‘We believe that during a crisis, strong brands will emerge stronger’
Sanjeev Mohanty, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of South Asia-Middle East and Africa for Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.), will become the senior vice president and managing director for U.S. and Canada—the company’s largest and most complex commercial operations cluster, spanning all brands and channels. Mohanty is a veteran retailer and apparel executive who has held roles with a number of global brands over the span of his career, including e-commerce conglomerate Global Fashion Group, fashion and lifestyle retailing company the Jay Gee Group, and the Benetton Group.
Seth Ellison, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Levi Strauss & Co. stated “During his tenure with the company, Sanjeev has proven himself to be a dynamic and growth-minded leader. He has strengthened our business and our teams in South Asia, where some of our most important markets are located, to deliver industry-leading results,”. He also added that “We know he will bring his entrepreneurial spirit, passion for our brands, dedication to developing talent, and track record of executing amazing consumer experiences to his new role leading the U.S. and Canada.”
Sanjeev Mohanty, senior vice president and managing director of South Asia-Middle East and Africa for Levi Strauss & Co. commented “I feel deeply humbled and privileged to be given this opportunity to lead the largest market for the company. It will be an honour to work alongside a very talented U.S. and Canada team, and to embark on this next phase of my career with the company,”
COVID-19 has changed the world around us and, due to lockdowns or social distancing, in a way we have lost our sense of togetherness. It reminded us of our Circles campaign which we released back in 2017, a campaign that celebrated our human connection. The campaign was a reminder that our differences unite us and if we hold on to all that we share in common, we can find our way back to each other. We’ve adjusted the message slightly for this new moment. We felt it would ignite hope and show the strength of human connections and to bring people to believe that One Day Soon We Will All Dance Together Again.
Our fans are spending more time online amidst the lockdown and that is where we wanted the conversations to happen. We are hopeful that the campaign will be well received
As we continue to work hard to stay connected digitally — we have started the next phase, reconnecting and the reopening of our stores. We are rolling out new processes and social distancing and cleaning policies across all our stores. We are seeing a great response on e-commerce and our recent launch Levi’s® X SuperMario™ has been a hit, our fans have loved it. Every crisis is an opportunity and we are taking this time to accelerate our e-commerce capabilities.
There will be significant changes to the landscape and every day is an opportunity to learn, to adjust, to adapt and then to learn again the next day. As we reopen, it won’t be “business as usual.” Shopping and buying behaviors will be different, and the full impact on retail is still a big unknown. That’s why we’re accelerating our efforts to becoming a leading, world-class omni-channel retailer. It will be on us to continue to evolve to meet consumers where they are, while continuing to deliver products that are stylish, built to last and sustainably made.
Levi Strauss has a 167-year history – we have outlived a Civil War, two world wars, the Great Depression and the Great Recession. We believe that during a crisis, strong brands will emerge stronger. We have seen situations of extreme distress and have made it out because we have been financially disciplined, and we are geared up to do it again. While E-commerce will play a larger role now, we are constantly learning and adapting, doubling down on things that are working for us.
The brands that are going to win are going to be the ones that have deep connections with consumers. We are making sure our stores are clean and focusing on ensuring that our consumers feel safe while shopping. Our staff has been prepared to wear masks and gloves and we ask that you wear face coverings when you come to shop with us so that everyone can enjoy a safe environment. Our stores are cleaned more frequently, and high trafficked areas are cleaned more deeply. Fitting rooms are one area that we pay particular attention to cleaning thoroughly and often. We are taking all the precautions and implementing tools for contactless payment. We will limit the number of people in our stores based on local guidelines and are using a quarantine process for items that shoppers try on before being returned to the sales floor. We are also depending a lot on technology, implementing tools for contactless billing, etc. to ensure that our fans feel safe shopping in our stores.
Our main priority is to keep our employees and our consumers safe. The pandemic has hit us all hard, but we believe that every crisis is an opportunity and with a strong brand, right processes and an outstanding management team ready to take of the challenge and has shown tremendous courage and resilience, we are confident we will emerge stronger.
We have always endeavored to be where our fans are and over the last few months, owing to the numerous restrictions, we maintained a close digital connection with our audience. The focus is on being agile, respond to situations quickly, and most important being relevant to our fans.
For instance, on May 20, we celebrated the birthday of the blue jean i.e. 501 Day online and realized that the 501 Live music program, entertainment, and interviews from some of our favorite artists brought a lot of joy. We also saw some of our fans and brand friends posting pictures from our past 501® Day events reminding us that the love for the brand is still strong
We started strong this year before the pandemic. The global lockdown meant a complete shutdown of our stores in India for over 2 months. Most of our stores around the world are gradually reopening but if we could learn from other colleagues in China, South Korea and Europe, recovery will be slow. We don’t know long this will last or what consumer response will be when it’s over. Frankly, trying to forecast is nearly impossible. But we remain cautiously optimistic. Our Ecommerce business continues to grow each week and lead our recovery
Worldwide, Levi Strauss & Co, the apparel giant and leader in jeans, has reported 156 per cent sales growth to $1.27 billion in second quarter (Q2) of FY21 ended on May 30, 2021, compared to the sales of 498 million in the corresponding period of previous fiscal. The company’s net income for the quarter improved to $64.7 million (Q2 FY20: loss $363.5 million).