Kanye West and Adidas
The end of its partnership with rapper Kanye West cost Adidas 1.2 billion euros in lost revenue last year and pushed the German sportswear giant into a huge operating loss. Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/AFP

Adidas has announced that despite cutting ties with Kanye West, the shoe giant will continue to sell its remaining stocks of Yeezy trainers.

The sportswear brand also said that it expects its profits to almost double this year, reaching roughly 542 million dollars from its operating profit of 290 million dollars in 2023.

Adidas formally dropped Kanye West, also known as Ye, as a collaborative partner in October 2022 after the rapper made a series of antisemitic remarks on social media and in public.

One week prior to his sacking, West appeared in a podcast episode and said: "Adidas can't drop me. Now what?"

According to a Times report, in one of his final meetings with Adidas, West drew a swastika on a shoe design and ordered a Jewish employee to kiss an image of Hitler.

Soon after, the shoe giant released a statement that said that it "does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech".

The brand also said that it had cut ties with Ye, because his comments were "unacceptable, hateful and dangerous", in addition to a violation of the company's "values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness".

As a result of West's religious hate crimes, Adidas told its consumers: "After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies."

After announcing its breakup with West, Adidas said that the split is expected to cost the company 1.3 billion dollars – considering it was unable to sell Yeezy clothing and shoes.

However, this week, Adidas said that West's cancelling has not reduced the demand for Yeezy trainers.

According to Adidas, the German sportswear brand that generated more than 23 billion dollars in the 12 months ending September 2023, Yeezy products remain hugely popular in the resale market.

To recover from its costly split with West, the German shoe giant revealed that it would be selling the remaining Yeezy stock for "at least" the cost of producing the goods.

"The company plans to sell the remaining Yeezy product at least at cost in 2024," the brand revealed in a press release this week.

Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden, who took over the company after the breakup, added: "Our consumer, retail and trade research has shown that we can sell this remaining inventory in 2024 for at least the cost price

According to the Adidas CEO, while the company is focusing its efforts towards recouping its losses, its latest financial outlook included a potential 320-million-dollar write-off due to the discounted products, damages or because it was "very broken in sizes".

Amid the catastrophic conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East, Gulden said than 600 of his employees in Israel have been called up for military service.

To recognise the "terrible circumstances" as a result of the fighting, in addition to the increase in antisemitism and islamophobia, Gulden said: "We, as a company, are starting donations programs, for the whole area, also for Gaza."

This news comes as UN officials criticise countries, including the UK and the US, for refusing to fund its top aid agency operating in the besieged enclave.

Last week, the UN admitted to firing several staff members working for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) after they were accused of being involved in Hamas' October 7 assault on Israeli civilians.

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, said that he was "horrified by the news", which paired the UNRWA workers to the kidnapping and killing of Israelis.

In Gaza, where, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, Israel's bombardment of the Strip has killed more than 27,000 Palestinians, the ongoing conflict has displaced the vast majority of civilians and left 25 per cent of people facing starvation.