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Vans Swoops in to Help Pandemic-Hit Small Retail

Vans has come up with a creative ways to support the small retail partners that have been critical to maintaining the skate shoe brand’s longstanding street cred.

Small businesses like independent skate shops, art galleries, eateries and indie music venues have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the Vans “Foot the Bill” initiative aims to support the vibrant creative communities surrounding independent retailers using its distribution network.

At least 80 of these kinds of independent retailers will be given 500 pairs of custom Vans, with the net proceeds–minus the cost of production and shipment–being donated directly to these partners.

“Though this amount does not include all of the amazing partners that we work with around the world, we are hopeful this program will help our communities get through this unprecedented time,” Vans said.

Vans has announced a new initiative to help small business retailers during the pandemic, producing custom-designed footwear for at least 80 community-driven shops.
A selection of the custom-designed Vans will donate to various small business organizations it partners with. Vans

Each partner was chosen with a preference for businesses that have been directly impacted by the outbreak, Vans said, and the initiative will continue until supplies run out.

“Using our Vans Customs platform, we invite you to express your creativity and be a designer to your favorite Vans shoe, all while supporting the skate shops, music venues, art galleries, restaurants and local hangouts that enable your creative self-expression every day,” the VF-owned brand said.

Vans is making good on its status as one of the top-performing brands with in VF’s portfolio. Before the pandemic overthrew the economy, Vans was expected to grow at a 12 percent to 13 percent CAGR to reach a value of $6 billion by 2024.

The classic skate shoe brand is far from the only footwear maker lending a hand during the coronavirus crisis. Many footwear brands and retailers have offered their wares to medical professionals and healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic.