1255 euros. This is not the price of the latest Nike Supreme sneakers, but the price reached by Lidl sneakers on eBay. Or almost a hundred times their original price: 12.99 euros. The tri-color sneakers, sporting the red-yellow-blue garish emblematic of the discount brand, are part of a limited edition offered on July 1 on the Belgian website of the brand.
Sneakers, socks, clappers and T-shirts, whose prices vary between 99 cents and 13 euros, were out of stock in just a few hours. Before the pair of sneakers from the German chain exceeds the amount of the minimum wage on eBay auctions.
Lidl is getting into sneakers now ?! 😳 pic.twitter.com/qUTItyPUzv- Sneakerologist (@Sneakerologue) July 1, 2020
A record for the brand which owes nothing to chance, but to a marketing strategy widespread in the world of streetwear fashion: the "drop culture". It consists in marketing exclusive products in small quantities, almost without advertising, in localized points of sale.
"If the strategy comes from luxury brands in the United States and goes back a decade, Lidl has made a drop culture in a very short time," said Eric Briones, curator of the Salon du Luxe Paris. And to quote the unbeatable price of 95 euros displayed for the PS4 - against 299 euros in normal times - at the inauguration on June 17 of Lidl d'Orgeval, in the Yvelines.
VIDEO. Yvelines: the gendarmes intervene at the Lidl d'Orgeval for a sale of PS4 at 95 euros
Faced with the crush caused by the attractive offer, the police had to intervene. "Lidl bets on consumer products at low prices, and it is a hit," recognizes the co-founder of the Paris School of Luxury.
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This revenge for the discount is based on the speculative market for sneakers, reputed to generate astronomical sums for certain pairs. The German chain is riding the wave of "ugly shoes", these massive sports shoes with large soles, trend among the big names in fashion.
His strategy: play on the snapshot and scarcity card to create a sense of urgency. Without forgetting the element of surprise. "I did not expect them to start selling clothes, especially with the effigy of their own brand," said Baptiste, 15. The youngster from Limoges appreciates the bright colors and the affordable price, originally 12.99 euros, of these sneakers.
@lidlfrance in real life your sneakers are ultra fresh! are they still available? pic.twitter.com/l7bC0uFi52- noaR 🖤 (@Coeur_noaR) July 2, 2020
A winning bet since the sneakers met with dazzling success in Germany, before arriving in Belgium in April. In one day, the limited stocks were sold out. The Belgian site will be restocked tomorrow. When for France? "Not for the moment" assures Lidl France to the Parisian. “In view of the craze, the brand has planned to set up contests via social networks very soon to allow them to try to win accessories. "
"Thanks to Lidl, I get richer"
"Today, to be a good buyer is to be a good reseller, as in The Wolf of Wall Street (Editor's note: film directed by Martin Scorsese in 2013)", insists Eric Briones. Like the stock market universe where Leonardo DiCaprio is trying to make a fortune, young buyers are participating in this planetary virtual transfer window. They invest in coins and resell them - if their speculation is appropriate - at a gold price.
Among them, Willem from Val-de-Marne reveals his long-matured strategy. It targets the redemption of limited editions, depending on their popularity, increased by influencers, stars or the buzz on social networks. On Twitter, the hard-discount brand was among the most shared discussion topics on Wednesday. “On average, I double the purchase price. On a size 43-44, depending on the pair, I can triple it, ”says the 25-year-old. Lidl sneakers sold at auction on eBay are 46.
With this inexpensive brand, resale has a special feature: risk-taking is minimal. The benefit is immediate, and the game is accessible to everyone. An unprecedented phenomenon for a brand devoid of legitimacy in the field of fashion, says the luxury specialist. “The German brand is playing on its imagination of a good deal. "Thanks to Lidl, I get richer, excite its customers, it's extraordinarily clever".
"These shoes are hideous, it's just the fact that it's Lidl which is cool," said Tristan, a 19-year-old from Montpellier. The trend of “less is more”, the minimalist mantra adopted by major brands, refers to the principle of hard discount. "The popular classes laugh at luxury, after luxury laughs at the popular classes", points to Eric Briones.
Those who buy Lidl products do not wear them, but resell them on second-hand platforms. A booming market. StockX, which developed the first sneaker exchange, values it at more than $ 6 billion worldwide. In 2028, the market will weigh more heavily than that of fast fashion - collections constantly renewed with the seasons - according to estimates by the American site Thred Up, which publishes an annual report on this secondary market.
“Those who imagine that the next world tends to frugality are mistaken. On the contrary, overconsumption triumphs, ”says Eric Briones. Witness the storming of the Hermès boutique when it reopens in the city of Guanghzou in China, the first country hit by the coronavirus epidemic. Under the sign of “drop culture”, the French brand has created iconic limited edition Birkin bags for the occasion. 2.7 million dollars in sales were recorded. Unheard of for a boutique in China.