Sneakers fuelling revolution in luxury goods sector

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Nike raced into the running shoe market in the 1970’s to displace incumbents Adidas and Puma among others but what really cemented its position as a game-changing brand was releasing a version of its innovative ‘Waffle’ training shoe in blue to match the colour of jeans.

This apparent small move turned what was a pure sporting accessory into a piece of everyday wear and ignited sales of Nike products. It has never looked back. Fast forward to today and it is clear Nike has played a leading role in the rise of the streetwear and athleisure categories as well as the massive market for the resale of training shoes (aka sneakers in the US).

Nike Waffle iron sneaker

The growth of the latter and its association with the wider streetwear category led Farfetch to recently purchase Stadium Goods in the US for $250 million. The sneaker resale store is positioned in the sweet spot where streetwear and luxury goods are coming together in an increasingly big way.

As a platform for selling luxury goods Farfetch recognised that it needed greater exposure to the streetwear end of things and also to that of the resale market, which is a key part of the sneaker category.

Although sneakers have represented a strong growth area for the company it did not have access to the secondary market and the customers attracted to this type of proposition. Stadium Goods gives it the key to play a credible part in the resale market and engage with this often affluent and young demographic.

It is not surprising that one of the key brands sold through Stadium Goods is Nike – alongside its ongoing rival Adidas – which suggests that the US brand is playing its part in a second revolution as streetwear and luxury – helped by the resale market – are contributing to a redefining of the retail landscape.

Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider

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