I know there have been a few threads in the past that have addressd where retail packs are sold. I would like to see if there are any updates to this and I'll kick it off (i'm an avid retail guy only because RIGHT OR WRONG, I feel the value is better because I'm a set builder (only thing I don't like is when the card production is different from hobby/retail a la Topps Strata retail is thinner stock and hobby has thicker. I really dont like that fact, but all else i like...feel free to try to talk me out of this during the thread. I'm not 100% retail, but I need a strong argument...and have searched for one telling me how I'm wasting my time. Oh, also i'm in maryland/VA area so I know that is a factor as some stores mentioned I've never heard of. Also I only collect baseball and football and while below generally applies to the major 6 sports, I don't know how big the selection is for the other sports as much.


and others that I people have mentioned, but I have never seen. Any truth to these stores (and how recent is the proof?)
Best Buy; Big Lots; some grocery stores, but haven't seen this since the '90's. Other sports equipment stores with better selection....? (true or false?); Walgreens; Sam's Club;


ANYHOW, so here goes from a retail buyer (over 200 blaster boxes and counting, plus at least that many racks packs and probably 10 individual packs since they are the most easily searched..yeah I know racks can as well, but I guess I'm naive that I think its harder for that to happen.)
1. Target - by far biggest selection of the most recent year.
2. Walmart - 2nd to Target for most recent year and they have a little more in terms of older unopened boxes for things like Topps Chromes 2010 baseball.
3. K-mart - kinda weak on staying in stock of the latest year, but its always fun to see what they'll have. They'll supply things for all sports from 2011 Bowman Platinum Baseball, 2008 UDeck Football (and lots more UD both baseball and football). These mostly come in blaster boxes and then rack packs that are usually on sale from $3 per rack and $6 to $11 in blasters.
Out of these 3, K-mart is the most expensive. The other 2 are equal as far as i've seen, but I do gotta say k-mart is fun because it varies quite a bit on what you may find. Found quite a few Topps prime/platinum football '10/'11 and Bowman Chrome/Draft&Prospcts '10/'11 which are going for much more than the $12 they were on sale for...retail or not.


4. Toys R US - from the top 3, this is where there is a BIG DROP OFF. I never went to TRUS until about a month ago when I noticed they had some sale items from 2010/2011 so been visiting more, but most have very little. Oh and definitely more expensive. Worth mentioning though there are some TRus that have packs in plastic boxes so you cant search packs (the ones where the cashier needs a key to open).
5. Dollar stores (all of them really...) but even a retail guy likes me doesn't go here anymore. They are obviously $1 per pack and there are no inserts (autos or relics) so its good cause noone can search packs, but I at least like to have a possibility...not to mention they give you 50% less cards per pack...
6. Well...that's about it. I have seen PACKS and Rack packs ONLY (no blasters) at (in order of best, but not much difference really):
a. Rite-Aid; b) Modell's; c)Sports Authority (both b and c had like 1 typ of brand and sub brand each so its hard to classify them as having cards)

So I'm hoping that this can be the ultimate forum post that can be referenced for now on and others can add to it. Hopefully I didnt waste people's time because this has been discussed, but I believe an update would be helpful since this is as of June 1st, 2013 (and takes into account about 10 total visits at a minimum of stores above looking at packs of 2013 Archive (baseball and football), Prizm (baseball), Bowman (baseball and just today football), and the likes.

Thanks for providing add'l info.
Ryan