Levi’s (Levi Strauss) brand is missing the big opportunity

Levi’s is a well known brand, strong everywhere, also in the Eastern Europe (but they are not aware of this at all). I remember when I was a kid and went once during the Winter vacation in former Czechoslovakia (todays Slovakia) at Visoky Tatry mountains and one girl I met pinched my leg (and Levi’s trousers I wore) and she was completely out of herself touching for the first time the trousers she wanted so much. At that time Czechoslovakia was behind the iron curtan of SSSR (Soviet Union and Warshaw Pact) and they couldn’t travel, they didn’t have any western brands to buy (but they were aware of them) and there were only few car models on the streets: Trabant, Lada, Škoda and Moskvitch and Volga.

At former Yugoslavia Levi’s 501 was the most wanted pair of jeans for almost two decades from 1980-2000. They were really positioned strongly and for these two decades all other jeans brands tried to grab some market share from Levi’s.

What is the situation today? Levi’s is nothing special in the terms of market share, it is just “one of the others” and it is sharing market position along with G-Star, Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess Jeans, GAP, Hugo Boss and others.
They are recovering now a little bit, but there is a long way in front of them to the old success. Here is the one presentation why they lost and how they came back.

How that happened? Well, they slept apparently, doing nothing innovative during the IT revolution from 1990-2010. They didn’t use the new technology properly to keep their market share high.
They didn’t follow the fashion trends, didn’t attract youngsters.
Also, the quality is not good as before but this is the same with all things since everything is producing now in China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia….

What is not good is that they are not doing right steps either today (when we consider the global positioning). They have some nicely designed websites/shops such as: http://us.levi.com/home/index.jsp
The main problem with their brand is that it is a well-known global brand but they are not acting like a global brand  because they have one webshop for the each country (but only in countries where they are officially present), so very small percentage of people can buy and majority can not even if they want to (products can not be shipped to their locations). When someone has shipping problems that means only one thing: he is lazy or not organized. He has demands, people are willing to buy but because he is lazy or not organized he is missing the big opportunity.

Why they didn’t decide to have only one webshop where people from all around the world can buy their products?

I really don’t care from where my wished pair of trousers will be shipped but I don’t want to think about shipping problems. I just want to choose, pay and wait for my trousers. Levi’s needs to organize this internally and to calculate the proper shipping costs but it needs to deliver the products worldwide.

Example:
I wanted today to buy 504 model regular fit straight, 34/34 and I visited three Levi’s webshops and went through the searching, choosing the right model and when I wanted to pay I checked shipping options and found out that every shop ships only to the origin country. So, every country has its own shop (and they don’t cover all world countries) and they ship only inside origin country. Maybe I am wrong, but I tried with USA, GB, German and couldn’t ship abroad.
Total nonsense by my opinion and I already know now that I will never visit any Levi’s webshop anymore in the future, but I will try to search if there are some other shops that ship globally.
I was not the only one having this problem.

Also, if you visit their main website: http://global.levi.com/ first thing that you need to do is to choose the continent/country from where you are from and then you go “inside” the website. What would you think if you come to Apple.com and want to check the latest iPhone and the first thing they ask you is to choose your origin country? Great artists copy, so I don’t see why Levi’s don’t change this limitation in an “Apple way”.

So, my suggestion is to create one global webshop where everybody can buy anything they want and not thinking about the shipping problems. They would doubled their sell in a less then a year!

Until then you can buy your pair of Levis trousers and get them internationally here:

  1. http://www.jeansshop.com
  2. http://www.asos.com
  3. http://www.kohls.com/
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