Nike Access Codes: sneakers for the chosen few

Combating the touts that buy up special edition sneakers to resell at inflated prices, Nike is releasing its Access Codes scheme. But is this new sales approach more than a pathway to a better shopping experience? Is it feeding our need to be part of the insider crowd?

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The launch of a limited edition Nike trainer currently goes something like this. Armies of ‘sneaker freaks’ set their alarms for 7am on the day of release. Nike tweets the link to the new product – and minutes later they tweet again, announcing the product has sold out. Some mega-fans get lucky, others are left empty handed as the hugely in-demand products are bought en masse by bots and touts to sell on at inflated prices.