Starting today, Adidas will be temporarily closing its retail locations in select parts of the globe due to the rising concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company announced that the closures will go into effect today for stores in the United States and Canada, while stores in Europe will be shutting down on March 18. The stores will be closed until March 29. This policy will also go in effect for Reebok locations, which are owned by the Three Stripes.

"At Adidas, the health and safety of our employees, consumers, and partners is our number one priority. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help limit the spread of the Coronavirus, we decided to temporarily close Adidas-owned and Reebok-owned stores in Europe, United States, and Canada," the brand said in a statement provided to Complex. "Retail employees will continue to receive pay for all hours they’ve been scheduled to work during the closures."

This latest news follows yesterday's announcement by the sportswear giant that a majority of the Three Stripes' storefronts would remain open in the U.S. despite the coronavirus outbreak.

"At the same time, we have to keep the company going and open for business to ensure that we can pay our monthly bills and salaries to everyone," said Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted to employees in a memo discussing the brand's stance of remaining operational. "This is a very delicate and very important balance for us to find. Closing down is easy, staying open in a healthy environment requires courage, persistence, and focus."

Adidas and Reebok locations in parts of the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, and Russia, as well as changing markets, are currently open and will continue their normal operations. Consumers can shop on adidas.comReebok.com, and the Adidas app.

Following yesterday's reports of Adidas CEO Kasper Kasper Rorsted's message about not closing stores during the pandemic, an anonymous source sent Complex the full text of his email and another from the company's head of HR. An Adidas employee verified that the messages, which appear in their entirety below, are legitimate.

 

March 16: Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted's initial message on coronavirus -

"We are experiencing a set of challenges that we have never been exposed to before. The coronavirus is making many people scared and concerned, and rightfully so.

Our primary objective here at adidas is to ensure that our teams come through this safe and well.

At the same time, we have to keep the company going and open for business to ensure that we can pay our monthly bills and salaries to everyone. This is a very delicate and very important balance for us to find. 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 along with those roles which cannot be performed offsite and/or are viewed as business-critical to the company. This means that we will sometimes have different decisions for different regions/countries/markets.

We will follow the same principles when it comes to our retail stores and distribution centers in the different countries.

Where work is conducted from home, which can be difficult and distracting, we ask for your utmost focus and dedication to do your job as good as possible every day. It’s a different environment and requires a different level of attention.

In countries where the virus only has a minor impact or – according to the local authorities – is declining, we expect normal daily operations to continue or be resumed.

We are making decisions on a daily basis based on factual input from local authorities and in accordance with our company values.

We ask you all to support and adhere to the decisions the company is making in the best interest of all adidas employees. This is very important for the sake of us all and the company.

I ask you to trust and help each other and the leaders of our company and thank you for your on-going support during these unprecedented times. We all have the same objectives: staying healthy and working for the best sports company. 

Yours,
Kasper on behalf of the Management Board"

 

March 16: Adidas Executive Board member responsible for Global Human Resources, Karen Parkin's message on coronavirus - 

"Team,
As we continue to monitor coronavirus (COVID-19) locally and globally, the health and safety of our people remains our top priority.
 
Earlier today, the Bavarian government declared a state of emergency for Bavaria for the next two weeks. While Bavaria will close most public sites and retail stores starting tomorrow, Tuesday March 17, the state has decided to keep public transport and business up and running.
 
Based on this directive we have decided that our Herzo HQ will remain open. We have identified roles that are business critical and need to be performed on site. This includes all CLG and ELG members and Board member direct reports who are located in Herzo. If your role has been identified as business-critical and you need to be on-site, you will be contacted directly by your line manager today.
 
For all other employees, we will execute an exception to our standard working offsite policy starting tomorrow, March 17, through Thursday, March 19 and you will work from home. We will re-evaluate this decision on Thursday, March 19 and decide about additional business-critical roles to be performed on site.
 
All of us have projects and business to deliver and it is important that we continue to operate our business as efficiently as possible and stay connected. Therefore, we have intensified our IT capabilities and prepared useful tips on how to work off-site more effectively. Click HERE for the full details.
 
In line with today’s directive from the state of Bavaria, we will close all our own retail stores in Germany from Wednesday, March 18, through to March 30.  
 
The prevention of COVID-19 depends on the efforts of us all, and it begins with our responsibilities as individuals. We would like to remind you to take the following important hygiene measures:
 
Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
Keep distance from other people;
When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands;
Carry hand sanitizer for use when soap and water are not readily available;
Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
 
If you show any symptoms or believe you have any potential exposure, please call your doctor for medical advice immediately and report the incident to your manager and your HR business partner. As a reminder, symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) include: fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don't develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. 
 
Please do not hesitate to reach out to your line manager or HR business partner with any questions or concerns."

March 17: Adidas Corporate Communications, Rich Efrus, on the closing of Adidas stores due to coronavirus - 

"At adidas the health and safety of our employees, consumers, and partners is our number one priority. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help limit the spread of the Coronavirus, we decided to temporarily close adidas-owned and Reebok-owned stores in Europe, United States, and Canada. The closures will go into effect from today, Tuesday, March 17 in the U.S. and Canada and Wednesday, March 18 in Europe and will last through Sunday, March 29. Retail employees will continue to receive pay for all hours they’ve been scheduled to work during the closures.
 
Additionally, we continue to be in close contact with relevant authorities and will implement the applicable local directives at all adidas and Reebok locations globally. We have a dedicated task force team in place and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
 
adidas-owned and Reebok-owned stores in large parts of Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Russia, and Emerging Markets are currently open and will continue their normal operations. Also, consumers can continue to shop on adidas.com, Reebok.com and on our adidas app.
 
To protect our employees, consumers and partners, we have taken a number of measures at all adidas sites since the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19, including temporary store closures, increased hygiene measures and cleaning steps, corresponding recommendations to our employees or travel restrictions. More specific measures include the installation of hand sanitizers in our offices, reimbursing the cost for or providing protection masks and regular updates to our employees on the situation as it stands. We have also been encouraging employees to prioritize their safety and reduce the number of face-to-face meetings and make use of other means like videoconferencing technology, if necessary. Travel restrictions for national and international travel continue to apply. And, where possible and necessary we encourage our employees to work from home. Additionally, we temporarily closed all adidas sports facilities across our sites globally as well as our childcare facility in our Headquarters in Herzogenaurach as a precautionary measure."

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