Collecting 25 years of city memories

People of Adelaide At Work

On Thursday 18 April 2019, Adelaide’s home of collectable cards – Sports Card World in Regent Arcade off Rundle Mall – will mark 25 years of operating in the city. We asked current owners Matt Maloney and Ben Murphy to share a few insights into the intriguing (for many of us!) world of card collecting and their tips on keys to business success.

Congrats on 25 years in business in the city! Tell us a little about your unique product offering.

"Our business opened on the 18 April 1994. This was when the NBA basketball cards fad was huge here in Australia. We stock a huge range of Pokémon, YUGIOH, Magic: The Gathering, NBA and AFL cards - as well as card accessories.”

Matt and Ben of sports card world around 1997

L-R: Matt Maloney and Ben Murphy at Sports Card World around 1997.

What’s been the most exciting development in your product offering in those 25 years?

“The unique thing about card collecting is that it’s very much stayed the same for many years. The internet is probably the biggest thing that’s has changed card collecting, as it gives collectors more avenues to source rare cards and to sell and trade."

Tell us a little about your customer base?

“Our collector base is mainly males aged 13-50 years in age, however more females are getting into collecting and really collecting is for all ages.”

What are some of the keys to your longevity and success?

“I think keys to our longevity has been that we moved with collecting trends and started stocking more than just sports cards. Also, in a time when online shopping is big we offer a unique and personal shopping experience.”

How has your city business changed since you first opened your doors?

"Our business has evolved over the years with different collecting trends, the internet and, by far, social media - which makes us connect more with customers outside of the shop’s four walls.”

What are some of the pluses of your move in March 2018 to Regent Arcade?

“We’ve noticed a lot more foot traffic here in the Regent Arcade which has had new customers discover us. Regent Arcade is a unique shopping arcade which fits our business.”

Sports card world Regent Arcade

Sports Card World in Regent Arcade.

What’s the best reason you’d give someone to come in and have a look at what you offer?

If a card collector had never been into our shop before I would encourage them to pay us a visit because, unlike shopping online, we offer a more personal experience where we can share our collecting knowledge of over 30 years. Also, seeing cards in person is far more enjoyable than a picture online."

What do people find most surprising about your business?

Most people find it hard to believe that people pay money for cardboard with pictures on them. Little do they know collectors are very passionate about their hobby and these days, some cards are worth more than a car or a house.”

Sports card world grant original owner and matt around 1996

L-R: Matt Maloney and Grant Williams (original owner) in Sports Card World around 1996.

Sports Card World

Shop 5 – Regent Arcade, Rundle Mall, Adelaide


Article by

Rhys Moult

Rhys Moult

Active thinker collaborator and tinkerer

A radar technician and a sommelier in a former life, Rhys is all about innovation and supporting retailers in Adelaide to work with the City of Adelaide to improve retail business using data, digital technologies and future city smarts.