Notice of trading cards in a Target store in Edgewater, NJ.
Sarah Whitten | CNBC
Retail giant Target announced Friday that it was temporarily taking trading cards off shelves after one of its Wisconsin stores closed over a violent card dispute.
Items that will be removed include MLB, NFL, NBA, and Pokemon trading cards. Buyers can still purchase the cards online from Target’s website.
Retailers saw a surge in demand for trading cards during the pandemic, with the resale value of these cards being many times what consumers originally paid for.
The Brookfield, Wisconsin, dispute involved four men who allegedly attacked a fifth in the parking lot when he was leaving the store earlier this month. The victim, who has a concealed carry permit, drew his gun during the incident and ordered his attackers to run away. No shots were fired and all four were arrested, according to a WISN report.
Target’s decision is a precautionary measure, the company said.
“The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority. As a precaution, we have decided to temporarily suspend the sale of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokemon trading cards in our stores with effect from May 14th.” A. spokesman for Target said in a statement.
Pokémon Company International, which manages the brand and goods, said in a statement that demand and shipping restrictions are affecting the availability of Pokémon card products.
“We trust our retail partners to make the best decisions for their businesses and employees. We work closely with them to ensure customers and fans have access to increased supply in the near future,” said The Pokémon Company.
Other brands of trading cards like Hasbro’s “Magic: The Gathering” are still on the shelves.
Despite a surge in demand, rival Walmart said it hadn’t planned any similar moves at the time.
“We have not suspended trading card sales. As with other retailers, we have seen increased customer demand and are looking into what changes, if any, may be needed to meet customer demand while ensuring a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.” Walmart spokeswoman said in a statement.