Trainer retailer Kick Game sprints to £150m sale as demand soars | Economic news

A shoe retailer who has developed a cult following among Gen Z consumers has recruited advisers to explore options including a £150m sale.

Sky News has learned that Kick Game, which was founded in 2013, is working with accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to attract interest from a number of suitors.

The process, which is expected to take several months to conclude, highlights the growing interest in sneakers and streetwear as an emerging asset class for collectors and traders.

Kick Game has stores in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, and has seen sales volumes soar since the start of the pandemic.

It claims to be the largest such retailer in the UK, with sales approaching £40million this year.

Kick Game employs around 150 people.

The demand for limited-edition shoes in particular has generated new revenue streams for multinational brands such as Nike and Dior.

Cowen & Co, the investment bank, estimates that the sneaker resale market could be worth $30 billion by 2030.

“Buying and selling works of modern art”

“I tell my team that they buy and sell modern art,” said Kick Game co-founder Rob Franks.

“There aren’t many things you can think of where you can buy something at face value one day and when it’s all sold out the price goes up [tenfold] the very next day – certainly not at this volume,” he added.

He pointed out that prices can also fall just as sharply.

“One day a shoe is worth £1,500. Then the next day Nike will drop a surprise restock and it will be down to £150,” Mr Franks said.

The boom in the resale sneaker market has prompted major auction houses such as Sotheby’s to set up teams dedicated to luxury footwear products.

Mr Franks added that Kick Game was “on track” to generate monthly revenue of £5m.

Profiting from the supply chain crisis

Kick Game is backed by VGC Partners, a growth investment firm focused on consumer industries that was founded by Parminder Basran, a serial entrepreneur and investor.

VGC, which has invested in companies such as SuperAwesome and Iconic Images, is now gearing up to complete a £150m fundraise for its latest fund.

Resellers such as Kick Game are among a relatively rare group of companies to have profited from the supply chain crisis that has engulfed swaths of the global economy.

The prices he charges for sneakers and streetwear rise as their rarity value rises, fueling hopes of a bumper sale price.

Insiders said Kick Game may opt for a further capital raise rather than an outright sale.

The company declined to comment on PwC’s nomination.

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