Levi Strauss and Co. has been in the business of fashion retailing since 1853. In a report by Datamonitor (2012), the company, with employees numbering around 17,000, operates in the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific. During the end of its fiscal year in November 2011, Levi Strauss has earned total revenue of USD 4,651.6 million. Yet, in a report by Sayeed Ahmed of Acharya School of Management (n.d.) while the company’s brand has been well recognized in the industry, such recognition does not, however, mean strong brand image. Because of the existence and emergence of competitors who can bring new fashion trends at considerably low prices, Levi Strauss is having a hard time keeping up with the current developments in the market, and generally, in the industry. These aforementioned details can nonetheless provide an overview of the company’s strengths and weaknesses. Specifically, based on such details as well as the 10-K report furnished by the company itself (2009), minute details about strengths and weaknesses are hereby presented.
Among the obvious strengths of the company is its global footprint. With over 130 years in the industry, the company has extended its operation beyond the confines of the United States to include markets in other countries in the Americas, as well as markets in Europe and Asia Pacific. With this global presence, another strength of the company is its established global distribution channels, as well as global sourcing. Thus, the company has a well-established supply chain as far as operating in the global market is concern. An established brand presence and brand image are other strengths of being in global operations for more than a century. Levi Strauss is certainly a global brand.
However, despite the global scope of Levi Strauss, it still suffers on numerous weaknesses. Currently, it is highly dependent on outsourcing subcontractors to manufacture its different product lines. It has been said that the company has lost track of current trends, specifically its lack of focus on women and children segments. This failure has subsequently resulted in lesser target market. Currently, it is considered that the company is dependent highly on its fewer consumer base. All of these weaknesses obstruct the potential of Levi Strauss as they undermine its primary strength of being a global brand.
With the current trends in the market and in the industry, in addition to the current performances of successful competitors, Levi Strauss can learn a thing or two from these. It is important to note that the global community nowadays currently sits in the midst of the so-called information age. This information age has revitalized supply chain consideration, specifically by including electronic business in the supply chain design. For the company, it can specifically dwell on venturing with online selling, as well as online marketing. Take note that a lot of people from different parts of the globe are currently hooked up in the Internet. Levi Strauss, with its established brand image and global presence, can use this opportunity. Of course, it does not need to exert any effort at all to increase brand awareness since it is already a well-established company and brand. What the company needs to focus on is building its online business while also concentrating on its established stores and presences in various countries, as well as improving its product lines to cater to the current trend and demand in the market. It can also further establish its presence in developing countries as well as put up so-called dedicated stores that will specifically tackle on introducing new and trendy product lines.
Of course, these opportunities can be hampered by threats such as the ever-increasing competition in the market, the different laws and regulations in different countries it operates in that otherwise hamper production, and the continuous increase in the price of raw materials. Of course, all of these threats are also threats for Levi Strauss’ competitors. It is, however, a matter of focusing on the strengths and the opportunities, and turning them into success.
Ahmed, Sayed. Marketing Strategy of Levi Strauss & Co. Acharya School of Management. n.d.
Datamonitor. Levi Strauss & Co: Company Profile. Datamonitor Plc. 2012
Levi Strauss & Co. Levi Strauss & Co Annual Report. Security and Exchanges Commission. 2009. Online. 1 June 2012. <http://www.faqs.org/sec-filings/100209/LEVI-STRAUSS-and-CO_10-K/>