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Nike, Adidas Output Snarled as Covid Shuts Asian Factories

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Some of the world’s biggest footwear and garment companies are seeing production pinched as factories in Southeast Asia struggle to keep the lights on amid one of the world’s deadliest COVID-19 resurgences.

A number of firms that churn out products for global giants like Nike Inc. and Adidas AG have reported plant suspensions in Vietnam over the past few weeks as authorities impose restrictions to stop the virus. Other industries, such as Toyota Motor Corp. factories in Thailand, also are scaling back as multiple countries in the region see record high cases and deaths.

Trade in goods has been a rare buffer for the Covid-ravaged global economy — especially for export-heavy Asian countries — but the latest reports show cracks in this growth pillar. The delta variant-driven surge has hit Southeast Asia especially hard, underscoring the delicate choices for policy makers who are balancing vaccination drives and mobility restrictions while trying to keep their economies afloat.

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