Adidas announced on Monday that it’s closing its high-tech Speedfactory facilities in Atlanta, U.S., and Ansbach, Germany, and shifting some of the technology to existing factories in Asia.
The robot-powered facility launched with much fanfare when the first one began producing sports shoes in Germany in 2016, followed by the Atlanta location a year later.
But now Adidas says both sites will close down by April 2020.
The Speedfactories were designed to quicken the production of Adidas’s sports shoes, while at the same time helping to speed up distribution and cut down on shipping emissions (and costs) by making the goods closer to customers in its major markets.
Adidas declined to go into detail about the reasons for closing the Speedfactories, but it mentioned that shifting production to two of its suppliers in Asia (where it already makes most of its gear), and using what it’s learned from its Speedfactory experience, would enable its sports shoe business to be “more flexible and economic.”
Ending production at the American and German sites also appears to bring the curtain down on Adidas’s earlier-stated plans to open a network of Speedfactories around the world.