(Image Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images for Nike)
Nike has issued new safety rules to stores before the release of its LeBron James high-tech basketball shoe, mindful of the crowds of shoppers who line up for the popular sneaker releases.
Retailers such as Foot Locker who sell the shoes will have to open their doors at 8 a.m. instead of the usual time of midnight, according to a company memo, the Wall Street Journal reported. It was prior to previous midnight releases when brawls took place in California, Florida and other states for the release of retro Air Jordan and Foamposite Galaxy shoes.
"If a retailer offers Nike products for sale under circumstances where the retailer knows or should know that consumer response is likely to be exceptionally high, it must do so in a prudent and responsible way," the company memo stated, according to the Journal.
The Beaverton, Ore.-based company is also banning stores from displaying photos or descriptions of new products before their launch dates, the WSJ reported.
Brian Strong, a spokesman for Nike, provided a statement to ABC News, saying, "Consumer safety and security is of paramount importance. We always encourage anyone wishing to purchase our product to do so in a respectful and safe manner, and constantly evaluate our distribution policies with a view to ensuring a positive consumer experience."
Requests for comment from Foot Locker and Dick's Sporting Goods were not returned.
Many of the shoes with limited releases have sparked a growth in secondary markets, in which customers who wait hours or longer to buy the shoes then sell them online.
In April, Nike launched an online reservation system through Twitter for a limited number of shoes.
The highly anticipated LeBron X Nike Plus basketball sneaker, expected to be released this fall, might be its most expensive yet. It is estimated to retail for about $315 and will reportedly have motion sensors that measure how high shoe-wearers jump.