On 31 January, the German athletic conglomerate released its preliminary results for 2023, outlining how the discontinuation of Kanye West’s Yeezy effected its business. “This represented a drag of around €500m ($543.69m) on the year-over-year comparison,” the company reported.
Adidas’ initial plan was to dispose about $324m of Yeezy inventory after deciding to cut ties with the rapper in 2022 due to his antisemitic remarks. Now, they’ve changed their minds and plan to sell the last of the Yeezy stock “at cost”.
“Our consumer, retail and trade research has shown that we can sell this remaining inventory in 2024 for at least the cost price,” Bjørn Gulden, the CEO of Adidas, proclaimed. “This is why we have only written off inventory that was either damaged or very broken in sizes.”
Following West’s series of antisemitic comments, which led to his temporary ban on X (formerly known as Twitter), Adidas dissolved their partnership with Yeezy. The brand explained its decision in a press release on 25 October 2022, condemning antisemitism and all forms of hate speech.
”Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” the company said.
“After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies,” the statement continued. “Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.”
At the time, the company projected a loss of $271.8m for 2022. In May 2023, Adidas announced it would be selling the rest of the Yeezy stock and handing the proceeds over to the Anti-Defamation League, the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, and other charities. In 2022 and 2023, Adidas reported a profit of about $326m from selling about $1.3bn and $815m in Yeezy stock, respectively.
“We do of course know that our financial performance is not good. But we are on the way of making Adidas a good company again,” Gulden said on 31 January.
“As we said from the beginning, we just need the time to solidly build it up again. I feel that the attitude and agility in our teams are back and that we are showing the old adidas DNA again,” he added.