Stadium Goods, the aftermarket sneaker retailer that caters to the passionate sneakerhead set, is reaching into the international luxury market.
This week, the company announced a partnership with online luxury marketplace Farfetch. Through the partnership, Stadium Goods will be plucking sneakers from its collection that would be most likely to appeal to luxury customers, and selling them to Farfetch’s audience. On Farfetch, sellers handle inventory and pricing, and then when a sale is made, Farfetch takes over shipping and distribution logistics from its retail partners. So, Stadium Goods will still maintain control over what items sell for, which is important in the sometimes mind-boggling world of aftermarket sneakers: Right now, on the Stadium Goods e-commerce site, a pair of Air Jordans is selling for $40,000.
“Farfetch has captured the sophisticated fashion customer that we’re interested in selling our products to,” said Stadium Goods CEO John McPheters. “We’ll be sitting alongside true luxury fashion, and we’ll also get access to the international customer, which isn’t as easy for us to tap into at this point.”
McPheters sees luxury fashion as the last piece of the retail “puzzle” Stadium Goods has been fleshing out. It already sells products through Amazon, eBay and Tmall, in addition to its New York City store and e-commerce site, so according to McPheters, the mass-market customer and traditional streetwear enthusiast is taken care of.
But now, more than ever, streetwear is experiencing a higher calling in regard to the luxury industry. With the rise of streetwear-luxury designer crossovers, high-low fashion, and the exclusivity element of a much-hyped streetwear or sneaker drop, the lines between the two are blurred.
“We see ourselves as the luxury offering in the sneaker and streetwear space right now — that’s what we strive to be,” said McPheters. “From price point to education, to curation, to customer service, it’s a premium offering.”
Beyond Farfetch, Stadium Goods is planning to launch a partnership with Nordstrom, both online and at the company’s newly opened men’s store in New York. At Nordstrom, the merchandising strategy is to pull all-time best sellers (not the most recent drops) into the retailer on a weekly basis. McPheters said Farfetch’s Stadium Goods inventory will be updated regularly, as well, with a goal of reaching daily drops.
By linking with Stadium Goods, Nordstrom and Farfetch are joining other luxury retailers that have sought out streetwear brands in order to freshen up inventory. Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus have begun updating merchandise to include brands like Kith, Off-White and Fear of God to better appeal to modern customers’ taste.
“Streetwear is an incredibly important trend in men’s fashion right now, especially with younger guys,” Jorge Valls, Nordstrom Men’s designer buying director, told Glossy in a previous interview. “Our hope is that any guy can come into our store and incorporate the streetwear aesthetic into his wardrobe at every price point.”
Stadium Goods’ positioning in the sneaker market, where it sells shoes and other items previously owned but not worn, gives it an edge over retail brands because items are no longer available for traditional sale. That appeal has fit in naturally on sites like eBay, where users are conditioned to bid for products sold by other customers. On Tmall, Stadium Goods has built up an audience in China, where demand for rare sneakers from brands like Nike and Air Jordan is high.
To adapt its business for a luxury customer that’s less familiar with the sneaker industry, McPheters said Stadium Goods looked at both its own customer insights, to figure out who was buying what, as well as Farfetch’s data around what brands customers were searching for, in order to put together an accessible assortment. Early brands to be sold on Farfetch include Yeezy and Air Jordan, which Stadium Goods has found perform well with higher-spending customers.