Fortune 250 company behind The North Face, other outdoor brands relocating to Denver

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DENVER -- Fortune 250 company VF Corporation, the holding company of outdoor brands including The North Face, JanSport and Smartwool, is moving its global headquarters to Denver after receiving $27 million in job growth incentive tax credits.

The Colorado Economic Development Commission made the announcement early Monday morning.

The commission approved the tax credits last week in a bid to attract the company, dubbed "Project Cardinal," with a headquarters staff of 800 employees with an average salary of $185,721.

“This project is strong validation of the state’s role as a leading attractor of industry and it is especially heartening that it comes with VF -- a company whose brands and culture align with Colorado’s core values,” said Colorado Office of Economic Development and international trade executive director Stephanie Copeland.

It was the second-largest incentive award ever from the commission.

“We are thrilled to welcome a new partner that embodies the values that define Colorado,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement. “VF’s move underscores the critical driver that the outdoor recreation industry plays in our economy where business meets lifestyle.”

“We are grateful to Colorado for the job growth tax credits that represent a long-term commitment to our company and we want to make a long-term commitment to the people of Colorado," VF chairman, president and CEO Steve Rendle said.

"For every dollar of job growth tax credit that we receive and use, we will match that dollar in a donation to the VF Foundation and designate those funds to support the charitable interests of the citizens of Colorado."

The company will move to Denver in the spring. Several of its outdoor brands, including The North Face, JanSport, Smartwool, Eagle Creek and Altra will also move to Denver.

Smartwool currently employs 70 people at its headquarters in Steamboat Springs.

VF employs nearly 70,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 170 countries. It also includes brands Vans, Timberland, Dickies and other work-wear brands that will not relocate to Denver.

It had global revenues of $11.8 billion in 2017.

“It is a great strategic fit for our business, and we are excited to be relocating our headquarters and several brands to the metro Denver area next year," Rendle said.

"We believe that the creation of our new headquarters in the area will help us to unlock collaboration across our outdoor brands, attract and retain talent, and accelerate innovation.”

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