Opening Bell 2.14.19 - Dealbreaker

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I HAVEN'T HEARD THAT NAME IN YEARS

Don’t call it a comeback.

Levi Strauss and Co. is going public … again. Thirty-five years after going private, the re-invented denim maker is looking to tap the public markets under the LEVI ticker. Real original, guys.

Crippling debt, crumbling retail empires and that mother*cker, Jeff Bezos, all did their part to eat away at Levi Strauss’ top and bottom lines.

But new CEO Chip Bergh has recaptured a certain gusto that harkens to the day of Levi Strauss outfitting literal gold diggers with “rivet reinforced denim work pants." Revenue grew 14% last year alone.

How did they do it?

By going all LinkedIn-motivational-post on em’: staying true to themselves. Seriously, Levi Strauss bucked the athleisure trend, improved its core product (jeans), and refocused on tops. Thanks, Macklemore!

And apparently, Levi Strauss knows how to treat the ladies … creating a women’s line that has grown for 10 consecutive quarters. 

To weather the retail apocalypse the preferred skinny jean maker of guys who look like extras in 'Girls' has gone all DTC with its own stores and online partnerships and direct offerings.

Levi Strauss Looks Beyond Jeans With IPO [WSJ]

IN OTHER NEWS

- Apple's streaming service could launch without HBO and Netflix

- Bill Ackman is back, baby

- An ex-Apple employee was accused of insider trading

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