The news comes after Nike announced plans to shutter stores yesterday, followed by resale marketplaces including StockX, Flight Club, Stadium Goods, and GOAT closing their retail storefronts. While these companies have taken a proactive approach to the spread of the virus, Adidas seems to be taking a different stance towards the matter.
"We have to keep the company going and open for business to ensure that we can pay our monthly bills and salaries to everyone,” Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted wrote in an email to employees obtained by Yahoo Finance.
“Closing down is easy, staying open in a healthy environment requires courage, persistence and focus," Rorsted wrote. "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."
Reebok, which is owned by Adidas, will also continue to operate its stores as usual.
In an anonymous email to Yahoo, an Adidas employee vented their frustrations on the situation: "It's ridiculous and I’m outraged. Seeing Nike lead the way in the retail closings and seeing a lot of other companies follow suit, it’s extremely frustrating. They’re waiting for someone to force them to close instead of being proactive."
Adidas issued the following statement to Sole Collector: "At Adidas, the health and safety of our employees, consumers, and partners is our number one priority. In an effort to create a safe work environment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help limit the spread of the coronavirus, we continue to act upon the applicable local authorities’ directives across all Adidas offices, retail, and distribution center locations globally. This means that in some regions, Adidas-owned stores are closing temporarily, depending on official regulations. We have a dedicated task force team in place and will continue to monitor the situation closely and take additional measures if necessary."
UPDATE (03/17): Following yesterday's news that Adidas and Reebok will be keeping its stores operational amid COVID-19 concerns, the brands have announced that they will be closing stores in the U.S. and Canada starting today with closures in Europe locations tomorrow. The temporary shutdown is scheduled to last until March 29.