Global sportswear giant adidas sent sneakerheads into a shopping frenzy after launching their new limited-edition sneaker, Superstar Ravi, on Thursday.
However, the trainers sold out in a matter of hours, being re-sold for up to Dh44,000 on online resale websites, including Facebook Marketplace and dubizzle.com.
The shoes officially sold for Dh549, and devoted sneaker fans waited outside stores as early as 4am on sale morning. Resale websites advertise the shoe for anything between Dh2,000 to Dh6,000.
adidas customised the instantly recognisable Originals Superstar trainers to create 'Superstar Ravi' in white and green colours of the pocket-friendly Dubai institution, Ravi Restaurant.
One seller is giving up his pair for Dh44,000 on the Facebook marketplace. His post references the years Ravi Restaurant has been operational in the UAE. The seller - Hollywood Step - wrote, "Fight me if you want. But, you can't fight the math."
Another seller on Dubizzle advertised the product for Dh2,800, stating the shoes are "still perfect inside and out." Resale prices of the shoe on Facebook were relatively higher than posts on Dubizzle. However, it is unclear if the shoes are being purchased for the amounts posted by the buyers.
In an earlier interview with Khaleej Times, Vicki Fitzsimons, senior brand director at adidas MENA, said, "We are so excited to launch the Superstar Ravi in celebration of an establishment that holds profound significance to the fabric of Dubai's community."
"Dubai is one of the first to launch its city collaboration as part of the 'adilicious' series showcases 11 cities and restaurants globally. We look forward to seeing what's in store across the other markets."
adidas refused to comment on resale, and it is unclear how many pairs of shoes were released for sale. Reselling limited-edition sneakers is a lucrative business, and many limited-edition shoes have been re-sold for mind-boggling amounts.
A seller who wished to remain anonymous told Khaleej Times, "Sneaker resales are not a new business model. In the West, there are proper channels for such businesses."
According to Business Insider, analysts at Cowen and Co estimated that it could be worth $6 billion globally by 2025. At the same time, sneaker resale marketplaces like Stadium Goods and StockX are becoming essential tools for sneaker distribution. Some sneakers on the platforms are going for over $20,000. One collector, investor Miles Nadal, recently spent over $1.2 million on 100 pairs of the world's rarest sneakers in a Sotheby's auction with Stadium Goods. He spent $437,500 on just one pair of rare Nikes.
In the UAE, sneaker fans waited weeks to land their hands on the coveted Superstar Ravi. As part of the launch, Dubai Mall's flagship adidas store was given a complete makeover, with a Ravi restaurant feel, with an auto rickshaw-style kitchen and tables and chairs painted in Ravi's trademark green.
Hanging on the walls were customised t-shirts emblazoned with the Ravi and adidas logos, while merchandise such as face masks and paper waiter caps were also on sale.
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