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Online marketplace StockX boasts massive growth despite COVID-19

·3 min read
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While the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on brick-and-mortar retailers, online marketplace StockX has seen an explosion of activity during the pandemic.

“While a lot of traditional brick-and-mortar retailers in our space have obviously suffered setbacks, we really didn’t miss a beat and have been accelerating over the past two quarters,” Jesse Einhorn, StockX senior economist, told Yahoo Finance.

“StockX has been really well-positioned in this second quarter to take advantage of a lot of online shopping and a lot of new people turning to e-commerce to do their footwear spending.”

According to Cowen Equity Research, the average consumer brand saw a 9% decline in search interest after the pandemic-fueled lockdowns started in March. During that same period, StockX accelerated with double-digit gains.

StockX has recorded over 10 million lifetime sales since its founding in 2015. More than 50% of those sales occurred in the last year alone, according to the company, with May and June of 2020 becoming the two biggest buyer months in company history.

StockX sales are not just happening in the U.S. The online marketplace has also seen an explosion of businesses overseas to the tune of more than 200% growth in Europe.

It’s still about the sneakers

Though StockX bills itself as the “stock market of things,” selling everything from designer watches to handbags, sneakers are still the headlining act, and on that front, the platform is growing by leaps and bounds. In June, the company sold 40,000 pairs of the Air Jordan Retro 13 “Flint,” making it the fastest-selling sneaker in the company’s history.

Einhorn tells Yahoo Finance that the surprise surging sales of the Jordan 13 sold faster on the site than the Iconic Air Jordan “Bred” 11. He goes on to say that it was due in no small part to the ESPN Michael Jordan/Chicago Bulls documentary “The Last Dance.”

“I think it’s a testament to the momentum that StockX and Jordan brand enjoys from ‘The Last Dance,’ especially since it’s not a silhouette that we’ve seen huge sales volume around in the past. And for it to outsell the Jordan 11 holiday release and a bunch of other really huge Jordan releases is huge,” he said.

Jordan sales rose more than 40% during “The Last Dance,” according to StockX.

Sales of women’s sneakers are also on the rise at StockX. The company tells Yahoo Finance that sales of women’s sneakers have outpaced the overall women’s sneaker market by 70% over the last 12 months.


Changing demographics

StockX has also seemingly cracked the code when it comes to reaching younger consumers. According to the company, the majority of the platform’s users are 24 years old or younger. StockX also enjoys 69% market penetration among Gen-Z sneakerheads, according to Piper Sandler’s “Taking Stock With Teens” spring 2020 survey.

“I will say in terms of older customers, you know, this is actually skipping ahead with one generation. This is still a smaller share of our user base ... but we are seeing increased interest and use among this somewhat older demographic,” Einhorn said.

“I think this was part of a larger trend of the lockdowns and this new normal accelerating the narrowing of the digital divide. You now have a lot of non digitally-native consumers and app users using the internet much more frequently than they otherwise would.”

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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