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Staff were notoriously rude and wouldn’t let you touch the clothes if you didn’t fit the right profile.“Supreme intentionally releases every product in limited quantities to ensure sellouts, so people have to work to get it — and once gone, almost no product is ever available from the store again,” notes a story in in May 2017.So what are the lessons of Mc Laren, Supreme, Bape, Nike and The Met and other brands that have successfully used scarcity to drive demand?The first is obvious: limit availability of what you’re selling so demand is always much bigger than supply. Create small batches, number then, only sell at certain times or by appointment only.In the words of Mc Laren: “Don’t kill the golden goose.” Last, but easily forgotten, it’s got to be truly interesting to make people want it.It won’t work with bad product that you can get elsewhere. Great food, great design, great entertainment, great attitude.According to financial media site Benzinga “Previously hard to obtain retro Jordan shoes are now widely available, hurting the brand.
Japanese brand, A Bathing Ape, did it in the 2000’s.‘People are always going to fight if they can’t get into something,’ Amos told newspaper in 2000.Malcolm Mc Laren, creator of the Sex Pistols, understood the concept of scarcity better than most.Sales of Bape peaked in 2007 at about million, but losses were mounting and in 2011 its founder, NIGO, sold 90% of the company to a Chinese apparel maker for just .8M.In a profile of NIGO on fashion blog Highsnobiety says: “As the business grew, opening more stores and selling more product, it became closer and closer to the antithesis of what A Bathing Ape had originally stood for — something for the few, not the many.” Nike has recently abandoned its scarcity strategy and has seen lackluster sales as a result. When Supreme opened it’s first store in Manhattan in 1994 it was was intentionally uninviting. Streetwear brand Supreme is a master at creating scarcity by releasing very small numbers of its often bizarre products in a small number of stores.He also created Adam and the Ants, which briefly became the most successful band in the world.A brilliant marketer, Mc Laren created an allure around the Pistols that led to a media frenzy and a large record deal despite the fact most of the band couldn’t play properly.Kim Kardashian’s beauty line sold .4 Million in 10 minutes and sold out completely in 2.5 hours when it went on sale online at midnight in June this year. If you start believing your own hype and think there’s endless desire for what you’re selling you’re doomed.Once you fail the bubble is burst and there’s no going back.