May 28, 2016 – 8:00AM

(Air Jordan 12 Flu Game was released in Sydney     by Claire)

A staff of Footlocker is calling the number (Photo by: Claire)

“233!” a Footlocker salesman called the number which is picked up from a box full of more than 400 numbers.

“Yes! It’s me!” A boy who is holding his number card responded loudly. All people in the store shifted attention to this “lucky boy” immediately.

On May 28th, several hundreds of people gathered in Footlocker, a shoes store located at Town Hall, Sydney. For most of them, that was a big day because a pair of meaningful shoes was released in Sydney, Air Jordan 12 Flu Game.

People queued in Footlocker in Sydney on May 28th, Saturday morning (photo by:Claire)

“Flu Game is a classic and meaningful shoes. I look forward to have it for a long time.” Matthew Lona, a frequent visitor of this store, said. However, this time, he was very disappointed to come out from the shop with empty hands. Fortunately, his friend who came together with him helped him buy the shoes. According to Matthew, Flu Game could be regarded as the best replica shoes in 2016.

“In 1997, Michel Jordan suffered food poison, but he still played for 44 minutes and dropped 38 points. He helped the Chicago Bulls 90-88 winning Utah Jazz. In that game, he wore this pair of shoes.” said Matthew.

Air Jordan 12 Flu Game (Photo by: Claire)

Among those people who are waiting for calling numbers, there are two types of people who are keen to buy those limited shoes. The people who love and want to collect the shoes they like are one type. People like Matthew belong to this group. They are fascinated in sneakers and always try to collect many limited edition sports shoes. While, some others are not trying to buy shoes for themselves, they want more pairs and then resell to others. They were called “Shoes traffickers”. Every month, some limited sneakers would be released worldwide. “limitation” makes many sneakers more valuable. Shoes traffickers usually buy many original price shoes and then resell higher to get the profits.

Edison Chen is a student of the University of Sydney and he is a veritable shoes reseller based on his description. This morning, he was wandering at the front of Sydney Nike store and looking for strangers who could help him buy one pair of Flu Game. However, beside his feet, there are already four shoes boxes.

“I used to be just a sneaker lover and collected many shoes, about 60 or 70 pairs.” Edison recalled his experience, “I spent lots of money on those limited shoes. Now, I saw this is a big market! So, from last year, I began to hire people to buy these shoes for me and then sell to others.”

He revealed that those limited shoes be basically raised 40 dollars. For sale in very small amounts shoes, the price could be raised to thousands of the dollars. Actually, he also has to observe the price fluctuations in “secondary shoes market ” and then adjusts pricing.

For example, On December 19th 2015, Yeezy boost 750 was released in Australia. More than thousand of people gathered at the front of Espionage, Sydney, but only 20 pairs were available. And the resale values skyrocketed, hovering at somewhere around $2,000 before releasing. Edison spent $1000 to hire people buying it for him, and finally he got that pair of shoes. Certainly, after he got the sky-high price sneakers, he resold them. “I earned almost a half of the iPhone 6 when I sold it,” He said.

The people just bought sneakers are trading outside Footlocker store (Photo by: Claire)

This situation happens not only in Sydney. In America, China, South Korea, the ‘war to grab the shoes’ is staged every week. Even some people saw this opportunity, and then developed some online shopping platforms or mobile apps, serving for the sale of sneakers. Famous one of them is Kickster (An app for providing the latest sneaker release dates and sneaker news. Recently, this app wants develop it to become a secondary trading platform).

Many limited shoes, such as Air Jordan, Yeezy boost, NMD, are from Nike and Adidas. Those two sportswear giants, Nike and Adidas, are the biggest winners in this kind of “limited releasing” sale model. “Almost each pair of limited shoes will be sold out on the releasing day.” The staff of Footlocker, Daniel Zhang told.

“Footlocker is a partner of Nike. So you can see we release Nike, Air Jordan more often than other brands. But in the recent two years, some limited Adidas sneakers attracted more consumers than Nike.” Daniel said. Since Adidas also has embarked on limited edition sales model, sneakers market competition has become more intense than over the past few years when Nike’s Jordan shoes dominated the variation of sneaker culture.

More than 400,000 pairs of NMD sold on one day in March 2016.

“Obviously, they have taken a hunger marketing strategy. No matter limiting sale amount or limiting available time for sale, that all will result in a sense of urgency for consumers.” The dean of Business School in Shandong University explains, “Many famous brands has been recognized and loved by people due to their high quality. But, the same types of products always want to compete with each other. So deliberately created shortage can attract consumers.”

In Adidas first-quarter 2016 earnings report, the CEO of adidas-Group, Herbert Hainer refers to their success. “We posted record first quarter sales of € 4.8 billion. The organic growth of 22% reflects our highest quarterly growth rate in more than ten years. Our share reached new heights and was once again the top performer in the DAX-30”

The gross margin of Adidas in 2015 reached to 48.3% that exceeded Nike more than two points, 46%.

Source: The Adidas and Nike annual report 2015

The limited releasing also causes some problems. “Some people come to buy the sneakers for reselling, they don’t really like those shoes. They just want to make money. Then the people who really like sneakers cannot get them. That’s too bad.” Matthew said.

Key words: Sneakers; Air Jordan 12; Limited shoes; Sydney; Footlocker

Author: Claire Chen

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