Nike is selling LeBron James' new basketball shoes for $315. No, that's not a typo. Nike blames the absurd price on the "increased costs of materials" such as cotton and shipping costs. The 'LeBron X Nike Plus' shoes debuted during the USA vs Spain gold medal game at the 2012 London Olympics.
LeBron's 1st sneaker release was in 2003. That shoe sold for $110. The price increase comes as Nike continues its free-fall in the stock market. Nike's margins are now lower than most of its direct competitors, including rival Adidas, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Critics of Nike's price increases are taking to social networking websites to urge others not to buy the high-priced sneakers.
"Prices are getting crazy excessive and as long as we continue to buy sneakers, Nike is going to keep increasing the prices," Donell Brown, 30, told the WSJ.
Nike is "not arbitrarily taking up prices," Nike spokeswoman Mary Remuzzi told WSJ. "We are constantly looking at ways to enhance the product line with new innovation and product attributes."
Nike attempted to justify the price increase by including some electronic technology in LeBron's shoes. The Nike LeBron X comes with motion sensors that tells you how high you jump.
Nike also set new safety rules for retailers selling their shoes to unruly customers who camp outside the stores and cause stampedes, resulting in injuries in the past.
According to an internal Nike memo obtained by the Wall Street Journal, retailers can no longer pre-sell or take reservations for new shoes. The stores must beef up security when new products are launched, and stores must discontinue midnight sales to discourage sneaker scalpers from camping outside the stores.
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