Sneakers Generated $70 Billion Last Year. Black Retailers Saw Little Of That.

The guest bedroom in Earl West’s home in suburban Atlanta looks more like a sneaker warehouse. From floor to ceiling, covering the entire space, shoe boxes filled with some of the most exclusive sneakers, in various colors and designs, are stacked on top of shoe boxes. Inside them are nearly 900 pairs of sneakers valued in West’s estimation at more than $100,000. “My friend who got me into this jokes with me, saying he was the one who put the needle in my arm. And I can’t seem to shake it,” said West, 55, a self-described “sneaker head” who is a manager at a data center and started collecting in 1982. “At the same time, it’s been messed up that there aren’t nearly enough Black stores to spend Black dollars on sneakers.” Read more at CNBC.