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Sold Out Sneaks offers 10% off for Small Business Saturday

Andre Lamar
Dover Post

When the lockdown was in effect this spring, Aaron Foreman said sneakers were still a hot item. He knows because he sold many pairs to folks during the quarantine, making deals with customers in public locations like grocery-store parking lots.

“Don’t ask me where they were going,” Foreman said about customers who were purchasing shoes while on lockdown. “They definitely were buying shoes... a lot of shoes.”

Aaron Foreman is the owner of Sold Out Sneaks on 237 Loockerman St., Dover.

Foreman is the owner of Sold Out Sneaks in downtown Dover, a business where he buys and resales sneakers. This summer he opened the store in a new space at 237 Loockerman Street. Last year he was on the same street, but in a smaller location.

His sales have dipped just below 50% compared to this time last year. Foreman said in October he made $2,600, compared to $6,000 that same month in 2019.

Today on Small Business Saturday, Foreman is going to offer 10% off any purchase in his shop, from noon to 6 p.m.

Foreman spoke to the Dover Post about sneakers that customers can’t resist, surviving the pandemic, and buying a pair of shoes for himself that cost as much as a cheap car.

How important is Small Business Saturday to you?

It’s pretty important, because it brings publicity to downtown Dover, because [Downtown Dover Partnership] really tries to focus on giving us the customer base to come down here and shop. That’s a really big deal. But what hurts us is the parking. There’s just not enough parking. Shopping is about convenience. That’s why you see us struggle downtown, because there’s no convenient parking, whether it’s booked up or… people just pass on and go to bigger locations like the mall. But Small Business Saturday is a big thing because they emphasize and promote it.

What are some of your most popular shoes?

Yeezys and Jordan 1s. Also, everyone wears the VaporMax for comfort-ability. But the attention grabbers are the Yeezys. It’s wild. Kanye West is a billionaire now and he made that from selling Yeezys.

During the pandemic, was there anything you tried that worked or didn’t work in order to sell shoes?

I really [pushed sales] online. I did local meet-ups, because my store was closed. When the virus first hit, nobody really knew what COVID was, so I’d meet customers in [public] areas. I didn’t accept cash, so they would Cash App me the money. I just had to make it work, because bills were still coming. It helped me, because I had the freedom of being the only shoe store that could do that, because the Dover Mall was closed, and other stores were closed. So if you wanted any type of shoes in Dover, you literally had to go through me.

Did you do a lot of meet-ups before the pandemic?

Ultimately, you want people to come to your shop. [Before the pandemic] I wasn’t doing meet-ups because if you want the shoe, you can come to my store. But I definitely adapted during the pandemic. Adapt or die.

How did you feel about selling shoes outside your store?

It was good for me, because the people that had my same hustle also had shoes for sale. It was a blessing in disguise for me, because people were still buying shoes. But all of the shoes being sold were online, so people couldn’t shop at the mall because it was shut down. So I’d buy the online releases and I’d sell them to the customer. Again, I don’t know where they were going during COVID. And I was [buying] inventory from people who had shops like mine that didn’t know what to do during COVID, but their bills still needed to get paid.

Are you looking to try anything else to bring in more money?

I’m trying to build a team. Teamwork makes the dream work. You can’t have a brand while you’re running the brand. With me being in here, I’m worried about sales. But getting employees in here and training them the right way while I run the business, and build the brand, would actually help me to get more customers in here. If I hire an employee, that’ll broaden my perspective. They can bring in new ideas and make it fresh. Marketing is key. But I’m the only one here. I don’t have another person to open my eyes to new ideas.

What’s the most expensive shoe you’ve sold?

The rapper Travis Scott collaborated with Jordan and made the Jordan 1s. He’s a very big influencer. He has a cult following. I want to say the retail for his shoes were $190. I sold mine for $1,300. I didn’t stand in line to buy them. I was in the shop at my last location and a Del State student brought them in to sell to me. I guess he needed the money. I bought them from him for $250. Then I sold them for $1,300.

What are the most expensive shoes you bought for yourself personally?

They weren’t sneakers, they were Christian Louboutins. Rappers call them “Red Bottoms” because they’re shoes with red soles. I paid like $3,500.

Why so much?

I don’t know [laughs]. It really was a bad buy. Unlike [basketball] sneakers that have high resale value, designer shoes don’t, because the people that buy designer shoes wouldn’t buy used shoes. It doesn’t make any sense to them. I already wore my shoes, so if I tried to resell them, I would never get what I paid for them.

IF YOU GO

WHAT Sold Out Sneaks on Small Business Saturday

WHEN 12 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28

WHERE Sold Out Sneaks, 237 Loockerman St., Dover

MORE INFO Visit Sold Out Sneaks on Facebook