Supreme Sells to VF Corp. Will it Sell Out?
It's an entrepreneur's classic dilemma. Can we keep the culture that makes us unique and made a successful and still sell our company. Nowhere is this dilemma more stark. Then with underground street where companies supreme which recently announced that it selling to fashion conglomerate. Vhf corp you know. Vf the ten billion dollar company that owns nineteen brands including north face vans and timberland well in case she were doomed scrolling in miss the big news last week. Vf announced its deal to acquire supreme. For a couple billion dollars it's bs big acquisitions since it bought timberland and twenty eleven also for just over two billion dollars bloomberg reported. Now you've probably heard of supreme but just in case it's a streetwear company. It sells branded. T shirts hoodies hats and their fashion. Ain't cheap. The label launched with a single skateboard shop. In new york city in nineteen ninety-four the brainchild fashion designer. James jeb jeb. Lia will remain at the helm of the brand supreme at big by doing everything. Mass market brands don't do it. Amplified scarcity in a big way. Supreme spent almost nothing on marketing building. Up word of mouth instead. According to cnbc it opened brick and mortar stores. So slowly that. Today there are only twelve around the world and you couldn't just walk in to make a purchase. No the only way to get supreme. Fashion was to follow them on social media like a hawk waiting for them to announce random drops of merchandise. Today those drops our weekly getting a spot in line for the privilege of buying anything was intentionally almost impossible at the height of their popularity. Wannabe customers would camp out in tents or sleep on the street to get a spot in line. The next morning teens also commonly spent a couple of hundred dollars to purchase online bots that notified in the second clothing dropped but that notification guaranteed nothing products could be sold out in less than a minute that strategy in turn created hot resale market t shirts and hoodies that originally so for sixty to eighty dollars could fetch up to a thousand bucks on ebay and other resale sites. The supreme red and white brand became so magnetic that the company seemingly could sell just about anything by slapping the logo on it from kayaks to a pyrex measuring cup to a brick literally. You can still buy a supreme branded brick resale sites stock x. It'll set you back. One hundred and thirty dollars though according to cnbc and just for fun and unbranded brick currently cost sixty six cents. At lowe's the company also pursued its famous collapse strategy. Working in tandem with the f. Corpse vans timberland. North face to create supreme branded footwear and apparel partners included designers like gucci and louis vuitton even colgate toothpaste has a partnership with supreme for vf. The deal signals a strategic. Step forward in what it is called a transformation plan in recent years. Bef has begun. Divesting less edgy products. Like work. where it's off wrangler into its own company and is building on its prowess in athletic streetwear. Its stock price surged on the supreme announcement. Its biggest gain in more than thirty years according to bloomberg. But here's the really big question. Can supreme keep expanding by making its products. Hard to get under the umbrella of a fortune five hundred company with its eye on global growth. Bfce's the street where market is a fifty billion dollar opportunity. Supreme reportedly earned half a billion in revenues last year the f. plans to add new supreme stores around the world. The new york times asked kent supreme. Stay cool while going corporate seemingly. The answer is yes. After all one of the country's biggest private equity firms the carlyle group bought about half of supreme for five hundred million dollars in two thousand seventeen that deal prompted the same kinds of questions about authenticity but supreme continued to grow. Not everyone sees a smooth path forward. However matt powell is a senior industry advisory at retail consultancy npd group. He told the website high snow by the streetwear market is based on scarcity scarcity and growth are oppositional. Oh and one other challenge ahead for vs. It'll continue to allow supreme to do its famous collapse with partners outside the f- like for instance the f. rivals levi's and nike from the outside. That looks like letting your new spouse still collab- with other partners does it. Not and of course we all know how well that can work out in the end. Success will rest on whether the acquisition will juice revenues and profits for both partners. The f. is confident that supreme can become a billion dollar brand. If that is supreme can hang onto the cool rebellious image it's cultivated since his unassuming launch or than twenty five years ago