Levi’s return to the NYSE with an IPO

The US clothing company synonymous for establishing American denim brand and blue jeans will return to Wall Street with a listing on NYSE.

Levi Strauss & Co. has fled for an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), with the brand looking to profit from the recent resurgence of the denim that has helped the company’s sales soar.

The denim market, which has struggled in the recent past, has finally made a comeback, with the denim market expanding by 4% in 2018 as total retail sales climbed above $100 billion, according to data from Euromonitor.

Levi Strauss sales increase year-on-year

The company has made sure to capitalise on renewed consumer demand for denim, with the business recording strong growth in 11 consecutive quarters in the US market, helping to drive profits and improve its balance sheet with outstanding debt falling from to $1.05 billion, down from $1.97 billion in 2011.

‘We had an outstanding year with reported net revenues of $5.6 billion, growing 14 percent year-over-year on a reported basis,’ President and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. Charles ‘Chip’ Bergh said about the company’s full-year 2018 results.

‘It’s clear our strategies to diversify our product portfolio, expand our direct-to-consumer business, and deepen our connection with consumers worldwide have worked, resulting in both higher annual revenues and gross margins.’

How Levi Strauss kept its brand on trend?

The brand has stood the test of time since its inception of its famous blue jeans back in 1873, with the company managing to appeal to a new generation of consumer through clever collaborations with Off-White and Re/Done.

According to analysts, another factor that has served Levi’s well is its premium price point, with a typical pair of jeans retailing at just under $100 which considerably more than many mass-market rivals, but a lot less than other premium brands.

Levi Strauss returns to Wall St

This isn’t Levi’s first rodeo, with the its first appearance on the NYSE being back in 1971 where it remained until 1985 after the Strauss family opted to take the company private.

Growth at the company plateaued in the years that followed, with the jean maker succumbing to the pressure of competitors in the burgeoning athleisure market that took hold throughout the 2000s.

But by 2013 the company began to rise once more under the stewardship of CEO Chip Bergh and his new Chief Product Officer Karyn Hillman, who helped modernise the brand, particularly in the designs of its women’s wear.

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