More than 150 jobs are to be created in Nottingham when $11 billion turnover American clothing and footwear company VF Corporation moves several of its European wholesale and e-commerce customer services functions to the city.
VF Corporation, which owns iconic brands such as The North Face®, Timberland®, Vans®, Kipling®, Eastpak®, Wrangler® and Lee®, is currently recruiting staff, including a significant number of multi-lingual speakers, to work in its new office at The Curve on NG2 Business Park.
At The Curve, VF is creating a Customer Service Centre of excellence, which will work with its European wholesale customers and consumers shopping in VF’s online stores.
VF’s other Nottingham location in Calverton, currently employing more than 200 people, is probably familiar to local people as Wrangler’s UK base. The company’s first European customer service and credit staff began operating there in 2000, when VF bought The North Face®, and Eastpak® brands. VF will continue to run and expand the Calverton site, where its European credit department is also looking to recruit 30 employees, most of whom will be multi-lingual.
Since then they have acquired Vans® , Napapijri® Kipling® , Reef®, 7 For All Mankind® & Timberland® doubling its worldwide sales.
A spokesperson for VF said: “We are pleased to expand in the Nottingham area, as VF has a strong history at our Calverton site – both in our operations and the ability to recruit quality employees to our growing company. We look forward to welcoming talented individuals, most of who will be multi-lingual with strong communication skills, who can help us continue to build strong relationships with our customers.”
Seen as the largest inward investment opportunity in Nottingham for years, the deal is a real coup for the city – creating jobs and providing a massive boost to the local economy.
Lorraine Baggs of Invest in Nottingham said: “VF is a valued employer in the city and county, and is making a significant contribution to our economy. We've been working together for some time to find the right solutions for the company to enable them to remain and expand in the area. We're delighted to see them moving to The Curve and very much look forward to continuing to support them in the future.”
The Curve is a 30,000 sq ft prestige office building which is asset managed by F & C Reit on behalf of Friends Life. The transaction was nurtured by a team of consultants from Innes England, FHP and CBRE – and supported by the Invest in Nottingham team at Nottingham City Council.
Craig Straw of Innes England acted for the outgoing tenant. He said: “This is a significant win for the city. The company has not only confirmed its commitment to retaining its presence in the county, it is planning to create further employment opportunities at both locations.”
It was complicated tripartite deal which saw the tenant surrendering its lease with owner Friends Life granting a new lease to VF.
Ashley Hancox, senior director at CBRE which acted for VF, said: “The letting to V F Northern Europe is great news for Nottingham. “The Curve was the perfect choice, not only because it can accommodate around 450 people, but also because of its close proximity to the city centre, access to the local skills base and the nearby transport links, and the quality of the accommodation.”
John Proctor, director at East Midlands-based property consultants FHP which acted for Friends Life, said “We are delighted to be part of the team which has brought VF to the city. F & C Reit takes a strategic long term view on its property assets and has the foresight and motivation to help deliver such an exciting move for the city and one which helps underpin Nottingham’s expertise in customer services.”
Councillor Nick McDonald, portfolio holder for jobs and growth at Nottingham City Council, said: “This new investment is great news for the city. It confirms the upward trend we are seeing for business in Nottingham currently.
“With recent news that our city is cited by the UK’s top firms for as a prime target for recruitment, deals on Grade A office space being up 130%, and £51m of business finance secured for the city, it’s becoming clear that Nottingham is more of a prime location for business than ever.
“Our aim is to keep the positive trend going and to ensure that local businesses and residents are the ones who benefit.”
Simon McIntosh of F & C Reit Asset Management added: “We are very pleased to have been able to work with VF – this is exactly the kind of proactive asset management approach that we seek to encourage across our entire property portfolio throughout the UK.”
Pictured L-R: Lorraine Baggs of Invest in Nottingham, John Proctor of FHP, Ursula Wilson – Director Customer Service at VF, Paddy Emmerson – Finance Director at VF in the UK, Craig Straw of Innes England, Ashley Hancox of CBRE.