A group of about 500 young people descended on a local sneaker shop in the CBD on Wednesday morning, all for a chance to buy a pair of the latest Air Jordan sneakers that were released a few days ago. Picture: Nomalanga Tshuma/Cape Argus
A group of about 500 young people descended on a local sneaker shop in the CBD on Wednesday morning, all for a chance to buy a pair of the latest Air Jordan sneakers that were released a few days ago. Picture: Nomalanga Tshuma/Cape Argus

WATCH: Hundreds of sneakerheads queue up for limited-edition Air Jordans in Cape Town

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Apr 22, 2021

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Cape Town - A group of about 500 young people descended on a local sneaker shop in the CBD on Wednesday morning, all for a chance to buy a pair of the latest Air Jordan sneakers that were released a few days ago.

Five hundred young hopefuls, some along with their parents and siblings, stood around the Shelflife sneaker and clothing shop for almost two hours, waiting in anticipation for the day’s live raffle, a one-in-24 chance to be the one to buy a pair of the latest limited-edition designer footwear.

According to Shelflife, Wednesday’s live drop was but a small testament of how big and popular the sneaker community and culture are, not only in Cape Town but across the country.

Explaining further how the live raffle works, assistant manager Kelli Schnell said the raffles accompany the release of the latest sneaker and its is the store’s unique customs to cater for the growing sneaker community and culture in the country.

“At live raffles, everyone who comes to the shop gets a raffle ticket in the form of an armband. The bands all have numbers on them and at 09:30 we call out the ticket numbers randomly picked.

“This affords our customers the chance to buy a single pair of the sneakers we have in-store, at a special price. Today we had only 24 pairs in-store, 12 of each of the two sneakers that dropped on Saturday globally.

“It’s exciting and engages our audience. Today was definitely not the first time we got such an overwhelming response from our customers,” Schnell said.

Schnell added that because the shoes have resale value, and are also collector items, people often come along with their friends and family to better their chance of having their number getting called out, and in turn them getting a chance to buy the sneakers.

Wasim Moosajee, a 20-year-old from Landsdowne, said that while he didn’t often come out to physically purchase his sneakers, today’s releases, the Air Jordan 1 Retro High and the Air Jordan 4 Retro, were the shoes he particularly liked and wanted a better chance at buying.

Sizwe Zwane, a 22-year-old from Mowbray, said that the sneakers were more than just shoes for those that chose to buy them.

He said: “Yes they are fashionable and the latest sneakers but to some like me who collect them, they are more than just shoes. I can buy them solely to wear them or I can buy them and resell, imagine what the market price will be like after today. For just these shoes, a crowd of about 500 people showed up. These are more than just shoes.”

Air Jordan 1 Retro High had a starting price of R2 800, and the Air Jordan 4 Retro had a starting price of R3 500.

Speaking on the bustling activity, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) CEO Tasso Evangelinos said: “It is heartening to see that this sector of the retail economy, which is very well represented in the CBD, continues to thrive even during the pandemic.”

He said: “There is a vibrant sneaker culture in the CBD, and the support shown to sneaker ‘drops’ illustrates that there is confidence in the central city as a business destination.”

The shop’s next drop will be this coming Friday and Saturday and although they are set to head online, to better adhere to Covid-19 regulations, the Cape Town team is expecting just as much support and love from the sneaker community.

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Cape Argus

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