The lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories firm will move the center of its brand operations from Hong Kong to Shanghai, where it currently employs 900 office and retail associates. VF says the move is aimed at forging stronger and more relevant relationships with Chinese consumers, while Hong Kong will remain a key retail market.
VF’s Asia Pacific Supply Hub, the base of operations for its regional supply chain, will move from Hong Kong to Singapore to drive greater global supply chain integration across its network, which includes key hubs in Europe and the Americas. “Additionally, VF will redeploy some of its product supply talent and resources throughout its primary sourcing countries in the region to work more closely with key suppliers and drive greater efficiency,” the company said.
The Denver-based fashion giant will set up an additional share services center for the region in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The phase transition plan for the relocations will occur over the next 12 to 18 months, with the first move expected in April. The establishment of a shared services center will help the company expand the footprint of its back-end business functions and supply chain operations across the region. The Malaysian center will house various functions, including digital technology, finance, human resources and logistics.
“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to invest in our business across the Asia Pacific region, while also supporting VF’s overall transformation plan to become a more consumer-minded, retail-centric and hyper-digital enterprise,” Steve Rendle, VF chairman, president and CEO, said. “We established our presence in Asia 25 years ago and have continually shaped our business around the region’s many evolving opportunities. Now, we’re further transforming our Asia operations so we can better serve this fast-moving, technology-driven market with increased speed and capabilities.”
The CEO added that the company in recent years has advanced its brand strategy in Asia with new capabilities in digital and analytics, stronger relationships with the region’s digital titans and the appointment of new VF leaders in Tokyo and Shanghai.
“As we build on this strong foundation, we also see significant opportunities in creating a hyper-digital supply chain with a key hub in Singapore that will enable us to unlock greater speed and agility in how we make, source and move our products around the world,” Rendle said.
VF-owned brands include Vans, The North Face and Timberland, in addition to recently acquired Supreme.