In the said meeting, they went over a list of issues that has been a huge issue in the sneaker industry today, most notably about the frustration users have had with the SNKRS app with limited and highly sought-after releases. Nike has acknowledged that there is an issue with the “hype culture” that Nike has had a huge hand in creating which has left sneakerheads frustrated and seeking after smaller and independent brands as well as luxury brands. Nike is looking to its neighborhood accounts, who are the big-time boutiques and partners with the Swoosh to be an integral part of the solution.
Another talking point in the meeting is the lack of fairness in the SNKRS app and making that a priority for Nike. “Our community is becoming disenfranchised by our low fairness numbers,” said SNKRS global VP Ron Faris. “Our fairness numbers are not where they should be. They’re at, like, the mid-20s; they need to be in the 80s.” Faris also acknowledged the sneaker culture has grown into the mainstream culture and has disaffected the groups who pioneered and shaped it.
“We’re gonna shape the marketplace to reflect the community we serve,” Faris said. “Especially in Black and brown communities and Asian communities, so that we actually show and we actually give equity and inclusion to the communities that have been gentrified out and alienated by the resale market.”
Faris also goes into the perception of bots in the SNKRS app, saying that it’s not bots that are the issue in the SNKRS app, it’s the lack of product combined with the high demand. According to the meeting, the SNKRS app can have from 300,000 to 750,000 users for drops and Nike simply can’t keep with the demand.
Nike’s strategy to reset and reinvest in the sneaker culture more organically with SNKRS and neighborhood retailers sounds great in theory, but we’ll have to wait and see if these changes make a difference in copping upcoming drops.