Lines Blur Between Manufacturer and Retailer
By George Anderson
VF Corporation is the world’s biggest apparel manufacturer and it’s also making moves to become a force on the retailing front. The company, which manufacturers apparel brands including Nautica, Vans, Wrangler and Lee, recently announced it would add 400 new retail stores to the 525 stores it currently operates in locations around the country.
“What’s been happening with retailers developing their own private-label lines and going for direct sourcing, as well as apparel manufacturers also expanding their own retail lines, is that there has been a blurring of distinctions between what is an apparel retailer and what is an apparel manufacturer,” said Peter Kilduff, associate professor of strategic management and marketing in the Textile Design & Marketing Department at UNC-Greensboro.
VF now generates about 13 percent of its $6.4 billion in annual sales through stores operated by Vans, Nautica, The North Face and other company brands. According to The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area, Greensboro, NC-based VF is looking to increase its retail sales to 18 percent of its total by 2010.
One of the advantages of VF operating its own stores, said Prof. Kilduff, is the “Direct-to-consumer contact. That’s something that retailers have played a lot on; they are the ones that have the daily dialogue with the consumer.”
Moderator’s Comment: How has the number of manufacturers opening stores affected the retail business? Do you see
the trend accelerating? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- VF plans to open 400 more stores in next five years – The Business Journal
of the Greater Triad Area