Retailer Sells Air Jordan Rivals Dirt Cheap

Steve & Barry's markets star sneaks for under $20
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2007 2:37 PM CST
Chicago Bulls' Ben Wallace goes up for a rebound between Dallas Mavericks' Brandon Bass, left, and Darvin Ham during the third quarter of an exhibition NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Oct. 12,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Don’t feel like ponying up $175 for the freshest Air Jordans? You could instead buy 11 pairs of Ben Wallace’s Big Ben shoes and have change. Budget-minded retailer Steve & Barry’s is reversing Nike’s formula, selling low-cost shoes branded by Wallace, Venus Williams, and Stephon Marbury—whose Starburys sold 3 million pairs in two months.

Steve & Barry’s has profited massively, Time reports, and will have doubled its number of stores 1 year after the Starbury launch. The store controls costs by spending little on advertising, leaving the buzz-building to the stars. But don’t expect to see LeBron high-tops retailing below $120: Bigger brands aren’t getting in on the inexpensive mix anytime soon.