Levi Strauss & Co., the 167-year-old jeansmaker that cared about running an ethical business before it became a marketing exercise, was starting to see the results of a decade-long turnaround effort in 2019.
The coronavirus pandemic forced Levi Strauss & Co. to close its stores in the US, Europe and China and online sales aren’t making up the difference. The company has had to cut salaries, furlough employees, cancel future apparel orders and borrow money to bolster its balance sheet. What happens to that commitment in a pandemic?
Unlike many of its peers, the company has managed to weave responsibility to society and the environment into its business model. Business practices mean more to consumers now than ever before. Could the company be in a position to weather the pandemic without losing its deeper identity?