• LEVI’S EURO SIGNATURE: Levi Strauss & Co. is solidifying distribution plans in Europe for its nascent mass-market brand, Signature, which has already bowed in the U.S. in Wal-Mart stores. On Thursday, Levi’s said Carrefour hypermarkets would distribute Signature in France beginning Jan. 15. Deals are already inked in the U.K. with Asda/Wal-Mart and in Germany with Wal-Mart, Woolworth and Ratio. Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer after Wal-Mart, operates 193 units in France. Signature, which will retail for about $40 for a pair of jeans and $14 for a T-shirt, is part of Levi’s strategy to shore up its business in Europe, where value channels account for 15 to 20 percent of the total market. Levi’s said it was talking to other retailers in Europe about carryingSignature beginning fall 2005.

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