What’s Different About Levi’s

by MR Magazine Staff

Contrary to mythology, Levi Strauss never sold his famous dungarees to “49ers”-era prospectors (he opened a dry goods business during the Gold Rush — the jeans would come later). But the company he founded 166 years ago staged a gold rush of its own last month in the form of an initial public offering that swiftly topped its opening share price and left it with an $8 billion valuation. It’s the apparel maker’s second trip to Wall Street (the first, in 1971, “was one of the largest ever” then, too, according to the New York Times) — in a history that has marked time in three different centuries and supplied it with a signature product that, despite its own occasional missteps and the vagaries of fashion, continues to define American denim for a global audience. Its jeans are sold in some 50,000 retail locations in more than 110 countries, including through mass merchants, specialty retailers and department stores, plus about 2,900 branded stores and shop-in-shops, of which 750 are company-operated stores in 31 countries, according to Levi’s most recently published annual report. Read more at Retail Dive.