Vans is an American shoe retailer based in Cypress, California. The company also sells apparel and other branded products like t-shirts, hoodies, socks, hats, and backpacks. They are also active in the sports industry and sponsor various skateboard, surf, snow, BMX, and motocross teams.
Does this sound like a company you want to work with? It’s time to fill out a Vans application then. Today I’ll show you the company’s history and culture before giving you insight on how to apply and secure a position.
The Company’s History and Culture
The first Vans store was opened on March 16, 1966 in Anaheim, California. It was founded by Paul Van Doren, James Van Doren, Gordon Lee, and Serge D’Elia. The name of the original store was The Van Doren Rubber Company. Paul and D’Elia owned most of the company, while the others held a ten percent stake.
The focus of the business in the beginning was manufacturing and selling shoes to the general public. The first day of business saw twelve customers. There were three styles back then that ranged in price between $2.49 and $4.99. On the opening day though they didn’t have anything but display shoes, the boxes were empty.
The twelve customers that first day chose their shoes and were told to return later to pick them up. Paul Van Doren and Lee then rushed to the factory to make the shoes. When the customers came back, they realized there was no cash register to store money or give change. They asked the customers to come back the next day and pay for their shoes.
All of twelve of them did indeed return the following day as requested. The company grew from there. In the 1970’s, skateboarders began wearing Vans shoes because of their rugged style and sticky soles. In 1975 the Vans “Era” shoes were designed by professional skateboarders named Tony Alva and Stacy Peratta.
As of the 21st century, Steve Van Doren, the son of Paul Van Doren, is still with the company, along with his sister Cheryl and his daughter Kristy. In 2000 and 2001, Forbes magazine recognized Vans as one of America’s Best Small Companies.
In 2002, Vans opened an enclosed skatepark in the Festival Bay Mall on International Drive in Orlando, Florida. It closed in January of 2012. In 2004, the “Customs” feature appeared on the website where customers could design their own pair of Vans shoes.
There are more than 250 locations in the United States, and other locations in 70 countries around the world. The company promotes a action sports lifestyle and youth culture through support of athletes on boards and bikes all over the globe.
The company’s culture is described perfect by Steve Van Doren when he said:
“The original Vans motto was ‘Tell A Friend About Vans.’ If a customer left happy they would go tell 3 people. All the way back from 1966, Vans retail stores were created as an essential part of Vans’ success. The founding Van Doren family had 3 key ingredients for success: quality, value and superior customer service. Today, 40+ years later, this division still plays a key role at Vans, and our motto is still the same.”
He also provides ten reasons why you should start a career at Vans:
- The company is a great American story about how people made their dreams come true and made their own shoes.
- The company has 46 years of heritage.
- Vans is a southern California iconic brand.
- It’s a teenage brand that workers can believe in.
- The brand inspires music, art, and action sports.
- The parent company, VF Corporation, is a stable brand.
- Four members of the original family work here.
- The atmosphere is relaxed, the dress code is casual, and the culture is creative.
- You can work in Southern California, the hub of the action sports industry.
- It’s a fun company that respects the talent and and personal growth of its employees.
Shoes are a competitive market. There are brands for just about everything from skating to running, to just plain looking good. Once you’re finished applying here, check out Foot Locker. From there, head on over to Nike, and finally, check out Journeys.
Vans Application Online
Vans stores operate in high volume areas. When looking to apply here, make sure you focus on showing a strong work ethic and a professional attitude. The daily business levels of these stores will result in large crowds and lots of noise. In these types of settings, associates should be able to react quickly and make fast decisions.
During the hiring process you will be asked to show how you can meet sales goals and exceed expectations despite the chaotic atmosphere. Prior experience in retail is a strong characteristic to have when applying here. That being said, there are plenty of entry-level opportunities for you to take advantage of if you don’t have any previous experience.
To start the process, head on over to the Vans career page on their website. Here you can apply using the online portal to fill out the proper forms. Some applicants will receive phone calls to schedule interviews, but in many cases it is important to follow up with the hiring manager yourself once you’ve submitted the forms.
In some cases it can take up to three weeks to hear back on a submitted form. You can check on the website in the meantime to see what your status is. You’ll need to remember your unique email and password combination to login on the website.
One of the immediate benefits of working at Vans is the unique and casual atmosphere that employees enjoy. Some locations even allow skateboarding and rollerblading in the store as well. Employees are encouraged to create professional relationships with customers instead of just pursuing sales goals. Newly hired workers immediately get 50% off in-store merchandise.
Continued time with the company yields even more benefits around medical, dental, and vision insurance. There are also life insurance plans, along with employee assistance programs, paid vacation, sick days, and 401(k) retirement plans.
Your Vans application can grant you entrance into one of the most casual, fun, and energetic companies out there. Don’t hesitate, apply today!