PrintHobby Musings: Stores across country gearing up for 2021 NHSD – After a hiatus last year, National Hobby Shop Day is returning to stores across the country this Saturday, December 11. A chance for collectors to have fun and gather at their local store, GTS is also providing several special promotional items that are being given away at the stores.  I had the chance to catch up with Jimmy from Montasy Comics, Ryan Holland from Real Breaks, and Jason Bailets of Sports Zone Toys & Comics to find out what they have planned for the day.

KS: Why did you decide to participate in National Hobby Shop Day this year?
It’s a great way to connect different collectors in the hobby.
RH: As a shop, one of the things we enjoy the most is being able to participate in community. It’s more fun to collect together than it is to collect alone. So, we put a pretty high priority on hosting events in the store, which made this kind of a natural fit.
JB: It’s a good promotion for the store, and I will get more sales.

KS: How would you say participating in a distributor promotion like this differs from a manufacturer promotion such as Panini’s Father’s Day packs?
The manufacturer promotions have been awesome for specific sport or sports.  It creates awareness and brings collectors into the shop. This is a celebration for the community as a whole with different aspects of the hobby represented from supplies to sports to grading.  It’s a great way of connecting different parts of this vast community.
RH: The pack giveaways that manufacturers have done in the past feel more like individual promotions where people are coming in to win something for themselves. National Hobby Shop Day is more of a get together for people to come in and spend time together.  We built a sports lounge in our store that’s got leather seats, a bar and bar seats where people can sit together and watch sports and talk. This event just lends itself to that kind of atmosphere.
JB: Panini is always a specific product for the day like Father’s Day or Black Friday. This covers so much more.

KS: Which promotional item do you think your customers are going to be most excited about?
The two big promo items that we’re giving away are a Giannis Antetokounmpo autographed jersey and a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. autographed jersey. On top of that, everyone’s excited about getting the supplies for free. Supplies, in a market where it can be tough to get them, can be a nice thing to take home for free.
JB: Always free card packs.

KS: Are you doing anything extra in your shop for the day beyond the advertised promotions?
Planning giveaways for collectors throughout the day!
RH: We’re not planning a huge extra event. We do incorporate trade nights into our events, but we just had one on Black Friday, so we didn’t want to sneak one in here. We’re just focused on giveaways, pizza and hanging out. There will be one box from each sport that has a special sale door buster price.
JB: Yes, a raffle.

KS: The last two years in the hobby have been an interesting time as it’s undergone a boom period during the pandemic.  Overall, what would you say is the state of the hobby today?
JFM: There have been a tremendous number of new collectors, creative entrepreneurs and investors which showcases different ways to collect and how much fun and exciting the hobby can be.  The hobby started with candy stores selling packs, then local shops specializing in boxes/packs, to breakers and content providers.  Can’t wait to see what’s next!!
RH: The hobby is on fire. The thing that I’ve noticed the most about it is that we’re constantly seeing new collectors every day. Whether it’s in our store in Minnesota, our store in Wisconsin or our online breaking community, there are new collectors coming in. Whether they started in the past year or even the past week, these are new people who have just found out about the hobby and are having to learn about an industry that’s completely new to them. It’s been exciting.
JB: It is just as crazy-busy now.

KS: Which players and products have been the most popular among customers for you lately?
Being in Minnesota, Anthony Edwards is a hugely popular player for us for the Timberwolves. People have been excited for the Panini basketball products featuring him. Kirill Kaprizov over the past year has been an exciting rookie for the Minnesota Wild in Upper Deck products. People are coming in every day for his cards, and as quickly as I can get them, people buy them up.
JB: Tom Brady, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, football cards.

Kelsey’s ability to bring hobby coverage to the mainstream sports fan has been a true asset. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Hobby Musings. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.

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