Adidas’ decision to cut ties with Kanye West may have been socially correct, but the abrupt manner of the break up has left the German company out hundreds of millions—and with a slew of useless shoes.
Adidas is currently unsure how to dispose of more than $1 billion worth of Yeezy shoes it currently has laying around, KTLA reports. Earlier this year, the company had to kill its association with West and his brand after the rapper-mogul made widely condemned anti-Semitic marks. This ended a relationship that spanned nearly a decade and made the company more than 40 percent of its profit in 2022.
Now, Adidas could report its first annual loss in 31 years after paying royalties to Ye and addressing the “many variables” regarding its excess of Yeezys, CEO Bjorn Gulden said in an earnings call Wednesday.
To the many that will inevitably suggest simply destroying them, Gulden says that such an idea would “raise sustainability issues.” Simply just hiding the Yeezy logo is also “not an option” as it is “not very honest.”
Even an alternative as honest as giving the pairs to places in need such as earthquake-struck Syria or Turkey would result in a return of the product due to its desirability, “so that’s not really an option,” Gulden concluded.
If Adidas makes the risky decision to sell off the shoe stock, “I can promise you that the people that have been hurt by this will also get something good out of it and get donations and proceeds in different ways, shapes or forms,” Gulden added.
Though the historical loss may come as a shock, Adidas has been feeling the impact of the break-up for some time. The company said in that same call that the split sliced $633 million off their fourth-quarter revenue.
Gulden said in a statement in February that, “2023 will be a year of transition to set the base to again be a growing and profitable company. I am convinced that over time we will make Adidas shine again. But we need some time.”
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