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The multibillion dollar business of reselling sneakers is thriving in St. Louis

The owner of The Drop in downtown St. Louis described his business as "a Footlocker meets a Louis Vuitton meets like a Dior or art museum."

ST. LOUIS — Sneakers are no longer just for playing sports. People are lacing up a fresh pair of kicks to make a fashion statement, and the demand is making sneakers big business in St. Louis.

Matthew Collado saw the need and decided to open a shop on Washington Avenue in downtown. He calls it “The Drop.”

“Like a Footlocker meets a Louis Vuitton meets like a Dior or art museum. We kind of wanted to clash everything together,” said Collado.

The Drop has everything for sneaker lovers, including a vast array of colors and brands.

“We have over 500 pairs of shoes. A lot of it is stuff you can’t get anywhere. It’s all resale,” he said.

Collado said some customers are willing to play $2,500 for a pair of sneakers. 

B.A. Daniel is a collector. He hasn’t paid big bucks for just one pair of sneakers, but he admitted he has spent a lot of money over time.

“$20,000, $30,000, $40,000 maybe. But I also buy and sell a lot,” Daniel told 5 On Your Side.

He isn’t just a collector. He is also a broker. He sees his sneakers as assets. In fact, sneakers helped him get through a tough time financially. 

"Didn’t work for nine months. I just sold my shoes to pay rent,” he said.

Credit: Rene Knott
The resale sneaker business is booming and people in St Louis are joining the community and they are cashing in

But his collection of sneakers isn’t only about dollars and cents. Some of them have a sentimental value. He has a special pair of Air Jordans.

“I wear in dedication of Paul Raymond Forbis, a dear friend of mine we lost. Those I wouldn’t sell,” he said.

There are some precious memories laced into his collection.

“I make a connection with everything, so it is definitely more than just a shoe,” Daniel said.

Daniel has also become connected to the St. Louis sneaker community, which he described as being tight-knit.

“Consider each other brothers,” he said. 

The sneaker community and culture has created a boom. A recent study by Cowen Research Equity estimated that reselling sneakers is a multi-billion dollar business. And in St Louis, more people are getting into it.

“Now that it’s a thing of value and reselling, people are like huh,” Collado said with a smile.

And Collado doesn’t see the demand for the latest sneakers slowing down anytime soon in the area.

“Everybody buys shoes every day. People don’t stop buying shoes,” he said.

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