“I think this world is coming down to winners and losers,” says Levi’s CEO Charles Bergh. “The Levi’s brand is incredibly strong and so we’re in a position with all of our customers to be asking for more, to be asking for more floor space and more open-to-buy budget. They need us. They need strong brands today and Levi’s is a brand that can drive traffic for them. We’ve got some really strong collaborations happening and that brings a lot of heat to the business.”
Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi’s, discusses the strength of the Levi’s brand and how they are appealing to millennials through innovation, personalization, and collaborations with Netflix, in an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC:
Levi’s Is a Brand That Can Drive Traffic
I am a big believer in winners and losers. I think this world is coming down to winners and losers. The Levi’s brand is incredibly strong and so we’re in a position with all of our customers to be asking for more, to be asking for more floor space and more open-to-buy budget. They need us. They need strong brands today and Levi’s is a brand that can drive traffic for them. Our fall-winter season just took the stores, literally this week. We’ve got some really strong collaborations happening and that brings a lot of heat to the business.
We’ve got a collaboration with Hello Kitty. We’ve got a very successful collaboration right now with Stranger Things, the hit Netflix show. All that’s on floor now. We’ve also introduced this laser technology where consumers can customize their own jeans online. A consumer can go online and literally design their own jeans finished by a laser. We can finish a pair of jeans for the consumer and ship it to them in less than a week.
Customization and personalization are a huge part of what we’re doing. In fact, in all of our mainline doors around the world, we’ve got tailor shops. We are really catering to the consumer. We’re letting consumers personalize and customize their own t-shirts. Our t-shirt business is on fire. I’m very optimistic about the future here in the US and also globally.
Sustainability Is Really Important To Us
Sustainability is really important. We’re a company that really is all about our values. We talk about value and values. One of the things when we did the IPO I said we’re not going to change how we run the company. We’re going to continue to stand for things that are important. This company has a track record of not being afraid to take a stand on important issues of the day. Sustainability is really important to us. We use it as a constraint and innovation. In fact, this laser technology is just one example.
We developed this technology primarily to eliminate a lot of the chemicals that are in the supply chain. Finishing a pair of jeans requires dozens and dozens of chemicals and we’ve eliminated over a thousand chemicals by being able to finish our jeans with a laser. This shirt that I’m wearing is a combination of cotton and hemp. Now hemp historically has been like burlap. It’s a very tough fiber. We’ve worked with a supplier that creates cottonized hemp. This product feels as if it’s cotton but it’s also woven with hemp. Hemp is a lot more sustainable. It takes less water to grow than cotton and you can grow a lot more per acre of land. It’s a lot more sustainable as a fiber and it’s cheaper as a fiber too.