Sneakers are so hot that dealers live off coveted models

Read the full story: Sneakers made $ 70 billion last year. Black retailers have seen little of this.

Just as brokers are grabbing concert tickets and reselling them at exorbitant prices, sneaker resellers have created a niche in the sneaker industry.

The U.S. sneaker resale market generated $ 2 billion in 2019, according to a 2020 Cowan Research Equity study, which also indicated that sneaker resale activity will explode and generate up to $ 30 billion in sales. ‘by 2030.

“I can’t be mad at them,” said Jennifer Ford, owner of the Premium Goods sneaker store in the Rice Village section of Houston. “A shoe was coming out on a Monday and I was leaving my store on Friday and there would already be guys lining up for the Monday release. I understand the request. But I think all owners would like the shoes to go to those who want them for themselves, not to resell them.

Kobia Redd, 23, of Boston, hopes to one day open a shoe store. In the meantime, he has become a sneaker dealer. Ahead of the pandemic, on the first day of the primo sneakers release, Redd said he would hire “three or four people” to queue in stores for hours to buy the hottest shoes, which are typically produced in Canada. small quantities, which makes them ideal for selling at a higher price.

Kobia ReddJamaree Wood

It can be up to 200% or more above retail cost, he said. For example: A pair of Nike Air Yeezys sold for around $ 200 in stores and sells for up to $ 5,000. And he never has a problem finding a buyer, Redd said.

“I determine the value based on the hype of the shoe,” Redd said. “It’s almost like stocks, in a way. “

For a while, Covid-19 protocols prevented consumers from queuing for new shoes, so many retailers resorted to a lottery system. The demand has not diminished.

“I go to maybe 15 stores a day hoping to win two lotteries,” Redd said. “It’s a work.”

Earl West, a self-proclaimed sneaker manager in Atlanta who owns more than 900 pairs of shoes, said he has lined up so many outside stores that he knows the dealers as well as the die-hards who shop for them. own pleasure.

“It’s a big deal,” West said. “And because sometimes, especially with the lottery system, you can’t get the shoes you want, you go to the dealer. You can pay more than you want or more than someone else, but resellers exist because they know there are people who will pay full price for the sneakers they want.

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