Marking the first time that a brand other than Snap has allowed consumers to purchase a product directly through Snapchat, Nike pre-released its Air Jordan III “Tinker” sneakers on Snapchat with same-day delivery, TechCrunch reported. The sale was only available to attendees of a Monday (Feb. 19) afterparty following the NBA All-Star game and through a collaboration between Snap, Nike’s Jordan brand, Darkstore and Shopify.
Attendees of the Jumpman All-Star afterparty in Los Angeles could scan Snap codes to receive the Air Jordans by 10:30 p.m. the same night. The Snap code brought them into the Snapchat app to complete the purchase. The shoes sold out within 23 minutes and Darkstore, an “invisible retailer” startup, made the deliveries.
“This is the Holy Grail of the experience [Nike is] trying to intend, which is direct to consumer — to the actual consumer, versus a bot — and same-day delivery,” said Darkstore CEO Lee Hnetinka. “The Snap code introduces a new paradigm for commerce.”
Founded in May 2016, Darkstore’s strategy is to find and exploit storage spaces that already exist but are, in fact, underutilized — think bodegas, storage facilities and empty shopping malls. Instead of letting those spaces remain vacant, often in prime delivery locations, Darkstore leverages the power of mobile to make it easy to transform those spots into fulfillment centers.
“Uber is the largest transportation company that doesn’t own a car; Airbnb is the largest hospitality business that doesn’t own a hotel,” Hnetinka has said. “We’re not going to take on real estate leases, and we’re not going to run these warehouses ourselves, so we want to be the largest fulfillment company that doesn’t own a fulfillment center.”
When it comes time to deliver the goods, Darkstore partners with delivery-focused firms like AxleHire, UberRUSH, Deliv and, most recently, TForce Final Mile. Partner merchants can then use Darkstore to track their inventory, orders and deliveries.