VF Chief Executive Talks About Life After Kontoor

VF Corp. just got a lot leaner. The apparel and footwear company has officially spun off its staid jeans and outlet business into a separate company called Kontoor, turning its focus on capitalizing on its powerhouse brands — outdoor wear label The North Face and sneakers giant Vans. On top of the newly slimmed-down VF’s list is China — and the current political climate is not deterring the company, which is in the process of relocating its headquarters from Greensboro, N.C., to Denver. “We have a tremendous opportunity to continue to see outsized growth in that important marketplace,” said Steve Rendle, chairman, president and chief executive officer of VF, in an interview with WWD. He is one of the few executives in retail who doesn’t appear to be overly concerned about the escalating trade dispute between China and the U.S., despite the latter threatening to slap 25 percent levies on Chinese imports of apparel and footwear. Just a few years ago it would have been a different story, but the company has worked hard to diversify its supply chain and now only 7 percent of U.S. merchandise is produced in China, which he describes “as minimal in the grand scheme of things.” That’s not to say,

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