Levi’s is betting big on Latin America.
After just two months, the heritage denim brand’s first NextGen store in the Latin American market has exceeded its goals and inspired the opening of a second location in the region.
Located in Viña del Mar, Chile, the first NextGen Latin America store has received “rave reviews” from staff and consumers for its exclusive collections and engaging atmosphere since it opened in September., Levi’s said. It has exceeded its sales goal and sold four times as many iron-on patches at its in-store tailor shop as it had expected.
“This is a great milestone for Latin America,” said Rui Araujo da Silva, Levi’s senior vice president and managing director of Latin America. “Our business is strong, and bringing the brand to life with NextGen will only enhance our consumers’ connection with Levi’s.”
The new NextGen store in Chile includes an illuminated entrance, fit and style guidance, enhanced fitting rooms and the Andes’ first in-store tailor shop for consumers’ customization and repair needs.
The brand debuted its NextGen retail concept in 2019 as a way to reposition its traditional retail stores to deliver omnichannel experiences and accommodate the rise of digital. NextGen stores launched with just six stores across Europe and Asia and now include 127 stores around the world—21 of which were launched in Q4 2020 alone.
Levi’s said the Viña del Mar location was an “obvious choice” for the city’s high energy that matched its own—though growth opportunities played a role as well. In its Q3 2021 earnings call, the company identified the Americas among regions with the greatest opportunities 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.
Levi’s second Latin American NextGen store in Costanera Center in Santiago, Chile, is just the tip of the iceberg, as it plans to open at least five additional stores in Chile and Peru over the next three years. Levi’s president and CEO Chip Bergh told investors during the Q3 earnings call in October these locations’ documented success will add even more stores to the slate.
“Our NextGen concept continues to show encouraging results,” he said. “These smaller footprint doors are some of the most profitable in our U.S. mainline fleet, supporting our objective to increase distribution of our premium products in the U.S. marketplace. We are continuing to elevate our mainline fleet globally and are on track to open 100 new doors this year, most of which will be NextGen.”
Aside from merging digital and in-store experiences, NextGen stores also provide an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. The NextGen store in Shanghai, which opened in August 2020, features two floors of masterfully designed displays and art installations, including a staircase wall mural designed in collaboration with Chinese street artist Sheep Chen. It also included a temporary “denim forest” installation artfully displaying 250 pairs of unused jeans to illustrate Levi’s upcycling ethos.