VF Corporation announced the company will establish three Global Innovation Centers – a groundbreaking move in the apparel industry – to focus on game-changing product innovations in technical apparel, footwear and jeans.
The centers will be staffed with teams of scientists, engineers, technical designers and key talent who will combine proprietary insights with consumer needs and a deep understanding of technology and new materials. The expected outcome: breakthrough products that drive brand equity and long-term growth.
“These Global Innovation Centers will spark opportunities to fuel VF’s growth and shape the future of apparel and footwear,” said Eric C. Wiseman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “From the mass market to the mountaintop and from the U.S. to South America, Asia and Europe, we will develop and deliver innovative, ‘must-have’ products for consumers.
“Consumers buy and pay more for new, differentiated, value-adding products,” Wiseman continued. “We will inspire consumers to buy our products and, as a result, drive revenue growth and even higher profitability.”
Wiseman also noted that the Innovation Centers are an important step in the further development of VF’s innovation platform. “In 2010, we first laid out our vision for the role that innovation would play in VF’s growth,” he said. “This move is critical to advancing our journey as it gives us a competitive advantage in the apparel industry. We will fully leverage what we learn by sharing output from the Innovation Centers across our 30-plus brands.”
The Technical Apparel Innovation Center will be in Alameda, Calif. The Jeans Center will be in Greensboro, N.C. and the Footwear Center will be in Stratham, N.H. All are expected to be operational during the first half of 2014.