Executives at VF Corp. and Levi Strauss & Co. anticipate a steep uphill battle to grow their businesses this year because of the sharp decline in consumer spending.
As the two apparel giants reported fourth-quarter and year-end results on Tuesday, both companies acknowledged that the advantages of size and diversified brand portfolios were tempered by withering economies around the world.
“We expect 2009 to be a very difficult year,” said Eric Wiseman, VF’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We don’t expect any improvement from the conditions we saw on the fourth quarter.”
John Anderson, president and ceo of Levi’s, said, “The outlook remains uncertain and we face stiff headwinds.”
Despite the difficulties, both firms managed to grow annual revenues and are focusing on investing in proven strategies while reducing costs.
However, VF’s broad portfolio wasn’t enough to save it from a 29.5 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings and a flat outlook for 2009. Net income for the quarter ended Jan. 3 slid to $115.9 million, or $1.05 a diluted share, as consumers refused to buy at full price. Year-ago profits weighed in at $164.4 million, or $1.46. Revenues dipped 2.2 percent to $1.91 billion from $1.96 billion.
VF, based in Greensboro, N.C., wielded the cost-cutting scalpel and trimmed $100 million in annual expenses beginning this year. Along with the lowered costs came $41 million in charges during the quarter.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)