Do you ever sit and think, “why am I buying all these sneakers in a pandemic?” There are so many people out of work right now without an income. There is so much uncertainty for many people. There is also a limited amount of places to go to show off your shoes-well at least for me. Each time I question my purchase, I’m like I really like these and later they might be super high. In some ways it’s very irresponsible of me, but I have always loved sneakers. Sneakers are continuing to sell out online with the closures of many stores during the early months of the pandemic. Nike has seen an uptick of inline sales, reporting $10.6 billion in digital sales for the quarter ending August 31 according to The Wall Street Journal. Stores continued to decline in in-person sales even after restrictions were lifted and they could open. This is largely due to safety restrictions with limiting the amount of guests in store, store operating hours changing, and stores moving in-store raffles to app reservations.
Stores such as Nike were able to save on marketing with limited sporting events and other events where people would populate. Spending less money creates less money to make up and more money for profits. Companies also saw an opportunity to raise morale with purchasing direct from their websites and apps since resale markets took a hit. According to Vogue Business, the resale business prices have fallen half of resale prices because of the lack of ability of buyers to pay. This opened it up for less resellers, not limiting them all, but it allowed for more consumers to purchase at retail prices and also purchase additional items such as matching clothing and add-ons like cleaners. Some sneaker releases were already pushed back during the pandemic and some stores had already had the physical sneakers in the stores or were late receiving shipments so they were able to sell with “shock” drops since they were late getting stock. We also saw a surge in “early access” and “exclusive access” in the Nike SNKRS app entice consumers to buy at retail on sneakers that would generally resell for a lot of money. It created a sense of urgency and the idea that I should get it now because I may not be able to get it later.
I guess if we stopped purchasing sneakers during the pandemic then they would not have released as many. Let’s face it, these are businesses whose goals are to continue to make money so that they can pay their employees amidst a crisis. I personally did not feel guilty until I did my 2020 in review and looked at how many sneakers that I purchased and the price stickers on the box. Do you feel guilty about still making purchases of sneakers during a pandemic?