Adidas to sell $1.3 billion worth of Yeezy shoes, donate proceeds to charities

Adidas cut ties with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, in late October, following his antisemitic comments on social media and in interviews.

SHARE Adidas to sell $1.3 billion worth of Yeezy shoes, donate proceeds to charities
A sign advertises Yeezy shoes made by Adidas at Kickclusive, a sneaker resale store, in Paramus, New Jersey, in 2022. The company saw operating earnings dwindle in the first three months of this year as the German sportswear company’s breakup with Kanye West and his popular Yeezy shoe brand cost it $441 million in lost sales.

A sign advertises Yeezy shoes made by Adidas at Kickclusive, a sneaker resale store, in Paramus, New Jersey, in 2022. The company saw operating earnings dwindle in the first three months of this year as the German sportswear company’s breakup with Kanye West and his popular Yeezy shoe brand cost it $441 million in lost sales.

AP

WASHINGTON — After months wrestling over the fate of milions of unsold Yeezy shoes, Adidas has decided to sell a portion of its remaining inventory and donate the proceeds to chartitable organizations, CEO of the German sportbrand Bjørn Gulden said Thursday.

Adidas cut ties with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, in late October, following his antisemitic comments on social media and in interviews. As a result, the fate of $1.3 billion worth of the unsold Yeezys, a lucrative sneaker line launched with Ye, was unknown.

At Adidas’ annual shareholders meeting, Gulden said the company had spent months trying to find solutions. The CEO also added that Adidas spoke to NGOs and organizations that were harmed by Ye’s comments and actions.

“Burning those shoes cannot be the solution,” Gulden said, noting that Adidas was going to try to sell part of the remaining Yeezy inventory and “donate money to the organizations that help us and were harmed by what Ye said.”

Exact details of this plan — including how many shoes will be sold and the timeline of selling them — remain unknown. Gulden said the company will provide updates as they moves forward.

The move comes as Adidas is trying to stage a comeback and move beyond the Yeezy partnership. Cutting ties with Ye has cost Adidas hundreds of millions of dollars — with the company taking a loss of $655 million in sales for the last three months of 2022, helping drive the company to a quarterly net loss of $513 million euros.

Adidas reported $441 million in lost sales at the start of 2023, the company announced last week.

Adidas reported $441 million in lost sales at the start of 2023, the company announced last week.

Net sales declined 1% in the first quarter, to $5.75 billion, and would have risen 9% with the Yeezy line, the company said. It reported a net loss of, $26 million, a plunge from a profit of $338 million in the same period a year ago.

Operating profit, which excludes some items like taxes, was down to $65 million from $477 million a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Adidas is also facing a class-action lawsuit from investors who allege the company knew about offensive remarks and harmful behavior from Ye, years before terminating its pact with him. Adidas has pushed back on the allegations made in the lawsuit.

Still, Gulden reminded investors that the nine-year partnership Adidas and Ye was “sensational.”

While he noted that Ye is a difficult person, “he’s the most creative person in our industry,” Gulden said. “He created a model with Adidas that was sought after around the world.” But he added, “We lost that in a month.”

The Latest
The growth on state exams was led by Black students, CPS officials said. But preliminary math scores on state exams show students still lag behind.
Two males were driving a stolen gray Jeep when the driver lost control and crashed into a building in the 1000 block of North Ashland Avenue about noon Thursday.
The 23-year-old Shannon was accused of committing sexual assault last September while visiting Kansas for a football game between the Illini and the Jayhawks.
Hoffman Estates, ComEd and Compass Datacenters held a kickoff event to celebrate the redevelopment of Sears’ former headquarters into a massive data center campus.
A filmmaker and activist secretly recorded Alito at a dinner. Public officials, especially judges, won’t get into trouble if they maintain their composure and remember not to enlist in the culture wars.