Greensboro-based apparel company VF Corporation recently announced that it will establish three global innovation centres by 2014. This is an initiative to focus on game changing product innovations in technical apparel, footwear and jeans. These centres will be equipped with high end staff comprising of engineers, scientists, technical designers and key talent who will combine proprietary insights with consumer needs and a deep understanding of technology and new materials.
"These Global Innovation Centres will spark opportunities to fuel VF's growth and shape the future of apparel and footwear," said Eric C. Wiseman, CEO. "From the mass market to the mountain top and from the US to South America, Asia and Europe, we will develop and deliver innovative, 'must-have' products for consumers,” Wiseman added. “We will inspire consumers to buy our products and, as a result, drive revenue growth and even higher profitability."
The centres will focus on developing innovative products. "In 2010, we first laid out our vision for the role that innovation would play in VF's growth," he said. "This move is critical to advancing our journey as it gives us a competitive advantage in the apparel industry. We will fully leverage what we learn by sharing output from the innovation centres across our 30-plus brands," added Wiseman.
The technical apparel innovation centre will be in Alameda, Calif, jeans centre will be in Greensboro, N.C. and the footwear centre will be in Stratham, N.H. All are expected to be operational during the first half of 2014.
Scott Baxter, Group President for Jeanswear, Imagewear and South America, is based in Greensboro and will oversee the new centre. He said the leaders of VF’s denim brands have more meetings in Greensboro than anywhere else, so it was a logical location. He added, “This centre can focus exclusively on innovation and breakthrough innovation. We want to work on bigger platforms and bigger ideas.”