War of the Shoes: Vasky vs. Footshop

Published: 01. 05. 2024

While it’s usually a friendly, good news platform, LinkedIn unexpectedly became a virtual battleground recently between two Czech sneaker tycoons. It all started when a vandal spray painted the storefront of the shoe retailer Footshop with the words: “Shoe makers are going hungry. Footshop is shit!” To understand what happened next, you have to know that Footshop promotes and sells limited edition sneakers from international brands like Nike and Adidas. The shoe makers in question, in other words, are Czech.

The LinkedIn catfight erupted when Václav Staněk, founder of the local sneaker brand Vasky, endorsed the vandal’s message. “I don’t agree with the act, but the message resonates with me. I like Footshop. They sell hundreds of thousands of pairs annually. But why don’t they sell any Czech shoes? They have a great market position, young people follow them. There are lots of great Czech brands they could sell…Why don’t they create something rather than just re-selling? Isn’t it time to create value?” To make sure Footshop got the message (and to ensure the post went viral), Staněk tagged its founder Peter Hajduček.

Hajduček obviously had to hit back. “It cost us years of extreme effort to be able to bring collections like Adidas x Pharell Williams or Nike x Travis Scottto this region. You obviously have no idea what an amazing success for the region it is, and what it means to “just re-sell” these collections.” Footshop revenues topped CZK 1 billion last year. Hajduček claims his company is “close” to completion on projects that would include local production.

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