The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 253 — ♻️ Circular motion
Why Nike's refurbished program might be the motivation for its reseller crackdown
Goooood morning, family. Welcome back to the Kicks You Wear. Thank you so much for rocking with me. Appreciate you.
Housekeeping: After this Friday’s newsletter, KYW will be out until Monday, November 7. It’s mostly a mental health break. Plus, a whole lot of family stuff is planned over the next couple weeks surrounding some birthdays.
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Let’s dive in.
Food for thought on Nike’s resale crackdown
On Friday I wrote about my cynicism when it came to Nike’s pushback against resellers.
I floated out a theory that we may just be seeing Nike beginning to establish its own roots in resale here. And a lot of people were interested in what I meant by that. So today, let’s dive into it a bit deeper.
The jist: Nike is currently in the process of developing its own secondary market. But it’s not the type you think it is.
I’m talking about Nike Refurbished. It’s a program the company runs that takes shoes returned within 60 days of purchase, cleans them and then resells them on their own shelves.
It get these shoes through normal return processes. They’re graded as either like new, gently worn or cosmetically flawed.
Once the shoes are graded and cleaned, they’re resold in Nike stores for discounted prices.
It’s growing: Nike first introduced its refurbished program in 2021 and ran it in 15 stores to start — many of them were outlets.
Since, then, that has expanded to 42 stores as of October 2022. It’s something Nike is continuing to scale and seems to be a big part of its mission moving forward.
The why: This program is a branch of Nike’s “Move to Zero” initiative which started back in 2019. It’s all part of what the company is calling a journey to zero carbon. And that’s awesome.
But another part of that is profit. Nike gets to profit off of your returned products now by playing the role of the reseller.
Think about it. Typically within a 60-day window, if you decide you don’t like a pair of shoes you purchased, what do you do? You resell them to get your money back. Most return policies aren’t that liberal.
Instead of you doing that, you just take the product back to Nike. It takes the product, fixes it up and flips it for profit. Right out of the store.
It’s a pretty genius plot if you ask me. But it requires one key thing. And that is for people to buy Nike’s shoes and, ya know, actually wear them.
Be smart: That’s where this anti-reseller new policy comes in. With inventory high and the market cooling, this is fertile ground for Nike Refurbished. These new rules slow down massive returns and prioritize individual ones, discourage mass bulk purchases and encourage wear. All benefits for Nike’s budding program.
Slow down: This is all just my theory. It makes sense, but it’s not proven. It also feels like a bit too much to be a coincidence.
Either way, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on moving forward as Nike continues to prioritize DTC and moving everything in-house. Including reselling.
So, uh, where’s that Adidas evaluation on Yeezy?
Ten days ago after Kanye West’s White Lives Matter shirt from Yeezy season 9 surfaced, Adidas said it was “reviewing” its relationship with Yeezy and West himself.
Fast forward 10 days later: And we still don’t have a determination from Adidas. Meanwhile, West continues to dig himself a bigger hole.
He’s espoused more anti-Black, antisemitic and just generally hateful thoughts out into the public.
He’s lost a number of business deals because of this — most notably JP Morgan Chase. The bank reportedly cut ties with him amid this chaos.
Let’s be real: It’s becoming pretty hard for Adidas to make the case that continuing its relationship with West and Yeezy is worthwhile.
And, look. We all get it. West’s Yeezy empire is $2 billion in revenue for Adidas annually. That’s 10% of their total revenue. Their success is unmatched.
But at a certain point, carrying a brand that is literally being used to spread hateful propaganda is probably not a good look. No matter what the profit is.
Especially when Adidas already has struggles with racism internally.
The bottom line: This isn’t a great spot to be in, but some decisions have to be made. And whatever decision comes from this will shape the way folks view the company for decades into the future.
No pressure, Adi.
Aaaaaaaand we’re off
Look alive, folks. We’ve finally got the official images for the Lost & Found Air Jordan 1 — the sneaker that has undoubtedly become the most anticipated drop of the year.
Here’s the look:
What this means: These images are the start of the official rollout of the shoe. We’re going to start seeing these online a lot more now.
Look alive for the official release date to populate in the SNKRS app at some point over the next week or two.
There’s also a chance Nike might dish out early access on these things now that we have the images just over a month ahead of time.
Be smart: This is going to be Nike’s biggest drop of the year in terms of hype. Everyone wants these. And even if there are hundreds of thousands of pairs out there, it’ll still probably be difficult to get them.
Keep your eyes peeled on the app and on all of your sneaker sources. You’ll have to move quick with this one.
The LeBron XX is really a Kobe sneaker
We’ve talked about the Kobe-fication of Nike basketball on this platform previously. And you could really tell just by looking at LeBron James’ new LeBron 20 that it was obviously inspired by Bryant’s signature line.
But man. After getting these joints in hand for Special Delivery? They really do look and feel like Kobes.
That’s not a bad thing. It’s just a big swing on Bron’s 20th shoe, which is a pretty huge milestone.
We talk about all that and more in this week’s episode of SD. Tap in.
What’s droppin, bruh?
AMBUSH x Air Adjust Force Blue & Orange — Tuesday, October 18
Nike SB Dunk Low “Skate Like a Girl” — Tuesday, October 18
Nike Dunk Low “Florida A&M” — Tuesday, October 18
Two 18 Air Jordan 2 low — Friday, October 21
Air Jordan 7 “Afrobeats” — Saturday, October 22
A quick note: The Joe FreshGoods 993 apparel collection is dropping on Friday, October 21. I expect the sneakers to release at some point this week. Keep it locked on his Instagram feed.
Thank you so much for rocking with me today, fam. Appreciate y’all. Send in pics of Halloween costumes with kicks for #TKWW this week!
Til next time, fam. Peace and love. Be easy. Be safe. Be kind. And we out.