Levi's Aims for Higher-End Consumers
In the wake of a recession that caused consumers to question the value of $198 jeans, Levi Strauss & Co. is reintroducing consumers to its $198 jeans. The 157-year-old company is trying to reinvent itself as not just a purveyor of basics but as an edgier brand suitable for the fashion cognoscenti. By opening lavish boutiques, like one in London, renaming its high-end labels, and hiring executives from competing designer brands like Ralph Lauren and 7 for All Mankind, the company is seeking to improve its fashion street cred, a move that it hopes will reignite sales, which have stabilized at around $4 billion annually after peaking at $7.1 billion 1996. The company doesn't disclose dollar sales of its expensive jeans, which are a small part of its business. They are important, however, because they cast a halo over the brand name.