22 May Adidas To Start Selling Yeezy Product At End Of May
Adidas reported it would start selling its stockpile of millions of unsold Yeezy sneakers later this month from its defunct partnership with rapper Kanye West. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Antiracism organizations.
The news follows plans Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden outlined last week and follows the company’s move to cut ties with West over the anti-Semitic comments he made last year, leaving the sporting goods maker with unsold Yeezy brand shoes worth 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion).
In a statement, Adidas said a range of existing designs would be available exclusively through Adidas.com/Yeezy and the Adidas Confirmed app, and that a “significant amount will be donated” to select organizations working to combat discrimination and hate, including racism and antisemitism. These include, but are not limited to, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change.
Adidas’ announcement marks the first time products have been available to consumers since the company terminated its partnership with Yeezy in October 2022.
The “for sale” products are designs initiated in 2022 and for sale in 2023. Additional inventory releases are under consideration, but the timing has not been announced.
The announcement from Adidas has no immediate impact on the company’s current financial guidance for 2023.
Since terminating its Yeezy partnership in October, Adidas has said it is exploring multiple scenarios for using existing Yeezy inventory. The process involves feedback and listening to employees, organizations, communities, and consumers about managing the product responsibly.
Adidas forged ahead with committed production orders following the termination of the Yeezy partnership to protect its supply chain partners from being negatively affected by cancellations.
Gulden said, “After careful consideration, we have decided to begin releasing some of the remaining Adidas Yeezy products. Selling and donating was the preferred option among all organizations and stakeholders we spoke to. We believe this is the best solution as it respects the created designs and produced shoes, works for our people, resolves an inventory problem, and positively impacts our communities. There is no place in sport or society for hate of any kind, and we remain committed to fighting against it.”
“At a time when antisemitism has reached historic levels in the U.S. and is rising globally, we appreciate how Adidas turned a negative situation into a very positive outcome. They have shown real thoughtfulness in engaging with community organizations working to combat this pernicious and stubborn hatred,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO. “Their leadership, in not only condemning anti-Jewish hate but lending their support for education and other initiatives, is exemplary and a model for other public companies to emulate. We thank them for their ongoing dialogue around their remaining inventory and their vested interest in tackling issues of prejudice and hate.”