You may already be familiar with these brands: North Face, JanSport, Smartwool, Altra and Eagle Creek. If not, however, one thing is certain: With their parent company, VF Corporation, recently relocating its headquarters to Colorado, you’re bound to know them better in the future.
In fact, VF’s relocation of its headquarters from Greensboro, N.C., may have a profound effect on our area, according to a recent Denver Business Journal article.
“Time will tell what will be the ultimate impact of VF’s move to the community,” notes the article. “…But even before it can call attendance at an all-staff gathering, the company with a $34 billion market cap is having some major effects on its new hometown.”
About 40% of the company’s employees have agreed to relocate to Colorado, while 60% of its staff will be newly hired.
Currently, it has relocated approximately 400 employees from locations previously scattered throughout the country: North Face (clothes and outdoor gear) and JanSport (backpacks) from the Bay area; Eagle Creek (luggage) from Southern California; Altra (running shoes) from Utah, and Smartwool (performance socks) from Steamboat Springs. At this time, the business is housed in the Denver Tech Center’s Great West Life building but will move to 1551 Wewatta St. in Lower Downtown in 2020.
How will this affect our local community? The Business Journal notes that VF brings with it the following:
Improved chances for Colorado to recruit other outdoor brands: The fact that VF is relocating from a lower-cost market to a higher-cost area attests to the value Colorado brings to corporations. This makes for an effective marketing opportunity. “Already,” notes the Business Journal, “both the Denver Economic Development Corporation and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade are citing the company in all of their recruiting materials.”
Community goodwill: The company has signed a two-year sponsorship with the Colorado Classic, a women’s-only bike race, allowing for a world-class prize purse. This should help attract top competitors race. Also, while the company is receiving significant incentives to relocate, VF’s CFO Steve Rendle notes that it plans to match those incentives 1 to 1 with contributions to the community through its nonprofit foundation.
More competition for employees: VF has already lured two of the state’s high profile outdoor recreation advocates to its team: Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office Director Luis Benitez and Outdoor Industry Association Executive Amy Roberts. Experts note that “having such an iconic company in town competing for workers is going to make employee recruitment and retention a little more difficult and a little more expensive in the short term,” reports the Business Journal.
More local jobs: While many of “the first wave” of jobs may go to those out of state, as the company grows, future positions will likely be filled locally.