The corporate owner of Lee and Wrangler jeans may be considering selling the iconic brands, according to a Friday report published by the Wall Street Journal.
VF Corp. – the apparel conglomerate that owns both brands – may be considering spinning off or selling Lee and Wrangler as demand for denim declines, the report says, citing corporate insiders.
VF has owned the jean companies for decades, but in recent years jean sales have fallen across the industry. That's due in part to the rise of yoga pants for women, a trend that started gaining widespread attention in 2014.
The report cites positive signs for the denim brands, including four consecutive quarters of improvement for Wrangler. But VF has also been focusing its efforts on quickly growing brands – including Vans, The North Face, and Timberland – and selling off other assets, according to the report.
One such example: The company announced plans to sell the Nautica apparel brand in March. The moves have been warmly greeted by investors, and VF's stock has climbed more than 50 percent in the past year.
VF representatives could not be immediately reached for comment on the matter.