The demand for sports cards surged during the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued into 2021, making it hard for retailers to keep up with demand.
One of the largest American retailers is halting in-store purchasing.
What Happened: Retailer Target Corp TGT will halt the sale of trading cards and Pokemon cards for the safety of its guests and team members.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve decided to temporarily suspend the sale of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokemon trading cards within our stores, effective May 14. Guests can continue to shop these cards online at Target.com,” Target said in a statement to Sports Card Investor.
The halt comes after demand led to Target limiting purchases and seeking out police help to prevent people from camping outside stores. The final straw could be the recent report of a gun pulled in a Target parking lot over the purchase of cards.
The rise in valuation of cards has led to scalpers buying the boxes in retail stores and then selling them for higher prices on marketplaces like eBay Inc EBAY and Facebook Inc FB.
Along with Target, reports from Bleeding Cool said Walmart Inc WMT is telling vendors to stop stocking shelves with cards in a move that could see sales shift online for the products.
Why It’s Important: The halting of selling cards in stores could hurt Topps, an 80-year-old trading card company going public in a SPAC merger with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II MUDS.
Nintendo Co NTDOY is a partial owner of The Pokemon Company, which makes the trading cards of the namesake company.
Magic The Gathering, which is made by Hasbro Inc HAS, was not mentioned in the statement but could also see a halt of sales in stores.
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