Gap, Foot Locker remove Yeezy merchandise from stores
Gap initially planned to sell existing Yeezy merch in stores and online through the first half of 2023, but decided against it.
Kanye West continues to feel the fallout of his anti-Semitic remarks on “Drink Champs” and Twitter, combined with other controversial behavior, as Gap Inc. and Foot Locker have joined the brands that are cutting ties with Ye.
According to CNN, the two retailers are the latest in a growing list of corporations to sever their partnerships with West and remove Yeezy merchandise from their stores.
Gap also announced it is shutting down YeezyGap.com, saying the recent comments and actions from their “former partner” further underscored their decision.
“Antisemitism, racism and hate in any form are inexcusable and not tolerated in accordance with our values,” Gap said in a statement Tuesday, CNN reported. “On behalf of our customers, employees and shareholders, we are partnering with organizations that combat hate and discrimination.”
West’s fashion brand Yeezy and Gap announced in September that they were ending what was supposed to be a 10-year partnership, signed in 2020. The rapper-producer-designer attributed the discontinuation to “substantial noncompliance.”
Nicholas Gravante, West’s lawyer, said the retailer left his client no choice after allegedly breaching their agreement by failing to launch branded Yeezy stores and distribute the rapper’s clothing as initially intended, among other things.
Gap initially planned to sell existing Yeezy merchandise in stores and online through the first half of 2023, but decided against it.
West also partnered with premium fashion powerhouse brand Balenciaga to expand his Yeezy Gap label, a collection that debuted in Gap shops in July. Last week, Balenciaga announced that they, too, were severing ties with Ye.
Also on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Foot Locker confirmed to Footwear News its store operators were told to hold Ye’s offerings on backroom inventory shelves and won’t be supporting future releases. However, the retailer remains “a partner with Adidas and carry a wide assortment of their collections.”
Adidas has also “immediately” ended its partnership with West and will no longer produce Yeezy-branded goods or make payments to the artist or his enterprises — a move that will, by all accounts, notably sting: Yahoo! Finance reports that according to Evercore ISI analyst Omar Saad, the Yeezy line contributes between $1 billion and $2 billion in annual sales to the company.
Adidas shares dropped 3% after the news and are now down around 65% so far in 2022. Officials at Adidas revealed that due to the decision, it would lose out on about $250 million in profits this year.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company said in a statement, according to Yahoo. “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
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