While the New England Patriots and New York Giants prepare for Super Bowl XLVI, local merchants are helping customers plan their big game gatherings Sunday.
“This is absolutely a busy week for us,” said Steve Reid, manager of the Super Target on Market Place Boulevard in Cumming. “The Super Bowl, over time, has become a holiday in itself.”
Reid said the store has much to offer for all those “get-togethers and parties” around the game, which will air at 6:30 p.m. Sunday on NBC.
“You can’t have your Super Bowl party without some sort of sausage or ribs or ground beef, so all those are on sale this week,” Reid said. “We also have beer on sale, and a lot of our chips are two for $5.
“There’s a lot of aggressive pricing on food this week.”
Down the street at BJ’s Wholesale Club, general manager Kevin Ramminger said his employees set up a large display at the front of the store to showcase their Super Bowl offerings.
“The losers can take home the tissues, and there’s [heart burn medication] to have after eating all the great food,” Ramminger said.
At BJ’s, some of those food choices include 3-foot long sandwiches and platters prepared to order in the store’s deli.
“The week leading up to Super Bowl is always a really good week for us,” Ramminger said. “Our perishable foods departments really flourish during these types of events.”
Ramminger said the store offers a wide range of heat-and-serve hors d’oeuvres that are perfect for football gatherings.
“All the frozen appetizers do well this time of year,” he said. “We have a wide selection that is featured on the end of the aisles in the freezer section.”
BJ’s bakery also serves up a range of dessert items.
“We have fresh-baked cakes with a big replica of the coin that will be used during the Super Bowl coin toss,” he said. “You can also have them made up with your team.”
At Target, Reid said the bakery will be busy this week preparing sweet treats.
“The cookie cakes, regular cakes and cupcake trays are always popular,” he said.
Those looking for more than just party food can find plenty of game day decorations and other accessories at Party City, also on Market Place Boulevard.
Manager Leif Lingerfelt said the week is always good for the store.
“It’s one of the busiest times of year, even bigger than Valentine’s Day,” he said. “Our Super Bowl merchandise is up quite a bit over last year. We’ve already sold out of several things.”
That merchandise includes everything from table cloths and runners to football-shaped serving dishes.
Lingerfelt said Super Bowl XLVI balloons are popular too.
“Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be especially busy with the balloons,” he said. “People don’t want to get those too long before their parties.”
Paper plates, cups and napkins with football themes also sell well at all three local stores.
Lingerfelt said some team-specific items will be available later this week, although Giants and Patriot fans may have a more difficult time finding such items at BJ’s and Target.
“Our New England stores are carrying some clothing with those teams, but down here [in the South] we aren’t,” Ramminger said.
Added Reid: “We only carry Falcons merchandise, and unfortunately we’re not in it this year.”
No matter who claims the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night, retailers welcome the Super Bowl business.
“We won’t see this much business again until the graduations start at the end of May and then the Fourth of July,” Lingerfelt said.