By La Verne Amigo
The release of the new Nike Air Jordan sneakers caused an uproar as shoppers elbowed each other just to grab a few pairs. Sold at $200 a pair, the Air Jordan sneakers were an instant hit. A big unruly crowd invaded a Houston store and police were called to control the mass.
“It is the desire to possess something others do not have that pushes these people to join the crowd and fight over a pair of shoes,” says a professor at the University of Houston.
This is a sort of marketing strategy that makes shoppers scramble to the stores to have something others might not be able to get the next day. As practiced by manufacturers and retailers, the price of the sneakers will sky-rocket after the first release and it will be too expensive for some to be able to afford.
Another reason for the big crowd to gather for the release of the sneakers is that Air Jordans sneakers have been preferred by hiphop lovers and this subculture has millions of followers. In addition, the shoes feature Michael Jordan who has been an icon to basketball players and fans.
The store tried to minimize the risk of chaotic shoppers by not announcing the scheduled release of the sneakers, but still, they were not able to escape the bedlam.
Two years ago, a man was killed by someone who wanted to steal his limited edition of Air Jordans he’d just bought.
While police are expected to maintain peace and order in the stores and malls, the responsibility lies more on the shoulders of the manufacturers and stores promoting the product.
In Texas, there is a law known as “Duty to Invitees,” which states that retailers have the obligation to maintain peace and order in their stores.
Nike, the manufacturer of this pair of sneakers and Willowbrook Mall, where the sneakers were released, will be liable to any injuries or deaths that may arise during the release of the product.
As of press time, neither of the two companies has made any statement regarding the incident.