Levi’s plans new stores

Levi-Strauss has opened its first unbranded store – called Cinch! – in London, and plans to roll out the format to other European capitals. After a 13 per cent sales decline last year, Levi’s is segmenting its product ranges to appeal to different markets. Cinch! will target customers which the company calls “cultural connoisseurs” – fashionable, less mainstream consumers. The first Cinch! store opened in Soho’s Newburgh Street on August 22. It stocks the new Levi’s Red collection and Vintage Clothing and Collectables ranges instead of mainstream Red Tab or Sta-Prest products. There is no Levi’s branding on the store fascia, and garments are hung on the walls. It also stocks non-Levi’s accessories, including Casio watches, Japanese magazines and art books. There is also a “chill out” TV room. UK consumer marketing manager Manelisa Mavuso says: “The aim is to ensure the brand reaches different consumers in a credible way. Cultural connoisseurs look for an intimate retail experience, less clouded by branding.” Mavuso says the store will not be the subject of a marketing campaign as the idea is to allow people to discover it themselves. The format will be launched in Germany, Italy and France early next year. Levi’s is refurbishing its Original Levi’s Stores, including the Regent Street flagship outlet, which will have a customisation area where consumers can design their own trimmings, as well as a “chill out” room.

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