A few days after SCMP’s article about the exodus of luxury brands from Hong Kong to Shanghai, VF Corporation, a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories, announced a transformation plan for its Asia Pacific operations that will move brand operations from Hong Kong to Shanghai.
The plan focuses on evolving the region’s organizational design and footprint, and building new capabilities to accelerate growth for its brands.
As part of its transformation initiative, VF will move the center of its brand operations from Hong Kong to Shanghai where the company currently employs approximately 900 office and retail associates. VF’s Asia Product Supply Hub, which serves as the base of operations for its global supply chain in the region, will also move from Hong Kong and relocate to Singapore. An additional shared services center for the region will be established in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. VF will activate a phased transition plan to guide these relocations over the next 12 to 18 months with the first moves expected in April 2021.
“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to invest in our business across the Asia Pacific region, while also supporting VF’s overall transformation plan to become a more consumer-minded, retail-centric and hyper-digital enterprise,” said Steve Rendle, VF’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.
“We established our presence in Asia 25 years ago and have continually shaped our business around the region’s many evolving opportunities. Now, we’re further transforming our Asia operations so we can better serve this fast-moving, technology-driven market with increased speed and capabilities,” continued Steve.
By placing its brands’ center of operations in Shanghai, VF aims to forge stronger and more relevant relationships with Chinese consumers. Relocating its Product Supply Hub to Singapore will enable greater integration across VF’s global supply chain network, which also includes key hubs in Europe and the Americas. Additionally, VF will redeploy some of its product supply talent and resources throughout its primary sourcing countries in the region to work more closely with key suppliers and drive greater efficiency.
Rendle continued, “We have made great strides in recent years to advance our brand strategy in Asia with new capabilities in digital and analytics, stronger relationships with the region’s digital titans, and the appointment of new VF leaders in both Tokyo and Shanghai. As we build on this strong foundation, we also see significant opportunities in creating a hyper-digital supply chain with a key hub in Singapore that will enable us to unlock greater speed and agility in how we make, source and move our products around the world.”
VF’s additional shared services center in Kuala Lumpur will help the company further expand the footprint of the back-end business functions that support its brands and supply chain operations across the Asia Pacific region.
The new center will house various functions including digital technology, finance, human resources, and logistics. Hong Kong will remain a key retail market for VF and its brands. Retail stores of VF’s brands in Hong Kong will not be impacted by this transformation.