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Mystery revealed: Company behind The North Face chooses Denver for global headquarters

Posted at 4:39 AM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-13 20:34:20-04

DENVER — The "Project Cardinal" mystery has been revealed.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development announced Monday morning that VF Corp, the parent company of major outdoor brands The North Face, JanSport and Smartwool, is moving its global headquarters to the Denver metro.

Last week, the Colorado Office of Economic Development approved $27 million in tax incentives for "Project Cardinal," the second largest incentive package in state history. At the time, the company was shrouded in secrecy. 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.

“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.

Steve Rendle, VF’s chairman, president and CEO and Colorado is an area with unrivaled heritage, culture and activity-based lifestyles and a thriving business environment. 

“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," he 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.”

Rendle also promised to re-invest the $27 million in tax credits in our state. 

“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," he 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.”

VF has nearly 70,000 employees worldwide and operations across more than 170 countries. The company’s portfolio of brands also includes Vans, Timberland and a stable of workwear brands, including Dickies, none of which are involved in the relocation to Denver. The company’s 2017 global revenues were $11.8 billion.

VF will begin moving into its Colorado headquarters in mid-2019.