Adidas will sell Yeezy shoes after all
(CNN) — Adidas has decided what it’s going to do with its unsold Yeezy merchandise.
At an investors’ conference Thursday, Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden said that the apparel company is going to “sell parts of this inventory and donate money to the organizations that are helping us and that was also hurt by Kanye’s statements.”
Adidas had previously said it expects to lose $1.3 billion in revenue this year because it’s unable to sell the designer’s Yeezy clothing and shoes. It had been under pressure from investors to determine what to do with merchandise after Adidas terminated its partnership with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West.
“When we will do that and how we will do that is not clear yet, but we are working on those things,” Gulden said, according to a transcript provided to CNN from Adidas. He added that the company has been “trying to find solutions” since the partnership was terminated last fall and decided against burning the leftover merchandise.
Adidas ended its almost decade-long partnership in October 2022 after Ye wore a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt in public. The Anti-Defamation League categorizes the phrase as a hate slogan used by White supremacist groups, including the Ku Klux Klan. Days later, Ye said “I can say antisemitic s*** and Adidas cannot drop me” during a podcast taping.
The partnership was a financial success for Adidas, so much so that it’s still financially hurting from its termination. Losing the highly profitable Yeezy line hit sales in the quarter by around 400 million euros ($441 million), Adidas said during its earnings last week.
Currently, the company is embroiled in a lawsuit from shareholders accusing it of failing to warn investors about the antisemitism and “extreme behavior” exhibited by the rapper. Adidas said it “rejects these unfounded claims and will take all necessary measures to vigorously defend ourselves against them.”