Sunday, September 20, 2020

[EXCLUSIVE] The Card Shop Hopes to Score Points with Sneakerheads

Adding to the surprises of 2020, trading cards, specifically sports trading cards, are having a moment, and at least one shop is looking to hit a home run with their new brick & mortar store.  The Card Shop, slated to "soft" open next Friday, September 25, is at 2280 Cheshire Bridge Road, across the street from the old Landmark Diner, Jr.  The shop, owned by husband and wife Danny Coleman and Michelle Coffey, is the sibling of the owners' adjacent business, Premium Kicks.  

Coffey, a native of Ohio. has been in Atlanta for 16 years, and before launching Premium Kicks, operated Mass Appeal, and before that Fresh 2 Def.  The two preceding businesses, both of which occupied the space that the current store does, were more clothing focused than Premium Kicks.  Coffey and her husband found that clothing trends changed too frequently and that styles and brands' popularity could be fleeting.  Shoes, however, have a wider fan base, are collectible and unlike most clothing, may very well go up in price the older they get. 

As Coffey sees it, sports trading cards and sports memorabilia share a customer base with sneakerheads, so it seemed only logical to extend the business to provide more options to their current and potential patrons.  The Card Shop will, like Premium Kicks, buy and sell, and offer a wide variety of brands, prices and themes.  The store will have its own exterior signage, but will only be accessible via a separate door in Premium Kicks.  

The Card Shop will feature new and old cards from a variety of sports (sorry, no Pokemon or Magic here, but Stamp & Coin has you covered) and will also feature a curated and constantly changing assortment of memorabilia and collectibles.  Cards, as Coffey told ToNeTo Atlanta Friday, will be the focal point of the store.  The store will sell new packs and single cards and will buy from the public, as well.  A photo shared on the shop's official Instagram page shows that they will also offer tons of Funko Pop! figures too. 

For those unfamiliar with the current interest in sports trading cards, one analyst calculated the sports card market to be worth more than $5 billion, and that is likely low.  This past August, a 2009 rookie card of Los Angeles Angels star centerfielder Mike Trout sold at auction for nearly $4 million.  The same card was sold in 2018 for only $400,000.  For those who pinned their hopes and dreams on beanie babies paying for their college education or first home, the better play today may be in sports cards.  

Almost 20 years ago, there were several card shops and collectible stores around metro Atlanta.  For collectibles, there was Field of Dreams (Lenox Square, North Point Mall, Gwinnett Place Mall, Town Center at Cobb, etc.) and for cards there were several, including Sports Section in Avondale Estates and another in the stand-alone small tower building near Kroger Toco Hills which still has baseballs in its windows.  There was even a shop, Distant Replays, dedicated to throwback apparel and accessories.  The store started on East Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead, adjacent to the current Al's Cafe Agora, but later moved to Cumberland Festival near Cumberland Mall.  The store closed for good more than a decade ago.  

The opening of The Card Shop, while clearly looking to ride the wave of renewed interest and popularity in cards, will also mark the return of an independently owned store to intown Atlanta where collectors young and old can see what's out there and perhaps snag an Ian Anderson rookie card that will in a few years be worth a small fortune.  

Are you excited for the opening of a card and collectible shop in Atlanta?  What is your most prized piece of sports memorabilia?  Are you as shocked as we are by what some cards are currently selling for?

Please share your thoughts below.  

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