Target Is Trading Cards for Profits

May 09, 2002

Trading cards have quietly become one of the most profitable product departments in retailers managed by Excell Marketing, a leading distributor of trading cards, collectibles and gaming products. Profits-per-running-foot outpace traditional front-end products such as candy, magazines and batteries, according to the distributor.

Target Stores recently awarded the 2001 Vendor Award of Excellence to Excell. This was the second time in three years that the company achieved this recognition. Excell Marketing claims that sales of trading cards in Target have experienced double-digit annual growth since 1995.

“The whole reason we exist is because trading cards are difficult,” says Steve Jones, Excell’s vice president, marketing. “Retail buyers just don’t have the time to meet with 30 different vendors for one small space in the store. Keeping track of hundreds of different trading card SKUs, each one very time sensitive, is usually just too much when your main job is managing a candy department or a toy department or some other larger product category.”

Moderator Comment: How should retailers apply category
management to smaller categories that make expenses hard to justify?

You have probably heard a baby boomer lamenting on the
riches they lost by abandoning their trading card collection when they were
children. High profile media coverage and the promise of big returns brought
many “speculators” into the collectibles category in years past. Not becoming
instantly wealthy caused many to exit collecting as quickly as they entered.

A true understanding of the category and its consumers,
as with any other, is a necessity if a retailer wants to be in this business.
It may just be that the understanding necessary will need to come from vendors
and not the retailer itself. [George
Anderson – Moderator

  • Trading Cards Are Hot at Target – Excell Marketing, L.C.
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