Retail giant Target this week announced it was pausing sales of trading cards -- including MLB, NFL, NBA and even Pokemon -- amid soaring demand that has resulted in large, unspaced crowds and, in some cases, even violent interactions between overzealous customers.
The move comes several days after it was reported police had responded to a fight that broke out outside a Target store in Wisconsin. The several customers involved -- including one reportedly armed with a gun -- were said to have been waiting in line to purchase cards.
Some retailers have already responded to the seemingly unprecedented surge with policies meant to curb hoarding and theft, ESPN reported. One chain store has moved the cards to the locked display cases in the electronics section, while Target itself had already limited the number of packs customers can purchase and moved them to the customer-service desk.
The value of trading cards, other than the familiar ultra-rare ones, seemed to have bottomed out only a few years ago amid a mostly apathetic market. But the pandemic apparently heralded a surge of renewed interest, with some speculating that people with newfound time on their hands were rediscovering old hobbies.
The pause would only be temporary, a Target spokesperson reportedly told ESPN.