A manufacturer of branded lifestyle apparel and footwear with more than 30 brands, VF Corporation, will establish three Global Innovation Centers stretching across the country. Its Technical Apparel Innovation Center will be established in Alameda, California. Its Jeans Center will be located in Greensboro, North Carolina, with its Footwear Center situated in Stratham, New Hampshire. All are expected to be operational during the first half of 2014.
The company called its proposed centers a groundbreaking move in the apparel industry to focus on game-changing product innovations in technical apparel, footwear and jeans.
“These Global Innovation Centers will spark opportunities to fuel VF’s growth and shape the future of apparel and footwear,” said Eric C. Wiseman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “From the mass market to the mountaintop and from the U.S. to South America, Asia and Europe, we will develop and deliver innovative, ‘must-have’ products for consumers.
Wiseman said the Innovation Centers are an important step in the further development of VF’s innovation platform. “In 2010, we first laid out our vision for the role that innovation would play in VF’s growth,” he said. “This move is critical to advancing our journey as it gives us a competitive advantage in the apparel industry. We will fully leverage what we learn by sharing output from the Innovation Centers across our 30-plus brands.”
The centers will be staffed with teams of scientists, engineers, technical designers and key talent who will combine proprietary insights with consumer needs and a deep understanding of technology and new materials. The expected outcome: breakthrough products that drive brand equity and long-term growth.
“This move is critical to advancing our journey as it gives us a competitive advantage in the apparel industry. We will fully leverage what we learn by sharing output from the Innovation Centers across our 30-plus brands,” the company said.
“Consumers buy and pay more for new, differentiated, value-adding products,” Wiseman added. “We will inspire consumers to buy our products and, as a result, drive revenue growth and even higher profitability.”
The company’s largest five brands are The North Face, Vans, Wrangler, Timberland and Lee. Other brands include 7 For All Mankind, Bulwark, Eagle Creek, Eastpak, Ella Moss, JanSport, Kipling, lucy, Majestic, Napapijri, Nautica, Red Kap, Reef, Riders, Splendid and SmartWool.