The company is privately held by descendants of the family of Levi Strauss. Shares of company stock are not publicly traded. Shares of Levi Strauss Japan K.K., the company's Japanese affiliate, are publicly traded in Japan.
Over the past several years, the company has undergone a significant transformation which include:
- Revamping the core Levi's and Dockers
product lines to make products more innovative, market-relevant
and appealing to consumers.
The company has three geographic divisions:
Levi Strauss, North America (LSNA), Levi Strauss Europe (LSE)
and Asia Pacific Division (APD).
Levi Strauss has more than 10,500 employees
In fiscal 2007, the company had sales of $4.4 billion and net income of $460 million.
When news of the California Gold Rush in the 1850s made its way east, Levi Strauss moved from New York to San Francisco to make his fortune: not by panning gold, but by selling supplies to the throngs of miners who arrived daily in the big city to outfit themselves before heading off to the gold fields. Levi was from Bavaria and in January 1853 at the age of 24, he became an American citizen. In March he arrived in bustling, noisy San Francisco, establishing a dry-goods business under his own name and also serving as the West Coast representative of the family's New York firm.
One of Levi's many customers was a tailor
named Jacob Davis. Originally from Latvia, Jacob lived in Reno,
NV, and regularly purchased bolts of cloth from the wholesale
house of Levi Strauss & Co. Among Jacob's customers was a
difficult man who kept ripping the pockets of the pants that
Jacob made for him. Jacob tried to think of a way to strengthen
the man's trousers, and one day hit upon the idea of putting
metal rivets at the points of strain, such as on the pocket corners
and at the base of the button fly.
Jacob wrote to Levi to suggest that the two men hold the patent together. Levi, who was an astute businessman, saw the potential for this new product and agreed to Jacob's proposal. On May 20, 1873, the two men received patent #139,121 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This day is considered to be the official "birthday" of blue jeans.
Holding a patent on this process meant that for nearly 20 years, Levi Strauss & Co. was the only company allowed to make riveted clothing until the patent went into the public domain around 1891. When the patent expired, dozens of garment manufacturers began to imitate the original riveted clothing made popular by Levi Strauss & Co.
The company launched the Dockers brand of khaki clothing in 1986.
Levi Strauss & Co. offers a total compensation package that includes a competitive salary, short- and long-term incentive plans and a wide array of benefits.
We recognize the importance of time and flexibility to employees and have work schedules and time off programs designed to help our employees better manage their workload and personal needs.
Updated April 6, 2008