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Oct 4, 2016
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Is the Yeezy Boost craze disrupting retail?

Published
Oct 4, 2016

Last weekend, Adidas released the long-awaited Yeezy Boost 350 V2 sneaker, and as expected, sneaker enthusiasts and hypebeasts alike were sent into frenzy. The same events take place during a Yeezy sneaker launch—customers get accepted or denied on the Adidas Confirmed app, they refresh websites Saturday morning and into the afternoon, every size sells out and resellers markup merchandise over 100%.


The Yeezy Boost 350 V2 - Adidas


 
The Yeezy sneaker range has sold out on every release, and customers have been fed up since the release of the Yeezy Boost 750 sneaker in February 2015. Kanye West has said in interviews that he wants everyone to get a pair of Yeezy Boosts and is working with Adidas to make sure the demand is met. 
 
“Eventually everybody who wants to get Yeezys will get Yeezys,” West said on 102.7 KIIS-FM in 2015. “Adidas has promised me that because there's so many kids that have wanted them that couldn't get them and I talked to the heads at Adidas and they said we can make them.”

However, Adidas Global Director of Entertainment and Influencer Marketing Jon Wexler had a different take on the issue in 2016 when he said: “It takes X amount of time to sew those sneakers together, and we can only get so much of this Boost material from NASA.”
 
Based on West’s and Wexler’s statements, Yeezy Boosts appear to be difficult to make in large quantities due to limited resources, but this could change very soon. Still, Adidas might be running out of time to ramp up production. Nearly two years after the initial product launch, retailers are growing weary of the weekend frenzies surrounding Yeezy Boost releases.
 
Sneakersnstuff CEO and CFO Erik Fagerlind took to social media to share his frustration with the lack of global production for the Yeezy Boost series saying, “Disrupting the marketplace with chaos on release day feels very 2015, and you are the ‘brand of the future.’”
 
The post reads, “I think we had more simultaneous visitors than @adidasoriginals global production of the Yeezy 350. I see a lot of people angry, frustrated and sad. And I share their frustration. We do all that we can for a fair and smooth release - but since we get nowhere near the qty to cover even 1% of the demand, people still misstrust us. I think there is a lesson to be learned here @adidasoriginals. If you continue to undercut the market this hard, people will get tired of trying. I know it is not likely that you will sell us 50000 pairs (I'm game if you are...). But you have to level the field here. I am in [Herzog] Monday - happy to share all info, insight, feedback with anybody who cares.”
 
A sneaker retailer in the US that preferred to remain anonymous shared its disappointment with Fashion Network. After the weekend, the retailer made around $5,000, which it considers to be very light considering the labor put into stocking, selling and raffling the sneakers.
 
For customers that are tired of being unable to buy Yeezys, Luxury Swop, or LSwop, has made the sneakers available for rental. LSwop offers sneaker rentals $150 for four days, or the option to rent two sneakers a month for $300 or three sneakers a month for $400. With how high the Yeezy Boost demand is, there’s no way to be sure that you will be able to get your hands on them this way. Of course, eBay and Grailed are options, but that’s if you’re willing to shell out $1,000.
 
As for Fagerlind, he followed his Instagram rant with another post thanking Adidas for meeting with him and hearing his thoughts and ideas. He said, “It is amazing to find that they do listen, and to hear how much they care - not only about you as the end consumer, but also about us as an independent retailer.” No word on if Adidas will produce more to meet the demand, but opening a forum for discussion is a start.

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