StockX Consumers Want to Be Comfortable Too — Why Crocs and Birkenstock Are Their New Favorite Brands

·5 min read

StockX has built a reputation as a go-to platform to buy and sell hype sneakers. However, some of the brands that have emerged as fan-favorites for the first half of 2021 may come as a surprise to some.

The “stock market of things” revealed its mid-year Current Culture Index today, identifying some of the fastest-growing brands on StockX for the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period last year. The name atop the list of emerging brands with the highest trade growth is Birkenstock.

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According to StockX, Birkenstock trade growth has increased 610% on the platform for the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

Birkenstock isn’t the only brand on the list where feeling good is a focus. Crocs came in at No. 3, with 430% trade growth for the first half of 2021 compared to last year. (Both names took home FN’s brand of the year honors at the 2020 FNAAs.)

Kith x Birkenstock for Kith spring ’21 - Credit: Courtesy of Kith
Kith x Birkenstock for Kith spring ’21 - Credit: Courtesy of Kith

Courtesy of Kith

“These brands speak to the pivot toward more leisure comfort consumers, especially with the lockdown and with so many people continuing to work from home. There’s a strong demand for shoes you can just put on and wear around the house,” StockX senior economist Jesse Einhorn told FN. “But people who people shop on StockX are not going to sacrifice looking cool, even if they want look comfort.”

Specifically speaking to Crocs, Einhorn said StockX consumers became fans of the brand through its noteworthy, atypical collaborations.

“Crocs is such a fascinating story. It is a brand that was not even on our radar just two years ago, and through the sheer power of collaboration, it has managed to put itself at the center of current sneaker culture,” Einhorn said. “They took off with a collaboration with Post Malone, then they partnered with Justin Bieber and Luke Combs. They did that out-of-the-box Kentucky Fried Chicken collab, as well as Peeps. All of these have put them on the radar of new, young audiences.”

The KFC x Crocs clogs. - Credit: Courtesy of Crocs
The KFC x Crocs clogs. - Credit: Courtesy of Crocs

Courtesy of Crocs

Two of the other brands on the list are from the luxury market.

Louis Vuitton, the No. 2 emerging brand for the first half of 2021, saw a 440% increase in trade growth for the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2020. And Alexander McQueen, the No. 4 brand on the list, saw 370% trade growth.

“Something we continue to see across our verticals is this synthesis and convergence of traditionally luxury and traditionally sneaker spaces. We’ve been seeing this for quite a while now, ever since Louis Vuitton teamed up with Supreme. That was a real bellwether in this convergence,” Einhorn said. “You’ve got Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen on the list, and we also see them popping off in the apparel categories, and Gucci did a big collaboration with The North Face that was very popular on our marketplace. There are fewer barriers between luxury and street fashion.”

Einhorn doesn’t expect this trend to slow down any time soon.

“What’s driving these trends are the consumers themselves. We have an overwhelmingly young user base; 70% of our users are under the age of 35, and the majority of our app users are under the age of 25,” Einhorn said. “For young people especially, they love the brands they love, they’re not concerned about what fits into what category. They’re just as likely to go on StockX, see a pair of [Nike] Air Force Ones and put that in their shopping cart along with a pair of Louis Vuitton sneakers.”

Sneakers and kilts at Louis Vuitton fall ’21 men’s. - Credit: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Sneakers and kilts at Louis Vuitton fall ’21 men’s. - Credit: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

The lone traditional sneaker brand on the lists is Reebok, which came in at No. 5, with a 210% increase for the first half of 2021 compared to last year.

StockX also shared some of the major milestones it has hit for the fist half of 2021. Most notably, the company revealed it had more than 6.5 million lifetime buyers as of June 2021, and upward of 1 million lifetime sellers.

“People have an impression of the resale market where there is a small number of connected sellers who move hundreds and thousands of products every month, and make millions of dollars,” Einhorn said. “Those those people exist, but there is a huge number of much more casual sellers — especially new sellers —who are doing only a handful of trades. They’re people who are discovering resale for the first time, discovering it as an alternate income source, and finding that it’s actually quite easy to do.”

What’s more, compared to existing sellers, StockX said new sellers on the platform were nearly two-times more likely to be women.

“All sellers are growing at pretty remarkable rates, but women sellers are growing even faster than men,” Einhorn said. “This new, diverse seller base is driven by macroeconomic factors and young people finding new side hustles, a new way to seize economic opportunity. Female customers represent a huge part of our community, and overall female customers have been growing every year. Last year, they were up over 100%, and the year before that they were also up over 100%.”

As for growth drivers for the first half of 2021, StockX said it saw a 250% jump in emerging category gross merchandise value, a 100% climb in non-U.S. buyers and a 90% increase in consumers 45 years old and older.

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