Monica Chowdhury
July 7, 2022

How TikTok is Selling Out Stores

In a new era of social media, Tik Tok is setting a benchmark for how quickly it is causing stores to sell out.

Imagine you are waiting at the end of a long queue at a Glassons store. Everyone is gripping a few hangers, but one thing everyone has in their pile is a particular bright blue item. Luckily, you’ve copped the last one.

In a new era of social media, Tik Tok is setting a benchmark for how quickly it is causing stores to sell out. The scenario above is based on a true story, where a Tik Tok fashion influencer showcased a very appealing cobalt blue corset top. One thing led to another, and the corset was sold out in little to no time. Fast forward a few weeks and press-on nails at Kmart were sold out too, followed by the skims dress, and the list goes on.

If you’re an avid user of this social platform, you know that all trends are quick to come and go. In a new era of social media, we are easily entertained – and it seems we are just as easily bored. This new era is fast paced, whether it’s fast food, trends, memes or fashion, the question that we’re all asking is, how is Tik Tok causing all these fashion trends to sell out? The simple answer is that it is insanely influential, potentially more so than any other social media platform yet. But what if it’s more subconscious?

A meme that recently circulated the world of Tik Tok, goes along the lines of “Can we talk about the political and economic state of the world right now?” This viral meme quotes Jaden’s Smith’s infamous line from a 2018 interview with Los Angeles radio host Big Boy was quick to go viral on Tik Tok.

The young climate activist was opening up about his mature upbringing, and that he related more to adults than people his age. Tik Tok users were quick to jump online and begin trolling Jaden, causing the clip to go viral. While we can all admit the occasional meme is highly amusing, Jaden Smith was going somewhere with his seemingly cringe criticism.

This is where the rising concerns about things like overconsumption comes in. We’re able to scroll away what we like and dislike, and that applies to what we wear and eat too.

How exactly is Tik Tok causing us to feed into these potentially harmful trends? When you think about the way we have become used to entertainment, we are consuming so much, so, very fast, and then asking for more! Naturally, we expect the same of our experiences in real life, with food and fashion industries.

In the last couple of years, we went from enjoying long videos and vlogs on YouTube, to Tik Tok’s short 30 second videos. Now our attention spans are only engaged by media that releases easy dopamine. Subconsciously, we have developed a need to consume anything and everything easily and with minimal effort. What better place to find that, than on Tik Tok?

Essentially, because Tik Tok has allowed for effortless entertainment, we expect the same in other aspects of our life. It all kind of works together perfectly, so Tik Tok and a fast-paced lifestyle became the new “cycle of life”. Tik Tok itself is a fast-paced social media platform, where fast fashion brands, foods and trends are presented and even promoted. We then overconsume and participate in this media, and then the cycle repeats. 

Think crochet skirts, Dickies pants and anything emerald green; all the current trends in fashion. Or at least, they were only a few months ago! Come next summer, these trends in fashion will completely disappear into the abyss.

There is no denying that there is a huge and growing demand for new things to keep us entertained, whether it be entertainment and media, or real, tangible things like clothing items. In fact, they both go hand in hand, which is how Tik Tok is so successfully able to push us towards trends and have stores selling out left, right and centre. What people are wearing for one season, they are most definitely not the week after! Once something has made its rounds across Tik Tok, expect to see shelves and racks empty – but fear not – it will be back! Only, by that time round, will you still want it?

This article was written by Monica Chowdhury. Monica is a major in creative writing and loves all things reading and writing, check out her IG @monicachowdh.