kanye west

Adidas could be forced to burn $500M in Yeezy stock after Kanye West’s anti-Semitic outbursts

Adidas could be forced to burn Yeezy sneakers worth around half-a-billion dollars after rapper and fashion designer Kanye West’s anti-Semitic outbursts.

The sportswear brand is struggling over what to do with its massive stockpile of the shoes, which retail for between $200 and $600, after it dramatically cut ties with the disgraced rapper last year.

Analysts now say Adidas, which has already said the debacle hit revenues by $1.3bn, could be forced to burn the stock – because it risks a PR nightmare if they are still sold at a discount.

The company’s decision to drop West capped the rapper’s fall from grace after a pattern of increasingly erratic behavior and anti-Semitic outbursts. 

In October, he said in a social media post that he would go ‘death con 3 on Jewish people’, then doubled down in media interviews with comments that included vile remarks about Jewish people.

Kanye West, pictured in October last year, was dropped by Adidas and several other brands after a series of anti-Semitic outbursts

Kanye West, pictured in October last year, was dropped by Adidas and several other brands after a series of anti-Semitic outbursts

Yeezy Boost 700 "Wave Runner" retailed at about $550

Yeezy 450 Sulphers retailed at about $500

Adidas is now stuck with Yeezy stock worth about $500 million – and could even decide to burn the stock rather than be seen profiting from from a collaboration with an anti-Semite

Wedbush analyst Tom Nikic told the Washington Post that the Yeezy line was worth about $2 billion per year in revenue for Adidas, adding: ‘What makes this so dramatic is how big it is.’ He said the commercial dilemma was confounded by the ‘abruptness’ of West’s downfall.

Nikic said stripping the trainers of the Yeezy label and selling them at a discount as ‘zombie Yeezys’ was a risk because the brand could still be seen as ‘profiting off of a collaboration with someone who made blatant anti-Semitic statements’.

Burning or otherwise destroying the shoes would be the most extreme option

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  • June 20, 2023