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Levi Strauss CEO Expects the Iconic Brand to Get 'Stronger' Through This Crisis

By John Ballard - Apr 14, 2020 at 10:02AM

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The top denim brand is adapting to reduced demand and cutting costs to get more efficient.

Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI 2.08%) CEO Chip Bergh appeared on CNBC's Mad Money Monday and elaborated on why he expects the iconic jeans maker to get through this challenging environment. 

Bergh reiterated what he said on the company's recent conference call, stating, "I fundamentally believe that through this crisis strong brands are going to emerge from this stronger than ever." He explained that Levi Strauss had a lot of momentum in the first quarter, and they can use this crisis to get more efficient as a business. 

Denim jackets

Image source: Levi Strauss.

Levi Strauss has been through crises before

Bergh emphasized that Levi Strauss is one of the most iconic brands not only in apparel, but across all industries. That brand power has allowed Levi's to survive 167 years since its founding, through wars, the Great Depression, recessions, and previous pandemics. 

Obviously, though, the short term will be challenging to navigate. Most of Levi's revenue is derived from brick-and-mortar stores; 70% of the company's franchised partner stores are still closed. Plus, we don't know how quickly consumer spending will recover once the economy is reopened. But Levi's is working to cut costs and reduce inventory to match supply with demand. 

Despite the pressure on sales in the short term, Bergh is confident in the company's strategy to navigate the crisis, stating, "We're very, very financially disciplined, and we go get what we need to go get." 

John Ballard owns shares of Levi Strauss. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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