VF acquired the brand in 2004. According to Steve Rendle, the group’s chairman and chief executive officer, Vans has grown at a “17 percent compounded annual rate” and transformed into a $3 billion global lifestyle brand under VF’s ownership. “I am confident in the Vans team’s ability to deliver on a bold $5 billion revenue target which will be a key driver of VF’s plan to deliver superior total return to shareholders over the next five years,” he said.
Doug Palladini, global brand president, said, “By forsaking ubiquity and instead focusing on Vans’ broad pillars of art, music, action sports and street culture, we continue to generate deep and meaningful consumer connectivity that is growing the Vans family worldwide.”
Financial targets include footwear revenue growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate between 10 percent and 12 percent; apparel and accessories between 13 percent and 15 percent, for revenues to more than $1 billion, and direct-to-consumer between 13 percent and 16 percent to more than $3 billion. DTC revenue would represent about 60 percent of global brand revenue. VF said DTC digital revenue is expected to grow to more than $1 billion, or a five-year compound annual growth rate between 30 and 35 percent. VF also forecast revenue in the Americas region to grow to $3 billion, representing a 10 percent to 12 percent compound annual growth rate.
VF said recently it would spin off its jeans division. Vans would remain a part of VF.
During VF’s Investor Day conference Wednesday on Vans, Rendle and the VF and Vans teams spoke from the brand’s offices in Orange County, Calif. Rendle confirmed that the brand’s home base will stay where it is and not move to Denver, the planned headquarters for the company following its spin-off of its jeans division, which will remain in North Carolina.
Kevin Bailey, VF’s group president for the Asia-Pacific region, told analysts in attendance, “Vans is one of our most profitable brands.” He said the brand at the time of VF’s acquisition had just $360 million in revenues and $4 million in operating profits, while gross margin was 48 percent. Today, in the middle of fiscal year 2019, Vans has more than $3 billion in revenues, over $700 million in operating profits and gross margin is 60-plus percent.
Palladini referred analysts to VF’s Investor Day in March 2017, and said the brand was hosting another presentation to provide an update of its new projection targets. That’s because the brand has already “achieved and moved past that 2021 goal [as stated last March] in the middle of fiscal year 2019.” He said it was time to “take a new look at what our future growth actually looks like.”
Executives on the Vans team spoke about how each component of the business — footwear, apparel, direct-to-consumer retail, e-commerce — when combined works together to create lasting relationships with existing and new consumers. One big change is a shift in mind-set where Vans is now considered a footwear and apparel and accessories brand, rather than just a brand with historical foots in footwear. That focus also is less about fashion fads, and more about allowing for personal self-expression.
The executives also said they keep close tabs on the consumer, and know both how they express themselves and their respective shopping patterns. Moreover, the company has added three new store formats — boutique, elevated street stores and brand showcase locations — to its main physical footprint of mall and outlet doors. On the digital component of the business, there was a shout-out on how personalization is key to building the relationship with consumers.
Vans is an action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand sold in 84 countries. The label is known for promoting self-expression in youth culture through a combination of action sports, art, music and street culture.