Supreme grow up | GQ

So Steiner was surprised when I told him that on Thursday afternoon, a few hours after the 11:00am delivery time, I was still able to add every product from the North Face collection in. your shopping cart. In other words, the stock clearing bot swarm didn’t materialize. “It was crazy,” Steiner said. “That was never a thing. It would be like, there’s a big problem with the site if they’re still in stock after five minutes.”

The problem is not with the website, but with the bots. Supreme has been locked in an arms race with bot networks for years, introducing measures like Captcha forms and bot detection to hypebeast hackers. This didn’t always work: Steiner stopped running Supreme Saint in 2017 not because he could no longer pass the site but because there were too many rival scammers.

But Supreme seems to have finally won when, earlier this year, the brand switched its online store to the popular e-commerce platform Shopify, which touts powerful bot protection services. Today, according to the team behind bot service Supercop, said to be “ranked #1” among all Supreme bots when contacted via email earlier this week, “there is significantly less demand” for with their service. “Supreme,” they continued, “especially made it a bit more challenging than just a regular Shopify store.”

According to Supercop, Supreme’s best defense isn’t just technology. The company said in its statement: “People are less likely to push to buy a bot now that Supreme has sold out and is producing much larger quantities of merchandise.

Supercop is speculating—no one really knows how much Supreme makes. But it stands to reason that, in an effort to refocus on its core customers, Supreme is able to produce a wide range of certain garments, especially now that they can rely on specialist chain knowledge. supplied by VF (which also owns The North Face, Dickies, Vans, and Timberland). A supreme representative declined to comment.

As Supreme expands into new markets like China (via a dedicated store at Dover Street Market Beijing, opening in November), the brand is definitely selling more devices with the logo on the box in general. more than ever. According to VF, Supreme’s sales totaled $561.5 million for the year ending March 2022; VF had expected revenue of $500 million. In 2017, that number was about $200 million.

In another sign that Supreme is entering a new normal, this increase in sales coincides with a clear drop in the brand’s collectibles. By at least one metric, the value of Supreme merchandise on the secondary market, while still inflated, is trending closer to its true value. According to Cynthia Lee, VP of Sales at major reseller StockX, the higher average price of Supreme clothing and accessories sold on the site has dropped from 67% in 2020 to 57% in 2022, while total sales remained stable.

If Steiner’s experience is any indication, others who helped shape the secondary market fueled by the hype may have left the game by the time Supreme has landed.

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