Apparel giant VF Corporation is to create three global innovation centres to speed the development of "game-changing" products in technical apparel, footwear and jeans.

"As we continue to grow around the world, it's clear to us that having the ability to innovate in the long term as well as the near term is important," a spokesperson for VF Corporation told just-style today (28 August). 

He said they could focus on "innovations in process, materials or anything associated with our scope of business".

The innovation centres will be "independent in nature" and not located within a brand office or within a coalition office but may be in the same cities. 

They will be staffed with teams of scientists, engineers and technical designers, who combine a deep understanding of technology and new materials along with insight into consumer needs. Some people will move from existing innovation teams and a "modest number" will be hired.

"The expected outcome: breakthrough products that drive brand equity and long-term growth," the company said.

“These global innovation centres will spark opportunities to fuel VF’s growth and shape the future of apparel and footwear,” explained chairman and CEO Eric Wiseman.

"From the mass market to the mountaintop and from the US to South America, Asia and Europe, we will develop and deliver innovative, 'must-have' products for consumers.

"Consumers buy and pay more for new, differentiated, value-adding products. We will inspire consumers to buy our products and, as a result, drive revenue growth and even higher profitability," Wiseman added.

The technical apparel innovation centre will be in Alameda, California; the jeans centre in Greensboro, North Carolina; and the footwear centre will be in Stratham, New Hampshire. All are expected to be operational during the first half of 2014.

The move builds on goals set out in 2010 for the role that innovation would play in VF’s growth.

“This move is critical to advancing our journey as it gives us a competitive advantage in the apparel industry."

Output will be leveraged across the company's 30-plus brands, which include The North Face, Vans, Wrangler, Timberland and Lee.