Adidas CEO sees corporate wear like sneakers and t-shirts in back-to-office fashion
Kasper Rorsted of Adidas AG doesn’t yet know how much his employees will continue to work from home in the years to come, but it’s almost certain that those in other companies will start to look like his staff dressed in sportswear.
“It’s going to be very difficult to persuade people who have been sitting at home in flip flops and a jogging suit to put on brown shoes and a normal suit,” the CEO of the German company said on Friday at a call with journalists.
Rorsted predicts that the global back-to-office trend – however large it may be – will only accelerate the acceptance of more casual clothing in the corporate world. This could support the boom in demand for sneakers and sportswear that has benefited Adidas and rivals such as Nike Inc. and Puma SE over the past year.
An increased focus on public health – and people keen to leave their homes after months of lockdown – should propel a long-term boost for Adidas running sneakers and hiking equipment, he said. “There might be a slight slowdown on the sandals, but overall it will be tiny,” he said.
What about adidas staff, who already had some freedom to work from home before the pandemic? The US team is still working from home at the moment, with employees in Europe. In China, everyone is back in the office. Decisions will depend on safety conditions and local regulations, the CEO said.
“The question is: is it better to work from home?” he said. “We will be talking with our employees throughout the second half of the year and early next year to determine what is the right long-term solution.”