VF Corp. has decided to move the center of its brands’ operations in the Asia-Pacific region from Hong Kong to Shanghai, where it already has some 900 office and retail employees. Some of the operations will also be transferred to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. The transition will last between 12 and 18 months, starting in April.

The move to Shanghai after 25 years of operations in Asia is expected to help forge stronger and more relevant relationships with Chinese customers, said VF, supporting its transformation into a “more consumer-minded, retail-centric and hyper-digital enterprise.” The management noted that VF has already built up new capabilities in digital and analytics in Asia, while striking stronger relations with major “digital titans” in the region and appointing new leaders in Shanghai as well as Tokyo.

Singapore will serve as VF’s “Asia Product Supply Hub,” giving the group “significant opportunities in creating a hyper-digital supply chain.” The group said it will redeploy talent and resources throughout its primary sourcing countries to work more closely and efficiently with key suppliers, in order to move products around with greater speed and agility.

An additional shared services center in Kuala Lumpur will provide expanded back-end business functions for its operations in the region including digital technology, finance, human resources and logistics. Hong Kong will remain a key retail market for its brands including Vans, The North Face and Timberland.