“Fashion is a fickle business, and making a saleable product has to do with filtering the fashion to suit the target consumer.” Clothing and Fashion have always moved together. If we talk about jeans, then there is no better name to take than Levis. The very first pants made under the brand’s name, being run by its founders – Levi Strauss & Jacob Davis, were known as “waist overalls”. Ever since the company’s existence, it has been known as one of the better brands in the world of Jeans. The company operates in more than 60 countries (including all sub-brands) & employs around 11,550 people. It recorded revenues of $4,360.9 million in the financial year (FY) ended November 2007; an increase of 4% over 2006, whereas, the Net Income recorded in the same year was around $460.4 million. It seems that Levi’s has started to work upon consumer’s demands, rather than being too confident on their own production designs. They have certainly made better profits over the last couple of years but this was not the case a few years back.
People are apparently prepared to go to great lengths to find the perfect pair of jeans. On an average, a person spends almost double the time selecting the right pair of jeans as they do choosing a current account. The time may range up to 3 hours for getting a desired pair! Looking at the requirements of the customers, the retailers are slowly making moves towards providing tailor-made services (Mintel, 2006). Technology is enabling companies to offer personal customization as never before; and the more it is offered, the more people want it. “Personal Pair” is one such provision that Levi’s is planning to offer to its consumers. As the name suggests, an exclusive pair with all the measurements, purely according to the customers, will be provided. This will really help the consumers in saving a lot of time they spend on choosing the best pair, instead they can get one made in any customized manner. To get this thing going, an award winning Intellifit System™ has been developed by Levi’s; testing on the same would be done shortly in five of its stores. It is an electronic body scanner that can scan a person for his/her measurements in just 10 seconds, mere by standing in a cylindrical glass booth. (levistrauss.com, 2008)
JEANS MARKET IN THE U.K.
The Jeans market has been growing in the UK ever since it came into existence. The sales, though, have been ever increasing; the proportion of what one company sells has been declining. The main reason behind this is emergence of newer jeans brand every now & then. In the last few years there have been various additions to the list of jeans brands, some through the designers themselves - making exclusive designs for their customers, and the others through the local brands being produced & sold by the big retailers. Also, the removal of barriers to entry to the apparel industry in the UK has led to an emergence of multiple outside brands, and integrated super speciality stores such as Gap & Zara. | | | | | | | | |Jeans - UK - April 2007 - Market Share | | | |Figure 26: Brand shares in the UK jeans market, by value, 2004 and 2006 | | |2004 | |2006 | |% change | | |£m |% |£m |% |2004-06 | | | | | | | | |Levi's |198 |15 |174 |12 |-12.1 | |Marks & Spencer |118 |9 |116 |8 |-1.7 | |Lee |66 |5 |66.7 |4.6 |1.1 | |Wrangler...