May and June of 2020 were the biggest months for sales in the history of StockX, the secondary marketplace for sneakers and other hype items announced in a new report on Monday. The company's previous biggest month came via holiday buying in December 2019.
During the record-setting months, the "Flint" Air Jordan 13, "Royal Toe" Air Jordan 1, and "Fire Red" Air Jordan 5 were the most popular sneakers on StockX. According to a spokesperson, those three shoes alone accounted for $25 million in gross merchandise value in May and June. The "Flint" Jordan 13 that released on May 30 became the fastest-selling sneaker in StockX history, with over 40,000 pairs sold to date.
Despite speculation earlier this year that the coronavirus pandemic would slow the business of sneaker flippers, the market has been good for people who earn their living reselling product.
"Business is better than ever," says Joe West, a 19-year-old college dropout who estimates that he sells thousands of pairs on StockX per month.
He believes that the capital pouring into the market comes partly from unemployment checks and government-issued stimulus money given out during the pandemic.
"Retros haven't been profitable like this in years," says the Oregon-based West, who's been reselling since he was 15.
Sneaker brands, which rely more on physical stores than a mostly digital platform like StockX, have not been immune to the effects of COVID-19. In an earnings report released in June, Nike posted a $790 million loss for its latest quarter. Business boomed at StockX in the same period, but the company did suffer minor PR setbacks.
In April, users elicited a collective groan when the company announced a new 3% processing fee for buyers. Weeks later, StockX laid off 12% of its workforce in an effort to cut costs. Days after that, Business Insider described a "crisis" at the company's authentication centers, where workers reportedly worried for their safety.
Excitable sneaker traders on Twitter saw the spell of bad news as a death knell for the company, but that rough month doesn't appear to have affected its status as the platform of choice for resellers.
StockX, which launched in 2016, announced in its Monday report that it's surpassed $2.5 billion in lifetime gross merchandise value. In a press release, CEO Scott Cutler spoke on the company's ability to react to the needs of its users.
"The first half of the year presented unprecedented challenges with dynamic shifts in how and where consumers spend their money," said Cutler. "As is the case for any live marketplace, real-life events have ramifications on market performance. These dynamic shifts in consumer behavior enable StockX to flex the model, and deliver in these major cultural moments. Platforms that actively disrupt commerce are uniquely positioned to meet the consumer where they now are, which is one of the key reasons we've seen this recent growth."