load up on the rest of the stuff for the game,” he said at The Mall at Barnes Crossing on Wednesday. “But some of my friends will either have to stand or sit on the floor.”
According to the National Retail Federation, about 167 million adults will watch the big game this year, and they’ll be spending about $9.6 billion on food, merchandise, team apparel and furniture.
Fans will spend more than $57 each in Super Bowl-related goods, according to NRF, which adds that the biggest increase in spending will be on food and beverages.
And pizza restaurants are preparing for the rush.
The Domino’s Pizza, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut locations in Tupelo will at least double their normal Sunday employee count in an effort to handle the expected traffic. They’re also bringing in extra drivers.
Rick Sheffield, the assistant manager and marketing director at Papa John’s, said the restaurant has doubled its supplies and it hopes to do the same with its regular sales.
“It’s going to be a big day,” Sheffield said. “We’re looking forward to a banner day. People already are putting in orders for Super Bowl parties.”
At Domino’s, Gerald Patterson said Sunday will be an extremely busy day for his staff, because people will be looking for a convenient and affordable food option.
“It’s the busiest day of our year, if it’s done correctly,” said Patterson, the operations manager for Domino’s in Tupelo.
His drivers also find it a good day for tips, he said.
“A lot of people don’t want to get out,” Patterson said. “They don’t want to miss the game.”
Teena Gates, shift manager at Pizza Hut on West Main Street, said the game also drives up her location’s delivery numbers compared to a regular day.
“They don’t want to leave home,” she said. “On a normal day, they’ll call in and get it when they get off work.”
Andy Moran, owner of Pizza Drx (doctor), said he’ll do his share of business Sunday, but he isn’t expecting record orders.
“We get a good bump, but I wouldn’t say it’s our biggest day,” he said.
The same goes for the grocery stores.
“It’s not like a huge, huge deal,” said Jason Palmer, owner of Palmer’s Supermarket. “Maybe it was at one point.”
He said people will buy “stuff they can sit in front of the TV and eat while the game’s going on,” but he expects they’ll be cautious with how much money they spend.
“That’s been really obvious – people watching their money,” he said. “It’s been like that. Last year was like that and this year is starting out like that.”
Bob Knight, owner of Todd’s Big Star, said Super Bowl fans usually bump up his sales “a little bit” more than a regular weekend.
The store’s deli sees good business during the weekend, along with the meat department.
“Super Bowl does cause an excitement,” he said. “There’s a lot of grilling out.”
But, he said, “Our No. 1 food item is pizza on Super Bowl weekend.”
John Miller, produce manager at Mitchell’s in Guntown, said chips are going to be the big seller at his store.
“They love their chips on Super Bowl weekend,” he said. “Sales are going to be at least as good (as last year). They are going to buy for Super Bowl – recession or not.”
In Oxford, Brent Larson, an owner at Larson’s Big Star, expects a slight increase in sales this weekend compared to last year.
“I think people are a little more confident this year with the economy and they feel they can spend a few more dollars with their local grocery store,” Larson said.
His biggest sellers usually are Velveeta and Rotel, the two ingredients to make a popular party dip. He expects he’ll double his normal Velveeta sales this weekend.
Other popular Super Bowl items at Larson’s are meat, soft drinks, chips and frozen pizza.
“It’s an overall good sales week because you have a variety of people buying a variety of things,” Larson said. “Everything from chips to cheese to soft drinks to paper plates.”
At the Piggly Wiggly in Saltillo, customers can find promotions for the Super Bowl throughout the store, including the deli.
Non-food sales pick up
Renee White at the Sports Zone in The Mall at Barnes Crossing said Saints fans have been snapping up merchandise ever since the team won the NFC Championship to advance to Sunday’s Super Bowl.
But “there haven’t been as many Colts fans,” she said.
Jerseys, T-shirts, cups, hats, wallets – anything with team logos on them – are selling well, White added.
“I spent quite a bit on a Drew Brees jersey,” Cofer said, referring to the Saints quarterback. “We’ve got a few T-shirts, too. For the party, we’re even letting a few Colts fans in.”
Television sales have taken off at some retail stores, including Cowboy Maloney’s in Tupelo.
Store Manager Robert Hughes said the company’s annual sale before the Super Bowl usually generates sales, and this year hasn’t been any different.
“Everybody seems to want a new TV for the big game,” he said, adding that 46-inch or bigger sets were the best sellers.
“We got about 40 TVs on a truck (on Wednesday) and we think they’ll be gone by the weekend,” he said.
At Grass TV, owner Bob Grass said he hasn’t seen a big increase in sales for the Super Bowl, but that’s because sales have been strong for quite some time.
“We started picking up last June and it’s been going strong ever since,” he said.
Sales also have picked up recently as tax returns have started to come back, Grass said.
Finally, furniture stores also have been getting a boost from football fans.
Reclining chairs, reclining sofas and TV consoles have been selling well in recent weeks, said Room To Room owner Lisa Hawkins.
“In the fall we start feeling a big push on reclining chairs,” she said. “And we often sell them in pairs – one for the husband, one for the wife.”
Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or email@example.com.
Who will win the big game? Read Chris Kieffer (Saints) and Galen Holley (Colts) take and give your own. Click here.