David Conn, previously executive vice president of Iconix Brand Group Inc., has joined VF Corp. as president of VF retail licensed brands.
In this new post within the VF Services Inc. subsidiary, Conn will be responsible for “identifying new business opportunities with key retailers under a licensed business model,” VF said.
“Partnering with leading retailers is one of the cornerstones of VF’s growth strategy,” said Mike Gannaway, vice president of VF direct-consumer teams. “Beyond our core national brand strategy, we see additional opportunities for growth with key partners through the introduction of new brands under a licensed business model. David brings a unique set of skills, capabilities and brand licensing experience to VF that will prove effective in leading our efforts in this new endeavor.”
In 2008, licensing royalties accounted for about $81 million in VF revenues, approximately 1.1 percent of the total of $7.64 billion, with the largest component coming from VF’s Nautica brand. Expenses related to royalty income, including amortization of intangible assets, were $21.6 million last year.
Conn, who worked for Columbia House prior to joining Iconix and its predecessor company, Candie’s Inc., will report to Gannaway and be based in New York.
VF has licensing arrangements for a number of its brands, including Wrangler, in addition to Nautica, and it is represented in overseas markets by licensees who in some cases operate retail stores. But it hasn’t pursued the retail-direct model aggressively in the past. The retail-direct model was pioneered by Cherokee Inc., which licenses its own Cherokee and Sideout brands to retailers and brokered the deal that brought Mossimo to Target Corp., and has been employed successfully by Iconix and others.
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