Yeezys: Thousands queue through night for Kanye West trainers

Image source, @Perfection7
Image caption,
People pitched up on plastic chairs outside Size on Carnaby Street

Thousands of people queued for hours to get their hands on trainers designed by rapper Kanye West.

Shoppers were waiting outside stores from midnight to grab a pair of Adidas Yeezy Boost 350s.

Within minutes of their release at 09:30 BST, the £180 shoes were being resold online for double the price.

Security guards were brought in to manage the queues in Birmingham and websites including Foot Locker and JD Sports crashed due to demand.

Marketing professor Heiner Evanschitzky said the mix of celebrity, exclusivity and "a certain clientele really liking the experience of queuing with like-minded people" was behind the frenzy.

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In Birmingham, long lines snaked outside of the Size shoe shop, on Lower Temple Street.

One man in the queue told the BBC he had already been offered £300 by a friend who could not get to the store.

Similarly long queues were seen outside Foot Locker in the Bullring, with a security guard urging people who were desperate to sneak a peek at the trainers not to rush when the doors opened.

Long lines were also reported outside Foot Locker in Oxford Street and Size in Carnaby Street, London, and in Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin.

Image source, Scott McPherson
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Shoppers waited outside Union Street in Glasgow in a bid to get their hands on the trainers
Image source, @TinctureOfMuse
Image caption,
Queues were seen at Foot Locker on Oxford Street

Professor Evanschitzky, from Aston Business School, said that while the limited nature of the stock and celebrity branding had an impact on sales, people sometimes queued for the experience.

"We have found in studies, people who go out shopping to have an experience, the product is conduit for the experience," he said.

"A certain clientele really like the experience of queuing with like-minded people, talking about fashion.

"In a broader sense, retailers are able to choreograph product launches in such a way to get people out there."

Gemma Butler, director of marketing at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, added: "The mark of professional execution of marketing campaigns like this is the ability to tread the careful line between hype and mayhem.

"Long queues and websites crashing add to the sense of demand for the product and don't come as a surprise to consumers. As long as they are managed responsibly, they will ensure Yeezy maintains its hype."

Your guide to Yeezys

Image source, Adidas
Image caption,
The Yeezy Boost 350 in 'Black Static' that people were so desperate for

The trainers are designed by rapper Kanye West in collaboration with Adidas and launched in 2015.

A rare pair can cost thousands of pounds and they are one of the most sought-after trainers in the world.

They are usually only released on certain dates at specifically chosen locations.

JD Sports said, since their inception, the Boost line had continually sold out instantly.

Shopper Chris Shaw said: "The demand in Glasgow was crazy. Arrived at 04:00 to queue and never got any.

"Only people that got them this morning were the ones that slept overnight. Then they walked down the queue trying to sell for three times the amount."

Sellers on eBay had pairs of the trainers listed for up to £480 within an hour of their official launch.

Image source, Tom Rayment
Image caption,
Tom Rayment spent hours online trying to get the latest Yeezys

Tom Rayment said he was on the Adidas website for about two hours trying to get hold of a pair but was unsuccessful.

The self-confessed trainer fan, 24, from Peterborough said he already has four pair of Yeezys.

"When they were first released there wasn't the demand like today," he said.

"I feel people just buy them to resell so they can make profit, then it is the genuine trainer lovers who pay the extortionate prices to the re-sellers."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The trainers are the latest design by Kanye West