Scoring Points With Super Bowl Parties

Jewelers looking to clear out some inventory before Valentine’s Day might borrow a page from the playbook of Sandra Brown, owner of Tena’s Fine Jewelry & Gifts, in Elberton, Ga., who last year sold $50,000 during a Super Bowl sale.

Super Bowl XLIV (that’s 44 for non-Romans) will mark the third football-themed sale for Brown, who got the idea from the Independent Jewelers Organization’s member Web site.

Inventory a year old and jewelry that didn’t sell during the holidays are fair game for the half-off sale, which takes place Super Bowl Sunday and lasts four to five hours. It can start as early as 11:00 a.m. and go till 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. “In recent years the Super Bowl begins in early evening, which gives people plenty of time to shop before kickoff,” Brown says.

Ten sales temps join five full-timers the day of the sale. Brown displays discounted jewelry by category. Each piece has the original retail price tag plus a larger, color discount tag showing the one-day-only sale price.

Brown gets the word out primarily through newspaper ads, radio commercials, and a radio spot. “It seems to work,” she says. “An hour or two before we open, people are already lining up outside the doors.” Roughly 85 percent of customers are Super Bowl widows. The remaining 15 percent are women shopping with husbands or boyfriends.

Higher-ticket items such as diamond-set jewelry in the $2,000 to $5,000 price range are the hot sellers. Brown has noticed that Christmas shoppers wait for her Super Bowl sale to see if a desired piece from the holidays was discounted in time for Valentine’s Day. A majority of the 100 to 150 people who attend the sale were at the previous year’s event.

For the Feb. 7, 2010, Super Bowl, Brown may try a best-dressed-fan contest or a must-be-present-to-win drawing. “These activities keep customers in the store longer,” she says.