V.F. Corporation (NYSE: VFC) is a leading clothing manufacturer. The company owns a broad range of major brands in denim, sportswear, and outdoor apparel. Some of its better known brands include Lee, The North Face and Vans. Even though V.F. owns some of its own retail stores, it primarily sells its clothing through department stores and other national mass-market chains; its five largest customers, including Wal-Mart, Target, and Sears. These customers consistently make up over 25% of the company's sales.
In recent years, the company has shifted its business strategy from maintaining its mass-market holdings to acquiring "lifestyle brands"—clothing that resonate with consumers and generally come with higher margins. The company has focused on using its supply chain expertise to improve these brands' business operations, while leaving the creative decisions to the brands themselves. To meet this goal, V.F. has spent over $4billion in the past several years acquiring more upscale brands like Nautica, John Varvatos, lucy Activewear, Seven For All Mankind and most recently Timberland and Smart Wool.(Read more at Wikinvest )