A Look at the Statistics of the Secondary Market for Sneakers |
A Look at the Statistics of the Secondary Market for Sneakers

A Look at the Statistics of the Secondary Market for Sneakers

The sneaker market has seen some drastic changes in the last few years. The advent of Boost and Yeezy, the big Air Max comeback or OFF-WHITE going from strength to strength, to name a few. Some of these trends are being felt in the retail landscape, but the secondary market has its own flavour. So what are the key trends for resellers and sneakerheads buying and selling on the major platforms? We got in touch with the marketplace KLEKT. As they are in the process of leaving their traditional marketplace behind and moving to a consignment model under their name, they shared their most insightful numbers with us. We take a closer look at the sneaker stats for the second market and present some of the current trends and a few insights from the team here.

Do you think a marketplace is representative of the normal sneaker market?
We believe that the secondary market is not quite the same as the retail market. Of course we know that hyped stuff sells out immediately in the retail market, and it is in a way the basis for the secondary market and defines big parts of it. Therefore, from our point of view, hype and limitation are the two most successful ingredients. Of course, there are also people who are looking for vintage sneakers, or people who want to get a bargain on older general releases. But as you can see, the numbers for the hype category speak for themselves.

The sneaker statistics we're looking at compare 2016 and 2017, and there's been a significant decline for some brands. Why do you think this is the case?
It has to do with the change in our target group, because it seems like almost everyone wants a piece of the hype pie. And since the hyped stuff was mostly produced by brands like adidas, Nike or Supreme, this has had an impact on other brands as well. Smaller brands always struggle, and if the numbers are to go up for brands like New Balance, Asics or Diadora, they need to come up with some strong collaborations to really impact sales in the secondary market. Asics in particular has been a bit quiet after a big year with the GEL-LYTE III 25th Anniversary series. And for New Balance, models like the 997 or 998 are in the same price range or even higher than hype releases like Yeezys or Ultra Boosts. So it is less likely that these shoes will reach the secondary market. Innovation should also not be underestimated in this discussion. Nike's and especially adidas' innovations were really big and created a lot of hype, which automatically affected smaller brands. The marketing budget is also a factor, Nike and adidas simply have much more money at their disposal. And last but not least, smaller brands don't have such a wide range of silhouettes compared to the big players - in terms of lifestyle.

The biggest or most spectacular change in 2017 was that the Air Max gained ground again and the NMD declined - do you think this is part of a bigger shift towards Nike in the long run?
We think it always depends on the releases from year to year, so it's not clear which brand will dominate in the future. With the Boost theme (Yeezy and NMD/Ultra Boost iterations) at the end of 2015 and throughout 2016, adidas was clearly on top. In 2017, Nike competed strongly with the Boost hype, especially with the OFFWHITE collaboration and the return of classic silhouettes like the AM1 and AM97. Also with some clever collaboration partners like Undefeated or Skepta. For the first quarter of 2018, it looks a bit like Nike is taking the lead again. Especially the large number of Jordan releases in January and February and the reintroduction of older silhouettes (AM98, AM180, AM93). But that's just our current impression, as adidas is also gearing up to launch some big releases. The Yeezys are going in a different direction with the Yeezy Wave Runner 700 and the Yeezy Desert Rat 500, and of course there are new Yeezy 350 V2 colourways in the pipeline. And let's not forget that Kanye has filed for the Red October brand, which means big things could be coming from adidas as well. So the race for 2018 is still on for both brands. And both are doing very well at the moment, which is pretty good for the secondary market.

NMD sales were down more than 50% in 2017. Is there a scenario where NMDs could become relevant again for the secondary market, or is it dead?
In terms of the secondary market, the only NMDs that are currently selling are the Pharrell NMDs and a few NMD R1 OGs here and there. All other NMD models are pretty much dead at the moment. The demand for NMDs is oversaturated and somehow this silhouette needs some time of rest in the archives before it can be released again. Maybe like Nike is doing now with the Flyknit Racer. And has already done it successfully with the Flyknit Sneaker or the Footscape Woven.

Both the Yeezy and Air Max lines saw big growth at K'LEKT in 2017. Where do you think the trends are going for these two lines in 2018?
When it comes to adidas, the trend for 2018 is clear: Kanye and adidas are taking the Yeezy brand in new creative directions. It started with the sleek and clean Calabasas Powerphase and continues with more voluminous shoes - which are right on the pulse of the times. With the Air Max line, Nike is going in a different direction. They've done a great job with re-releasing all these Air Max OG silhouettes and are still releasing great collaborations or popular re-releases. So the trend for Nike, besides releasing new Air Max silhouettes, is definitely re-releasing OG models with a good shape - they've really been working on that - and also adding some new colourways or working with strong collaboration partners.

The Jordan hype is not as big as it was a few years ago, but there was not a big drop in K'LEKT sales from 2016 to 2017. Can you explain that?
You're right, the numbers have been pretty stable over the last two years because the Jordan brand still has a big following. We saw that there were still a lot of older releases from before 2016 and 2017 being sold on our platform, which also affected the sales numbers. With bigger shoes taking the pulse these days, the Jordan brand has started off strong this year. They have already released some great stuff and right now it looks like 2018 could be a successful year for Jordan Brand. So we expect to see an increase in sales in the second market compared to the previous two years.

We have looked at all these figures, but what is your opinion of the secondary market? What has changed since the beginning?
We started in 2013 as a place for the sneaker community. Back then it was mostly about finding bargains, trading with friends and sharing knowledge about the culture. The word "hype" on the secondary market was not that relevant. The "hype" was generated by collaborations with shops, like the Patta "Cherrywood" Air Max 1 or the Solebox New Balance 1500 "Toothpaste". Over time, the general demand for limited edition sneakers exploded. More and more people got caught up in the "sneaker trend" and wanted to buy certain items that were no longer available. Our figures reflect this trend: a sharp decline in certain brands, models and used items in general. As the current trend has a higher price level and the items are mostly sold as new, the need for secure transactions with 100% authenticity has increased. We always see our platform as a mirror of the scene, which is why we have responded to these demands with our new authentication service.

So how exactly does the new Presented by KLEKT service work?
First of all, with the merger with the London brand presented by KLEKT, the change of platform and our new concept, we decided to officially continue our journey as Presentedby. We have decided to close down the traditional marketplace and create a new and improved online buying and selling platform where we act like a middleman. Every item we receive is personally verified by our professional authenticators. This way we ensure that buyers always receive authentic items that are in brand new condition, and sellers can post their items with 100% security against fraudulent buyers. Of course, we know that some people are upset because of the closure of our traditional marketplace. They still want to buy and sell used items. It is also a plan of ours to perhaps activate this feature at some point in the future and offer our authentication service for used items as well.

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