L.A. Sneaker Resale Grows Bigger With The Laboratory


Landon Liddell

Los Angeles is a hub for the skyrocketing market of high-end sneaker consignment shops, and the market just got bigger.

The Laboratory, an Oklahoma City–headquartered sneaker-and-streetwear resale emporium, opened a 2,200-square-foot location at 1540 N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Los Angeles’ Hollywood area on March 7. The new shop is located adjacent to an Urban Outfitters and represents the third location for The Laboratory. It also runs stores in Oklahoma City and Dallas.

The Laboratory buys, sells and trades new and preowned sneakers. Prices can range from $50 to more than $5,000, said Landon Liddell, The Laboratory’s founder. The reseller deals in prominent brands such as Supreme, Jordan, Adidas, Nike and Yeezy, among others. Inventory for The Laboratory is sourced from customers selling and trading high-end sneakers with the company, as well as from working with sneaker dealers.

Liddell and his partner for the Los Angeles store, Shyon Keoppel, said that they opened the Hollywood location because running a physical storefront in Los Angeles is important for the branding of the business. Running a store in a market hub like Los Angeles gives the retailer more credibility, Liddell said. Coming to a physical store also is important for The Laboratory’s customers.

“Here, we authenticate everything,” he said. There can be legitimacy issues if one buys online, Liddell said.

The sneaker resale market is mature enough where companies such as StockX appraise sneakers and set prices for them in a stock exchange–like market. This market could grow to a $6 billion segment by 2025, according to research by the private equity firm Cowen & Co.

Increasing complexity in shoe design has set the bar high for entrance and has helped the resale market boom, said Adam Derry, the founder of the fashion label and brand-development agency ADBD, who also has purchased high-end resale sneakers.

“Companies have done a great job in elevating design attributes of shoes,” Derry said. “It has empowered a generation to understand sneakers’ value.”

When The Laboratory opened March 7, a line of sneakerheads a half a block long waited for the store to open, Liddell said. About 20 kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood were gifted with Converse sneakers. Liddell said that he hopes to open several more locations in California.