Levi’s is back on top after a strong 2017, and a big Q1

Levi’s put up their biggest year in a decade and boosted sales 22% in Q1 2018. And they’ve come along way from their early aughts slump.

In the ’90s Levi’s was bigger than Nike. Sadly, by the turn of the millennium, they were still doing the same old denim dance they were 145 years ago — their sales had slipped from $7B in ’96 to $4B by 2001, and their name became synonymous with department store mom jeans.

But, according to Levi’s 2017 earnings report, they’re getting closer — recording their highest sales growth in a decade. And 2018 is looking up as well, with their sales spiking 22% in Q1.

How’d they do it?

It’s actually way more obvious than you’d think

When Chip Bergh became Levi’s CEO in 2011, he came up with the strategy to focus on the company’s “profitable core” — AKA, their bread and butter: mens pants.

Not rocket science, right? But, the key was what he did with that extra cash cushion.

He used the revenue from men’s jeans to diversify, funding “underdeveloped products” like women’s clothing, athleisure, and “future” stuff — like teaming up with Google to create a “smart” jacket.

And that was just the tip of the ’bergh

They also expanded consumer access — utilizing their website and opening more retail stores to get away from third-party dependence.

In Q1, they opened 56 more stores, and last year their sales reached $4.9B up from $4.4B in 2011, proving that sometimes you gotta put on pants more than one leg at a time.

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