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Old 02-25-2008, 04:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default (new Ud Store Sounds More Like Field Of Dreams)

(NEW UD STORE SOUNDS MORE LIKE FIELD OF DREAMS)

At first glance it doesn't look like Upper Deck is going to try to compete with local hobby stores so there is really nothing for these hobby stores to fear. The target would seem to be more of "Field of Dreams." Field of Dreams is now a tightly run company with many of the stores company owned rather than franchised.

(A FOD Store has a pretty standard and classic look.)

The company has made great inroads with athletes, builds it's own memorabilia items and buys and sells vintage memorabilia. The new Upper Deck store builds it's own memorabilia, has the best athletes in the country with exclusive contracts and with the acquisition of Hunt Auctions will now sell vintage memorabilia. Sounds like two peas in a pod.

Ad the strength of a card manufacturer behind the UDC store and you have the makings of competition. The one thing FOD doesn't do is kid stuff, marketing and gaming. UDC does it well and owns it as well. It will be a key focus of the new UD store.

When hobby dealers first learned of the new UDC store in Orange County, California they were reasonably upset. Upper Deck tried to allay those fears by meeting store owners and evidently convinced some there was no conflict. Whether UDC met with FOD officials to try the same isn't known but isn't likely either.

On the surface this looks just like a manufacturer looking to move more of it's products rather than depending on a dwindling number of hobby store owners to do it. It is a smart idea. Smarter still if you take the side of it's a move on FOD stores. Certain FOD stores provide an athlete signing every day of the year. UDC can match this name for name but in the end has the biggest names in the business nailed to exclusive contracts.
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