We review VF’s results because they own brands we are interested in. Same reason we review Jarden’s, PPR’s and other companies. But we rarely get much information on those brands because they are part of a larger segment by which the corporations represents its business. And, in the case of VF, we get literally nothing on Reef because it’s so small that its contribution to the action sports and outdoor segment isn’t significant I guess.
This is, in part, the inevitable result of consolidation. But if we’re paying attention to these conglomerates, in spite of the lack of information on brands we’re interested in, there must be a reason.
As you have probably concluded for yourself, VF is doing just fine. Rather than think up some clever closing paragraph, I thought I’d offer you a link to an article that Rob Valerio of business consultants CPO sent me on the expansion strategies of retail CEOs. It doesn’t refer just to our industry, and VF is much more than a retailer. Still, you’ll see certain continuity between the strategies retailers in general are using and what VF and others in our industry are doing. As I said at the start of this article, independent retailers, small brands, and brands that are strictly wholesalers are being pressured by bigger, sophisticated companies. You may not be able to do what VF does, but you can look at some of these strategies and pick a few places where you can perhaps do something new, different or better.