East Texas businesses see high demand for Pokémon cards

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The popular card game, Pokémon, has seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to YouTube streamers going viral from opening packs online.

This leads to big chains like Target and Walmart selling out of the card game. Small vendors, like Game Crave in Tyler, are also selling out of the product.

“A lot of our product, we can’t even keep it on the shelf, it literally will go in five minutes,” said Corey McLendon, Game Crave’s general manager and director of retail sales and operations.

According to McLendon, the production of cards hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand. He said that sometimes customers will monitor their Facebook page and check to see when they post about new merchandise and come to the store and immediately buy it up.

“So far, the fastest that it has taken someone to get down here for this is I posted something on Facebook, and within three minutes of me posting it, they were already at the door.”

McLendon said they have seen a 30 to 35 percent increase in Pokémon sales. Although sales are up, he said he believes the amount of demand isn’t a 100 percent good thing for stores like his that are trying to help get newer players in the game as well.

“It is good from the business standpoint. Yeah, it is great we are selling product, but also in the community aspect, it has been a lot harder to get newer people into the game, mainly like kids and stuff just because the product is not readily available,” McLendon said.

McLendon believes supply will get better as production starts to increase and return to normal as more people get the vaccine.

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