German sportswear giant adidas plans to begin selling some of its leftover $1.3 billion worth of Yeezy inventory at the end of this month through its website and mobile app.
The upcoming sale would include existing designs and designs initiated in 2022 and for sale in 2023. A significant share of the proceeds will be donated to select organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, that are working to combat discrimination and hate, including racism and antisemitism.
“Selling and donating was the preferred option among all organizations and stakeholders we spoke to,” chief executive Bjørn Gulden said. “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.”
Adidas’ decision to sell leftover inventory comes more than six months after it terminated its deal with rapper Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, following his anti-semitic rants on Twitter.
“At a time when antisemitism has reached historic levels in the U.S. 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 organizations working to combat this pernicious and stubborn hatred,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO.
Earlier in March, the company said it expects $756 million in operating losses this year, with unsold Yeezy inventory accounting for $540 million.