Published On: Tue, Apr 11th, 2023

How Clothing Stores Can Utilize Sneaker Culture

To many, sneakers are more than just a random pair of footwear to get on sale without care or mindful consideration. For “sneakerheads,” the sneaker culture is generally about many aspects of these shoes. It can include learning about their history, standing for hours in line to get new releases, interacting with others who share the same passion, and taking exceptional care of their own pairs. 

With the popularity of sneaker culture, clothing stores would want to get involved. There is a lot of money (and fans) at stake. So let’s discuss ways to utilize the sneaker culture if you have a clothing store. 

photo/ Steve Buissinne

Do cross-collaborations of apparel and sneakers

Collaborations can be fantastic depending on the two brands involved and as long as everyone works as one. For example, consider teaming up with a sneaker brand for a cross-collaboration where both teams work together to develop a new piece of designed apparel, starting with a base of the Bella + Canvas unisex raw seam crew pullover that complements a new pair of sneakers. 

You could each sell both pieces online and in your brick-and-mortar stores. Then, promote the collaboration on your social media and send your customers an email or notification to subscribers. It could catch the interest of customers who have yet to learn about your incredible clothing items (and the same for the sneaker brand).  

Offer discounts on combined purchases

Whether you and the owner of a sneaker brand decide to collaborate or sell each other’s products in each other’s stores, consider offering discounts on combined purchases. For example, if someone buys one of your shirts and a pair of the brand’s sneakers, you could give them a certain percentage or dollar amount off their total. It may inspire shoppers to buy both if it means they will get a deal. 

Sell limited edition sneakers and apparel

It is no secret that limited edition anything has the potential to get a lot of attention from collectors, especially sneakers and apparel. So, once you have an established customer base, create limited-edition shoes and clothing with a popular sneaker brand. 

Both of you can make announcements at the same time on your respective social media pages or marketing ads. Then, when you are leading up to the release date, inform your clothing brand customers so they know all the details, including the price, what you’re selling, and–of course–how they can get their hands on the limited edition gear. 

Make a single outfit for a good cause

Consider taking your limited edition apparel and sneakers to a different level by making one outfit you could auction off for a good cause and donating some or all of the proceeds. It is an incredible opportunity to use your skills significantly and help out a cause that means a lot to you and the owner of the sneaker brand. In addition, customers buying the outfit will feel good about their purchase by helping others in need.

If both of you are from the same area, look into causes or situations that may require immediate assistance. For example, a local family going through a tremendously difficult time, a school desperately needs donations, or a program is at risk of getting shut down without assistance. While giving back is critical, your efforts could also help build goodwill and positive community attention. In addition, you may spark interest in others to promote charities and donate.

Do your research

Should you want to incorporate the sneaker culture into your business, having a genuine interest in footwear is a good idea. It is not something to fake your way through. So now is the time to do the research. 

Learn about the history of various brands of sneakers, including their most popular products. Read sneaker blogs and websites, peruse forums, and understand why sneakerheads are passionate about shoes. The more you learn about everything sneaker-related, the better. Consider taking online sneaker-themed classes to further your knowledge, especially about the more complex aspects of footwear.

Create a sneaker collection section

Depending on the space in your brick-and-mortar store, think about making a sneaker collection section. It can be specifically for showing off your collection in an area that only takes up valuable selling space.

Think about putting up a long shelf on the wall that goes the length of your store. You could fill the shelf with your prized pairs of sneakers in clear acrylic boxes so they are out of the way yet visible; put a sign up that none are available for sale. 

Depending on the items in your collection, it might bring potential new customers in to see what you have and what they could buy from your available inventory. You can also create a unique page on your website to showcase your brick-and-mortar store’s sneaker collection for online shoppers.

Have exclusive in-store events for sneaker brands

You can sell sneakers part-time (or organize a specific time) to host exclusive in-store events for sneaker brands. Sometimes, all you need is a belief in that brand and a love of the products. Offering your space can be especially useful for brands with no brick-and-mortar stores or small stores with little room. 

Although it is a way to help bring attention to the sneaker brand, especially among your customers, it is also a way to get their customers interested in the apparel you sell. Consider offering a discount during the event or a coupon for future purchases for attendees who buy one of your clothing items. 

The events are also an excellent opportunity to meet sneakerheads who sincerely appreciate the culture. If you need to be more knowledgeable about it but learning, consider it a chance to ask questions and gain valuable insight from those who are likely willing to share their knowledge. Most sneakerheads enjoy discussing and teaching others everything about sneakers.

Research and take note of any plans you want to do involving sneaker brands and how you think your business would be a good complement. Make sure you have an answer ready if the owner of a sneaker brand asks why the two of you should team up. 

Author: Codrin Arsene

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