Adidas was a difficult company for me to report on, as its very personal as I grew up wearing the coolest Adidas clothing and footwear in the 80’s… Iconic for making a statement and setting a mark on stylish products with quality to last almost a lifetime.
Lots has changed since then, they have diversified and are everything for everybody now with many labels (Adidas, Stella McCartney, Y3, Neo and now Stella Sport) under the Adidas brand. In Adidas there are many more labels (programs, groups) called Originals, Performance, CilmaChill, etc.
So on a early Friday evening I decided to visit the enormous 5 floor flagship store of Adidas on Huaihai Road in Shanghai, China.
I was really looking forward to visiting the Adidas store, but I was shocked, appalled and in awe with what I am about to report on. As the store is humongous, I can only to report on the first floor of products (Performance, ClimaChill, and Tennis), I wanted to touch on the issues of my two favourite and iconic brands Stella McCartney and Y3 but this report is too lengthy just covering the first floor of the Adidas store. Upon request, I can provide a more thorough analysis, let me know your needs?
This report only covers the product as shown on the Adidas store floor as seen by the everyday consumers. There is major issues with the product, the selection, demand planning, buying, allocation and replenishment. It was a disgrace for a company that has become a household name and is an iconic brand.
I am only covering the top-level of product issues but there is much more, that I am not sharing on this post. Starting with the design continuity and consistency, for the newly featured and heavily advertised ClimaChill, the product between men and women had many similarities and faults in design.
For starters, I wonder what the designers and the people above who approved the item below, were thinking:
Did the team look at this item on a hanger? What is the hanger appeal? How will fit or drape on the customer? Another question, how do you make a half zip front top with an invisible zipper. Where will you get the extra fabric from to sew the half zipper in place and not have it be gathered? This is common sense stuff that was left out of the conversation.
The next item lets put a waterproof zipper down the front and have invisible side zipper pockets, a thick and heavy zipper down the front and dainty zippers for side pockets. What is the reason, besides no one else is doing it?
I was so baffled by this outerwear piece, then I discovered that there were two silhouettes that were almost the same on the sales floor. I guess one, the one with the Adidas logo on the upper left side is an older version as there we only a few units of that style on the floor. But I wonder what was the reason to remove the brand logo on the next edition? Then the older version had bar tacked the top and the bottom of the zipper and the newer one did not have any zipper reinforcements. I am baffled by the continuity and consistency.
Then there is there essential Black shirt on display that was sewn and shipped all the way to the store with the incorrect stitch, that broke when it was stretched. I wonder what will happen when someone pulls this top over their head for their fifth time?
Then there is top from the Adidas Tennis collection. Look at the two tops on top of each other to show the finish of the printed fabric and solid fabric. Look at the shape and consistency.
Upon closer examination, you can see the thread is broken on the top item, see below for closer picture.
Over in the ladies section, I found a lot of the same problems, this item was on all the mannequins and advertisements so I guess Adidas is proud of this one.
But after closer examination of these pants, there were many faults, including a broken stitch along the outside seam.
The challenge with the above pant is due in part to the invisible zipper, as it is difficult to sew, finish, and bar tack on this type of knit product and seam. So anyone with expertise and experience would know this can be a production nightmare.
Then there is the continuity and consistency with the strings on their waistbands. On the compression short the excess string on the relaxed short was 3 – 4cm (1.25″) on each side, how can you tie this one? What if you stretch the short over your bottom, what will happen to the short string? Then there was the woven short with a long string nicely tied.
I was in shock and awe over their basic 100% cotton t-shirt that has been made for centuries. What is really so special about the design of this item below? To track the development of the shoe since 2002? What happened to the cool designs from a leading sports apparel and footwear brand.
Upon closer examination, I am happy to report that this item has puckering along the neckline where the self fabric meets the rib. Really this is a basic item, why these problems?
To top that off, lets stay with a basic 100% cotton t-shirt but let’s do a camo stripe with Neon fabric and let’s make sure we don’t check the quality, as it’s a basic t-shirt, what really can go wrong?
Look at the finish of this neckline, it is already starting to bag out before it is worn. This is a clear indication that this supplier is not the right maker but the right price for this t-shirt.
To top it off with the selection of 100% cotton t-shirts on the first floor there was this item with a totally different construction and finish for the neckline.
On another note, I was really baffled by all the poor finishing. The stitch lines, the excess fabric, the tunneling on most items, as well all the loose threads.
The excess fabric on the stitch line is because the equipment used to sew this product was not sharp and tuned up to sew this production.
Most of the Adidas products had an issue with tunneling on the sleeve and body’s of their garments (tops and bottoms). This shows a complete lack of interest for the Adidas product and consumers. It was very disappointing.
Upon a closer look you can see the tunneling on the bottom hem of this shirt. My apologies for the colour (color) difference as I am using my mobile phone for all photos.
As mentioned above, I was hoping to touch on the Stella Sport, Stella MCCartney and Y3 product reviews in this report, but its way to much work and information about the flaws and faults at Adidas. In addition Adidas is having a huge problems with their buying, demand planning, allocation and replenishment. This is all from an outsiders perspective. “ALL IN OR NOTHING”!!! Can Adidas live up to their words!!!