EXETER – Due to high demand and low supply, George & Phillips owner Bert Freedman has figured out a way to sell the highly anticipated new Nike Air Max Exeter Edition running shoes fairly, while supporting a local cause .
Freedman said his store had only received 11 pairs of Exeter Edition shoes for sale, which were previously intended to be sold directly to customers through Nike’s SNKRS app. The Nike sales team decided to “breaking his own rules” and send a shipment to his old local independent factory outlet. Nike had a factory on Front Street from 1974 to 1983.
Freedman said he has already generated interest from more than three dozen people wanting to purchase a pair of Exeter Edition shoes.
Historically speaking:Nike in Exeter
With only 11 pairs, he decided the fairest thing to do was to hold a raffle. He said he decided to partner with the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul community support center to raffle off the chance to buy one of 11 pairs for $200, with $50 from each sale going to SVdP.
“I didn’t expect to get a lot of shoes,” Freedman said. “What I like the most is that we can help St. Vincent de Paul in the process. I said let’s do a fundraiser that will help the community while everyone is excited about these shoes. Saint Vincent de Paul has done such a good job over the years helping those in need.
“I thought that was the fairest way to sell the shoes to anyone who wants a pair,” Freedman said. “Now that Cléo Castonguay has passed away, (fundraising) is a way to help carry on his legacy. All the volunteers they get, it shows you what the world really needs right now.
Molly Zirillo, executive director of SVdP, said it was a “pleasant surprise” when Freedman reached out and wanted to partner for the raffle, calling it a “unique opportunity” to own a piece of the contemporary history of Exeter.
“Bert has always been a huge supporter of us, so we’re really grateful he thought of us when he came up with the idea for the raffle,” Zirillo said. “George & Phillips, those shoes, Nike, they’re all part of our history as a city. Between our history as an industrial city, the Nike factory and now how they broke their own rules to allow Bert to sell some of the shoes. It’s great because it will go towards helping our neighbors in Exeter who are in need.
Freedman said anyone can enter the raffle until April 28. He said the winners would be drawn and posted on Facebook on May 1.
“Even if people aren’t interested in buying the shoes, they should still donate to St. Vincent de Paul because they really need the support,” Freedman said. “We’re trying to figure out how to have a Facebook Live event where we’ll post a video of us drawing names. Just keep an eye on our Facebook page and we’ll post updates on the draw throughout the month.