COVID-19, though originally presumed to be no worse than the flu, has spread like wildfire throughout China, Italy, the United States, and beyond, with life as we know it slowing down as a result. Confirmed cases are racking up to high digits, the death toll is slowly increasing in the elderly, and selfish entrepreneurs are making money off people’s turmoil. But while department stores and large conglomerates stay open to provide supplies for the inevitable quarantine, the food, entertainment, and retail industries are taking a hit — a few mom-and-pops poised to suffer irreparable financial damage.
The world of sneakers is surely not exempt to this crises, as big brands have already shuttered their doors to protect the safety of their employees and customers. Nike released an official statement on Sunday, March 15th, explaining its decision to put all in-store retail operations on hold. Boutiques have appropriately followed suit, with many prioritizing online sales to stay afloat in these uncertain times. Extra Butter, Concepts, KITH, Haven, Stadium Goods and many more are among this list and its likely we’ll see the likes of Foot Locker, Champs, Dick’s, Finishline, etc. do the same.
adidas and Reebok, however, have selected to remain open. In a letter by adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted to all employees, “Closing down is easy, staying open in a healthy environment requires courage, persistence and focus.”
“For all coronavirus-related decisions we will—as a general principle—follow local regulations as different regions/countries/markets are impacted at a different level at any point in time. In all regions and countries where legislation allows, we expect the leadership teams to be working from our offices on a daily basis… Where work is conducted from home, we ask for your utmost focus and dedication to do your job as good as possible every day.”
According to Yahoo!, several adidas employees came forward and expressed anger as competitors Nike and Under Armour had selected to close its stores while ensuring wages for its employees. According to an adidas spokesperson, the letter was not intended to suggest that adidas would not close any stores.
Updated [03/18/20]: Nike has donated $15 million to COVID-19 response efforts.
Updated [03/17/20]: adidas has offically decided to close all its stores in select countries. Their employees will continue to be paid.
For a constantly updating list of which stores are temporarily closed, take a peek below.
For more Coronavirus delays, check out the postponed Jordan Releases.
scoop: Adidas today emailed employees that it will NOT be closing stores amid #coronavirus — surprising move considering industry peers Nike, Under Armour, New Balance and others have closed all their stores in the U.S. some Adidas store employees are not happy. @YahooFinance pic.twitter.com/wsQFfAU6SP
— Daniel Roberts (@readDanwrite) March 16, 2020