Denver-based apparel giant VF Corp (NYSE: VFC) recently confirmed its decision to lay off approximately 500 employees worldwide as part of its new strategic initiative, “Project Reinvent.” This move aims to enhance brand-building efforts and improve operational performance, including eliminating 30 positions in Denver, where the company relocated its headquarters in 2019.
VF Corp, one of the world’s leading apparel, footwear, and accessories companies, boasts a portfolio of renowned brands like Vans, The North Face, Timberland, and Dickies. However, the company faced challenges in its recent second-quarter fiscal 2024 results, reporting a 2% decline in revenue and a $1.16 per share loss.
The company’s earnings report outlined the “Project Reinvent” strategy, which seeks to bolster North American results, revamp the Vans brand, reduce costs, and strengthen the company’s financial position.
In a statement, VF Corp said, “As part of VF’s new Reinvent strategy and with the aim of improving operational efficiency, we have eliminated approximately 500 salaried positions across the company globally. While these decisions are never easy, they will give us the financial flexibility to invest behind our brands and better position us for long term growth. We’re committed to handling this restructuring with dignity and respect for all involved and want to thank those impacted for their valued contributions to VF.”
VF Corp, which employs around 1,000 people in Denver and approximately 35,000 worldwide, also faced a similar workforce reduction in 2022 when it laid off 600 employees globally.
Newly appointed President and CEO Bracken Darrell expressed optimism about the company’s potential for growth, saying, “In my first 100 days, as I have spent time with our brands, teams, and customers around the world, I have developed even stronger conviction in the company’s significant potential, which is far greater than what we are delivering today.”
The Chief Financial Officer Matt Puckett emphasized the need for improvement, particularly with the Vans brand and in the US market. The company aims to lower its cost structure by $300 million as part of its strategic realignment.
Puckett stated, “Through this effort and our ongoing evaluation of all aspects of our business, we remain laser-focused on cash generation and debt reduction, with the intent to return to growth, drive higher ROIC (Return on Invested Capital), and reduce leverage.”
As of Wednesday morning, VF Corp had not filed a WARN notice (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) with the Colorado Secretary of State, which requires employers to provide a 60-day notice to employees before a layoff. Such notices are typically filed with the Secretary of State as well.
VF Corp’s “Project Reinvent” signals its commitment to weathering challenges, optimizing operations, and ultimately achieving long-term growth in the competitive apparel industry. Investors and industry observers will closely watch the company’s strategic moves in the coming months.