Adidas has been taking a hit since parting ways with Kanye West losing roughly $441 million in a year.
Adidas severed ties with West in October 2022 after his anti-Semitic rants and expressing his love for Hitler. West also slammed the athletic wear brand for months, claiming they made several decisions without him, including the launch of “Yeezy Day.” In addition to ending one of its most significant partnerships, Adidas is now faced with the separate dilemma of figuring out what to do with the leftover Yeezy’s. Currently, the company has $1.3 billion worth of unsold merchandise.
In a conference call on Friday, Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden claimed the company is “getting closer and closer to making a decision” on the fate of the sneakers. He also confirmed the brand does not want to destroy the sneakers but has not ruled that out as an option. While simply selling the remaining merchandise would seem like the obvious decision, Gulden, who took over as CEO in January 2023, pointed out several issues with that. For starters, that would mean resuming paying royalties to the rap mogul. However, if they remove the Yeezy logo, as previously considered, that would be “dishonest” to customers. Another idea was to simply give them away, though that could drive a sharp increase in resale due to the shoes’ high value.
Suppose Adidas chooses not to sell the remaining Yeezy’s. In that case, this will result in a $551 million loss in earnings for the corporation this year and one-time expenses of up to $221 million, for a stunning $772 million loss overall in 2023.
It’s unknown when their decision will be announced. Meanwhile, West has opened a new Yeezy headquarters directly across from an Adidas location in Los Angeles.