Canadian consumers will soon be able to snap up Levi Strauss & Co's new cut-price Signature brand after the US jeans giant agreed a deal with major retailer Wal-Mart Canada.

The pair said the deal will allowed the brand to "capitalise on the strength of Wal-Mart's consumer base and reach close to four million Canadians who purchase their jeans at Wal-Mart".

The initial launch will focus initially on jeanswear with a range of denim and non-denim pants and shirts as well as denim jackets. Levi Strauss Signature for kids is expected to launch in 2004.

Increased distribution of the new line through additional retail partners will be considered over the next year, Levi Strauss & Co (Canada) and Ontario-based Wal-Mart Canada said in a statement.

"Following an analysis of the Canadian marketplace, Levi Strauss & Co recognised the exceptional business opportunity to leverage our experience and brand power to capture more of the value-conscious apparel market," said Julie Klee, General Manager, Levi Strauss & Co (Canada).

"The Levi Strauss Signature(R) brand is a great fit for Wal-Mart," added Rick Weinstein, vice-president and general merchandise manager for apparel at Wal-Mart Canada.