$ 24 ‘Supermarket Sneakers’ Scandal Proves Retailers Will Stop At Anything To Make Money

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To the outside observer, sneaker culture in 2021 must be totally bizarre.

Not only are the retail prices of many popular sneakers – Jordans, Yeezys, Nike Air Maxes – pretty punchy, but they’re then inflated to insane levels through speculative buying from dealers and scammers trying to make money. money fast … And it works. Beyond that, the real aesthetic of the day Right now, it seems odd to many outsiders: The chunky ‘daddy’s shoe styles of the 90s, once considered the epitome of anti-fashion, are now what’s all the rage.

A recent controversy sums up these two quirks perfectly: the Lidl sneaker reselling a fiasco. Lidl, a German budget supermarket chain popular across Europe, recently released a UK ‘Lidl by Lidl’ clothing capsule featuring tote bags, shorts, socks and sneakers in the colors of the signature and multiple occurrences of Lidl’s garish logo as’ Lidl Middle Promotion – a concept similar to rival chain Aldi’s “special buys”, which Australians are probably familiar with.

These immediately saw great success, especially the sneakers. It didn’t take long for the £ 13 (~ US $ 18 / AU $ 24) sneakers, which visually resemble Nike Air Huaraches, sold out across the country – and listings on Depop, eBay. , Facebook Marketplace and Grailed appear, launching the shoes to double or triple the price, or even more. A similar dynamic was observed in other European markets where the sneakers were also marketed, such as Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden.

Lidl sneaker ads online, some of which are listed with four-digit price tags. While there is a big difference between an asking price and a successful selling price, it shows how people are trying to profit. Note that one of the ads is from Germany. Image: screenshot

“Some sellers sold dozens of pairs for £ 35 each, while others put together ‘packages’ of sneakers, socks and swim shorts… A customer complained that he had visited five different stores on day of the sale of the sneakers but left empty-handed because they were all sold ”, The Guardian reports.

It’s a really crazy but fascinating phenomenon that raises a lot of questions. Are times so hard that people will even try to flip cheap supermarket sneakers to try and make some extra cash? Has fashion become so kitsch that such an ugly shoe is worth paying over 200% off the retail price? Are supermarkets now the vanguard of ~ fashion ~?

A major part of what fuels the whole ‘daddy’s shoes’ or’ ugly shoes’ trend of the ’90s is the tongue-in-cheek appreciation. With that in mind, a Lidl sneaker is, in many ways, the ultimate anti-fashion fashion statement: it’s so garish; cheap; so insane that it is in fact desirable. It’s also relevant: rich or poor, everyone is shopping at Lidl. It’s a brand with a huge cultural culture and obvious ironic value – so it’s no wonder that a Lidl sneaker has been a commercial success.

RELATED: Nike Created Its Ugliest Sneaker Ever … And It Will Sell Like Hot Cakes

Lidl isn’t the only brand of its kind to try something like this. In Switzerland, the M-Budget brand of the local supermarket chain Migros – the equivalent of the Australian brand Black & Gold or Home Brand – is a real institution, Migros selling everything from chewing gum to condoms (which, ironically , are basically the same word in German) in its iconic green and white branding. Beyond sneakers, Lidl in Germany sells Lidl-branded kimonos, for whatever reason.

Closer to home, even American fast food chain KFC sold an Australia-exclusive merchandise collection in 2018 that included everything from budgie smugglers to scented surf wax to fried chicken. Talk about understanding the local market …

So good? The aforementioned items from the KFC Product Collection. Image: Men’s health

Even luxury brands have embraced this trend. Luxury fashion house Balenciaga made waves in 2017 when it started selling calfskin versions of supermarket plastic bags, sporting iconography reminiscent of supermarket logos, for more than US $ 1,000. Balenciaga is a repeat offender when it comes to this sort of thing, having released other deliberately ironic products over the years such as luxury IKEA bags, jelly sandals, and collaborations with Crocs.

RELATED: $ 800 Balenciaga ‘Birkenstocks’ Enrage Luxury Consumers On Social Media

Essentially, modern fashion is absolutely steeped in irony, and entrepreneurial kids want to scratch a bit by shopping for desirable clothes. It’s a crazy, crazy world we live in.

Fortunately, there will always be a market for a good suit and lively Oxfords.

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