Levi reports its best financial performance in over a decade thanks to digital advancements in e-commerce and retail expansion to drive growth.
On Wednesday, Levi Strauss & Co. confirmed its fourth-quarter net revenues rose by 13 percent. Wholesale sales grew 10 percent and direct-to-consumer revenues grew 20 percent.
The highlights were also reflected in its 2017 full-year financial performance, with 15 percent direct-to-consumer sales growth and eight percent net revenue growth (or seven percent excluding the favourable US $11 million currency translation). The company attributes its strongest performance in over a decade to strengthening its digital channels, as well as the expansion of its retail network.
While larger US companies like Gap, Walmart and Target have gained market share from Levi in the casual pants category, Levi is determined to stay at the forefront of its patented riveted jeans, pants collections and men’s and women’s fashion.
Since bringing Chip Bergh, Levis president and chief executive officer to the helm in 2011, his challenge to attract new customers and regain Levi’s leadership position has seen big changes within the company, including new investments, a new management team, a new strategy (with innovation at the heart of attracting new customers) and paying more attention to the internet by offering a more sophisticated online shopping experience.
In the last year, Levi has made a concerted effort to step up its digital game. The iconic jeans label launched shoppable video over the 2017 holiday season, and earlier in the year it unveiled its new AI powered chatbot, Virtual Stylist, which converses with shoppers to offer them jeans recommendations based on their style preferences and fit, further bringing the brand to life online.
These digital innovations were part of Levi Strauss & Co.’s larger push to invest in its e-commerce business and new technologies to improve the consumer shopping experience and, ultimately, drive online sales. And, this has certainly paid off for the retail brand.
“Our growth and momentum accelerated in Q4 capping the strongest revenue year the company has had in more than a decade,” said Bergh earlier this week. “Our strategies are working and the investments that we’ve made to diversify our business over the past few years are paying off, best demonstrated by the strength of the Levi’s brand globally.”