Levi Strauss/stats, details

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Basic Information

Country of incorporation


Ownership status


Primary industry sector

Consumer Goods: Textile-Apparel

Primary industry ranking

Number of employees worldwide

10,680 [1]

Chief executive officer

R. John Anderson

Investor website


List of largest shareholders

Members of the Haas family, related to the company's founder, own Levi Strauss & Co.

Total revenue

Net Sales 2006: USD 4,106,500,000 [2]

Net income

2006: 239,000,000 [3]

Detailed Information

Company history

Levi Strauss & Co. begun in 1853 in the wake of the California Gold Rush by Levi Strauss, an immigrant from Bavaria. In 1872, Levi received a letter from Jacob Davis, a Reno, Nev., tailor, describing the interesting way he made pants for his customers: he placed metal rivets at the points of strain to make the pants stronger for the laboring men who were his customers. He didn't have the money to patent his process, so he suggested that Levi pay for the paperwork and that they take out the patent together. Levi was enthusiastic about the idea and the patent was granted to both men on May 20, 1873. The two men started to produce these "waist overalls" in San Fransisco, which took the company into the blue jeans manufacturing that it is known for today. When Levi Strauss died in 1902, he left a thriving manufacturing and dry goods business to his four nephews, who rebuilt it after the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. [1]

"It was only after Peter Haas and his older brother Walter, who were descendants of a nephew of Levi Strauss, took control of the business after World War II that Levi's became an international brand and, after that, made a mark in fashion as well. Movie idols like Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953) and James Dean helped popularize Levis. After that, denim blue jeans, by Levi Strauss and dozens of other makers, became not just work clothes but daily garb, and eventually something approaching high style. In 1959, company sales totaled $40 million. ... When it went public in 1971, the company had almost 20,000 employees worldwide and sales of more than $400 million, with operations in 50 countries. It was taken private again in 1985." NY Times obituary for Peter Haas During the 1990s, the firm lost substantial market share, seeing seven years of straight losses from 1997 to 2004 [2] The company has continued to post profits in spite of lower sales. [3]

Historical financial results

From 10-K report filed 02/13/2007

Business strategy

" We have changed virtually every aspect of the business, including the entire process of how we develop, deliver and market products. The initiatives include:

  • Revamping our core Levi's® and Dockers® product lines to make our products more innovative, market-relevant and appealing to consumers.
  • Improving our speed to market and responsiveness to changing consumer preferences.
  • Launching the Levi Strauss Signature® brand for value-conscious consumers in North America and Asia.
  • Expanding our licensing programs to offer more products that complement our core brand product ranges.
  • Improving the economics of our Levi's® and Dockers® brands for retail customers.
  • Strengthening our management team and attracting top talent to key positions around the world.
  • Enhancing our global sourcing and product innovation capabilities.
  • Reducing our cost of goods and operating expenses.
  • Implementing a new business planning and performance model that clarifies roles, responsibilities and accountabilities and improves our operational effectiveness.

As a result of these actions, we have stabilized sales and substantially improved the profitability of the company." [4]


Levi Strauss & Co. supplier list

Countries of operation

Levi Strauss & Co. is divided into three divisions: Levi Strauss Americas (based in San Franscisco); Levi Strauss Europe (based in Brussels); Asia Pacific Division (based in Singapore). The company has country offices throughout these regions.

Social responsibility initiatives

  • Community Involvement Teams: offer employees and retirees funds and time to work in their communities "by mentoring students, fundraising, supporting environment programs, teaching HIV/AIDS prevention and working with seniors among other volunteer activities." [5]
  • Levi Strauss Foundation: funds women, youth, and anti-poverty programs [6]


  1. Levis Strauss Biography-1.pdf, downloaded from http://www.levistrauss.com/Heritage/History.aspx on 02/05/08
  2. NY Times, Oct. 13, 2004. "Levi Strauss Reverses Loss Even Though Sales Are Off
  3. NY Times, April 12, 2006. "Profit at Levi Up 14% Despite Falling Sales."