How The Retail Industry Can Learn From Levi Strauss’ Transformation

by MR Magazine Staff

Levi Strauss, the makers of Levi Jeans and Dockers pants, endured a rough time not so long ago. Sales peaked in 1997 at $7.1 billion and then sank to about $4 billion in the ensuing years as young people veered to other brands. Competitors like Walmart, Target, Gap and many others gained share of market from Levi Strauss in the casual pants classification. Were the riveted jeans dead? It was patented in 1873 by German immigrant Levi Strauss who came to the United States about 20 years earlier as a wholesale merchant with some great ideas. Ideas that eventually built a successful business. But, the business floundered and by the early 2000s, the stock was sinking and only drastic action could save the iconic company. The company chose Charles V.” Chip” Bergh in 2011 to take the helm of the company to right the ship, attract new customers and regain a leadership position. His background showed his preparedness for the challenge; he had been at Proctor & Gamble for 28 years, most recently working on Old Spice and deodorant and razors. Plus, he had brand knowledge and international experience. Read more at Forbes.