Home Nike shoes Nike Air Jordan 1 Chicago Release Will Test Efforts To Rebuild Trust

Nike Air Jordan 1 Chicago Release Will Test Efforts To Rebuild Trust

  • Nike will release the Air Jordan 1 Chicago “Lost and Found” on November 19th.
  • The company will likely release more pairs than usual to make them available to more customers.
  • The launch is the latest test of Nike’s efforts to rebuild trust with sneaker collectors.

Nike knows that sneaker collectors are frustrated.

For years, the company’s hottest shoes have all too often been purchased by resellers who use computer programs, better known as bots, or stolen by sneaker boutiques it partners with.

The Air Jordan 1 Chicago “Lost and Found,” releasing November 19, is the latest and greatest test of Nike’s work to make drops fairer. In line with its ongoing efforts, Nike has already given select die-hard fans early access to the shoe, will likely release more pairs than usual, and recently announced plans to crack down on resellers who purchase multiple pairs of the same shoe on its app and website.

Thousands of sneakerheads will likely be left empty-handed this weekend due to strong consumer demand for the classic colorway. Still, analysts said the company’s work to make the cuts fairer is starting to pay off.

“For so many years, if Nike did anything to address the injustice or if they even acknowledged that it was an issue that needed to be addressed, there was no transparency or acknowledgment to the consumer who was the case,” said Dylan Dittrich, the head of research at Altan Insights and author of the book “Sneakonomic Growth,” which tracks the growth of sneakers as an asset class. “Not everyone will touch every product. But the process isn’t as black box as it used to be, and in terms of perception, there really was no choice but to go up.”

Nike CEO John Donahoe acknowledged in an internal meeting in March 2021 that Nike has a problem with consumer trust, despite the company’s years of work to defeat bots buying limited-edition products.

“We’ve been working on anti-bot technology for several years,” Donahoe said, according to a meeting report published by Complex. “It’s part of the solution, but we have to redouble our efforts.”

Criticism of the way Nike is launching sneakers spiked last year after the son of a former Nike vice president, Ann Hebert (now Freeman), was found to be reselling the shoes en masse, fueling complaints that which some people had more access to the warmest shoes than others. At the height of the pandemic, as supply chains jostled and consumers had more money to spend, many models, including the Jordan 1s and Dunks, were also difficult to acquire at retail.

Donahoe told Wall Street stock analysts last December that Nike had created a “dedication score” designed to help the most loyal customers gain more access to hot sneakers, noting that invitations to purchase the popular Air Jordan 11 “Cool Grey” had been sent to “the biggest yet a female-focused band and sold out in the first hour.”

“We continue to see exclusive access serve as a defining marketing mechanism for connecting with consumers,” Donahoe said.

Along with this weekend’s launch of the Air Jordan 1 Chicago “Lost and Found” comes the latest iteration of exclusive access. The company said customers who had lost 20 previous draws for Jordan 1 on its SNKRS app were eligible for exclusive access.

It’s also been reported that the sneaker will drop in significantly higher volumes than similar releases in the past, meaning collectors will have a better chance of getting a pair, as part of a pattern that appears to be growing. expand to recent Air Jordan 3 “Fire Red” and Air Jordan 12 “Playoff” releases.

The potential downside: Too many Jordans could reduce long-term demand. In 2017, there were so many retros on the shelves that Wall Street encouraged Nike to pull out, with Sam Poser, then at Susquehanna Financial Group, writing, “Nike should aggressively reduce available pairs for Jordan Retro launches so as not to leave residual traces. product on the market that would likely harm the cachet of the brand.”

Poser doesn’t have the same concerns today, noting that Nike has bigger issues to deal with.

“Jordans, Air Force 1s and Dunks are still doing great,” he told Insider, adding that the problem for Nike right now is the continued supply chain chaos and the backlog. stocks, not too many Jordans. In September, the company reported a 44% increase in inventory and is offering discounts on non-retro products.

Among its remaining challenges, Nike needs to be even more transparent about exclusive access selection, said digital sneaker and activewear designer TJ Keasal.

“All eyes are on Nike to ensure transparency adheres to the parameters they voluntarily offer to the public,” she said. “Was this really only targeting accounts with more than 20 Jordan 1 losses? And if not, Nike risks losing its good faith.”