Adidas AG’s CEO is unsure how much of his employees will continue to work from home in the coming years, but he is confident that those at other companies will begin to resemble his sportswear-clad staff.
Adidas AG’s Kasper Rorsted isn’t sure how much of his employees will continue to work from home in the coming years, but he’s confident that those at other companies will begin to resemble his sportswear-clad staff.
“It will be tough to persuade people who have been sitting at home in flip flops and a jogging suit to change into brown shoes and a regular suit.”
Bloomberg reports that the German company’s CEO stated this during a conference call with reporters on Friday.
Rorsted believes that the global back-to-work trend will only accelerate the acceptance of more casual clothing in the corporate world, no matter how large it becomes.
This could sustain the surge in demand for sneakers and sports apparel that has benefited Adidas and rivals such as Nike Inc. and Puma SE in recent months.
An increased emphasis on public health and people eager to leave their homes after months of lockdown should result in a long-term boost for Adidas’ running sneakers and hiking gear, he believes.
“There may be a slight slowdown on the sandals, but in the grand scheme of things, that will be negligible,” he said.
What about Adidas’ employees, who had some flexibility to work from home before the pandemic? The US team is still working from home, as are employees in Europe. Everyone in China has returned to work. The CEO stated that decisions would be based on local safety conditions and regulations.
“The question is, is working from home the best option?” he asked.
“We will consult with our employees throughout the second half of the year and early next year to determine the best long-term solution.”
Adidas sales in China fell “significantly” beginning in late March, both online and in stores, though demand has been increasing “slowly but steadily” in recent weeks, according to Rorsted.
According to Bloomberg, it’s too early to tell how much the boycotts will hurt second-quarter earnings, but Rorsted anticipates a “very, very strong” year in China.
“We have, to the greatest extent possible, engaged in respectful dialogue with them, respecting their tradition and culture,” Rorsted said of Chinese customers. “That was initially constrained due to where the situation was, but it is now more normalizing.”