Sources have alleged that Wal-Mart, a huge retailer in the United States and elsewhere across the globe, has ordered vendors not to stock trading cards of any sort for the foreseeable future. This mandate comes after purported "inappropriate customer behavior" and increased demand, though nothing has been said on precisely what that behavior has been.
This particular embargo on trading card game components is an impactful one, and affects all card games including but not limited to:
- the Pokémon Trading Card Game
- Magic: The Gathering
- Digimon Card Game
The list goes on. As we had written roughly a month ago, Target stores across the United States have been bottlenecking their supplies of trading cards, including not only the above non-exhaustive list but also sports cards. Target's mandates are a response to scalpers buying low from them and re-selling high online. However, Wal-Mart's actions might be because of that or because of theft by customers. Again, we do not know the exact ramifications of what constitutes "inappropriate customer behavior" here, but theft is a distinct possibility.
What this means for trading card games across the board is pretty dire. Many local game stores are still shuttered from the COVID-19 pandemic and if big-box stores like Wal-Mart or Target do not carry these cards in locations where local game stores are closed, players will most likely have to resort to online sales in order to get their kicks.
Furthermore, this is likely a response to scalpers buying out Pokémon cards. In Target and Wal-Mart stores, Magic: The Gathering, to provide one example, have been plentiful on their card shelves. As we discussed in a recent op-ed piece, the impact that this sort of mandate has on all trading cards in these stores likely stems from that one game and its collectible nature leading to scalpers buying them out.
Do you agree with this order by Wal-Mart to bar trading card game sales? Let us know in the comments below!