Adidas is still debating what will happen to the €1.2 billion (£1 billion) worth of Yeezy shoes that have accumulated since the sportswear giant’s collaboration with the rapper ended last year.
But admirers who weren’t intimidated by Mr. West’s anti-Semitic remarks that caused the breach might still be able to purchase the goods.
Bjorn Gulden, the CEO of Adidas, stated that the company is thinking about selling the shoes and giving the proceeds to charity.
He claimed to have ruled out alternatives like burning them.
Given that the shoes’ resale value has increased, Mr. Gulden noted that giving them out for free is equally challenging.
According to John Mocadlo, CEO of US footwear retailer Impossible Kicks, a pair of Yeezy 350 “Zebra” shoes is now selling for between $340 and $360, up from about $260 four months ago.
The spike underscores the cost for Adidas after it terminated relations with the rapper, who goes by the moniker Ye, in October saying it would “not accept antisemitism and any other type of hate speech”.
After the artist, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, displayed a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt design at Paris Fashion Week, sparking worldwide outrage, the company put its nine-year partnership under review. He made anti-Semitic remarks on his Twitter account a few days later.
In the final three months of 2022, according to Adidas, the divide cost the company €600 million (£534 million). It cautioned investors that the end of the deal might hurt profitability by at least €500m in the 2023 financial year.
Following a news conference when the company updated investors on its performance for 2022, Mr. Gulden stated that if Adidas does sell the products, it will be required to pay Ye in accordance with their contract.
But, according to the firm, there is only a 15% to 30% chance of really finding a use for the remaining products.
The termination of the agreement was “extremely painful,” but it was the correct thing to do, according to Mr. Gulden, who was named chief executive in November and assumed his position in January. He said he was still deciding what to do about the leftover inventory.
He said, “The inventory is there; it is not fleeing. “Making a choice solely to appease someone is improper. When the results of a decision are the most favorable that we can get, we should make that decision.”
“There are so many people from different communities from all around the world that are interested in this,” he continued. I’ve only been a part of this for seven weeks, so I don’t feel qualified to make a judgment call based on the information I have.