How Will Adidas Get Rid of $1.3 Billion Worth of Yeezys After Kanye West Leaves?

Adidas and Kanye West are no longer working together, so how is the sneaker company getting rid of $1.3 billion worth of Yeezys?

A report from the Chicago Sun-Times that came out on March 8 says that Adidas is still trying to figure out how to get rid of Yeezy shoes worth $1.3 billion.  Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden said on an earnings call on Wednesday that if they sold the popular shoes, they would have to pay Ye royalties.

He has fired from the German sportswear company five months ago after making anti-Semitic comments on social media and in interviews.

Gulden was given a number of choices. He said that some companies had ways to recycle sneakers, but the CEO said that destroying them could “raise sustainability issues.” Gulden didn’t like the idea of restitching them to hide the Yeezy name, saying, “That’s not very honest, so it’s not an option.”

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A suggestion to give Yeezys to people in need, like the Syrian earthquake victims and people in other poor countries, doesn’t seem like a good idea because the shoes would “come back very quickly” on the resale market. Gulden said, “So that’s not really an option.”

Even though people suggested it, Adidas’ CEO said that if they do sell the remaining Yeezy shoes, the money they make will go to charity.

adidas 1 3 billion dollars yeezys kanye west split

“I can promise you that the people who have been hurt by this will also get something good out of it,” Gulden said. “They will get donations and money from it in different ways.”

Adidas and Kanye West stopped working together in October of 2022. In February of 2023, the sportswear company and Ye made a deal to sell the remaining $500 million worth of Yeezy sneakers. Reports say that Adidas expects to lose $1.3 billion because of this.

During the earnings call, Gulden called 2023 a “transition year” and said, “In 2024, we can start to build a business that makes money again.”

Gulden also told the Chicago newspaper that Adidas is still looking into claims by former employees that Ye made the workplace dangerous and that the front office knew about his unprofessional behavior but did nothing to protect workers.