These photos show the Air Jordan 9 Retro “Photo Blue” set to hit retail later this year.
Why does it look like there’s two different shoes styles here, though? It’s because Jordan Brand’s contract factory in China fucked up the order.
If you’ve seen any advance images of the Photo Blue 9 which only started to leak online a few weeks ago, they looked like this with a black rubber outsole. That’s where the factory went wrong. According to our sources, Jordan Brand contacted its manufacturing plant to let them know the shoe design is supposed to carry a white outsole.
Here’s the dilemma: About a week passed with the shoe already in production before Jordan Brand caught the error. The factory had churned out approximately 10,000 pairs of the Air Jordan 9 Photo Blue in the wrong color.
This is no small number. A full production run on Jordan Brand retro product is typically in the 20,000-30,000 range, baseline.
Further, if you want to estimate both the wholesale and retail damage, let’s do some math…
Air Jordan 9 Retro “Photo Blue” is set to cost $160 to the public. At 10,000 pairs, that’s $1.6 million at the MSRP sticker price.
At wholesale cost from Jordan Brand selling the shoe into its retail partner doors like Foot Locker, Finish Line, etc., the Nike division would itself make close to a million dollars. Wholesale in footwear is usually half the retail cost, so $80 in this case, plus an added $5-10 typically on Jordan styles like this. At an estimated average wholesale sell-in of $85, there’s $850,000 in Air Jordan product that the factory flubbed.
When there’s an order screw up that’s at the mistake of the factory, they usually have to take the responsibility and cover the loss. Shoes are often destroyed. But again, no small dilemma here to have to physically destroy $850,000 worth of product that could be sold.
What happens now?
If you’re a bean counter, or any corporation in general, it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to just dump and destroy 10,000 units of anything. Unless they’re Zunes.
What will most likely happen in a case like this is the footwear company, Jordan Brand in this case, could simply re-burn the size tag info on the shoe with an alternate created style/color code number and spin the flub into a brand new product SKU. We’re being told that the newly corrected white outsole version of the Photo Blue 9 will carry the originally planned style number of 302370-007.
We’ll see what happens from here…
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