Blog: Signature write-off
Leonie Barrie | 19 September 2006
Fierce competition in the European ‘value’ market, where retailers have perfected the art of cheap private label or exclusive brand lines, has finally defeated Levi Strauss which is to pull its low cost Signature line from European supermarkets. Levi’s diminishing cachet in Europe led to a 17% drop in first half sales here to $196.5m from $237m the year before, so this latest decision is a heavy blow to the US jeans maker which is in the midst of a long struggle to turn round profits and revenues.
When the Signature line was launched in 2004, Levi Strauss had high hopes of building the value channel “as a destination of choice for European jeans wear consumers,” and even expanded the range to include underwear and socks. But while the value channel has definitely been on the ascendant – Key Note says two-thirds of adults now shop at grocery superstores for clothing and footwear – this growth has not been to Levi’s advantage. The GBP25 Signature brand jeans compete with Tesco’s GBP3 own label; and customers on the look-out for edgier fashions instead track down the George ‘Must Have’ range at Asda.
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