Sneaker Releases, A Few Things To Know About Them.
Let’s talk about sneaker releases. Not any specific releases, nor general releases, but releases, in general. Gone are the days of stumbling into your local sports equipment shop and finding a pair of kicks you just happen to like. No, the shoes that drop nowadays, come with an entirely new marketing campaign that starts with a “leak” on a blog that tempts customers even further with a release date, or a street date as its called in business. On the one hand this ensures that consumers who want certain items know when
to coordinate their paychecks to get them. On the other it creates an atmosphere of anticipation, with camp-outs for in-store releases, and the potential for website server crashes from the onslaught of online buyers when a web product goes live.
Yes, we know it comes with the territory. But there are a few things you didn’t know but should know about sneaker releases and release dates…
1. The definition of a release date, as defined by Wikipedia. The release or street date is the date a particular product is to be released for sale to the general public. Typically, retailers receive shipments of stock prior to its street date release, so that the product can be either be placed on display or set up to prep for sale before store opening that day. Many of these so-called release products come with a “do not sell before release date” warning mandated by the distributing brand. Shipments may sometimes arrive up to three weeks in advance, but here in the sneaker world, it rarely does.
2. Delivery companies don’t follow release dates like you do. So the shoe of your dreams was supposed to drop 3 weeks ago and you’re still waiting. Yeah, cool story bro, so are we. Shit happens. Maybe the truck driver got caught in one of them Midwest tornadoes they’re always having. Or maybe the carrier plane got hijacked by terrorists. For once, think of the human life involved in getting your shoe delivered, you selfish bastards. And if it’s an international shipment you can bet your pretty Pegasus Nikes that those exclusive Hong Kong collab shoes that resembles Mao’s face when doused in green tea got caught up in U.S. customs.
3. Stores are only not allowed to sell release products before release dates. To ensure that retailers don’t try to cheat the competition by setting up pre-orders or making pre-release sales, the manufacturer established a contract, that if breached, retailers can face fines or lose privileges to distribute future products. However, there is no punishment for selling said items after. This means stores can technically hold on to release products well beyond their expected shelf appearances and release whenever and however, but since most stores want to capitalize on the hype of cash-ready customers they sell accordingly to plan. Plus, those campers start to smell after 3 days so it’s best to just get rid of them and give them what they want.
4. There’s a reason why some things are online-and in-store. You may have noticed that we don’t sell certain products online, or that some releases are web only. Unlike what some Instagram trolls who want to be heroes in the comment section want you to believe, it’s not because we are tired of seeing locals who always come out for the in-store release, or because we were feeling too lazy to deal with lines that Saturday morning. The truth is, certain releases come with strict rules as to how they are sold right down to the day, time, and transaction. Other factors apply too, like how many pairs we get. In a fair world, everyone would get their pair. But then again, if everyone got their pair it’d be a general release, which means no release date and then no one would be happy. Try that paradox on for size.
5. You want our merchandise, you operate on our time. We’re a boutique, our small yet hard-working staff operate on the same time. Yes, the in the big wide world of the web, we have customers from many different places and time zones, and we appreciate that, we really do. But just because you’re up getting Turkish coffee in Instanbul doesn’t mean working the graveyard shift is our cup of joe. We’re based out of Philadelphia, PA in the U.S.A., which operates on EST time zone. So when the web link goes live and store opens at 10AM, it’s Philly’s 10AM. Oh, and those web orders you placed Friday at Midnight? Don’t be surprised if you can’t track your order until Monday morning – FedEx ain’t open on the weekends. Well, our FedEx guys anyway.
6. Collab shoes get lead time at the collab partners store first, duh. Bodega, Hanon, Wish ATL, St. Alfreds. These are a few of the great shoe boutiques whose design roster has fostered some amazing collabs with sneaker brands such as Asics, Saucony, and New Balance, to name a few. Since these stores are also the co-creators of these projects, wouldn’t it make sense that they would get their own products first? So if they had a release date for said collab shoe, then no, we will not be getting another store’s shoe on the same day they’re getting theirs. Nobody got a pair of Benjamins on the day we got ours, right?
7. And its up to the brand, not the store, that decides who gets the special collab pairs. They’re almost like Quick Strikes, sometimes we’re given a week’s notice that we’ll be receiving something special, sometimes they just show up on our doorstep. It’s a pleasant surprise for everyone, especially our copywriters who quickly scramble to post/update/tweet the word out. Otherwise, Twitter followers go on their usual rant and the staff gathers ’round the ol’ computer to re-enact the most butthurt tweets. To this day, our favorite has to be the one about the “hit on the UBIQ staff” [insert crying laugh emoji here].
8. We don’t know everything. Hard to believe right? With release dates that keep changing, different tiers of which kind of retailer can release which products, release date info can always change. That’s why when we say “check back for more updates,” we mean to check back for more updates. All the more reason to hit that Subscribe/Follow/Like button. And feel lucky that you’ve made it this far, a few of your fellow readers didn’t realize the “Continue Reading” was an actual button.
See you at the next release.