Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) is expanding its retail presence in Asia following positive traction in the region. The heritage denim brand company announced plans to launch new Levi’s stores and update existing ones throughout the East Asia Pacific region including locations in Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Within the first half of 2022 alone, it will open more than 100 locations in Thailand.
“Thailand is an important market for us, and Levi’s is recognized as the No. 1 jeans brand here,” said Sameer Koul, LS&Co. general manager, Southeast Asia. “Through digital innovation, we are reshaping brand experiences for a younger generation of style-conscious consumers, and we will stay true to our values by placing people at the heart of our business and by being an advocate for positive change through responsible practices.”
Levi’s expansion news follows a record year of success for the brand, which reached a revenue mark of over $5.8 billion—a 29 percent improvement from 2020 and its highest since 1998. The success was partially driven by its Asia market, which saw an 11 percent net revenue bump thanks to its DTC and wholesale channels. DTC net revenues rose 17 percent on strong performance in company-operated stores, as well as e-commerce, which was up 22 percent. Wholesale net revenue increased 5 percent, and net revenue through all digital channels grew 17 percent and accounted for 14 percent of segment sales.
Levi’s other recent expansion targeted Latin America, where it opened several NextGen stores after the region showed significant potential for growth. Despite 10 percent of Levi’s stores being closed in Q3, global brick-and-mortar was up 1 percent compared to 2019, with strong growth in the Americas.
The brand is also focused on expanding into 300 additional Target stores beginning this spring, bringing the total number of U.S. Target doors its blue jeans are sold in to 800.
Levi’s store updates in Asia will center on switching existing locations into NextGen formats, which offer an elevated shopping experience with digital tools like LED portal entry archways and LED screens streaming immersive content. The brand debuted its NextGen retail concept in 2019 with just six stores across Europe and Asia as a way to reposition its traditional retail stores to deliver omnichannel experiences and accommodate the rise of digital.
Stores will offer options such as Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS) as well as the brand’s latest digital innovations in data and AI. The company recently doubled down on its digital innovation efforts, and hosted companywide hackathons that have birthed shopping-enhancing ideas like chatbots, self-checkout and online video shopping modules that can be easily managed by creative, marketing and merchandising teams. Next up, it’s looking to the public to pitch the next award-winning concept that will enhance the shopping experience.