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Largest TV screens sell ahead of the Super Bowl, retailers say

An employee at P.C. Richard & Son in

An employee at P.C. Richard & Son in Plainview stands in front of large screen televisions specially marked down Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, for the Super Bowl. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Football fans are Super-sizing their TVs in time for Sunday’s big game.

The buying boom ahead of the Super Bowl is seeing customers take home larger screens that are setting a new standard, according to retailers and industry experts.

“We’re seeing a lot of customers shifting from the 50 and 55 to 65, 70 and 75 inches . . . 65-inch is kind of the new 55,” said Chris DeSimone, a buyer for P.C. Richard & Son, a Farmingdale-based electronics and appliance chain with 66 stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Declining prices and high-tech advancements, such as 4K ultra-high definition and organic light emitting diode, or OLED, models, are driving sales of TVs at least 50 inches in size, said Ben Arnold, industry analyst with the NPD Group, a Port Washington-based market research firm. While there is an annual bump in sales ahead of the Super Bowl, he said sales of TVs in 2017 were down overall.

The average size of TVs shipped to stores was 45 inches last year, compared with 39 inches in 2013, according to data from the Consumer Technology Association, a trade group based in Arlington, Virginia.

The largest screens sell around the time of the Super Bowl, Arnold said.

Garden City resident Giusepe Franzella, 36, was in a Best Buy store in Huntington Station on Tuesday buying a 55-inch, HLC brand TV with 4K.

He bought the $599 model to upgrade from the working, 46-inch Sharp TV in his family’s living room, and he wanted his new purchase home in time to watch it while rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

“They’ve never won the Super Bowl,” Franzella said. “I went to college outside of Philadelphia, and I despise the Patriots.”

TVs at least 50 inches in size accounted for 40 percent of all unit sales in 2017, according to NPD.

In January and February 2017, the buying period for the Super Bowl, nationwide sales of TVs 50 inches and larger increased 14 percent, to 2 million units, compared with the same period in the prior year.

In the cities whose NFL teams were playing in last year’s Super Bowl, big-screen sales saw a bigger jump: 26 percent in Atlanta and 24 percent in Boston.

The Super Bowl is the second best time of the year to buy TVs because of price cuts, with Black Friday taking the lead, Arnold said.

At AHC Appliances in Cedarhurst, however, Black Friday takes a backseat to football, owner Sandy Tau said Tuesday.

“This is our busiest time of year for TV sales. And Black Friday is probably the second busiest,” she said.

The store has been selling 40 percent to 50 percent more TVs in the last week, and 55-inch, 4K TVs are the most in demand, she said.

AHC’s discounted prices for the large TVs start at about $550, about $200 less than regular prices, Tau said.

At P.C. Richard, selling through its own website has been good for business, DeSimone said.

“We’ve seen a nice uptick in customers purchasing online and picking up at the store,” he said.

P.C. Richard is offering up to 42 percent off advertised TVs, and on Tuesday morning it sent emails to its customers about a two-day flash sale, spokesman John Pflug said.

Black Friday is still the biggest week for TV sales at the chain’s stores, but Super Bowl time is a close second, DeSimone said. Some of the chain’s TV prices are at or below Black Friday levels right now, he said.

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