Ever since it was revealed that famous sneaker reseller Joe Hebert a.k.a. WestCoast Streetwear was actually the son of Nike’s now former Vice President of North America and SNKRS overseer, Ann Hebert, sneakerheads demanded some kind of retribution from Nike for all the L’s we took at the hands of the Hebert syndicate.
Naturally Nike’s response to the matter was that they take consumer’s feelings into account in instances such as this one and are trying their best to satisfy their millions of customers. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case as Input is reporting that Nike did next to nothing when company employees reported Joe Hebert for abusing his family discount code at Nike stores in Portland and Eugene to purchase tons of kicks for less than retail and resell them at marked up prices.
Social media has already seen the pics of Hebert’s mini factory warehouse filled to the brim with boxes of Nikes, Jordans and Yeezy’s, so we have an idea of just how many sneakers the man was hoarding just to make a profit off his mama’s “good” name.
Though Nike said Ann Hebert did disclose that her son was a sneaker reseller in 2018 and they didn’t find any “conflicts of interests” (the sneaker community would disagree), employees felt the higher ups turned a blind eye to all of their concerns in the following years and it sure seems like they have a point.
Since 2018, the year Joe Hebert’s West Coast Streetwear became an official business, sources say he was reported on more than one occasion to Nike’s Loss Prevention team, which handles internal matters such as employees (or their family members) abusing benefits like discounts at retail stores. But, sources said that given Joe’s connection to Ann Hebert — then a high-up at Nike — employees knew their efforts to stop him from buying shoes to resell were “just going to fall on deaf ears.” And while sources say he wasn’t going into Nike stores and buying shoes in bulk, as his pictures on Instagram show, Hebert was using his family discount for non-personal reasons enough that it raised red flags at Nike stores in Portland and Eugene.
Meanwhile lower-tier employees say that Nike holds them to a different standard entirely and are at risk of termination if they’re found to have relationships with sneaker resellers or if they’re believed to be abusing their discount codes in any way, shape or form. Some employees don’t even let their family members use their discounts because they could lose their jobs.
Ann Hebert on the other hand was allegedly allowed to not only let her son blatantly abuse the family discount card, but also make up to $600,000 a month. Other employees feel that had Hebert been a woman of color the consequences would’ve been much harsher than simply getting to “resign” and being “ushered out” of Nike HQ like she was afforded to do.
Though we hope this will lead to Nike making dramatic changes to ensure that everyday customers who don’t have inside connections and fancy sneaker bots to eat up merchandise, we’re not really holding our breath at this point. Neither are their employees.
“I don’t think much of anything will change,” said a source. “I hope, if anything comes of this, that senior leaders reconnect to employees, buy into rebuilding the culture we used to have, [and] actually act like leaders rather than entitled assholes.” What’s more, sources said, Nike executives and other higher-ups need to understand that employees at a store level are dealing with backlash directly from consumers. “It’s been hell, because of the ripple effect,” a source toldInput, sayin they’re aware of “nasty people” going into Nike stores accusing employees of “backdooring” and “propping up a trust fund baby.”
Goddamn trust fund babies!