Nike doesn’t want everyone to get a pair of shoes

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The Future. Nike receives 12 billion bot attempts on its SNKRS app per month (and allegedly blocks 98% of them), but that doesn’t mean bots are solely to blame for the lack of high-profile shoes available. In reality, the footwear giant doesn’t make nearly enough of its product to meet demand. As the collectible market reaches a fever pitch, companies may be able to start producing more limited-edition products and still deem them “exclusive.”

Short supply and demand
The drop for the Kobe 6 Protro “Reverse” highlights how bots are only part of the supply issue, argues Business of Fashion.

  • After many customers couldn’t snag a pair of what are known as the “Reverse Grinch” late last year, they took to social media to complain — calling out that bots were to blame.
  • But it’s estimated that only 300,000 pairs were made available, despite millions of people wanting them (it was the fifth-most in-demand sneaker on the app last year).
  • That means even if bots were taken out of the equation, most people who wanted the sneakers still wouldn’t have gotten a pair.

What gives? Keeping supply low juices up demand. Nike VP of Footwear Phil McCartney said the question of how many limited-edition sneakers the company should produce for a given drop is “the most debated question that we have as a team.”

At the end of the day, people love exclusivity… even if it leads to frustration.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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