Fashion Retailers Can Learn From Vans’ Growth And Personalization Breakthroughs

Fashion Retailers Can Learn From Vans' Growth And Personalization BreakthroughsHighlights from this Forbes Story

  • Forbes’ contributor Andrea Cheng shared lessons from the personalization, licensing and social wins by North Face and Vans Parent VF Corp. after a record-breaking Q1
  • A Marvel partnership/collection saw Vans’ apparel sales spike, the customization wish by millennials has been met by enabling them to design Vans shoes online, and VF has shortened product time to market to roughly 3 weeks (opposed to the typical 18 months)
  • Unlike many brands who want millennial’s money, VF isn’t just chasing trends, they’re finding opportunities in atypical areas
  • Q1 revenue reached $2.8 billion, due in part to acquisitions Williamson-Dickie (Dickies work uniforms), Icebreaker (merino wool outdoor apparel) and Altra running shoes

“The vision we put in place last year was to transform VF to consumer- and retail-centric focused from a manufacturing wholesale-minded corp..” -Steve Rendle, PRESIDENT & CEO of VF

Our Take

  • Gen Z’s demand for one-of-a-kind products isn’t going anywhere, and VF has been wise to capitalize on it. Through an easy-to-use online process, Vans shoppers can customize shoes by uploading photos, choosing from patterns, laces and colors, then share pics of their kicks using #VANSCUSTOMS. To show love to their legions of customizing customers, the streetwear brand wisely features user-generated content on their site and across their massive social networks, which creates an authentic two-way convo.
  • Today, there are several ecommerce tools/platforms available to the mid-market that allow for extensive product customizations. No matter what you’ve heard, this isn’t something only enterprise brands and retailers can pull off. Also, on-demand production solutions with drop-shipping is being utilized by brands of all sizes.

Read more at Forbes