Levi Strauss & Co. President and CEO Chip Bergh recently spoke with Yahoo Finance about the state of denim and his company during the pandemic. Bergh aimed to bust the "myth" of the athleisure boom affecting jeans sales.
"Non-active apparel is still 70% of all waist-down wear," he says. "Of that, denim is about 50%...men's jeans and women's jeans are both bigger than athleisure." According to Bergh, sweatpants and pajamas are on their way out as people emerge from quarantine. But our data shows Levi's rising discounts and dwindling social media appeal.
Over the last two years, the average discount for Levi's products at Dillard's shot up from around 5% to 69% as of March 2020.
Levi's Facebook 'Talking About' count has dropped by 87% from a peak of 24,000 mentions in February.
Bergh says Levi's is making up for declining department store sales with accelerating DTC operations, citing a 25% increase in e-commerce sales for the second quarter. He also mentions a pivot to looser, more comfortable jeans.
Currently, a handful of the top product reviews on Levi's website mention quarantine. "I bought these 2 weeks ago and (even though it’s Quarantine time and I have nowhere to go)," one customer wrote about her new high-rise skinny pair in March. "Quarantine has never looked this good," someone commented on the "wedgie-fit" jeans. Another review reads, "I rate these as 2, only because [they're] tighter than I would prefer. I just need to lose some weight. Quarantine has me eating more."
Still, many quarantined consumers are finding that buying new jeans during the pandemic is probably more hassle than it’s worth. Sizing is hard to determine without trying on pants in-store. Zoom only shows your top half, anyway. But if we start to see a return to the office and social gatherings, Levi's comfort denim could be exactly what people need.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.