Adidas recently promised the world would see wider distribution of Kanye West’s Yeezy shoes and they fulfilled the promise with the recent Yeezy 350 V2 “triple white” drop. Priced at $220, the shoe was available to buy on September 21, 2018 from adidas.com/yeezy or yeezysupply.com at 12:00 AM EST on Friday.
While the Yeezy “triple white” are now sold out, it’s clear the resell value of the Yeezy has dropped off considerably as a result. On resell site StockX, the shoe started out the year with a selling price of $496. On Octobr 3rd, pricing ranged from $230-$245. When you figure in the StockX’s 12 percent of the sale, resellers are now losing money on the shoe.
Weirdly, West paid a visit to StockX yesterday (October 2, 2018) perhaps to see with his own two eyes what was happening with demand for his shoes.
While resellers may buy a shoe, they will also return it when they discover it’s not worth their time and effort. On Twitter, @kreesmac posted an image of a stack of Yeezy shoes that had been returned by customers. “People really thought they could sell these? Now they returning them to my store killing my sales bro,” he wrote.
The concept of making a popular shoe easier for more people to own may seem like a no brainer but within sneaker culture, a silhouette’s standing is often influenced by how difficult the shoe is to obtain. Collaborations are not so much about improving the bottom line as they are building buzz and improving the status of a brand. As such, they fall under the category of marketing more so than sales.
Coupled with buzz is the resell market. If resellers can’t make a profit on a shoe, they quickly back off of it. Subsequently excitement drops and suddenly the market is filled with more shoes than the consumer wants and the economic nightmare of supply exceeding demand wrecks its havoc.
Jordan learned this when it discovered early last year that the market simply couldn’t bare weekly Saturday Retro drops. Rather than kill the brand altogether, it pulled back pairs this year by about 35 percent. While it hasn’t been a cure all, demand for the brand has improved.
In the case of Adidas, the push to widen distribution has come at a time when progressive-minded of sneaker lovers have soured on West because of his comments on slavery being a choice and his support of Donald Trump. Thus, timing for the bigger push couldn’t be worse.
It’s not clear what Adidas and West’s strategy is. Understandably they’d like to scale the brand and make more money, but at the same time there doesn’t seem to be any plan for building up the brand that would justify the brand’s premium price whether through more limited launches or even Yeezy collaborations. As it stands, the brand is headed down a dangerous path.
People really thought they could resell these? Now they returning them to my store killing my sales bro. pic.twitter.com/0Z13Auz2hZ
— McFarlane (@KreesMac) September 30, 2018