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Adidas raises more cash from Kanye shoe sell-off

By AFP - Nov 08,2023 - Last updated at Nov 08,2023

FRANKFURT — Adidas said on Wednesday it has raised another 350 million euros ($374 million) from the latest sell-off of Kanye West's Yeezy shoes that it was saddled with after ending a tie-up with the rapper.

The funds were raised in the third quarter from Adidas's second sale of Yeezy products designed with the US rapper. 

Together with a first sale earlier in the year, the group has now earned a total of 750 million euros from offloading the goods.

Adidas has faced a turbulent period since ending its lucrative partnership with rapper West — now known formally as Ye — in October last year after he made a series of anti-Semitic outbursts. 

The group ended its production of the successful Yeezy line, and was left with unsold stock worth 1.2 billion euros.

No new sale of Yeezy stock is planned this year as Adidas wants to assess the market in the coming months before making a decision, chief executive Bjorn Gulden said, as he presented the company's third-quarter results.

Gulden said the group was not looking for a successor to the Yeezy line to drive success.

"We have no plans to try to replace Yeezy with one thing because I don't think that's possible," said the CEO, who has sought to pivot Adidas towards promoting a broader range of classic products since taking the reins in January. 

Cash intake from selling down the Yeezy stock is being donated to various charitable groups fighting causes such as racism.

Excluding Yeezy products, Adidas sales increased 2 per cent in the quarter while inventories dropped 23 per cent year-over-year — faster than expected — a trend that Gulden said the company was happy with.

Still, the CEO acknowledged time was still needed to turn Adidas around after the end of the crucial relationship with West: "We do of course know that our current performance is not good enough, but we have said from the beginning that we need time."

Adidas shares fell 1.4 per cent on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange after the results were released.

 

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