Levi Strauss & Co wants Indians to buy more than just its denims.
The iconic American brand, which is almost synonymous with its denim jeans, is attempting to position itself as a one-stop apparel shop for young consumers looking for trendy clothing. “What we are now after is to make sure that we are sort of a holistic lifestyle apparel company as far as the consumer is concerned and not a denim only brand. We want to go deeper with non-denims in terms of the bottoms as well,” said Amisha Jain, senior vice-president and managing director of South Asia, Middle East and Africa, told TOI. The move to deepen its non-denim play is also in line with the brand’s broader global strategy.
Not to say that the brandwill not focus on denims, there’s still a large untapped market for denims in India, said Jain, adding that Indians are no longer looking at the price tag all the time. “I don’t see that Indians are price-sensitive anymore. They are asking for the right quality and the right product. Most brands are doing some kind of markdowns, but we are not,” she said.
While inflation has dented demand in the US and Europe, the lower increase in prices is seen to be insulating demand here. “Asia generally is showing a strong growth trajectory compared to markets like the US and Europe. Asia (excluding China) clocked 22% growth in net revenues for us in Q1FY23 and this was led by India,” said Jain.
Besides, a big market opportunity lies in the casualisation trend that has swept the wardrobes of young Gen Z and millennials and Levi’s is fast catching up with that. “Young consumers sitting at an average age of 28 years are driving the Indian economy. They want styles from a need perspective. They are more into athleisure and sporty kind of outfits,” said Jain. This trend is more skewed towards women and for a brand that has historically had more male customers, capitalising on it is a no-brainer. “Women’s space is competitive. We want her to see that we have a lot to offer her,” said Jain.