Adidas confirms YEEZY stock resale in China

Some of Adidas’ YEEZY leftover stock is set to make a global comeback, with an initial release at the end of May 2023, as per the official announcement from Adidas on 19 May. This includes China, where sales of the iconic series are expected to resume on 31 May, according to the Chinese news outlet The Beijing News on 22 May.

A significant amount will be donated to selected organizations working to combat discrimination and hate, including racism and antisemitism. These include but are not limited to the Anti-Defamation League(ADL) and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change,” added the statement. The news came after an agreement was reached between the two former partners Adidas and Ye, or Kanye West, the American rapper who co-created the YEEZY brand with the German sportswear giant.

The release marks the first time that the concerned products have been made available to consumers since the termination of the YEEZY collaboration last October. The dissolution cost the label nearly 440 million USD in sales in Q1 alone. The deal allows Adidas to sell the remaining YEEZY inventory with a retail value of 1.2 billion EURO (1.3 billion USD) worth that has been left in limbo after the defunct partnership following West’s antisemitic remarks scandal.

Further information regarding its sales in China will be released on 26 May through the brand’s flagship store on Tmall and Adidas CONFIRMED. Pre-sales of 15 designs of the YEEZY series have been promoted on both the Adidas CONFIRMED homepage and the brand’s Tmall flagship store.

It is also understood that both previous designs as well as those created for 2023 will be included in the sales and part of the income generated will be donated to charities, “supporting the sports and culture development in China”. The decision is in line with the statement by Bjørn Gulden, CEO of Adidas at a shareholder meeting last week. It is understood that West is expected to share 15% of the turnover as part of the new deal.

The resale of YEEZY shoes, however, has faced the cold shoulder in the Chinese market. Satirical comments from netizens read “So, you want to dump those unsellable products to us with a charity label?” Some likened the move to a “clearance sale” so the brand can close the lid on further losses, while others indicate that the design has lost its appeal to consumers.

These public reactions further reflect the fragile situation that Adidas has found itself in in China. The company saw sales in the lucrative market plummet 36% to 3.5 billion USD in 2022 amid a “challenging market environment” which is coupled with the rise of homegrown rivals, namely Anta and Li-Ning. Earlier in May, the label introduced a “patriotic” clothing line in a bid to regain its target audience in China. However, overall consumer sentiment is yet to be turned around despite these endeavours. 


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