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Following the footsteps of other retail brands, Levi’s is bent on developing direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels. DTC sales took up to about 40% of Levi’s total sales in 2020 and the target this year is to increase this number to 60%.
The retail brand has yet to cease its partnerships with third-party sellers like Nike did. CEO Chip Bergh has made it clear that selling their products directly to customers seems to be a better growth opportunity for the brand.
There are mixed reactions to this change in Levi’s approach but most experts are positive. Professor Gene Detroyer believes Levi’s and Nike are training their customers to eliminate competition.
“They are building habits that will eliminate competition in the customer’s mind. The decisions will not revolve around which of several brands to buy. They will have established the ‘go-to’ place. It will become an automatic habit for the customer. If they go Levi’s (or Nike) and are satisfied, there is no chance for the competition. That is clearly the objective.” – Gene Detroyer
CEO of Black Monk Consulting Ryan Mathews thinks that DTC approach will be amazing for Levi’s to regain control of its brands, from the pricing to merchandising.
In order to roll out the DTC plan nicely, Levi’s has been focusing on improving omnichannel capabilities. The company has set the target to add 40 stores and 200 outlets across the U.S. Creating a better online and in-store experience for shoppers will be critical for the DTC plan of Levi’s.