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The fall of the Nike Dunk Low Panda - From coveted to hated

The fall of the Nike Dunk Low Panda - From coveted to hated
  • 07 November 2023
  • Posted By : Charly
If you don't know which pair of sneakers is the Nike Dunk Low 'Panda', you've undoubtedly seen it in spite of yourself at the feet of people in the streets or on the social networks.
This black and white version of Nike's low-top basketball silhouette, with its simple, effective and easy-to-wear colorblocking, has been a huge success since its release in 2021.
Coveted by collectors and the general public alike, the Dunk 'Panda' was not an easy cop for a long time, especially at retail prices.
By the end of 2023, the pair has blended into the landscape, remaining in stock in most boutiques and even becoming a hated pair seen and reviewed in every direction.
So what happened ?

1 - The use of scarcity

After a gentle re-introduction of the Nike Dunk Low in 2020, the Swoosh brand simply released super-limited Dunks with well-spaced release dates.
These special editions were, of course, coupled with landmark collaborations such as Virgil Abloh's with Off-White. (As well very limited)
Already an iconic silhouette for the brand, the Nike Dunk (particularly the low) has rapidly become once again the trendy silhouette that everyone wants to wear.

2 - Rising value in perception and secondary markets

It wasn't until March 2021, when the market was already hot, that the Dunk Low 'Panda' hit the shelves.
They dropped in full family sizing : MenWomenGSPSTD.
Skillful quantity control and the simultaneous increase in demand mechanically boosted resale prices for most dunks on secondary markets. Even older releases have regained value.
The success of the black and white version was immediate, and its price climbed to 3 times its retail value at its peak.
In this type of scenario, and very often without realizing it, our perceived value for an object can quickly rise : "250€ for a Dunk, that's not expensive".
At retail prices, everything sells like hotcakes.

3 - Brand control

The case of the Nike Dunk Low 'Panda' illustrates just how much control an equipment manufacturer like Nike can have over its branding.
The pair was by no means a Nike Store exclusive and was available from the Swoosh's usual retailers. I don't need to remind you that every drop was a struggle, especially when you know that you could resell them for 2 to 3 times their price instantly.
By contrast, the restocks that arrived periodically afterwards were for a long time exclusively on the Nike Store. The brand then had total control over supply, using intelligent arbitrage to ensure demand didn't plummet in a matter of months.
The Dunk Panda hype did not slow down until late 2022 and early 2023, when stock began to remain online for several hours.

4 - Flooding the market : a plan all along

The question has been asked on several occasions : will Nike definitively cut off supply of the Dunk Panda and stop restocking ? To date, the answer is still no.
Nike has gradually opened the floodgates, bringing restocks closer to a monthly rhythm. Independent retailers have also been given extra stock.
You might think it's killing the model and bad for branding, but that was the plan all along.
The colorway was intended to be a 'Never sold out' pair also called 'Carry-over'. Simply put, a permanent model like the Nike Air Force 1 'Triple White'.
The process of getting it right was delayed as much as possible according to demand and the market, in order to make the model and the color last over time, while selling as many as possible along the way.
Clearly not an easy task, and if you think about it, what other brand is capable of doing this over a 2-year period with such a basic model ?

5 - Has the Nike Dunk Low 'Panda' become the most hated pair on the sneaker market ?

For several months now, the Dunk Panda has been one of the pairs most cited in the most hated releases on the networks.
Is it any wonder ? Not really. The pair has been seen and reviewed for over 2 years now. The number of restocks is countless, and the colorway has had an incredible collection of variations : Full family sizing, Next Nature, Dunk Twist, Reverse, High, Low, Mid, Dunk Low Disrupt and even Air Jordan 1 Mid and Low versions too.
Exclusivity is highly appreciated in the sneaker community. The fact that everyone has the same pair on their feet quickly dampens the excitement after a while.
Nevertheless, it's an essential step for any product that wants to establish itself as 'permanent'.
The pair that remains in stock on the Nike store and at many retailers, but is still selling. It was even discounted in some stores with a promo code and didn't last long.
On the other hand, the pair is also available instore and many people are going to try them on and buy them in person, which wasn't possible before.
Finally, don't lose sight of the fact that even on sale, Nike will continue to make a profit on a Nike Dunk Low 'Panda'.
The Nike Air Force 1 'Triple White' is not an instant seller.
However, it remains one of the best-selling pairs both in stores and online in large quantities, which is far more profitable for Nike than an ultra-limited edition.
Always loved or hated, we still don't know if Nike will end up taking it out of circulation.
In the meantime, the different variants of the Nike Dunk 'Panda' are available online at retail prices. Check out the different models here to grab a pair in just a few clicks.
We'll keep you posted on the further adventures of this black and white colorway.