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Adidas to sell off unsold Yeezy stock and share revenues with anti-discrimination organisations

By | Published on Monday 22 May 2023

Kanye West

Adidas announced on Friday that it plans to sell off the Yeezy products it has been sitting on ever since its partnership with Kanye West collapsed last year, with “a significant amount” of the money generated going to organisations that combat discrimination and hate.

The sportswear company announced in October that it was terminating its long-running and very profitable alliance with West after his increasingly controversial racist and antisemitic statements made the partnership untenable. The sudden axing of the deal around West’s Yeezy brand left Adidas sitting on a lot of unsold stock and the company has been figuring out what to do with it ever since.

Friday’s announcement said that some of that stock will now be put on sale via the Adidas website and app before the end of this month. And a “significant amount” of any monies generated by the sale of those products will be “donated to selected organisations working to combat discrimination and hate, including racism and antisemitism”.

This approach has been adopted after a consultation of employees, community groups and consumers, the announcement added. Among the organisations set to benefit financially are the Anti-Defamation League and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute For Social Change.

The products initially up for sale will be “existing designs and designs initiated in 2022 for sale in 2023″, plus “additional releases of existing inventory are currently under consideration, but timing is yet to be determined”.

On the decision to start selling the Yeezy stock his company is sitting on, Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden says: “After careful consideration, we have decided to begin releasing some of the remaining Adidas Yeezy products. Selling and donating was the preferred option among all the organisations and stakeholders we spoke to”.

“We believe this is the best solution as it respects the created designs and produced shoes, it works for our people, resolves an inventory problem, and will have a positive impact in our communities”, he goes on. “There is no place in sport or society for hate of any kind and we remain committed to fighting against it”.

Lending his support to this approach, ADL CEO Jonathan A Greenblatt adds: “At a time when antisemitism has reached historic levels in the US and is rising globally, we appreciate how Adidas turned a negative situation into a very positive outcome. They have shown real thoughtfulness in engaging with community organisations working to combat this pernicious and stubborn hatred”.

“Their leadership, in not only condemning anti-Jewish hate but lending their support for education and other initiatives, is exemplary and a model for other public companies to emulate”, he continues. “We thank them for their ongoing dialogue around their remaining inventory and their vested interest in tackling issues of prejudice and hate”.

The sudden axing of the Yeezy partnership last year had a significant impact on Adidas’s revenues and the unsold stock increased the impact on the sportswear brand’s finances. That said, Friday’s statement also noted that: “Today’s announcement has no immediate impact on the company’s current financial guidance for 2023”.