San Francisco loses more jobs as this iconic brand makes cuts in its workforce

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For nearly 70 years, nothing has been more iconic in American culture than denim jeans.

One jean company has been part of the San Francisco business landscape since the 1849 Gold Rush, when the brand was founded.

Now this once iconic American brand announced it just laid off workers at its San Francisco headquarters and will likely lay off more employees in the future.

Levi Strauss & Co. begins layoffs

Levi Strauss & Co., also known as Levi’s, is one of the most popular and widely recognizable American fashion brands in the world.

Now, the company is laying off over 100 people, 146 to be exact, at its San Francisco, CA headquarters.

The company is known for making its famous line of blue jeans, but now, they say they expect to make even more job cuts in the future.

Levi’s said prior that it plans to cut between 10% and 15% of its worldwide workforce within the first half of 2024.

According to Levi Strauss & Co., the job cuts are part of its global productivity initiative and will mostly take place through the first half of the year under incoming CEO Michelle Gass.

The clothing manufacturer is trying to tighten its belt as it deals with new challenges and ongoing headwinds within its U.S. wholesale business.

In an earnings call with analysts, Gass said, “There’s been a lot of volatility this past year, some in our control, some outside. And so we are taking a cautious approach as we look forward.”

Levi’s has approximately 20,000 global employees, and approximately 5,000 of those are corporate workers.

The layoffs should impact anywhere from 500 to 700 people in total, although the company has not yet confirmed which regions or departments will bear the brunt.

Yet even as the company announces layoffs and future planned terminations, they also agreed to a $170 million deal to keep their name on the San Francisco 49ers stadium in Santa Clara, which will extend until 2043.

Gass was initially planning to take over Levi’s in November 2022 and assumed the interim role of President.

She has been working closely with executive leadership during the transition alongside Levi’s current CEO, Chip Bergh.

Trouble ahead for Levi’s

Slumping, lower-than-expected sales have likely helped lead Levi’s to start making job cuts.

Its earnings outlook was expected to be $1.66 billion, but the company’s actual earnings were $1.64 billion in the fourth quarter.

The company also said it expected to see its revenue rise from between 1% and 3%, which is lower than Wall Street’s prediction of 4.7%.

Meanwhile, some other clothing retailers and segments are doing well, including athleisure companies like Beyond Yoga, which saw its revenue rise 14%.

Levi Strauss & Co. was founded in San Francisco in 1853 and originally sold its now-iconic denim work pants to miners during the California Gold Rush.

After the recent layoff announcement, company stocks fell by as much as 2.2%, and the stock price is down by close to 50% since its peak in spring 2021.

Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.