VF Group, the giant American group that owns over 23 brands worldwide, most of which belong to the outdoor, sportswear and jeanswear markets, has recently opened a new 3000sqm showroom in Milan.

The new showroom is located in Via Varesina 158, in the Northern outskirts of the city, in the former industrial Forgiature area which previously hosted a huge steelworks from the end of the 1800s. The overall area measures 25,000sqm, 10,000sqm of which has been newly built and integrated into the pre-extant 15,000sqm.

The new VF Italian office is built according to modern and sustainable criteria. The futuristic building has glass walls, metal fixtures and wooden floors and has been devised according to environmentally friendly criteria and employs renewable energy sources such as solar energy, groundwater air conditioning and heating systems that save at least 80% energy.

The new offices host ten of the twelve brands that the group distributes in Italy. Hosted in the offices is Eastpak, Jansport, Kipling, Lee, Napapijri, 7 For All Mankind, Reef, Smartwool, Vans and Wrangler. The only two not hosted inside this building are Timberland, since they have only recently been acquired by the group, and The North Face, which is managed from a distinctive location in Veneto.

"We decided on this operation since we noticed that most of these brands had their own showrooms in Milan, but all in different locations," comments Karl-Heinz Salzburger, vice president, VF and group president, VF International. Martino Scabbia Guerrini, president, VF International: "Since our European headquarters in Stabio, Switzerland, already follow this model of grouping together all of our brands in one single modern and eco-minded office, we thought that this could be easily replicated also in Milan. However, we only proceed in cases where each brand will benefit in terms of perception, history, organization and logistics."

Moreover, Salzburger briefly commented on some of the future aims of the group, referring to geographical market areas and segments. In 2012 the group registered almost USD 11 billion revenues, 46.5% gross margin and 13.5% Operating margin. By end 2015 it expects to increase its turnover to USD 12.7 billion and reach 48% gross margin and 15% operating margin. By 2017 sales are expected to reach USD 17.3 billion and the operating margin to increase to 16%.

"Until 2010 only two of our wide stable of brands were reaching revenues over USD 1 billion per year," explained Karl-Heinz Salzburger. "Today there are five beyond that amount, beginning with top performers: The North Face, Vans, Timberland (acquired in 2011), Wrangler and Lee, and we expect double digit figures from The North Face (+12%), Vans (+15%), Timberland (+19%), and single growth figures from Wrangler (+3%) and Lee (+5%)." Between 2012 and 2017 they expect international revenues growth by region by registering + 11% in EMEA countries, +17% from APAC countries and +15% from the Americas.