In the on-going legal battle between NIKE, Inc. and StockX, which began in February over trademark-infringement, the former has decided to sue the “marketplace of things” over claims that it’s selling fake sneakers. According to Bloomberg, representatives from the Oregon-based sportswear behemoth (the largest in the world) purchased four pairs of shoes over the course of two months from StockX that the after-market platform had promised and stated were authentic – all pairs arrived from the Detroit-headquartered company with “Verified Authentic” hangtags.
Authenticity isn’t a new problem for StockX, which was valued at $3.8 billion as of April 2021. As the reseller’s destination continues to diversify its catalog of offerings ahead of going public, netizens have taken to social media and YouTube to share their stories regarding fake shoes obtained through the platform. StockX’s customer service has been notorious for giving sneaker buyers a hard time with shoes deemed inauthentic, with some users exposing the company’s tendency to accept and sell damaged or fake product, but rejecting it on another go-around. This experiment most often occurs with hype releases like Travis Scott x Air Jordan and Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 pairs, shoes that presumably bring in a lot of traffic and money to the platform.
Spokespeople from the company, including former CEO Josh Luber, have previously gone on record as saying that due to the number of inventory processed through StockX’s authentication centers, some product that shouldn’t get through gets through. Systems have been put in place and modified over the past several years, but when a mistake or oversight on behalf of a platform that promotes itself as meticulous and reliable costs someone out of thousands of dollars, the system isn’t working. Could Nike’s lawsuit (case “Nike Inc. v StockX LLC,” 22-cv-983, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York) be the change countless sneaker consumers have been longing for? Time will tell.