The Football Playbook

How dealers score big during a super sales season

Forget Black Friday. Football season—especially the weeks preceding the Super Bowl—in many ways trumps the traditional holiday season because it actually gives retailers a chance to make some money on the sale of TVs, related electronics and add-ons.

“I am pretty passionate about the value of the football selling season,” Doug Schatz, vice president of electronics merchandising for the Nationwide Marketing Group, says. He creates a yearly merchandising “playbook” for members that addresses football season sales strategies retailers can also use during the crucial fourth quarter and into January, leading up to the Super Bowl.

“It’s really the Holy Grail of selling TVs,” he says. “By contrast, the mix of product that is sold at holiday time is typically smaller screen, and typically enjoys less of an attach rate.”

Large-screen TVs typically yield a higher margin and attach rate of accessories and other add-ons, he says. A customer who buys a 32-inch TV is most likely only going to buy the TV. But the customer who buys a 55-inch TV is more inclined to buy furniture or a mount, upgrade their Blu-ray player, buy a soundbar or component audio, or higher-quality cabling.

“For [the] Super Bowl, you get the best of every aspect of the TV business—and you’re selling to customers who are most likely buying for themselves,” Schatz says. “They are therefore more likely to appreciate the value-added features today’s TVs have, whether it’s smart TV or faster refresh rates, or in styling, in terms of the ultra-thin chassis.”

Jeannette Howe, executive director of Specialty Electronics Nationwide (SEN), mirrors Schatz’s enthusiasm for the season’s potential for profitability. But 2012-13 might pose some additional challenges due to fewer co-op dollars and limited inventory. While all of today’s buying groups recognize the value of crafting strong CE strategies around football season that are designed to tackle anemic co-op and the possibility of low inventory, SEN’s answer to the issue is to put together good-better-best TV-and-audio packages with readily available SKUs for its members. This can help boost TV sale profits from the very low double digits to 30 points.

Editor in chief of Dealerscope