Thank goodness I don’t make enough money ever to have to be concerned with how to tell my daughter “no” when she begs for a $315 pair of basketball shoes. I’m pretty sure, as she grows older and more aware of her socio-economic environment, she won’t even think to entertain that discussion. At least I hope so. My greatest desire is that I will succeed in raising her to question, as I do now, the sanity in asking customers to fork over that kind of coin for three pieces of leather, a rubber sole, and some stitching – oh, and some Sri Lankan labor. Man, I’m really starting to sound like my own father now.
$315 is the suggested retail price for the soon-to-be launched LeBron James basketball kicks from Nike. Yep, $315. Incredible, on so many levels, but such is the way of the marketplace. Nike, like any business, has a commodity for which people are willing to grossly overpay. I guarantee dust will not be settling on any boxes of LeBrons in the Nike warehouses. Demand is high…so goes the price. It’s like an athlete on the free agent market – you get what you can get, and Nike can get $315 a pair.
In advance of the launch, Nike has taken unprecedented steps to prevent anarchy by informing retailers that they will not be permitted to take pre-sale orders and they must forfeit midnight releases of the shoes. Why? Because, as we witness ever day after Thanksgiving, people are stupid. And when people are irrational, people get hurt, sometimes killed.
But here’s my question for Nike: As you feign concern for your customer by mandating safety measures for the sale of your shoe – what are doing to protect that 13-year-old kid once he leaves the store? Yeah, I thought so.