PVH has the buttoned-down look all sewn up. A top apparel firm worldwide and key US dress-shirt maker, PVH sells clothes, accessories, and shoes for men, women, and children under its own brands, such as Calvin Klein, Van Heusen, Tommy Hilfiger, IZOD, and ARROW. It sells other brands under license, including Geoffrey Beene, CHAPS, DKNY, and Nautica, and offers private-label goods. PVH distributes to department stores; it generates nearly a third of its revenue from wholesale clients Macy's, Kohl's, JCPenney, and Wal-Mart. The apparel manufacturer also peddles its products through some 650 outlet stores in the US. In mid-2011 the company dropped the Phillips-Van Heusen name in favor of a simpler moniker, PVH.
The name change reflects the company's emphasis over the past decade on its diversified portfolio of brands. PVH said its transformation into one of the world's largest apparel firms started with the acquisition of Calvin Klein in 2003 and carried through to its purchase of Tommy Hilfiger Group (THG) in 2010. The deals were monumental for PVH; the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands generate more than 75% of the company's sales and profits. The two lifestyle and apparel labels are also central to PVH's future growth initiatives.
Boosting its business further, PVH in late 2012 agreed to acquire The Warnaco Group, which holds the Calvin Klein jeans and underwear licensing agreements, in a deal valued at $2.9 billion. The purchase, which offers PVH global control of the Calvin Klein brand, gives Warnaco shareholders a combined 10% stake in the larger company.
Previously, the company's purchase of THG had capped off several years of brand building. The company, which already had been selling the Tommy Hilfiger brand under license, wrote a check to London-based private equity firm Apax Partners for €2.2 billion (about $3 billion) in cash to fold the brand into its bulging portfolio. As part of the agreement, PVH forked over about €276 million ($378 million) worth of its stock and assumed €100 million ($137 million) in debt. Both companies, which boast well-known iconic brands, create an international apparel powerhouse with an expected annual revenue of about $4.6 billion (about €3.4 billion). Buying THG gave PVH greater access to higher-margin overseas markets; THG generates about 60% of its sales in international markets.
Part of PVH's long-standing strategy has been to grow its Calvin Klein brands globally. The firm has three brand tiers that cater to different markets, positioning, and channels. Its Calvin Klein business comprises brand names Calvin Klein Collection, ck Calvin Klein, and Calvin Klein (white label) to capture several marketing opportunities. To give it greater control, PVH in 2008 acquired CMI, the licensee of the high-end collection of apparel and accessories for men and women. It's using its bridge brand, ck Calvin Klein, to help PVH extend its reach into Europe and Asia, which supports the brand's upper-moderate price range. The company's also opening stores in China, Southeast Asia, Japan, Europe, and the Middle East under the ck Calvin Klein banner. It operates more than 60 freestanding stores in those regions, with some 30 more expected to be opened by licensees by the end of 2010. PVH believes its white-label Calvin Klein brand offers it the most growth opportunities in North America by showcasing its men's sportswear business, licensing men's and women's apparel and accessories, adding new fragrances and underwear brands, and pursuing licensing deals for new products.
To extend its reach into niche markets, PVH bought privately held necktie maker Superba for more than $110 million in 2007 to market Calvin Klein and IZOD neckwear. The company offers men's and women's sunglasses through a licensing agreement with Marchon Eyewear. Other licensing deals include watches, footwear, and handbags. (In a new marketing idea, the company won the bid to put its name on a New Jersey sports arena, home of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, which was renamed the IZOD Center in October 2007.)
While PVH is entering new markets, the company has been fine-tuning its licensing and international strategies. In 2008 PVH partnered with Timberland in a licensing agreement to make men's apparel (in 2008) and women's apparel (in 2009). PVH also partnered with G-III Apparel Group in December 2007 to manufacture and distribute Calvin Klein Performance-branded clothing for women. The line targets active, sporting goods, and specialty stores in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
PVH has made several moves in recent years in an effort to gain global control of the Van Heusen brand. PVH acquired the Van Heusen label for Europe and Asia from UK-based Coats Viyella. PVH licensed the brand back to the previous owner, giving the company distribution rights in the UK and Ireland. PVH extended the reach for IZOD's European unit, as well, by partnering with Rousseau SAS in mid-2006. Rousseau markets and distributes an IZOD-branded men's sportswear line sold in France, Belgium, Andorra, Luxembourg, and Monaco.
While PVH is expanding its business, it's keeping an eye on expenses. Looking to stay ahead of the US economic downturn and lower its operating costs, PVH in 2009 shuttered some 175 stores and shed about 400 employees -- comprising 250 salaried positions and 150 people from its neckwear unit.
FMR owns about 10% of the company, while Earnest Partners holds a more than 7% stake in PVH. In mid-2005 chairman Bruce Klatsky passed his CEO title to Mark Weber. Weber left within a year and was replaced by president and COO Emanuel Chirico. Klatsky retired in 2007 after nearly 36 years with the firm. Chirico, who assumed the title of chairman, and Klatsky had worked together for about two decades. – less