Long lines that start to form days in advance, battling resellers and hype beasts, crashing websites, endless clicking the refresh button, bots, these are things that are synonymous with Air Jordan and other high profile and limited sneaker releases. While these things, at most, are minor inconveniences, the violence that has reared its ugly head presents a very real danger for sneaker seekers. The raffle and the ticket systems were introduced to curtail these issues,but have had minimal impact on quelling the crowds at releases. There has been incidents of violence despite police presence in many instances. So with this latest round of sneaker release violence, there have been calls for the sneaker companies, primarily Nike and Jordan Brand, to do something to address the issue and there is one simple move that will can stop a lot of these problems.
No more release dates for sneakers.
This may serve as culture shock because now, more than ever in this age of social media, there is constant stream of information on releases that many sneaker enthusiasts have come to rely upon. Every day brings new images and more intel on future releases, sometimes more than six months in advance, and this is then disseminated by every sneaker website and blog out there.If that information were no longer available it would have several beneficial effects.
If there are no known release dates, the necessity to line up and/or camp out is eliminated. First and foremost it will create a safer environment, not only for the sneaker seekers, but also for the other mall and store shoppers and employees. Sneaker releases always bring out a less desirable element because of the amount of people that come out for these events. If the date that a certain shoe drops is a mystery, it can cut down on the dusty element that shows up at releases for all the wrong reasons. These jokers look at a line outside a store as does a wolf at a herd of sheep, except in this case the “sheep” are carrying at least $200 apiece. Additionally, no release date benefits retailers because their clientele now have to enter their doors more than once a month to check out what is in stock so they don’t miss anything. Those additional visits likely means additional revenue. Not having these release dates would reintroduce those elements of surprise and true excitement. To walk into a sneaker store and see an unexpected shoe sitting on the shelf is exciting. The buzz that would be created through texts,phone calls and throughout social media would be fun, which is an element that has been absent from sneaker buying for several years. There was an inkling of that with the abundance of restocks over the past year, however some of those elements were lost because in several cases the dates were known in advance.
Quite frankly, the era of release dates have run their course. The benefits of their cessation overwhelmingly outweigh any costs. As long as they persists, they stand in the way of safety, fun, spontaneity, and even greater revenue.