Adidas desperate to shed Kanye West past as plans to burn Yeezy sneakers laid bare

Adidas is willing to take an extreme route in a bid to disassociate with its past image with Kanye West

By Melanie Aiden March 05, 2023
Adidas is willing to burn its Yeezy products in a bid to depart from its association with Kanye West 

Adidas is reportedly getting desperate to not only save face but also its losses from its unsold Yeezy products that are amounting to a whopping $500 million.

According to an analysis by several industry experts, it suggests that approximately $300 million to $500 million worth of product is idle with no current plan of what to do with it.

As per Financial Times the company may shed around $1.3 billion in profit losses in the current year.

"What makes this so dramatic is how big it is," Wedbush analyst Tom Nikic revealed to Washington Post, elaborating that the Yeezy brand, which was lucrative in its own kind, raked in almost $2 billion in revenue in a year.

"That’s really a big, substantial part of (Adidas’s) business — and the abruptness with which it happened."

As for the German sneaker brand, it is desperate to shed its association to the Yeezy designer, Kanye West, while ensuring that their stock does not go to waste. 

Among the solutions that were derived, it was suggested to sell the the product at massive discounts, along with shoe rebranding, and the most extreme, burning the sneakers.

However, Adidas is thinking to sell the Yeezy sneakers without a label and a discount by calling them to "zombie Yeezys".

"But that’s quite frankly a risky proposition," Nikic told the daily.

"It could backfire on them from a PR perspective. It would still look like they were profiting off of a collaboration with someone who made blatant antisemitic statements."

Adidas also thought of product liquidation which essentially means that the products would be offloaded to to warehouses, in particular in developing countries, so that the products can be sold off.

"Almost everything you can imagine that is manufactured in the world is sold somewhere, somehow, at some price," Mark Cohen, who is Columbia University’s director of retail studies, told the publication.

"And these high-value Kanye West sneakers are going to wind up on people’s feet — maybe people who value the Kanye association or (people) who don’t care; they just want fresh, clean, modern footwear."