After Kanye “Ye” West, the man behind the Yeezy brand, and Adidas famously broke up their relationship in October over a series of anti-Semitic remarks, sneaker lovers (and the rest of the world) were left to worry what would happen to the remaining inventory of the now-defunct, once-very successful shoe line. The German sportswear manufacturer has finally stated that they intend to sell their remaining stock of the sneakers after months of deliberation.
Sole Owner of Design Rights
Adidas CEO Bjrn Gulden revealed that the company will contribute a portion of the sales from the Yeezy trainers to charity during the annual shareholders meeting on Thursday. The designer and businessman will be entitled to 15% of all sales under Adidas’ cooperative business agreement and its contract with West.
Adidas finally decided against destroying the millions of unsold pairs of Yeezy Sneakers that remained after the economic partnership fell through, particularly in light of environmental concerns. And because they had the legal right to do so, Adidas once considered rebranding the Yeezy sneakers in order to market them independently of West.
At the time, Adidas CFO Harm Ohlmeyer reaffirmed the company’s public statement from late October, which read in part: “Adidas is the sole owner of all design rights registered to existing product. Beginning in 2023, we want to exploit these rights. After the discussion on Thursday, it appears that strategy was rejected.
Adidas Plans to Resell Remaining Yeezy Sneakers;
According to Complex, Gulden stated, “What we are trying to do now over time is sell some of this inventory and donate money to the organisations that are helping us and that were also hurt by Kanye’s statements.”
The loss of Yeezy sales contributed to Adidas‘ fourth-quarter losses, which totaled $1.3 billion. Even while Gulden described the decision as a “reputational risk” for Adidas, those losses in the previous two fiscal quarters totaled an additional $441 million, making the decision to sell the residual merchandise a financially sound one.