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Super Bowl spending expected to be a touchdown for retailers

Spending is expected to come in at $14.8 billion nationwide.

The big game will produce a big take for retailers this weekend, according to a new survey of American consumers.

The National Retail Federation survey found armchair quarterbacks plan to spend $81.17 a pop prepping for Sunday’s Super Bowl showdown between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots.

That tally matches the per-person spending estimate from last year, though total spending is expected to come in at $14.8 billion.

That’s $500 million less than 2018, primarily due to fewer respondents saying they’ll tune in to the NFL’s marquee event — an estimated 182.5 million U.S. consumers plan to watch LIII compared to 188.5 million who tuned into the 52nd edition.

Viewership might be dipping, but the weekend will still go down as the biggest driver of retail sales since New Year’s.

“You don’t have to be a football fan to celebrate the Super Bowl,” said NRF head Matthew Shay. “Whether it’s to see who wins, watch the halftime show and commercials or just get together with friends, this is the biggest party since New Year’s Eve. Spending is expected to be at one the highest levels we’ve seen. And retailers are ready whether you need food, team jerseys, decorations or a new TV.

The Florida Retail Federation, a state-level partner of NRF, says Sunshine State brick and mortars will reap plenty of rewards, too.

“The Super Bowl continues to be must-watch television for both loyal fans and those that haven’t watched a game all season,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF’s president and CEO. “Consumers will stock up on food and drink as well as apparel and even new televisions. Florida’s retailers stand ready to provide everything needed for Super Bowl Sunday.”

“With Florida historically matching or exceeding national averages, this helps reinforce the strength of our economy. Florida retailers are excited about the opportunities provided by the biggest television event of the year,” he concluded.

Grocery and liquor stores will indeed be the biggest beneficiaries. An estimated 105 million people will either host a party or attend one, and four fifths of revelers plan to get supplies for a party spread, whether they’re laying it out on their own sideboard or a friend’s.

Bars will get some love, too. NRF said 13 million people plan to watch the game at their favorite haunt.

Members of the 35- to 44-year-old bracket are expected to spend the most — $123.26 apiece — while the 65-plus crowd is at the other end of the spectrum with an estimated spend of $40.97 each.

Even though the survey was conducted before the teams were set, those living near the teas will spend the most: Northeasterners will average out at $94.89, followed by the Westerners at $84.01. Those living in the South will shell out $79.09 with the Midwest rounding out the pack with an average spend of $69.24.

The survey of 7,384 adults 18 and older was conducted January 2-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points. NRF says the viewership numbers may differ from other figures such as official TV ratings because they include all individuals who say they will watch regardless of how or where.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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