Starting a Sneaker Store

Sneakers are among the most enduring article to have been born in the world of fashion. They are so popular that there are such things as sneaker crowd and sneaker culture.

Because of their continued popularity, a sneakers store is one good business to start for one interested in a fashion retailing business.

What One Needs to Start a Sneaker Store

With sneaker lovers’ fondness for the thing being what one can call passion, it is easy to conclude that anyone wanting to own a retail shop selling sneakers must be a sneaker fanatic himself. If that description fits you, then you have already one reason why this is a business you can start. If you have the passion but lack the business experience, try working for a shoe retail store first in order to learn about stock purchasing, inventory management and staff supervision. A job in this line of business will also introduce you to people whom you can do business with later when you open your own store.

Age qualification is one issue that is unique to this kind of business. Sneakers are generally popular with the younger crowd. And so, being young is an asset rather than a liability when starting this business. Being young is being “in,” which means you can exactly relate to what your customers are exactly looking for in a pair of sneakers. Many successful store owners can trace back the origins of the success of their business for their fondness for sneakers as teenagers.

About Sneaker Inventory

Buying a pair of sneakers is not like buying a regular pair of shoes. You go get shoes because you need a sensible pair to wear if you don’t want to go barefoot. But for sneaker lovers going to buy sneakers is more like the experience of a Harry Potter fan getting one of the first releases of a Harry Potter book -- there’s an element of getting high for finding something you really, really want. And so, carrying the most unique and trendiest pairs will be what will make you popular and stand out from competitors. Knowing where to get them or how to make them will be your best kept trade secret. For high-end retailers, getting a Nike account is an achievement.

How to Start a Sneaker Store

Location. For many retailers, there is only one rule in finding a location for a store – a high-traffic area. While this is also applicable to a sneakers store, this doesn’t have to be the rule. Sneakers stores can be considered as “destination shops.” People who go out to buy sneakers know what they want and will find the store that specializes in selling them.

Advertising. If you can’t find a high-traffic location, you can still open someplace else, but be sure to do heavy advertising, especially if you are starting out, so that people will know where you are. Once you have established yourself as a sought-after destination for sneaker fanatics, through word-of-mouth, people will find you even if they have to go a long way.

Store Concept. As with any high-end retailing, store concept is important. Make your store a hang out destination for the sneaker crowd. Getting together and talking about sneaker finds and experience can make your store a sneaker fan hub.

Legalities. Accomplish all the technicalities in opening a store such as getting business permits, tax identification number and employer identification number if you will be getting a staff.


  • Nejc Cvetko said on August 8, 2010
    Hi, me and my friends have the idea to open online sneaker store to sell authentic(Nike, Adidas) sneakers, my question is, where and from who do you buy sneakers?
  • Roger said on October 26, 2010
    Hey, I'm located in the British Virgin Islands and am sneaker lover to the utmost! I want to open a retail store to sell authentic Nike Airmax sneakers. Where can I buy from?
  • john said on March 23, 2011
    Hey, i'm located in Princeton, New Jersey and I want to open a retail store to sell authentic and limited edition Retro Jordans, Nike Foamposites, and Vans and other brands. What Distributing company can I buy from?
  • Jon said on June 17, 2011
    I'm in Gainesville, FL. Looking to find out how much it is to grab the nike resell contract
  • Alan said on March 13, 2012
    Hello, Im in Greensboro, NC and have secured the funding to open a sneaker boutique but am having trouble finding suppliers. I want to sell authentic Foamsposites, Jordans, Air Maxs, adidas, and DC shoes. Any info on how to obtain resell contracts?
  • Jaquan Newsome said on June 10, 2012
    Hey, I am located in Phoenix, Arizona and I am in the process of opening a retail store to sell exclusive Nike shoes and retro Air Jordans. Any info on how to obtain these highly sought after products?
  • Lucky said on July 9, 2012
    Hey, I'm located in Tallahassee,Fl but will be moving to Atlanta,Ga where me and my friend will be opening a shoe store. I was wondering who do i talk to to get the exclusive retro jordans, foamposites, nike air max, etc ?
  • Chika said on October 28, 2012
    Hey, I am located in Sweden, in north of Europe. I am thinking of opening a retail store in Africa to sell authentic Jordan, Air Max, Adidas, Vans and other brands of sneakers. Which Distributing company can I buy from and how much could it cost to start off, excluding shop/business registration etc?
  • steve said on December 6, 2012
    hey i just opened up a street wear clothing store and i really want to get some Jordans air max and adidas sneakers i just dont know where i can get them from and i dont want that fake stuff from the black market please if u have any info let me know thanks
  • edd said on January 27, 2013
    hi i'm located in NY and want to star selling nike and jordans where can i buy from,
  • KB said on March 29, 2013
    I've been doing resale for sometime now, looking into opening a sneaker store. how can I find the Nike rep for my area?
  • E said on August 17, 2013
    Like everyone else, I'm looking on how to start my on sneaker store/boutique selling Nike/Jordan. I am located in Japan. Really need help.
  • Tiffany said on August 18, 2013
    I'm located in Staten Island Ny and I'm looking to open a sneaker store in a very busy part of the island. Where do I find suppliers of retro Jordan's?
  • Damian said on September 4, 2013
    I'm looking to start an online sneaker store, just having issues finding reputable suppliers for nike, saucony, puma, reeboks, supra etc. etc. Perth Western Australia, Australia.
  • Brendin Armstrong said on September 16, 2013
    I'm a sneaker enthusiast and my name is Brendin Armstrong. I grew a passion for the sneaker community when I use to ball. I looked up towards the legends such as Michael Jordan, Shaquille O Neil, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James Patrick Ewing, Penny Hardaway these are the players that all have shoe game with their own successful line that I see that are doing extremely well in today's shoe game. Shoes that include such as retros 1-23, shaqnosis, air penny's, Nike foamposites and the pros, Kds, kobies, Lebrons. Those are just to name a few. I am very interested in doing business with NikeID. I have my own bussiness groups I could provide to along to west coast cities such as Costa mesa, CA, orange county, CA, Anaheim, CA, Brea, CA. East coast cities such as Brooklyn, NY, Rahleigh, North Carolina and Flort lauderdale, FL. Midwest cities include Omaha, Ne, De moines, IO, Sydny, Oh. And via Twitter, instagram, and facebook.Those were the following cites and social media accounts that I could get a sneaker shop or sneaker account open with your available products that I am extremely interested in. Once again my name's is Brendin Armstrong so contact me with any questions at Sincerely, Brendin Armstrong
  • Lisa said on October 10, 2013
    I like to know how to go about opening a sneaker store and where to buy them from .
  • louie said on December 20, 2013
    Tiffany I live in Staten Island as well and am also interested in opening up a sneaker boutique. What is your email address so I can contact you ? I have connections that would be asset to any business. Brendin are you still interested in opening a sneaker store?
  • Edward Goodwin said on December 28, 2013
    I'm in the process of starting a sneaker store and I need info on how to go about buying the shoes.
  • Tahae Pari said on January 9, 2014
    Hey guys my name is Tahae Pari, and im from New Zealand and we are all on here for the same reason to start a sneaker store/boutique. The thing about sneaker stores and us being sneakerheads is completely different to what the business side is. I see we are all looking to sell JB, nike, adidas etc. To sell authentic shoes from each brand you have to an account with each(not just a sign up membership) Its a bit more difficult then that. Some brands like nike ask to have an upfront store, you must have a business license for your business and much more but bear in mind if they don't accept your idea it doesn't mean the end of the world, you can re-apply back for another account a year from the day you sent your first application. If you don't believe me. Its in the FAQS page of, its something like consumer affairs !!! SNEAKERHEADS RESEARCH THERE SHIT !!!!!
  • Tahae Pari said on January 9, 2014
    If your looking for places to get shoes I suggest going straight to the source. We all need help, I hope to meet some of you guys one day to see what my competitions like. I'm amazed with how much of us look up stuff like this. You see I was told by a successful sneaker business owner. The owner of Uptempoair it takes commitment, time(what I mean by time is, you don't get any spare time, no vacations just work), must be able to work weekends, have people to stand by you and believe in what you do, every cent you earn has to go towards the business. Just common sense !!!

    You see i'm not a genius, I just use common sense and go to the source or if not I ask questions to major players. If you don't get an answer you don't get one but if you do your one step closer to making it happened. It aint going to be easy that's for sure but through all the hard work, the blood , the sweat, the tears, makes the benefits of your success that more enjoyable. Good luck guys hope what I say helps
  • Brandon Allen said on February 11, 2014
    I am a gym shoe enthusiast. I was wanting to open a retail gym shoe store. I only want old school shoes I.e Jordan's, ellesse, diodara, addidas, puma, converse,reebok etc..I was wondering would I need a retail contract w/ the respective brands that I carried in my store. I don't want to carry anything new and current .. If I do indeed need the retail contract how do I go about getting them??
  • Narutard said on February 27, 2014
    I want to buy bulk limited release shoes of Jordan, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant basketball shoes. want to know where to start.. thank you
  • T.Smith said on March 26, 2014
    I'm located in the USA and I'm looking to open a retail store or online store selling 100% authentic shoes, handbags, and other authentic products. Where do I find suppliers for these products?
  • Paul said on May 6, 2014
    Hi everybody, this is Paul and I found many people had the same problem. That is where to buy? Connect with me by my email:, and I will be very helpful for your supplier of excellent sneakers. Thanks!
  • Retrowear said on July 27, 2014
    Hello to everyone who will visit this page... I have been supplying Authentic merchandise to Urban stores for over 15yrs i currently supply aj brand and other official Products..i am a real person my email is retros1bulk@gmail my facebook is RETROWEAR. I realize people are sincerely looking for a honest connection to quality and authentic Js. The avg person who has connection to AJ authentic models don't usually talk to the public as i am to you today.. But i wanted to let people know that our type of people exist and we are touchable.. You have to debunk certain myths about shoes being Fake because a person is telling you that they can get you early release and Exclusives..all stores and individuals alike who are looking to get into this shoe business are ok with investing the money if they can get samples of a product and everything is Legit...i have people and stores who cannot get Nike Accounts or Jordan accounts pay me very well to supply them with authentic products.. If your truly looking for quality AJS. Please contact with me through my email or or visit my Facebook view for yourself what I have to offer.. And leave a message their is a fee for my Services and i look forward to working with all very soon.. Thanks again for your time..cant wait to talk with you.. Sincerely.. Retrowear.
  • Lea Steele said on December 26, 2014
    help me to start a sneaker store in New Orleans, LA USA
  • charles stovall said on January 20, 2015
    I am in Kansas and I will retiring soon and I would like to enter the world of sales. I want to find a distributor in my location.
  • Taylor bly said on March 8, 2015
    I am in Lima Ohio and I would like to open up a retail shoe store for Nike and Jordan's . I need to find a distributor for authentic Nike's please
  • Tyrone Wyche said on July 8, 2015
    Hi, I am writing to see what steps i need in order to retain exclusive contracts with jordan and nike and etc
  • deanna perry said on July 8, 2015
    I'm trying to start my own business and I want to sale jordans. Do you know who i'm suppose to contact in doing so
  • Retros1bulk said on July 23, 2015
    Many people Looking for connections dont want to pay for a connection to have access to Authentic Shoes.. Their are many people who reply to these type forums looking for a handout. Not realizing or understanding what their asking for. I supply Authentic Products. Many people ask me about how I get products..this is irrelevant. All you need to understand is their Authentic. Samples cost. Opening up a Online Shoe Store is the Only Option not a retail Store when trying to sell Authentic products without a contract. If your interested reply to my Email. Their is a fee for my Services. I will not give you free information on where to try and fond suppliers. This is not the nature of my business. I am the Connection. I charger a fee. If your interested reply via Email retros1bulk at gmail dot com. Shipping is 7-10 business days. Will email Wholesale catalog. Retros1bulk.
  • Roy ben said on December 29, 2015
    hey Like everyone else, I'm looking on how to start my on sneaker store/boutique selling Nike/Jordan. I am located in Tel aviv, israel. Really need help.
  • Freddie Lyons said on January 18, 2016
    Hi I'm trying to open a sneaker store in west Africa, how can I get distributor for authentic Nike and Jorden Retros.
  • Chyrene Zoie said on January 27, 2016
    hi I want to open a sneaker store for nike, converse, vans and air jordans. where or how can I get a distributor. i'm from Philippines BTW.
  • Swift said on April 4, 2016
    Info on how to get a Nike account not interested in a connect that gets the shoes for me. Need info on how to obtain a wholesale account with them for myself.
  • Linda Shipman said on April 23, 2016
    Hi Looking to open a store to sell all kids of sports shoe for track and field, football, soccer, baseball, etc. I like to sell all brands from Nike, New Balance, Adidas, etc. Need help, where do I go to buy them at a manufacture level. Any info will help.
  • kacey Peters said on August 27, 2016
    Hello, I am located in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, in southern nigeria. I am thinking of opening a retail store here in Port Harcourt to sell authentic Adidas and Nike sneakers for starts. Please I need guidance on the budget excluding shop/business license registration and how to get it started, Thanks.
  • Committee Collective beginner adviser said on September 16, 2016
    @freddielyons @DeannaPerry @TyroneWyche @TaylorBly @CharlesStovall @LeaSteele @BrandonAllen @EdwardGoodwin Our company Committee Collective would love to assist you in getting the most popular and relevant brands in your store. However there are specific steps, guidelines that need to be taken in order to even qualify for such accounts. We do account consultation and would love to assist you. Please give us an email at Info@CommitteeCollective.Com

    Info@CommitteeCollective.Com || Retail Adviser

  • Joe said on October 26, 2016
    Hi, anyone looking to buy sneakers at a wholesale price we can help. Contact me on
  • Rianna said on November 8, 2016
    Hi I'm from Guam. Most sneaker shops here cater to men's shoes and want to bring in more youth and womens sneakers
  • Tensy gonzalez said on December 30, 2016
    Hi my name is tensy , I have a shop in main st bayshore New York looking to open a sneaker store , any suggestion in how to contact wholesale vendors , please advise , thanks
  • Walt said on January 27, 2017
    I'm opening a high end sneaker store in Somerville NJ waiting on Nike and Adidas to approve my app. Also doing sneaker pawn and restoration.
  • ATown said on March 22, 2017
    Hi my name is Austin I'm from New Jersey I'm opening up a store in soho and I'm just very curious where I can find a legit supplier please contact me if you assist me with my problem I would be much appreciated thank you.


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