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Stadium Goods co-CEO John McPheters's big idea is still all about sneakers

“I don't have a next big idea. This is the big idea,” said Stadium Goods co-founder and co-CEO John McPheters. And that idea is sneakers.

McPheters and Jed Stiller founded the sneaker consignment store in 2015. But before that, McPheters worked for the competition — Flight Club. Though Stadium Goods got off to a rough start, business would soon pick up — so much so that luxury global technology platform Farfetch (FTCH) acquired the company for $250 million in January 2019.

Before the acquisition, McPheters learned a lot about business and entrepreneurship while getting Stadium Goods off the ground.

“I think a lot of times when people open retail, at least when we did, we thought that it was gonna be gangbusters from opening day … We really thought when we opened our doors that it was going to be a ton of traffic … We learned right when we opened that was not actually the case, and that it takes a lot of time to build up a retail business,” he said.

The initial stall didn’t deter the duo — it made them double down on their efforts and focus on the story they wanted to tell with their business. Stadium Goods was a labor of love that stemmed from the culture and grit of 1990’s New York, where sneakers were more than a fashion statement, they were a way of life.

For McPheters, a New York native, his love affair with sneakers started as a child. He remembers begging his mom to buy him a pair of Bo Jackson sneakers over 30 years ago. McPheters said his mother is one of his biggest inspirations. When business was tough, his mother told him to stick with it and reminded him of the sneakers he wanted so much as a child.

“I remember when you were eight years old, going crazy for a pair of Bo Jacksons. The original Bo Jacksons. I don't think it's been going for 30+ years that there's any danger,” she told him.

So it is with that spirit that McPheters continues to double down on the sneaker industry, which is now valued at $21.2 billion, according to Cowen Equity Research.

“It's definitely on a growth trajectory,” McPheters said. “I really believe in the future of where it's going.”

And that’s why McPheters’s big idea still centers around sneakers.


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

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