Adidas will donate a portion of proceeds from the Yeezy sales to organizations that Kanye West targeted.
In what he called a “smart move,” Adidas CEO Bjoern Gulden announced plans on Thursday to sell the remaining merchandise from the company’s now-extinct Yeezy collab with Kanye West. The embattled rapper and sportswear brand went their separate ways last October after West made a number of anti-Semitic and other disparaging comments.
“What we are trying to do now over time is to sell some of this merchandise … burning the goods would not be a solution,” Gulden said to investors in Fuerth, Germany, via Reuters.
The exec added that Adidas will donate some profits from the sales to organizations West targeted with his remarks.
West, who legally changed his name to Ye in 2021, will reportedly receive 15% of sales, as previously agreed upon in their contract. Gulden also shared with backers that Adidas mulled over the next steps for months, even considering destroying the remaining Yeezy inventory entirely, but ultimately decided that “burning several million pairs [of shoes] does not make sense.” Adidas has about $1.3 billion worth of Yeezy shoes sitting in storage.
“What we are trying to do now over time is sell parts of this inventory and donate money to the organizations that are helping us and that were also hurt by Kanye’s statements,” Gulden added.
As for donating merchandise, Gulden said that idea was also shot down because they want to avoid goods reaching the market in an indirect manner. Adidas revealed it had lost $441 million in the last two quarters due to the dissolution of the Yeezy division. By selling off its remaining stock, the company would potentially reduce its $700 million loss this year and finally rid itself of the Yeezy footprint.
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