(File photo: CGTN)
BERLIN, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Adidas has revoked its decision to withhold rent payments for its company stores in Germany that had to be closed during the coronavirus crisis, the German sportswear manufacturer announced on Wednesday.
"The decision to request that landlords of our shops defer the rent for April was seen by many of you as a sign of lack of solidarity," Adidas wrote in an open letter. "Your opinion is important to us, and your opinion is clear: you are disappointed by Adidas."
Adidas assured that the rents for April had been paid and "apologized" for its behavior.
Last week, the German government had passed an aid package to mitigate the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The measures included that tenants in Germany who could not pay their rent as a result of the coronavirus crisis had their contracts protected against termination.
It became public last week that Adidas was planning to withhold rent payments for its retail stores in Germany, but the decision provoked a backlash and sparked a public debate about successful companies making use of the emergency bill.
In 2019, Adidas achieved a net income of 1.9 billion euros (2.1 billion U.S dollars), but the company stressed that, in the face of the coronavirus crisis, "even a healthy company like Adidas cannot stand this for long."
To secure the jobs of its 60,000 employees in the long term, Adidas has switched to short-time work for many of its employees in Germany, while the top management has agreed to temporarily lower their salaries.