Stadium Goods isn’t the only sneaker reseller, but two years since launching, the founders have been able to differentiate their business by working with Amazon, eBay, Zalando and Alibaba to extend its reach beyond its e-commerce site and the space it occupies on Canal Street.
On Saturday, Nov. 11, Stadium Goods will participate with brands including Nike, Gap, Lululemon and Zara in Alibaba’s annual 11.11 event, formerly called Singles’ Day, for the second time. This one-day shopping event grossed $17.8 billion in sales overall last year.
“One of the great things about the market is how fast we’ve grown,” said John McPheters, who cofounded Stadium Goods with Jed Stiller. “For a long time people were talking about the size of what they thought the resale market to be, and in my mind we are going after a much larger resale market around the world. It’s a much larger play and that’s what we are trying to execute on.”
The sneaker retailer partnered with Tmall Global, which is an extension of Alibaba Group’s B2C Tmall.com business, in 2016 to bring its sneaker inventory to the Chinese market. The company participated in the shopping holiday last year and it ended up being its biggest sales day.
McPheters said Stadium Goods, which has raised $5.6 million since launching, is on track to do over $100 million in gross merchandise volume this year. E-commerce makes up 90 percent of its sales, but the store it opened in SoHo, on a block that’s become its own shopping hub — Palace opened up next door and a Rick Owens store moved down the block — has emerged as a key marketing tool. Complex tapes many of its “Sneaker Shopping” episodes out of the shop, which McPheters has called a big awareness-driver.
“A good reason for us being able to grow so consistently is the storytelling we are able to do from our location,” said McPheters. “It helps people know who we are and who they are interacting with.”
Stadium Goods holds inventory, which is another facet that distinguishes the business from its competitors. Stiller said this builds trust with its buyers because the product is authenticated, and it allows them to ship product within two days. They opened a New Jersey warehouse in May. The founders recently launched an app, that is currently a mobile marketplace but will be updated to include other features — location services, push notifications and early access to sales — down the line.
The founders, who currently sell apparel on the site from brands including Supreme and Louis Vuitton, are considering doing something in the merch space and opening a second location, although they didn’t reveal where that would be.