There’s been a lot of buzz around Vans lately, first with their announcement that they are stepping in as the title sponsor of the U.S. Open of Surf in Huntington Beach, CA this summer, replacing the role that Nike and Hurley held onto for several years, and now their recent collaboration with Metallica, topped by their parent company, VF Corp. financial reports of a stellar Q4 thanks in large part to Vans and The North Face.
First, Metallica seems to be on a roll for collaborating with action sports brands, First, they collaborated with Billbong, and now, with Vans to create 4 different styles of skate-inspired sneakers. Each sneaker is based on the inspired designs of each performer in the band, including Lars Ulrich’s no-lace low-profie shoe, Robert Trujillo’s blue and black design, the black slip-on by Kirk Hammet, and the black hightop by James Hetfield.
The collaboration also features a cool video that puts together how the deal came about featuring aspects of the bands 30-year- history and ideas they had for their various shoe collection with Vans. Design features include things like skulls (of course), guitar picks, diamond patterns, and instruments.
Today, February 15, 2013, Vans parent company VF reported their 2012 fourth quarter financials, which revealed great performances for brands such as The North Face and Vans.
“2012 was another year of record revenues and profits for VF, with solid results across nearly every coalition, channel and geography,” said Eric Wiseman, VF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our performance is confirmation of our greatest competitive advantage – the diversity of our portfolio. It’s this strength, along with our focus on driving operational excellence into all areas of our business, that enables our brands to deliver the industry’s most innovative and meaningful products while deepening relationships with our customers and consumers, and consistently returning value to our shareholders.”
During the Q4 review, revenues rose 4 percent (5 percent in constant dollars) to a record $3.0 billion from $2.9 billion in the same period of 2011 driven by strength in the Outdoor & Action Sports and Sportswear coalitions, and in our international and direct-to-consumer businesses.
In the Full Year 2012 Review revenues increased 15% to a record $10.9 billion from $9.5 billion in 2011. On a constant dollar basis, full year revenues increased 17 percent. The Timberland acquisition accounted for 9 percentage points, or $907 million, of the revenue growth in 2012. International revenues on a constant dollar basis were up 29 percent, of which Timberland accounted for 17 percent. Direct-to-consumer revenues were up 25 percent, with Timberland accounting for 15 percentage points of the growth. Full year revenue comparisons include a negative impact of about 1 percentage point from the sale of John Varvatos.
Looking more specifically, the Outdoor & Action Sports revenues were up 6 percent in the quarter to $1.7 billion. According to VF, The North Face® brand’s momentum continued in the quarter despite a second year of unusually warm weather conditions in the U.S. and comparisons against exceptionally strong growth achieved in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Global revenues for The North Face®brand rose 10 percent (11 percent in constant dollars) with strong growth in both the Americas and Europe, and exceptional growth in Asia. The brand’s growth continues to be very well balanced, with double-digit revenue increases in both its wholesale and direct-to-consumer channels.
The Vans® brand achieved a 21 percent (22 percent in constant dollars) increase in global revenues in the fourth quarter, with 14 percent growth in the Americas region and continued outstanding momentum in Europe, where constant dollar revenues rose nearly 60 percent. The Vans® brand also posted double-digit revenue increases in both its wholesale and direct-to-consumer channels.
Timberland’s fourth quarter global revenues, which were also impacted by unseasonably warm weather, were down 4 percent with strong growth in Asia offset by declines in both the Americas and Europe. Timberland’s direct-to-consumer revenues increased by 5 percent in the fourth quarter. This increase was offset by a decline in its wholesale business due to lower closeout sales and other strategic distribution choices to position the brand for long-term growth and profitability.
Jeanswear revenues increased 3 percent (4 percent in constant dollars) to $735 million in the quarter. The Americas business grew by 5 percent in constant dollars during the quarter, while Europe posted a modest decline in revenues. Jeanswear revenues in Asia were up modestly reflecting the impact of a buildup in retailers’ inventories.
Global revenues for the Wrangler® brand on a constant dollar basis increased 5 percent driven by solid growth in its Western and Mass businesses in the U.S., and moderate growth in Latin America offset by a slight decline in Europe.