VF. Corp has its sights set on expansion in Greater China — and it’s reconfiguring its organizational structure to accelerate that objective.
The Denver-based company — parent to Vans, Timberland and The North Face — said today that it is creating a new role aimed specifically at advancing its goals in the Asia Pacific region. This summer, VF plans to fill the newly-created position of president, Greater China. The individual appointed to the post will be responsible for managing business in Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan — which VF believes will allow it to “move faster and with focused agility to pursue growth opportunities in this important market.”
“When we introduced our new global business strategy in 2017, we declared our commitment to invest in our [Asia Pacific] region and accelerate growth for our brands, all with a particular emphasis on China,” said VF president and CEO Steve Rendle in a statement. “By creating the new position of president, Greater China, we’re leaning even further into the many opportunities we see to elevate our business and brands in this fast-moving, digitally-driven marketplace.”
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VF Corp. shared details for expanding its China business during its investor day in September 2019. At that time, the corporation announced plans to open more doors in Greater China and increase its omnichannel capabilities in the region, as well as work closely with Chinese tech giants such as Tencent and Alibaba. By fiscal 2024, VF expected Greater China to account for 80% of all VF business in APAC, up from 65% in fiscal 2019. While the company was forced to close the majority of its doors during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, it has since been able to reopen all units.
In addition to creating a new post, VF announced that EVP and APAC group president Kevin Bailey is relocating from Hong Kong to Denver. Bailey will continue to lead APAC and will also head VF’s Emerging Brands platform. The platform includes the Altra, Eagle Creek, JanSport and Smartwool brands, as well as Kipling and Icebreaker in the Americas region — which Rendle said “present considerable opportunities for growth.”
“It’s important to remember that our global, multi-billion-dollar brands such as Vans and The North Face were once emerging brands when VF acquired them,” Rendle said. “Enabling great brands to achieve their full potential is a core competency at VF, and Kevin is the ideal person to work closely with our brand leaders to help guide these brands into the future.”