Toy Smurfs bigger hit than football cards

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Supermarket chain Albert Heijn has done it again. A collecting mania is sweeping the country and bringing tens of thousands of customers to “the biggest green grocer,” where every 10 euro spent earns you a package of football cards. However, last year’s action with Smurf figurines was perhaps more succesful, reports Algemeen Dagblad (Dutch). The paper quotes market research agency GFK which says that on average Albert Heijn can count 37% of all households among its customers. With the football cards, that number has risen to 39,7%, while at the height of the Smurf craze, it was 40%.

Joop Holla of GFK thinks there are several possible reasons why the Smurfs would be more popular: the cartoon characters are popular with both boys and girls, whereas the football cards mostly attract boys. Also, a competing chain (Plus Markt) had a similar action with football cards last year.

Regardless of which hype is bigger, the football card promotion is drawing plenty of attention. Last Tuesday, the Albert Heijn on the Daalseweg in Nijmegen had to install crowd control barriers because hordes of young boys begging for football cards were apparently bothering the customers. Telegraaf says (Dutch) that at one point at least 50 children were asking for cards in sub zero weather.

It just goes to prove that kids are crazy. If I were standing in the cold on the Daalseweg, I’d make sure to either get to CafĂ© Jos or ‘t Haantje in a hurry, and the only thing cold near by would be the brewsky in front of me.

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