Last night, the New England Patriots made a comeback from a 25-point deficit to win the Super Bowl. To celebrate, fans across New England took to bars, restaurants and stores, causing many local retailers to rejoice at the increase in customers and revenue. However, businesses may not be celebrating for too long.
According to Ray Wimer, a professor of retail practice at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, most New England retailers will not see a prolonged increase in sales from the Patriot’s Super Bowl win.
“Naturally, you would think that there would be an increase in sales or consumption because fans are coming in and buying team paraphernalia and goods,” said Wimer. “But you have to consider that this consumption could take place online now, so it wouldn’t impact the area much.”
A study conducted by Pew Research found that roughly eight-in-10 Americans make purchases online. Sports fans appear to be no exception. In 2013, Fanatics, a sports e-commerce business sold $990 million in merchandise and was ranked among Internet Retailer’s list of the top 50 online U.S. retailers. New England retailers that offer online ordering such as Sully’s Brand, a local t-shirt shop, may be at an advantage over brick-and-mortar stores but will likely need to go against competitive online pricing.
Wimer also explained that while tourism could increase because of the Patriot’s win, especially from people who cannot make the parade, tourists are likely coming to attend the games, visit the stadium or maybe see the trophy.
“New England plays close to Boston in Foxborough, Massachusetts,” said Wimer. “When we go to visit, as fans, we go to Foxborough.”
Retailers in this area may be more affected by a Super Bowl win because the location holds more appeal to the team fan base. However, there are some short-term opportunities that retailers can take advantage of, such as team anniversaries and the ticker-tape parade, an annual tradition in the NFL where the winning Super Bowl team returns home to celebrate their victory by hosting a parade.
To Wimer, the parade will be a big win for many local retailers.
“During the parade, when you have millions of people celebrating you’re going to see an influx for the area,” said Wimer. “There’s a large number of visitors going into the city that normally wouldn’t.”
Hotels will be packed, restaurants filled and vendors will have room to capitalize on the number of people, if only for a few days.
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