Adidas customers express their outrage as Yeezy Boost 350 sells out in Europe

Customers had a second shot at buying the black edition of the Yeezy Boost 350 shoe, part of Adidas' collaboration with Kanye West.

Adidas: consumers had a second shot at buying the Yeezy Boost 350s this month
Adidas: consumers had a second shot at buying the Yeezy Boost 350s this month

Available on Adidas' site and third-party retailer sites like JD Sport, the trainer costs around £140.

But as is often the way with limited-edition sneaker collaborations, hundreds of customers were left venting their rage at the Adidas UK Twitter account after the shoes sold out within hours in Europe.

The shoes went on sale this morning, but  visitors from the UK were greeted with inevitable site crashes, queues and the "sold out" screen.

The trainers have already started appearing on eBay UK for as much as £820.

Adidas UK has manfully been answering customer queries on Twitter in the run-up to release, but refused to give customers exact details of timings, possibly to fend off bots.

But multiple users complained of having managed to reach the product page before seeing the message "access denied".

Creating massive hype through limited availability and a superstar collaboration is a common technique, as evidenced by the huge online demand for the Balmain x H&M collection last year. But retailers face challenges as savvy consumers turn to bots and other software to make purchases automatically, or struggle to deal with the sheer volume of traffic.

Adidas isn't giving out figures on the Yeezy Boost 350's availability, but one analyst, NPD's Matt Powell, told Marketing this week that US retailers had sold as few as 50,000 pairs. In a market which shifts 3m sneakers annually, the figure was "negligible", Powell said.

And while there might be hundreds of frustrated customers queueing up to buy the sneakers, it isn't clear the collaboration has paid off for Adidas, particularly in the US where it hopes to gain street cred and loyalty.

Ever since the brand announced Kanye West's signing, US sales have actually fallen, though Adidas remains strong in its home turf of Europe.


Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes weekly and quarterly print issues, plus unrestricted online access.


Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
Look out for the invisibles and introverts in your agency

1 Look out for the invisibles and introverts in your agency

By cultivating a clubbable culture, agencies are ostracising talented introverts, writes Andy Jex, the executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi London.

Just published