The “athleisure” trend of leggings and yoga pants are causing the owner Lee and Wrangler jeans to think about shutting them down.
These jeans are about to split.
The company that owns Lee and Wrangler will spin off its jeans brands into a separate entity as yoga pants and other alternatives shake up the clothing industry.
VF Corp. on Monday confirmed it will offload the denim business and its VF Outlet division into a separate, as-yet-unnamed company.
The slimmed-down company will instead focus on growing its active-lifestyle brands, such as The North Face and Jansport.
In a related move, VF will move its corporate headquarters from Greensboro, North Carolina, to metro Denver. The new jeans company will be based in Greensboro. It was not immediately clear how many jobs are moving.
The move to ditch the identifiably American Wrangler and Lee brands comes as consumers have increasingly opted for alternatives to jeans, such as yoga pants.
Though the brands are closely associated with an American way of life, the new company will seek to “extend its geographic footprint with a sharp focus on Asia, building on its established presence in China,” VF said.
The new jeans company will have more than $2.5 billion in annual sales.
Scott Baxter, who led the jeans brands from 2011 through 2015, will become CEO of the new company.
VF expects the spinoff to be completed in the first half of 2019.
“Our jeans platform is a successful, sustainable business with iconic global brands and a clear path to value creation as a standalone entity,” VF CEO Steve Rendle said in a statement.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.
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