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Levi Strauss to Move Plants

Levi Strauss’ decision to move half its plants overseas in order to grow its business at home is flawed (Feb. 23). Two of the company’s toughest competitors in the jeans market--the Gap and Tommy Hilfiger--routinely price their product on a par with or higher than Levi’s jeans although they, too, have moved overseas. Why, then, are they gaining share? Branding, pure and simple. These companies cater to a maturing segment of the market who grew up wearing jeans and will pay $40 a pair as long as the experience of doing so supports the values they want to be associated with.

A suggestion to the executives at Levi Strauss might be to hire a new marketing director and outside advertising firm, because as long as Levi’s jeans are about nose rings and tattoos, their great legacy will continue to erode and be ignored by mainstream consumers and their wallets.

DAVID PORGES

Los Angeles

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* The most worrisome part of your story about the shortage of construction workers (Business, Feb. 20), the second-least-attractive job for young men, was the name of the least-attractive job--cowboy! Here is the job that built America, that every boy and girl is supposed to dream of. And nobody wants to be one anymore.

Of course, both cowboys and construction workers wear jeans--and now Levi Strauss is closing more manufacturing plants. I suggest that they need to start promoting the professions that support their product!

DAN KRONSTADT

Sunland

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