The parent company of Vans, Supreme and The North Face is trimming some fat as the broader industry responds to slowing consumer demand and growing economic uncertainty by pruning headcount.
VF Corp. confirmed the content of a Denver Business Journal article published Tuesday citing CEO Steve Rendle’s letter to employees outlining plans to cut about 300 corporate jobs and another 300 open roles. A rep on Wednesday said the Colorado company is “not providing any more details” on the workforce reduction.
The Denver-based employer of 35,000 noted a slowdown among consumers and retail partners when it reported first-quarter results last month, telling Wall Street analysts that demand was sagging among “value” shoppers as “certain retailers begin to take a more cautious approach to open-to-buy.” Vans sales tanked 7 percent to $946.8 million after the skate brand’s fourth-quarter revenue came in flat at $1 billion from the year-ago time frame. Though Kevin Bailey is back in his “old chair” as Vans global brand president, the executive needs time to execute a turnaround at the Dickies’ parent’s business-driving brand and admitted the sneaker label has its work cut out for it.
“Vans has enjoyed outsized brand heat in its history and we have not emerged from the pandemic with as much velocity as expected and have lost some momentum,” he said in May.
Jobs are increasingly on the chopping block as companies selling anything beyond the essentials look for ways to batten down the hatches in the face of mounting uncertainty.
Snapchat’s parent on Wednesday said it’s downsizing its roughly 6,400-strong workforce by 20 percent, as the social-media platform and partner to Adidas, Ralph Lauren and Levi’s has seen TikTok steal much of its luster in recent years. Beleaguered Bed Bath & Beyond on Wednesday said it’s eliminating 20 percent of corporate and supply chain jobs, as the home goods retailer looks to scramble away from a financial cliff after giving former CEO Mark Tritton the boot. And the owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger on Tuesday announced cuts affecting 10 percent of its global workforce through the end of next year, after it eliminated 12 percent of its headcount in the throes of pandemic disruption.