München Adidas will start selling the remaining “Yeezy” shoes from the stopped cooperation with US scandal rapper Kanye West in May. A significant amount of the proceeds will be donated to selected organizations that fight discrimination and hate, including racism and anti-Semitism,” said Adidas on Friday evening.
“Hate of any kind has no place in sport and in society, and we continue to fight against it,” Gulden said. After careful consideration, selling and donating was the preferred option for all organizations and stakeholders. Therefore, it was decided to start selling part of the remaining products.
The partial sale should start at the end of May. The shoes will be sold exclusively through Adidas channels.
We are currently checking whether and when we will be able to bring more goods from the warehouse onto the market. Portions of the proceeds will be donated to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, among others.
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said, “At a time when anti-Semitism has reached historic levels in the United States and is rising worldwide, we appreciate how Adidas has turned a negative situation into a very positive outcome.” Showed circumspection “by partnering with community organizations dedicated to combating this vicious and persistent hatred.”
The “Yeezy” sales are also missing in the current year
After the decision to sell the boots, Adidas can now focus more on restructuring. Last year, the group’s revenues rose significantly weaker than forecast by only one percent to 22.5 billion euros, and profits collapsed massively. CEO Kasper Rorsted had to go.
But even in the current year, the sales from the sale of new “Yeezy” products are missing. This is the main reason why Adidas sales stagnated in the first quarter at only 5.3 billion euros, while competitors Nike and Puma grew strongly. Due to the sale of the pre-produced goods, the effect will now be somewhat smaller than feared.
Gulden has already made it clear that no cooperation with another artist can completely compensate for the “Yeezy” failures. The group must hope for several successful projects.
“Perhaps the most creative person in our industry”
The collaboration with Kanye West, who now also calls himself Ye, was one of the most successful collaborations in the sporting goods industry. In good times, Adidas achieved sales of well over a billion euros a year with the “Yeezy” products. West is “perhaps the most creative person who has worked in our industry,” said Gulden.
This is one of the reasons why the group may have found it difficult to end the cooperation early. Other companies such as Gap had reacted faster than Adidas.
Investors have criticized this. “This was not about any meaningless statement, but about anti-Semitic and racist speeches by your former brand ambassador, who was also enormously influential on social media,” said Ines Straubinger from the German Association for the Protection of Securities. Adidas did not react quickly enough.
In an anonymous email, which was probably written by former employees, Adidas was also accused of managers of the group having learned of West’s other escapades early on, but not intervening. In the USA, investors have therefore filed a lawsuit against the group. According to the head of the supervisory board, Thomas Rabe, the allegations were “not substantiated” in an internal investigation.
No direct impact on the forecast for the current financial year
The group had previously expected a drop in sales of 1.2 billion euros and a negative impact on earnings of 500 million euros if the inventory could not be sold. Adidas did not quantify the concrete consequences of the partial sale. The announcement has no direct impact on the current forecast.
West had repeatedly provoked radical statements in recent years. He appeared at Paris Fashion Week with right-wing black influencer Candace Owens. Both wore sweaters with the inscription “White Lives Matter” – a conscious distinction from “Black Lives Matter”.
In an interview with the ultra-conservative Fox News, the musician then blamed the black singer Lizzo for “the genocide of the black race”. His anti-Semitic threats on social media of going “death con 3” on “Jewish people” eventually got him banned. “Defcon 3,” to which he alludes, is an elevated alert status code used by the US military.
According to Kanye West, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a mental illness in which those affected fluctuate between euphoric and depressive states.
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