SELLING SNEAKERS, THE OLD SCHOOL WAY
Written on the 31 March 2017 by David Simmons
AS online retail continues to make traditional stores increasingly obsolete, 'bricks and mortar' retailers are struggling to maintain relevance but an Adelaide business is trying to buck the trend.
Wael Al Jammal is hoping his new venture will get shoppers out from behind their computer screens and into his store which is a new streetwear boutique opening in Adelaide this week.
Called "Fairfax ADL", it will operate a unique business model of consignment where those looking to buy or sell rare and limited edition sneakers can come to his shop instead of online.
The store will facilitate the sale of the sneakers and give consumers an alternative to the online market which can be occupied by fakes and frauds.
The store is supported by not-for-profit organisation Renew Adelaide which assists new businesses launch their exciting projects in the heart of the city.
Specialising in streetwear brands like Bape, Supreme, and Almost Famous, the store offers Adelaide consumers a physical space to check out pieces of clothing that are often difficult to get online.
The shop also carries a number of local Adelaide brands like Charlie Vegas and Plus 2.
Business News Australia spoke to Al Jammal ahead of Fairfax ADL's launch to find out what it's all about and why the new retail trend of consignment is so popular right now.
What inspired you to open Fairfax ADL?To start off with, the whole influence behind it was kind of music. All of us working here are DJs and promoters and we wanted to have that music influence to it.
But the things we sell, they're things that if you want to buy you have to jump online and buy it, and then you take the risk of buying it from eBay or Gumtree and you run the risk of it being fake, worn and not up to the standard that you thought you'd like it to be.
The main push was, it was 50/50 between the shoes and tee shirts, the shoes I guess made us think about the consignment side of things because we knew there's a market for it.
And really what inspired it more was the amount of people that go online and sell shoes that aren't real for instance.
The main reason we're doing it is because it opened up that avenue for dodgy people to go online and sell dodgy stuff, so we thought 'let's go back to basics' and just basically let people walk in, look at the shoes themselves, let them judge it, and then once we've established Fairfax being a trustworthy name then we can go online and say: "yep we've got Yeezy's coming in, got some Jordans on stock", they can trust us and trust the name and know that we're 100 per cent legit and real.
I feel like consumers aren't trusting the internet as much as they used to when it comes to $1,000 shoes.
What's special about the consignment program?So, the way that works is we let people come in-store and bring their shoes for us to view and we are only taking shoes that aren't available on shelves anywhere at the moment.
We don't want to take a shoe that's available on shelf at your local Foot Locker, we just take limited stuff. We don't know what we're getting through the door which is a good thing, but it's gotta be exclusive.
We're usually just taking dead stock (never worn). So, we just hold onto the shoe, put it on display for a month, and we just take anywhere from five to 15 per cent depending on the deal that was made.
So, that's a whole new scene that's pretty big in America for the last five years.
And it hasn't really caught on here as much, so we've just jumped on it.
How has Renew helped you start up the store?The free rent is the main aspect of it for me and their media connections.
That organisational aspect to it has helped a lot. The free rent aspect to it is a major help as you can imagine, while you're setting up, if I was signing a lease and still not opening up anything that would've been a big hit to the wallet.
Their contacts with the media and social media side of things has helped us a lot getting the name out there.
Do you think that Adelaide will be receptive to the store, do you think there's a market for this type of thing in Adelaide?Yeah, I definitely think there's a market for it, the kids especially. The age group demographic is 15 all the way up to 30 and the market is huge.
It's massive in America at the moment. Especially with expensive shoes. These shoes aren't cheap.
People ask me how these kids can buy $600 shoes. Like when I was a kid I was saving to buy a console. Now the kids just download things and instead of buying a console they're saving up to buy shoes.
I feel like it has changed a lot in terms of what the kids are buying these days instead of 10 years ago.
Will Fairfax try to price match the huge prices we see for these kinds of shoes online?We are basically going to price match what you see online. So around $600 all the way up to $1,000. And that's pretty on par with what's online.
But here you can come into the store and we get the impulse buying that I wouldn't be able to get when selling online.
Business News Australia
Author: David Simmons