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Levi Strauss to close last remaining N.American manufacturing plants.

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Canada stands to lose even more than the US.


Levi Strauss closes American plants


By Lauren Foster in New York


Levi Strauss, the iconic jeans brand that has been worn by generations of Americans, on Thursday announced plans to close its four remaining North American manufacturing and finishing plants, with the loss of almost 2,000 jobs.



The world's largest branded clothing maker said the closures were part of a shift away from owned-and-operated manufacturing that began several years ago.



"We're in a highly competitive industry where few apparel brands own and operate manufacturing facilities in North America," said Phil Marineau, the chief executive. "We need to focus our resources on product design and development, sales and marketing and our retail customer relationships."



Levi Strauss said it would close its San Antonio operations by the end of the year and its three Canadian facilities by March 2004 and shift production to its global sourcing network.



Bruce Raynor, president of Unite, the largest apparel workers' union in North America, said the job losses and plant closures were the result of US trade policies that allowed companies to "scour the globe for the cheapest, most vulnerable labour" they could find.



Over several years of restructuring, the company has closed six US factories and two in Europe and shifted most of its production to Asia and Latin America. In an effort to reverse market share losses after consumers started deserting its jeans, Levi has also overhauled its product range and its marketing. But this week Moody's, the credit rating agency, downgraded the 150-year-old San Francisco-based company, citing concerns about "the rapid decline in the company's financial flexibility" and disappointing sales, cash generation and debt levels for the year to date.



Despite tough conditions, including deflation in clothing prices, Levi earlier this month released estimated financial results showing a 6 to 7 per cent rise in third-quarter sales to about $1.08bn. Sales have been boosted by the launch of the Levi Strauss Signature brand through Wal-Mart stores - the first time Levis have been sold through a mass-market discounter.



Levi bonds tumbled in April after a lawsuit from two former high-level tax managers accused it of inflating its profits by hundreds of millions of dollars.

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That sucks. I’ve noticed that they don’t carry my 535s in certain colours anymore. They stopped with my preffered brand of khakis too. Too bad for the job losses, and too bad for me, because Levi’s is the only pants I wear after Hilfiger and Guess started going in another direction years ago.

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Ok, this might have pissed me off a few years ago, but now that I work in the electronic replacement field nothing is made in America. So what's one more company going off-shore? Really nothing..Since the pass of the trade act every company is willing to reduce their costs of production of up 75% in some cases. More money for me..WoooHooo!!

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Originally posted by suburbian bum

i dont think i have ever owned a pair of levis. But at urban outfitters they have levi's premium. And they are like 125 bucks. But they look pretty nice. But for that price i would rather have some diesels.


Those are the only one's actually made in AMERICA..That's exactly why it's 125.00 fuckin dollars for a pair of LEVI'S!! That's absolutely out of this world!

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ok from a business perspective it makes perfect sence to have the factory in some 3rd world where you only have to pay the works like $1 or 2 a day. but living here and trying to find a "good" job with not being able to go to collage fucking sucks. before to long nothing is going to be made here.

"proud to be american, where everything is made in china"

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