Levi’s To Return To Stock Exchange After Strong Comeback

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In 2015, AAPN member YKK, which is based here in Atlanta, invited me to attend a major corporate retreat. Their program included four break out sessions. I was a speaker in each of the four sessions on ‘pants’. The focus was, of course, on their market for zippers. I remember two things clearly.

First, I bet they know more about Levi’s than Levi’s. They had mapped out a 30 year history by market, style, channel, segment, factory and much much more. Secondly, they anticipated the impact of yoga pants and it was an enormous hit on their volumes.

The 80 slides that constituted this break out convinced more than ever of the extraordinary value of our trim members. They know every prospect for what they make, they know their customers – what they make, who they make for, their capacity to make and whether they pay their bills on time.

With a network like this, you’ll never need a list. To find the right factory, you merely activate the network by writing me!!

Mike

Levi’s To Return To Stock Exchange After Strong Comeback
Fortune: 1/13/19

Who says a 166-year-old denim brand can’t be the hot new thing again?
Levi Strauss & Co on Wednesday filed paperwork with regulators to return to the stock market after a 34-year absence, buoyed by strong sales and profit growth in recent years that shows an established clothing brand, particular in the hyper-competitive jeans market, can reinvent itself.

The company, which invented its iconic Levi’s blue jeans in 1873 with the use of rivets that strengthened the seams in denim work pants, had revenue of $5.58 billion in 2018, up 14% from a year earlier. Levi Strauss plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker “LEVI,” it said in its initial public offering prospective filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Only a few years ago, Levi was choking on a heavy debt load and struggling to reinvent itself in the competitive denim market. It had grown overly reliant on department stores, a declining area of retail, and had to contend with the growth of athleisure, a category that severely hurt most denim makers. What’s more, on the high end, premium brands like J.Brand and AG emerged. At the worst of Levi’s time wandering in retail’s desert, sales fell from an-all time peak of $7 billion in 1997 to $4.1 billion five years later.

Under Chip Bergh, a 28-year Procter & Gamble executive, who became CEO in 2011, the company became more disciplined in the categories it would chase, notably not jumping on the yoga pants craze and instead improving its own offerings. It vastly improved its women’s jeans, adding more stretch material and improved their looks. Levi also found success with tops, an area it had long treated as an afterthought. The result: its women’s division has grown for 10 consecutive quarters. (When Bergh took the reins, 80% of profits came from men’s jeans and Dockers, and primarily from department stores.) Read More

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