May 16, 2012 BY John Kim
It’s not very often a single product has such a game-changing effect on an industry, so once ‘Foamsanity’ went down in the early hours of February 24th, 2012, the Air Foamposite One ‘Galaxy’ would forever be enshrined as one of the most notorious sneaker releases of all-time, if not the single most notorious in history. Retailers were forced to pull the product from the shelves to ensure the safety of all parties involved (consumers, store employees, and local authorities), and since then, Nike has taken drastic measures in regards to their product releases in order to preserve order in the future. A few retailers ended up putting the shoes back on the shelves at random, undisclosed dates, and the Foams landed in the hands of store regulars and frequent shoppers without as much of a peep. It was a throwback to the days when a consumer could just walk into a store without knowing what he would find inside and leave happy with a fresh new pair or two; essentially, that experience is what Nike is trying to recapture, and although Nike sets its own firm releases dates and makes that info public, what we saw over at 21 Mercer today was a callback to the days when it was all about being in the right place at the right time.
Earlier this morning, at 21 Mercer, Nike’s premier NSW consumer experience located in the SoHo district of Manhattan, Nike quietly pulled off its own clandestine restock of the Galaxy Foams. If you remember, 21 Mercer was the best prepared for the initial All-Star releases back in February, holding separate ‘wrist-band’ line-ups during separate days of the week and ensuring a quick and easy purchase for those who were keen on following the store’s Twitter account (@21Mercer if it’s not on your list yet). This morning’s ‘restock’ was handled much more subtly, and those who were lucky enough to be around the store at its 11:00 AM opening were pleasantly surprised to find the Galaxy Foams readily available with ample time to try on the shoes, chat with fellow customers, and of course, let their web-based circle of friends in on the secret. Once news hit the e-world, the traffic at 21 Mercer quickly grew and the entire stock of Galaxy Foams were eventually wiped out in about an hour. Those who were there to cop a pair can testify first-hand that it was a reminder of the old days when shoes just showed up without notice and making a sneaker purchase was as much ‘luck’ as it was a planned event. Your thoughts on this random restock? Will we see more Galaxy Foams pop up in the future and will Nike be dropping more high-profile releases in this hushed manner?