Adidas, the globally recognized sports brand, has finally disclosed its strategy for the vast stockpile of unsold Yeezy sneakers left in its inventory following its sudden break with rapper Kanye West, who now prefers the moniker ‘Ye’. The company has declared that it will recommence the sale of the residual Yeezy collection and channel the earnings towards charitable causes.
Adidas’ CEO Bjørn Gulden shared this decision during the company’s recent annual shareholders’ meeting. He explained, “Our current aim is to gradually sell off this inventory and direct the funds towards organizations that align with our values and were negatively affected by Kanye’s comments.”
The sports brand severed its ties with Ye in October, following his controversial anti-semitic statements on social media. Since then, Adidas has faced financial challenges, given that the Yeezy line constituted nearly 10% of its annual income.
The company mulled over various alternatives for the remaining stock, including its destruction. However, this would have resulted in an estimated loss of around $550 million. Adidas had already revealed a week prior that the discontinuation of the Yeezy line had caused a revenue deficit of $441 million in the seven months post the termination of its partnership with West.
Now, Adidas is set to refocus its efforts on reestablishing its reputation as a leading sports brand, with special emphasis on basketball and soccer. As stated by Adidas North America President Rupert Campbell in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, “We intend to strengthen our investment in areas that are US-centric, especially sports.”
Adidas’ decision to resume sales of the remaining Yeezy stock and allocate the proceeds to charity marks an innovative resolution to its predicament, while also signaling its commitment to social responsibility.