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Levi’s cuts 700 jobs due to falling sales

US jeans brand Levi Strauss is cutting 700 jobs, or about 15% of its corporate staff, as it grapples with the downturn caused by the pandemic.

The firm, hit by a 62% fall in sales in its most recent quarter, said the reductions were necessary “given the uncertainties” of the virus impact.

However, Levi’s said shoppers are returning as stores reopen.

But it warned that it expected sales to be “significantly adversely impacted” through the end of this year.

“There are still a lot of uncertainties,” said Levi’s chief executive Chip Bergh.

Levi’s, which re-listed on the US stock exchange last year, has seen sales rise in recent years, as jeans regained popularity and the fad for loungewear faded.

But those trends were reversed in the lockdown months, as shoppers cut spending on clothing, especially pants.

Levi’s reported a loss of $364m (£290m) in the three months to 24 May, compared to a profit of $29m in the same period last year.

Revenue dropped to $498m, compared to $1.3bn in the same period in 2019.

More than 90% of the firm’s stores have now reopened and sales have been better than expected, Mr Bergh said. It has also seen e-commerce sales soar.

Levi’s said it hoped to save about $100m with the office job cuts – one of several moves the firm is making in response to the pandemic downturn.

The retailer said the reductions are happening globally: “Final plans will vary by country and are subject to applicable consultation processes.”

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Levi’s said it employed about 15,800 people at the end of November, including 8,500 staff in retail and 1,800 personnel in manufacturing.

Atuobi Alex

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