This $4 per gallon talk isn’t soothing those upset stomachs of folks who make a living in this industry.
We went to Target this week for what could best be described as ‘staples’.
You know. Stuff you really need. Laundry detergent, toilet paper, peanut M&Ms.
Just your standard trip. The bill for about 10 items was $76. I’ll be stopping at the gas station early next week to fill up the tank and I expect that with gas prices at $3.05 a gallon here, it will cost about $40 to fill up the Toyota Corolla I drive. I’ll also be writing a check to the mortgage company. The water company. The insurance man. At the end of the day, there isn’t much left.
It’s a problem being faced by millions of average folks and it’s impacting the sports card industry. Our front page story is about Upper Deck, which announced it was cutting back on basketball card production. Not enough buyers, they say. And while there may be a lot of factors in that, like for instance, not many people have ever collected basketball cards–it’s one of two somewhat disturbing signs this week.
Card Trade magazine is reporting that its annual retailer servey shows hobby shop sales were down 47% in the last year. The average drop was 20%. Another 20% were able to hold serve–no change in the plus or minus category. Stores also reported 57% less traffic.
There are still collectors out there. That we know. We know kids are still collecting–although probably not as many as did fifteen years ago. But adults are having a hard time finding disposable income to justify buying a box of cards.