Citing uncertainties related to VF Corp.’s Nautica brand and the soft jeans business, debt-ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday cut its ratings on $1 billion worth of the Greensboro, N.C.-based company’s debt. It lowered its senior unsecured rating on VF to “A3” from “A2” and on its commercial paper rating to “Prime-2” from “Prime-1” with a negative outlook.

In a research note, Moody’s noted that the recent Nautica acquisition increased VF’s reliance on the department store segment at a time when that channel is facing some weakness. It also noted that the jeans business “seems to be experiencing a fundamental channel shift in factor of the mass market” following the recent launch of Levi Strauss Signature at Wal-Mart Stores.

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