Home » Is this the beginning of the end for Jordans?

Is this the beginning of the end for Jordans?

by The Grio

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Say it ain’t so. The most iconic sneaker of all time could be nearing the end of its long run on top. The Air Jordan has been a goliath in the sneaker world for decades, but there are signs that its grip on the culture is starting to fade. If Jordans go out of style what am I going to wear? I’ve been a Jordan 1s guy forever. I don’t even wear 4s. What is happening to the world?

I didn’t believe it when I saw The Atlantic’s essay “Air Jordan Is Finally Deflating.” I said, what are they talking about? Jordan Brand made $5 billion in 2022, a new high for the company and $6.6 billion in 2023. The Jordan brand remains a huge driver of revenue for Nike. But if you look deeper into the numbers, you’ll see the harbinger of a problem. 

When the Jordan Brand says they made a certain amount, they’re talking about sales to all sorts of entities, including retailers, resellers and bots. Bots are programs that complete online sales far faster than a human ever could. The point is that some of the people who purchase sneakers from the Jordan Brand (or Nike or Adidas or any major manufacturer) are not in fact consumers. So that big sales number Jordan Brand touts isn’t a perfect way to gauge consumer demand.

Another way to look at the market is through the lens of reseller site StockX. StockX is a site where people post their sneakers and consumers are able to participate in a sort of auction for them. At StockX we truly see how much demand there is for a product because we’ll see how much people are willing to pay for it. On StockX pricing is extremely competitive and thus responsive to what the market will bear. 

On StockX (and similar sites like GOAT) a lot of sneakers are sold to discerning, taste-forward consumers. There are no bots, no resellers and no retailers buying on StockX. It’s…

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