Target pauses sports card sales nationwide. The retailer has put a temporary pause on in-store sales for baseball, basketball, football, and Pokemon trading cards. This comes amid safety concerns for customers and employees after recent incidents.
Several months ago, we reported a Madison, Wisconsin Target creating an online waiting list that collectors could join and be alerted when it was there time to purchase. Later, various Target stores limited card purchases to three items per person. Recently, all Target stores instituted a one item per person limit on trading cards.
Further, Target began implementing a scheduled release time to prevent card buyers from blocking checkout lanes and aisles. This created a card collector campground in Target parking lots with people waiting overnight for the Friday morning release time.
An incident at a Brookfield, Wisconsin Target store in May 2021 resulted in a store lockdown after a fight over cards with a gun being drawn (no shots were fired). One week later Target pauses sports card sales.
It is unknown how long this pause in trading card sales will last, but it will be temporary. Beckett Live with Eric Norton featured Panini’s D.J. Kazmierczak on Wednesday, May 12. He reiterated this is just a temporary pause. “The bottom line this is a short term cooling off period and to allow Target to try to figure out can they reinvent the customer experience in the trading card section at Target.”
Another safety issue that Kazmierczak mentions in the above video is that GPS trackers were installed on vendor vehicles to follow them from store to store, and this was not an isolated one-off incident. It occurred multiple times in different states.
Target has acknowledged card sales will be available online as supplies last. Wal-Mart, the other major retailer that sells trading cards has not announced any changes to in-store sales.