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Bye, bye America: Levi Strauss shuts last of its North American plants in Texas
indianexpress.com ^ | Saturday, September 27, 2003 | LESLIE EARNEST

Posted on 10/01/2003 5:18:51 PM PDT by Destro

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Bye, bye America
Levi Strauss shuts last of its North American plants in Texas

LESLIE EARNEST

SAN ANTONIO, SEPTEMBER 26: Levi Strauss & Co., maker of a jeans brand so all-American that it became ingrained in the nation’s identity, said on Thursday that it will close the last of its North American manufacturing plants, laying off almost 2,000 workers.

The announcement came two weeks after the San Francisco-based company, which is struggling to cut costs and stay competitive, said it would lay off seven per cent of its US workforce. Levi now says it will shutter two plants in San Antonio, Texas by the year’s end, displacing 800 workers and marking the end of US operations.

It will also discontinue its Canadian operations in March, erasing 1,190 jobs in Alberta and Ontario. Its goal is to focus resources in other areas, including development and marketing. ‘‘We’re in an industry where few apparel brands own and operate manufacturing facilities in North America,’’ Chief Executive Phil Marineau said. ‘‘In fact, we are one of the last companies to do so.’’ Last year, 96 per cent of apparel purchased in the US was made in other countries, up from 93 per cent in 2001. Through June this year, US apparel imports increased 16.7 per cent, with much of it coming from Mexico, Central America and China.

Over the past seven years, Levi has closed dozens of plants in North America and Europe and slashed thousands of jobs. Last year, it posted sales of $4.2 billion. The jobs lost at Levi plants in North America are likely to shift to Latin America and Asia, Levi spokeswoman Linda Butler said. Levi now works with about 500 contractors, producing apparel in 50 countries.

Levi is simply adapting to a reality that many other US apparel makers have had to face, Burke said. ‘‘What you’re seeing with Levi is just the economic reality of our industry,’’ Burke said. ‘‘American consumers, when shopping look at price and quality, and not necessarily to where the product is made.’’ But experts say few, if any, brands are as linked to the US landscape as the Levis.

Levis has been a symbol of US spirit since prospectors rushed into California 150 years ago, wearing Levi jeans with copper rivets. ‘‘As the miners went into the Sierra Nevadas to pan for gold, Levi stood the test,’’ said Peter Sealey, adjunct professor of marketing at the University of California. ‘‘That created the company’s image and history.’’

To many consumers, Levi was a symbol of ‘‘confidence, sex, youth, rebellion, freedom, originality and authenticity,’’ said Alex Wipperfuth, partner at Plan B, a marketing company. ‘‘Those are the dimensions of Americana, according to Levi,’’ he said.

‘‘I think the key issue is, will any of those fall away once people realise Levi is not produced in the US anymore?’’ (LAT-WP)


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: jobs; levi
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1 posted on 10/01/2003 5:18:51 PM PDT by Destro
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To: Destro
I should have clicked more news classification categories.
2 posted on 10/01/2003 5:21:05 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
"...Levi was a symbol of ‘‘confidence, sex, youth, rebellion, freedom, originality and authenticity,’’ said...a marketing company. ‘‘Those are the dimensions of Americana, according to Levi,’’

When all I can find in the stores are 'relaxed fit', 'stone washed' (pre worn out), and enough material in the ass to carry along a friend...

they suggest to me 'fat guys', 'stupid consumers', and 'brain damaged druggies'.

Oh yeah, and the gay marketing thing.

Shop around, boycot companies from 'Frisco, and to hell with Levis.
3 posted on 10/01/2003 5:27:46 PM PDT by norton
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To: Destro
Last year, 96 per cent of apparel purchased in the US was made in other countries.

Amazing. What happened to "Buy American?"

Wonder what companies make up the remaining 4 per cent.

4 posted on 10/01/2003 5:32:18 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: Destro
Despite the quality of the product, I swore I would never let the Levi's logo on my butt ever again after they started sponsoring the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

This doesn't help the economy, but I am glad to see the company go.

5 posted on 10/01/2003 5:33:55 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (LEADERS WANTED! No experience, principles nec., will train; Showbiz Stardom a PLUS! Call Calif. GOP)
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To: norton
Here Here!

I discontinued support of this outfit and purchase of its products many years ago when they made their anti-family and pro-homosexual intentions known. Interestingly enough, that was when they made a point to push the pro-homosexual agenda in one of those Texas cities.
6 posted on 10/01/2003 5:47:09 PM PDT by Tanstaafl
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Actually, you can't even trust the products that say "Made in America" any more.

A lot of "Made in America" clothing is made in places like Samoa and the American Marianas, which are allowed to use the "Made in America" label and to come to mainland America without import quotas or tariffs and bear a "Made in America" label. Garment factories in Saipan, for example, make clothes for dozens of American brands like Gap, Dayton Hudson and The Limited. The garment workers in Saipan are largely women recruited from China. Essentially, they're sweatshops, but the workers are glad to come (and even to pay fees to recruiters) because conditions, while bad, are still better than they are in mainland China.

Bills to bring the Northern Marianas under mainland minimum wage or immigration laws have extensive support in Congress but have been blocked, largely due to the influence of Tom DeLay, the congressman from Texas.

Frankly, as long as such practices continue -- and as long as we continue to have almost free trade with China and other countries with substandard labor practices, there is little we can do about American companies going elsewhere to manufacture their goods. If you were running a company, wouldn't you go where the costs are cheaper -- where the wages were lower and you didn't have to spend money to avoid polluting the air & streams? Even the maquiladoras in Mexico along the Tex-Mex border are now losing out to China and other places, because the costs are less than even in the maquiladoras.

7 posted on 10/01/2003 5:47:45 PM PDT by EdJay
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To: EdJay
soo its moving.....i wonder if any americans have worked there in ages
8 posted on 10/01/2003 5:48:57 PM PDT by Kewlhand`tek
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To: Destro
Wrangler
9 posted on 10/01/2003 5:57:46 PM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Destro
It ain't all labor ( WAGES ) that is the problem, TAXES, OSHA, EEOC, LAWYERS, ENVIROMENTALISTS,ILLEGAL ALIENS,WORKMANS COMP, SOCIALISED HOSPITAL INSURANCE FOR WORKERS, ( CALIF. ),INSURANCE IN GENERAL, UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, ETC.

The government makes it tough on the average American to get into business because it is so difficult to amass cash. Small business is predominately new people to the country, they bring the cash with them, or are financed offshore.

11 posted on 10/01/2003 6:01:42 PM PDT by BIGZ
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To: Destro
Levis was snowed by the gays in northern CA. Sad. I think they contributed to the demise of this once great company.
12 posted on 10/01/2003 6:06:30 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (I'm voting for Arnold. McClintock doesn't deserve my vote!)
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To: BIGZ
You are sooo right.
13 posted on 10/01/2003 6:07:05 PM PDT by caisson71
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To: Destro
I remember a few years ago that Levi's revealed just how leftist they are. Couldn't happen to a more deserving company. I feel for the workers though.
14 posted on 10/01/2003 6:07:58 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace ((the original))
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To: joesnuffy
>>Wrangler

Checked their website... nothing to indicate that their products are manufactured in the USA.
15 posted on 10/01/2003 6:11:55 PM PDT by VxH
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To: Destro
Levi Strauss, champion of the homo agenda and all liberal causes. Good riddance to bad rubbish!
16 posted on 10/01/2003 6:20:11 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: Bonaparte; ItisaReligionofPeace; BunnySlippers; Tanstaafl; L.N. Smithee
What are you all talking about? Levis is not going out of business! Just leaving American employees (well legal residents anyway) behind for cheaper labor abroad. In fact it had record profits this year.
17 posted on 10/01/2003 6:35:39 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: norton
"...and to hell with Levis."

It looks like you may be getting your wish. The Haas family and their idiot managers have been running the company into the ground for at least 6 years. Seems they think the best ways to deal with a problem are to:

    1) spend

    2) borrow

    3) default.

Sound familiar?

18 posted on 10/01/2003 6:37:36 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: L.N. Smithee
"...the Levi's logo..."

And, as we know, that would also include the Dockers label and the Slates label, both owned by Levi Strauss.

To brighten your outlook on this dreary, overcast San Francisco day, see article I linked in post 18.

19 posted on 10/01/2003 6:39:55 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: joesnuffy
I just checked out a Wrangler jacket. Made in Sri Lanka.
Last year Levis were made in Mexico, now they are made in Guatamala.
20 posted on 10/01/2003 6:42:58 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Destro
What are you all talking about? Levis is not going out of business!

Yet.

21 posted on 10/01/2003 6:46:45 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (LEADERS WANTED! No experience, principles nec., will train; Showbiz Stardom a PLUS! Call Calif. GOP)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Are Wranglers still made in the USA?

How about Carhart?


Just more reason to tell Levi's to go take a jump.....

The Levi's Brand clothing hasn't gone down in price (at least not the pants), yet they have supposedly been moving their manufacturing out of country as a cost cutting move..... Where's MY cost cutting? So now a pair of Levi's that use to cost $4.00 per pair to make in the US, now costs $1.75 per pair to make elsewhere. That same pair of jeans will still cost $55 in the store.....

Even if Levi's cut is only $10.00 per pair (really doubtful), I don't see how 150% profit per unit looses money.....
22 posted on 10/01/2003 7:05:14 PM PDT by TheBattman
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To: Brandon_the_evil_waspy_male
"Does anyone know of any jeans or clothing garments that are actually made in America. I just walked to the restroom and dropped my J. Crew khakis and saw that they were made in Malayasia, my shirt (polo golf) was made in Guatamala, my t-shirt (polo) was made in the Domican Republic, my shoes (adidas) were made in Indonesia, and my underwear (tommy hilfigure) were made in China."

One of the problems with outsourcing is the manufacturing inconsistency between different locations. Some of the best white dress shirts used to be made in Hong Kong, but I haven't seen it in awhile. Now, "white" shirts are no longer white, the cloth style changes every few months, and shirts no longer fit "properly".

"Do Americans produce anything anymore besides crappy movies and ciggerettes?"

The United States is still one of the biggest exporters in the world, but seems to be giving up the domestic market of consumer goods.
23 posted on 10/01/2003 7:12:15 PM PDT by JohnSmithee
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To: Destro
"Levis is not going out of business!"

Did you see the article I linked in post 18? Levi Strauss has made all the wrong moves for the past 6 years and the same management continues to fumble the ball. They floated a bunch of bonds that now have "junk" status, are trading well below par and have been shorted like crazy. This debt is now rated as "junk B."

Here is the basket they are currently putting all their eggs into. It will market at most or all Walmarts for around $30-$35. Real exciting product, isn't it?

24 posted on 10/01/2003 7:12:50 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: TheBattman
LS has been steadily losing market share. Their competitors have been elbowing them aside for years. The most lucrative consumer group are teenagers and they are not interested in Levi's. It's not about profit margin per unit, it's about not being able to sell enough units. At least, not in America.
25 posted on 10/01/2003 7:17:24 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: Bonaparte
AND IT STILL MADE RECORD PROFITS.
26 posted on 10/01/2003 7:20:52 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
"In fact it had record profits this year."

From the article I linked in post 18:

    The company will finish this year with just under 12,000 employees, down from 17,300 at the end of 2000. Its revenues are expected to be $4.1 billion, about flat with last year, but way down from $7.1 billion in 1996, the year that a growth spurt fueled by its Dockers brand started to run out of steam.

27 posted on 10/01/2003 7:22:00 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: Destro
Allegations Levi Strauss Falsely Inflated Profits
28 posted on 10/01/2003 7:24:41 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: Bonaparte
profit is profit. Why are we having this conversation? Jobs are gone from a brand that was able to be manufactured in the USA for a 150 years. It is leaving this nation behind and taking its jobs with it. The Levis Strauss company will still be in business-making more money per jean then they do now thanks to cheap labor and it will still be able to fund whatever gay parade it so damn pleased maybe even more so now that it can make more profit per jean.
29 posted on 10/01/2003 7:29:28 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Here is a 4-year-old article that should give you some idea of how badly this company has been managed.
30 posted on 10/01/2003 7:31:14 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: Destro
I don't think you understand their position, Destro. They are too deep in debt and can't move enough product. They have less than a year to turn all this around or they are toast. Bob Haas has even been lying about his profits in a futile effort to keep the wolves from his door.
31 posted on 10/01/2003 7:33:47 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: Texas_Dawg; hchutch; Poohbah; dighton
Damned Straussian neocon free traitors.....
32 posted on 10/01/2003 7:34:05 PM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine (and I have no conscience)
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To: Kewlhand`tek
Well, yeah ... my son-in-law works there.

And, by the way, Levi Strauss was the last holdout to try to keep its manufacturing in the U.S.

All those competitors you people are so anxious to patronize because of the so-called gay agenda were long gone years before Levi finally gave up.

33 posted on 10/01/2003 7:38:20 PM PDT by altura
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To: Destro
Be thankful, the jobs are still here, only they are different, uhm, information age jobs. These jean companies cum fashion houses spend more on marketing than on manufacturing these days. Be a model, a gofer on a photo set, or a walking sandwich billboard!
34 posted on 10/01/2003 7:39:45 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Far out, man!)
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To: Destro
Let me put it this way, D -- Last year (2002), Levi Strauss saw profits of only $25 million. The year previous to that (2001), Levi Strauss saw profits of $151 million. And if you draw a line on a graph, a line that runs from the profits point in 1997 (on the left) to the pathetic profits point in 2002 (on the right), you will see something like this:

\

35 posted on 10/01/2003 7:41:18 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: Chancellor Palpatine
Damned Straussian neocon free traitors.....

Is there anyone in the world who isn't a RINO or neocon yet?

36 posted on 10/01/2003 7:42:16 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg (You're trying hard not to show it... but, baby... believe me... I know it.)
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To: Bonaparte
and what? Your point is that because of that it is better they give the job over to a Mexican in Mexico earning Mexican wages as opposed to say a Mexican in Texas earning American wages? What does your "cheering" do for the American manufacturing jobs lost?
37 posted on 10/01/2003 7:43:44 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Oh, no, Korean_Chow showed up and we'll have 400 posts of inane arguments about "capitalism" and Freddie Hayek!
38 posted on 10/01/2003 7:44:29 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Far out, man!)
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To: Revolting cat!
who??
39 posted on 10/01/2003 7:45:47 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
I quite buying Levi's overpriced jeans years ago.They're really going to fit badly when they start making them in China. Things change.They can't stay the market leader forever.
40 posted on 10/01/2003 7:46:18 PM PDT by novacation
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To: Destro
Just think...another bunch of "Consultants" about to take on the unemployment lines. What a free trade country we are. The quest for the mighty buck lining the shareholders pocket at the expense of the workers takes out another manufacturer in the USA.
41 posted on 10/01/2003 7:47:17 PM PDT by Napoleon Solo
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To: Destro
who??

See. You'll be sorry you asked! And I stand corrected - it's 476!

42 posted on 10/01/2003 7:49:36 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Far out, man!)
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To: Destro
I stand corrected again.
43 posted on 10/01/2003 7:51:17 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Far out, man!)
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To: Destro
That's a great Pat Buchanan impersonation, but the point is that this company is failing because of horrible management. Not because of some brave and noble effort to keep jobs in America.
44 posted on 10/01/2003 7:53:47 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Remember that great retailer, retail killer, Wal-Mart? Just a few years ago they spouted Buy American like crazy. Well old Sam is probably spinning in his grave with what they have done and will continue to do to this countries manufacturing base. Unless he really set the tide in motion. All I know is that there is little room for more consultants from dead industry running around in the USA like chicken little. Nobody cares any longer about the American Middle Class. What they fail to realize is that when the middle class goes, so does the American mystique. Next the Islamofacist sleeper cells are awakened and voila, anarchy. Sound too severe, just watch.
45 posted on 10/01/2003 7:54:15 PM PDT by Napoleon Solo
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To: Destro
It's probably at leats 10 years since I last bought Levi's, or one of their subsidiaries, pieces of clothing. They were one of the first major companies to provide benefits for same sex couples, and I think they were the first to withdraw company sponsorship of the Boy Scouts.

I'm happy they went under.

I buy all my gas from EXXON/Mobil. As far as I am aware, they are the only top 10 global company to refuse to provide married couple equivalent benefits to homosexual employees.

Good for them!

46 posted on 10/01/2003 7:55:35 PM PDT by StopGlobalWhining (Cheney-Rumsfeld in '08)
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To: Brandon_the_evil_waspy_male
Do Americans produce anything anymore besides crappy movies and ciggerettes?

Porn

Nice future for our kids we're leaving them.....

47 posted on 10/01/2003 7:57:39 PM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: All
Levi's early customers grew up, matured and became more conservative. Levi Straus rested on its laurels, became politically active and went liberal. The romance is over. Add to this a lower quality product and we have Levi Straus struggling to stay alive.
48 posted on 10/01/2003 8:04:05 PM PDT by mpreston
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To: StopGlobalWhining
I buy a lot from mail-order catalogues and the prices are cheap, cheap, cheap, they undercut the mall prices and the items are all made overseas. Sorry, but the bottom line is "price" (and quality too, of course.)
http://www.lanebryant.com
http://www.roamans.com
http://www.blair.com
49 posted on 10/01/2003 8:05:23 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Destro
Here's another recent article for you about Levi Strauss's massive tax evasion and what they had to pay IRS to get them off their back. Note the last sentence:
    ...Levi's income and revenue has been dropping steadily since the mid-1990s.

50 posted on 10/01/2003 8:07:15 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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