International -- Readers Report
VF CORP.: IT'S ALL IN THE NUMBERS (int'l edition)
Your article on VF Corp., "Just get it to the stores on time" (The Corporation, Mar. 6), is somewhat misleading. Certainly, the company has seen some increases in market share over the period presented. However, in comparing the company's figures with Levi Strauss & Co.'s, you show only a declining Levi Strauss market share. These market-share numbers represent only the U.S. market, where Levi Strauss has taken strong and positive steps to reduce unit volume and improve profitability.
Levi Strauss remains by far the most profitable apparel company in the world, and its brand recognition is among the highest in the world. I would also have liked you to present figures on the true measure of a company's performance, i.e., its return to shareholders. Evidently, VF's CEO, Lawrence R. Pugh, thinks there are better investments around, as he just filed a Form 4 reporting the sale of 50% of his holdings.