Levi Strauss eliminating 800 jobs to cut costs

Levi Strauss
Levi Strauss has announced that it will cut about 800 jobs over the next 12 to 18 months.
(Ben Torres / Bloomberg)

Levi Strauss & Co., the San Francisco apparel company best known for its denim clothing, said it will remove 800 jobs as part of an effort to cut $175 million to $200 million in costs.

The so-called global productivity initiative will roll out over the next 12 to 18 months, the company said Wednesday.

The first phase is expected to result in $75 million to $100 million in savings, the company said. The job cuts, which will affect 20% of Levi’s non-retail and non-manufacturing employee base, are to occur during the period.

The privately held company said it is planning to scale back its management bureaucracy and consolidate recurring positions.

“These changes will make us more competitive -- both in our cost structure and in the marketplace -- improving our agility and enabling us to focus on innovation, retail productivity, omnichannel capabilities and enhanced consumer experience in stores,” Chief Executive Chip Bergh said in a statement.

Last month, the company said its net revenue for the fourth quarter ended Nov. 24 slipped slightly year over year to $1.3 billion. Profit tanked to $17 million, from $53 million a year earlier -- a period boosted by an earlier Black Friday.

Bergh said the quarter was marked by a “soft” selling environment and “some challenges in certain key international markets and in our U.S. women’s business.”

Overall, Levi’s sales in the Americas rose 1% to $828 million during the period.


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