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Fortune 250 Company Announces Relocation to Colorado

Calling the move a "great strategic fit," VF Corporation received a $27 million tax incentive to call Colorado home


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The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade announced Monday morning that VF Corporation – the parent company of major outdoor brands including The North Face, JanSport and Smartwool – will relocate its global headquarters from Greensboro, North Carolina to the Denver metro area, beginning in mid-2019.

Last week, a $27 million tax incentive for "Project Cardinal," was approved, becoming the second largest incentive package in state history, preceded only by Charter Communications. At the time, only a few details were shared publicly, including that the Fortune 250 company would have a headquarter staff of 800 employees with an average salary of $185,721. The company's 2017 global revenues reached $11.8 billion.

"Colorado is an area with an unrivaled heritage and culture of outdoor and activity-based lifestyles, as well as a thriving business environment," says Steve Rendle, VF's chairman and CEO. "It is a great strategic fit for our business .. we believe that the creation of our new headquarters in the area will help us to unlock collaboration across the outdoor brands, attract and retain talent and accelerate innovation."

Over the course of the next two years, several of VF's outdoor brands, including The North Face, JanSport, Smartwool, Eagle Creek and Altra will relocate, along with roughly 85 VF Corp., leaders, including the company's U.S.-based senior leadership.


OUTDOOR RETAILER PRIMED FOR COLORADO DEBUT


According to Sam Bailey, vice president of economic development for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, his team along with the Colorado OEDIT and Luis Benitez, director of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, began conversation with VF Corp this June. Bailey called it a "pretty quick process ... especially for a Fortune 500."

"If you look at VF Corp. ... their vision and mission aligns very closely with our focus on environmental stewardship, economic development and investment in place," Bailey says.

He says this relocation represents a "huge investment in thought leadership to the city ... [it] adds to that depth of knowledge of apparel and outdoor rec and helps deepen the ecosystem that, to date, has been filled by smaller companies. Now, small and large anchors will be investing in that and cooperating."

What's more: "The last time Colorado brought a Fortune 500 was Arrow Electronics in 2011, and DaVita in 2009 before that," Bailey says. "Fortune 500s create incredible roots in the community."

VF Corp., has nearly 70.000 employees worldwide and operations across more than 170 countries. The company's portfolio includes Vans, Timberland and a stable of workwear brands including Dickies, none of which were involved in t

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Gigi Sukin

Gigi Sukin is digital editor at ColoradoBiz. She can be reached at gsukin@cobizmag.com.

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