VF Corporation completed its $396 million acquisition of Vans, Inc. last week and promptly announced the departure of the father-son team that has steered the course of the brand during the ups and downs of the skateboard trend. Chairman Walter Schoenfeld and CEO Gary Schoenfeld have stepped down from their positions with the company and have handed the reins to SVP/CMO Steve Murray, who will now become president of the Vans subsidiary.
Murray, who came to Vans after spearheading apparel for Reebok during its sharp rise in the mid-nineties, will report to Mike Egeck, president of VF Outdoor Coalition – North America.
VFC expects the addition of Vans to add approximately $200 million to sales and be neutral to earnings in 2004. The company said they will further update guidance in two weeks to reflect the Vans, Napapijri, and Kipling acquisitions.
Egeck, who also heads up The North Face, said in a release that the company expects Vans' sales to reach $500 million “within the next three to five years”, based on the leverage of VF's expertise in development and sourcing in apparel to “supercharge” Vans' effort in the category and also the launch a performance snowboard apparel line.
After the deal was first announced in May, Egeck told SEW (SEW_0418) that the outdoor industry doesnt have a great track record bringing in the younger consumer, and that the inclusion of Vans in the ODC was part of a broader strategy. He suggested that the kid that is surfing or skateboarding is also participating in other outdoor activities such as rock climbing. “We, as an industry just havent pulled it all together,” he explained. “Its all outdoor sports,” he said.