Adidas just opened a futuristic new factory — and it will dramatically change how shoes are sold

Adidas just opened a futuristic new factory — and it will dramatically change how shoes are sold

Adidas Speedfactory
Inside considered one of Adidas’ Speedfactories.


Adidas’ American Speedfactory is open for enterprise.

The 74,000-square-foot facility in Cherokee County, Georgia, outdoors Atlanta, is now pumping out shoes utilizing a utterly automated digital manufacturing course of.

The first shoes produced and sold from the factory, the new AM4NYC (Adidas made for New York City), created particularly for New York’s city streets, will go on sale Thursday.

The shoes had been made for shortly altering instructions on city streets utilizing Adidas sports-science information, and are an instance of the mixture of pace and flexibility the new factory affords, in addition to its potential to create particular and customized footwear.

The new Adidas AM4NYC sneaker made by the Atlanta Speedfactory.


As the identify implies, the Speedfactory is about pace

“We have ambition to have 50% of our sales [from] under what we call speed programs,” Gil Steyaert, an Adidas govt board member answerable for international operations, instructed Business Insider. “That means that product, which would be reproduced or created in the season [is] for the same season.”

The pace initiative is “very much aiming at the fast fashion model where we can bring product closer to the consumer,” Steyaert mentioned.

Closer to the buyer additionally means bodily nearer — that’s, produced in North America, not Asia, the place nearly all of Adidas shoes are made. That makes it a lot faster to ship the shoes all through the continent, and the shoes might be made particularly for the American market, which has been the main focus for the model and a part of its stellar efficiency in the previous couple of years.

The Speedfactory is quick, however versatile

The Speedfactory can create extra stock for a sizzling shoe that is flying off cabinets and cannot be saved in inventory, supplementing different stock shipped over from Asia. Or the factory can create totally new shoes particularly for the market as a part of a restricted run.

Eventually, Steyaert says prospects could possibly create their very own utterly customized, one-of-a-kind Adidas shoes designed to their very own specs on-line. Things like patch placement and particulars on the uppers of shoes would be capable of be personalized.

“Speedfactory is able to customize the shoe indefinitely while being in an automated engineering process,” Steyaert mentioned. “We can actually tune the shoe to the customization that the consumer wants to have. That’s the goal: full customization, but without compromise on speed.”

Another view from inside Adidas’ Speedfactory.


The absolutely automated factory means shoe specs might be modified shortly.

“It’s customization without compromising the needle on the speed nor on the changing of the line,” Steyaert mentioned. “If you had to make a new line [with traditional manufacturing] you’d have to stop the production line and reproduce.”

Adidas has lofty objectives for its Speedfactories

The attire big desires to create a whole of 1 million shoes a 12 months from each of its two Speedfactories — the Atlanta location in addition to the primary in Germany — by 2020.

That quantity is critical, however it’s small in comparison with the whole variety of shoes Adidas makes every year — 403 million pairs of shoes in 2017, or greater than a million a day on common.

The Speedfactories are meant to be “complementary to our main source of supply,” Steyaert mentioned. “[They] will never substitute our main source of supply.”

As of now, the factory at present has about 150 workers. That comparatively low variety of workers signifies that it is economically possible to have a factory in a nation with out an worker base filled with extremely expert shoemakers.

A robotic creates a shoe inside an Adidas’ Speedfactory.


Adidas desires to extend its pace in different methods

The second a part of Adidas’ pace technique pertains to infrastructure — one thing that is been below strain within the US as Adidas’ reputation has taken off, significantly distribution.

“When you grow more than 30% per year you push inevitably some infrastructure,” Steyaert mentioned.

Adidas has made investments in its East Coast and West Coast warehouses, together with its personal warehouse in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The model can be planning on opening a model new warehouse in New Jersey devoted to e-commerce and retail. Steyaert says this will be capable of service New York City — considered one of Adidas’ “key cities” — with fast supply, presumably even same-day.

Adidas is not finished with its Speedfactories, nevertheless. It plans to innovate inside them so as to add extra automated processes and see if it can get much more pace and flexibility out of them. There are at present no plans to create extra factories, however Steyaert says he hopes to finally duplicate its automated expertise and even export the expertise examined within the Speedfactories to its areas in Asia.

Adidas’ Speedfactories will finally be capable of make a million pairs of shoes a 12 months.


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