Sneaker releases expected during All-Star weekend; stores may see large crowds

Sneaker stores, CMPD prepare for big crowds

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It’s all things basketball this week in Charlotte now that the NBA All-Star is just days away. You can’t talk basketball without talking sneakers.

With a lot of marquee players in town, sneaker releases are expected to happen.

Store owners say they’re looking forward to the event.

“It’s going to be fun. I think it’s going to be great for us to have the experience in Charlotte,” said James Whitner. “Bigger than anything I think it’s about the experience- and not just about product – but us giving the kids a chance to experience what it’s like to have such a global event in our city.”

Whitner, who owns Social Status in Charlotte, says his store will have several releases including OG Infrared 6, women’s only AJ1 patent leather, old UNC 1, the Kyrie Rocket launch and AJ6 (Air Jordan 6).

“AJ6 is limited to just us” said Whitner, who added, “It will be first come and first serve.”

Whitner says he expects a lot of sneaker fans will show up for the releases.

“We expect to line up and camp out starting at some point this week,” and Whitner says security is ready. “I’m not worried about it at all. I think our team and AJ’s team and Jordan’s team, and Nike team will be able to keep it all under control.”

Workers at Black Sheep Skate Shop are also getting ready for their release that’s coming out later this week. And they too expect lots of customers.

“Our job is to make sure we’re as prepared as we can be and we’re able to respond where-ever we need to be” said Lt. Brad Koch.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police say they've been working with all stores and corporate sponsors to get a handle on crowd control. They say retail stores at malls - especially South Park and Northlake - have an idea of what’s coming with sneaker releases.

“Several retailers have hired their own off duty officers and have their own security for their individual stores in addition to what the mall has done to increase their staffing" said Capt. Ryan Kendall.

For workers at Social Status, the All-Star events are more than sneaker releases.

“There’s definitely a revenue component to what we’re doing but bigger than just shopping is about the consumer experience we want to provide and how we want to engage with the local community,” said Whitner. “And make them understand what this means and how it feels so it’s a memorable experience.”

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