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VF Corporation

Categories

Industrial Manufacturing  
Fashion and Textiles  

#2464

Rank

$5.57B

MarketCap US

US United States

Country

Summary

VF Corporation offers a diverse portfolio of iconic outdoor and activity-based lifestyle and workwear brands. Its brands include Vans, The North Face, Timberland, and Dickies. 

The company is committed to delivering innovative products to consumers and creating long-term value for its customers and shareholders. It has social and environmental operations spanning numerous geographies, product categories, and distribution channels. VF Corporation was founded in 1899 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, United States of America. 


History

1899: The company's beginnings can be traced to the year 1899, when eight men formed the Manufacturing Company in Reading, Pennsylvania, and began producing and selling knitted and silk gloves. VF Corporation was first established by John Barbey and a few other investors. They were established in the beginning as a Public Company Incorporated: as Reading Glove & Mitten Manufacturing Company Employees: 45,100 Sales: $2.61 billion stock Exchanges.

1904: Blue Bell traced its origins to Hudson Overall Company, which was formed in Greensboro, North Carolina.

1910: Jantzen Inc. was established as the Portland Knitting Company, a combination retail store and knitting operation.

1911: After 12 years of slow growth, Barbey purchased his partners' interests in the company. The firm began manufacturing its own brand of work clothes when the founder, Henry David Lee, became dissatisfied with the quality of merchandise his suppliers were providing.

1913: The following year, Barbey's son John Edward (known as J.E.) joined the firm as vice president, and the company's name was changed to Schuylkill Silk Mills. The firm began producing rib-stitched, wool swimsuits.

1914: VF Corp. is a company with a long history of successfully managing change. In its renaming, the company expanded into silk lingerie.

1916: Blue Bell was founded under the name of the Jellico Clothing Manufacturing Company.

1917: Through a contest, "Vanity Fair" is selected as a brand name for the line of lingerie.

1919: The company started manufacturing undergarments. Through a contest, the name “Vanity Fair” was selected as a brand name for a line of lingerie leading to the company name change to Vanity Fair Silk Mills Inc.

1921: Health-tex had been formed as the Standard Romper Company, Inc. to produce and market children’s clothing.

1923: Red Kap was formed as a wholesaler of bib overalls.

1931: J.E. Barbey was named general manager of the company in addition to his position as vice president.

1936: Bassett-Walker was started as the Bassett Knitting Corporation.

1939: Upon his father's death this year, J.E. Barbey assumed the presidency of Vanity Fair, a position that he held for the next quarter century.

1941: During that time, he led the company through turbulent times, such as the economic changes that came with World War II. This year, the war brought about an embargo on silk, and the company began using rayon in the production of its lingerie.

1943: Lee Mercantile changed its name to the H. D. Lee Company, Inc. The name was shortened to Blue Bell, Inc.

1947: The brand name Wrangler was developed for this rapidly growing product line.

1949: Lee introduced Lady Lee Riders this year, the first line of women's jeans.

1950: These innovations changed the face of the lingerie industry. As a result, Vanity Fair became the first lingerie manufacturer to receive the Coty Award for Design.

1951: Barbey, who owned nearly all of the company's common stock, decided to take the company public. Vanity Fair Mills goes public. The shares of the company were sold to the public in the year 1951.

1958: Overseas expansion began when Vanity Fair entered into an agreement with the U.K. firm Wolsey Ltd. to make Vanity Fair-style lingerie under the brand Wolsey-Vanity Fair.

1959: Neal Dow and Miller both served brief stints as president before Manford O. Lee began a long tenure in the position early this year.

1960: Led first by S. S. (Sam) Walker and then by his son, Dudley Walker, after Sam’s death in 1960, the firm became one of the largest manufacturers of knitted outerwear in the United States.

1962: An International Division was created to help drive foreign expansion.

1964: During the 1960s, the firm added coveralls to its product line. It became a division of Blue Bell, Inc.

1967: As sales growth for lingerie items was beginning to top off, Vanity Fair attempted to offset the effects by expanding into the robe and loungewear market.

1969: The H.D. Lee Company (now Lee) was acquired, accompanied by Vanity Fair Mills changing to VF Corporation.

1970: Some of Berkshire’s unused factory space in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, three miles west of Reading was converted into the first VF factory outlet store.

1971: Meanwhile, VF acquired Kay Windsor, Inc., a manufacturer of budget-priced, ready-to-wear women’s dresses and sportswear.

1973: Health-tex was acquired by Chesebrough-Pond’s Inc., a marketer of consumer products.

1977: VF Corporation International Division was established to manage the company’s growing operations overseas.

1979: The Rustler brand had been introduced by Blue Bell as basic jeans to be sold through mass merchandisers. VF established an International Division to manage its growing operations overseas. VF Corporation, becoming serious about global expansion opened an International Division.

1980: Lawrence R. Pugh joined VF as president and chief operating officer. Blue Bell acquired Jantzen, 70 years after the swimwear maker’s founding.

1982: Manford Lee lost a battle with cancer early this year, and Pugh became CEO in addition to president. Lawrence Pugh joined the company as president and became chairman the following year. VF posted profits of $15.5 million on sales of $184 million.

1983: Following that record year, Pugh handed down his role as president to Mackey J. McDonald, while still remaining at the company's helm as chairman and CEO. McDonald was a one-time president of the Wrangler division who had worked his way through the ranks since joining VF this year. Lee became the first brand to offer women's jeans with multiple fits, which were introduced in 1983.

1984: VF also purchased Bassett-Walker, Inc., a producer of fleece activewear based in Martinsville, Virginia, in November for $293.3 million. Continuing to diversify, VF acquired Modern Globe, Inc., a manufacturer of men’s and women’s cotton undergarments.

1985: Health-tex was sold in a leveraged buyout to a group of investors who subsequently sold the firm to VF six years later.

1986: VF also purchased Troutman Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of men’s casual slacks that was subsequently closed in 1986, and Bassett-Walker, Inc., a producer of fleece activewear.

1989: Declining jeans sales finally caught up to VF. In the past, whenever one division’s sales slowed, VF managed to survive the slump by relying on strong sales in its other divisions.

1990: The company purchased the manufacturing operations of intimate apparel brands Vassarette and Form-O-Uth from Munsingwear, Inc. for $11.5 million and added them to the intimate apparel division.

1992: With the purchases, VF's international division posted a sales increase of 52 per cent for this year. VF International serves more than 150 countries with the company’s jeanswear products and expects significant growth to occur with the creation of the single European market, as well as in the North American market.

1993: The new initiatives helped propel revenues past $1 billion for the first time. Wrangler, Inc., a division of VF Corporation, launched a new line of clothing. Also engineered this year were the acquisitions of Nutmeg Industries, Inc. and the H. H. Cutler Company, both of which helped VF become a leading supplier of licensed sports apparel.

1994: The acquisitions were completed, of Nutmeg Industries, Inc., for $352.2 million, and the H.H. Cutler Company, for $154.7 million, both of which helped VF become a leading supplier of licensed sports apparel.

1995: Jantzen worked with Nike, Inc. to develop a new line of performance swimwear, while Nutmeg readied itself to launch some of its sports apparel under the Lee Sport name. Unique projects and ideas such as those above, coupled with VF's conservative financial strategies and high level of brand name recognition by consumers, enabled the company to break the $5 billion mark in annual sales. At the end of the year, VF announced that it would close nine United States plants, lay off 3,800 workers in the process, and open new plants in Mexico and Central America. Many in the industry felt the pinch, including VF, which saw profits decline nearly 20 percent.

1996: According to market research firm NPD Group, United States jean sales hit $10.65 billion in 1996.

1997: Then in October, the company announced that it would break with its Pennsylvania roots by moving the corporate headquarters from Wyomissing to Greensboro, North Carolina, in order to locate the corporate staff closer to where much of the firm's marketing and support units were positioned. The company's 17 domestic and foreign divisions were consolidated into five operating units called "coalitions": Jeanswear, Intimate Apparel, Knitwear, Playwear, and International. Levi's share shrunk to 26.2 percent, whereas VF's grew to 31 percent. In order to craft such an image for its Rugged Wear line, Wrangler turned to its advertising shop, the Martin Agency.

1998: VF succeeded in bolstering its intimate apparel lines by acquiring Bestform Group Inc. in February. Lee president Terry Lay spoke with CNN's Biz Buzz and noted that NPD Group figures indicated that Lee's market share grew 16 percent in the first half of the year. Net income reached its peak when the company reported $388 million that fiscal year.

1999: Three more workwear companies were acquired.Horace Small (public safety and postal apparel), Todd Uniform (custom-designed business uniforms), and Fibrotek (clean-room apparel).

2000: A new Outdoor coalition was created to house North Face, Eastpak, and JanSport brands. VF spent $206.5 million and assumed $107.7 million in debt on these purchases. VF's acquisition spree continued this year as well. 

2001: Restructuring charges totalled $236.8 million, as the company aimed to cut its yearly operating costs by $115 million. Wal-Mart is VF Corporation's largest single buyer, accounting for over 14 percent of total sales this year. When the United States economy slid suddenly into an economic slump in 2001, VF Corporation found itself burdened by excessive inventory, which the company worked throughout the year to reduce.

2002: The chain reported a 24 percent drop in sales in April at stores open one year or more. The cost-cutting efforts resulted in improved profitability for nearly every VF business, although all told the firm posted a net loss of $154.5 million as a result of restructuring charges and a $527.3 million charge taken for a change in accounting policy for goodwill.

2003: Television spots for the campaign began running in June for the initial launch this year, Fallon focused exclusively on television spots that ran on major broadcast and cable networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, MTV, and E! Entertainment Television. Although Levi's had been in a five-year sales slump, it was still the most recognized brand in the denim category.

2004: The campaign was successful in achieving its goals of restoring the cool image of the brand among young men and improving sales, and it won a Silver EFFIE in 2004. Additional television spots were developed for subsequent use and were aired throughout the year. Health Magazine named them "Dream Jeans" for their ability to please all of the women on the publication's editorial staff.

2005: The campaign was also broadened to appeal to the mothers of young women in the original target demographic.

2007: The company sold its 'Vanity Fair Intimates' lingerie business to Fruit of the Loom for US$350 million in cash on the 23rd of January.

2008: Under the guidance of Eric Wiseman, President and CEO since this year, VF Corp. strives to be innovative and ahead of the curve. Eric C. Wiseman also became Chairman of the company. The same year that VF would acquire Mo Industries Holdings, the parent company of sportswear brands Splendid and Ella Moss.

2011: VF Corporation announced its intention to purchase Timberland for $2.2 billion, a deal that would close in September of that year.

2012: On 21 December, VF Imagewear was awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to provide uniforms and insignia for United States Customs and Border Protection officers. The company recorded total revenues of $10.9 billion.

2013: On January 14, the company made a bid for Billabong International Ltd. together with Altamont Capital Partners. In February, Imagewear was awarded a $50 million contract to manufacture uniforms for Transportation Security Administration officers. With the advent of e-commerce. With the company projecting a cash flow of approximately $1.4 Billion, there are ample funds for capital investments as well as acquisitions.

2017: Effective 1 January, Steve Rendle took over CEO and President responsibilities. VF acquired Williamson-Dickie’s brands, including Dickies, Workrite, Kodiak, Terra, and Walls.

2018: In August, it was announced that VF would be splitting into two separate companies. All brands that until this year had maintained separate divisional headquarters (e.g., Jansport) were also consolidated into VF's new Denver headquarters at that point in time.

2020: VF acquired the streetwear brand Supreme for US$2.1 billion.

2021: VF announced a definitive agreement to sell a portion of its occupational Work segment to a subsidiary of Redwood Capital Investments, LLC. On June 28th, the sale was finalized, and the 11 divested brands became part of a new standalone company, Workwear Outfitters. In September, it was announced that the former president of emerging brands of VF Corporation Travis Campbell will acquire the Eagle Creek brand.


Mission

“We power movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and our planet. Everything we do – from the products we make to the actions we take – is about enabling people to live sustainable and active lifestyles. Our purpose is what propels us and gives our work meaning.”


Vision

“VF Corporation is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies connecting people to the lifestyles, activities and experiences they cherish most through a family of iconic outdoor, active and workwear brands.”


Key Team

Clarence Otis (Board Member)

Ben Franklin (Aircraft Crew Chief)

Jane Morris (Board Member)

Benno Dorer (Board Member)

Juliana Chugg (Board Member)

Bill McBain (CIO)

Mark Hoplamazian (Board Member)

Bryan McNeill (VP/Chief Acctg Officer/Controller)

Veronica Wu (Board Member)

Carl Sandhaus (Chief Factors Representative)

Matthew Shattock (Board Member)

Carlos Santos (Chief Information Officer)

Richard Carucci (Board Member)

Carol Roberts (Board Member)

Steven Rendle (Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer)

Benno Dorer (Board Member)

Carol Roberts (Board Member)


Recognition and Awards
Fortune 500 - Silver EFFIE in 2004

References
VF Corporation
Leadership team

Alison Manuel (Sr. Exec Asst To Group President of Americas West, VP/CFO VF Outdoor, Sr. Dir of Finance VF Outdoor.)

Anita Graham (Exec VP/Chief Human Resources & Public Affairs)

Industries

Industrial Manufacturing

Fashion and Textiles

Products/ Services
Apparel, Footwear & Accessories
Number of Employees
20,000 - 50,000
Headquarters
Denver, Colorado, United States
Established
1899
Company Type
Public Limited Company
Company Registration
SEC CIK number: 0000103379
Net Income
1B - 20B
Revenue
Above - 1B
Traded as
VFC
Social Media

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