Flip-flops, yoga mats salve Adidas' lockdown misery

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Frankfurt am Main (AFP)

Adidas reported Monday worldwide sales plummeting in January-March, but lively demand for its striped flip-flops as a low-effort shoe for around the house has offered a slap of relief.

Known as "Adilettes", the German brand's ultra-casual footwear are more usually seen around the pool or in gym locker rooms, or on the street by fashionistas.

But as coronavirus lockdowns slammed into effect around the world, demand for flip-flops surged by "triple-digit" percentages in April compared with the average in recent months, chief executive Kasper Rorsted said.

The leap is "probably because people find that this is a super product to wear at home," Rorsted mused about the footwear, which starts from around 20 euros ($21.7).

Adidas also booked "record sales" of yoga mats during the first three months as practitioners look to stay limber under lockdown.

Around the world, the group's online sales leaped 55 percent in March, as stores in Europe and North America shut down just as Chinese branches reopened following a month of closure.

But across the first quarter, profits slumped 95 percent, to 31 million euros, and Adidas was unable to offer financial forecasts for the full year.