Levi Strauss & Co. is expanding at the Crossroads of the World.
The company is planning to open a new flagship in New York’s Times Square at 1535 Broadway late next year, replacing the brand’s nearby perch at 1501 Broadway, which has been open since 2008.
The 17,000-square-foot-store will be one of the largest in Levi’s portfolio, which includes 700 company-owned stores and another 2,900 doors run by partners.
“Located in the heart of Times Square, this store will be the ultimate shopping destination for consumers from around the world who are seeking authenticity, customization and personalized fit and style expertise,” said Carrie Ask, executive vice president and president of global retail at the company.
Levi Strauss said the move to a new, larger-format store showed its confidence in the direct-to-consumer sales channel, which represents one-third of its global business.
Company-owned and operated stores have been a key component of the Levi’s strategy and a profitable source of growth, particularly while the firm’s North American wholesale business has struggled.
“For us, it’s about meeting consumers where and how they want to shop,” Ask said. “With this store, we are focused on bringing the flexibility and ease of omnichannel to the in-store environment, while also giving the consumer a unique and highly personalized experience that they can’t get anywhere else.”
Just last week, Levi’s officially reopened its SoHo store in downtown Manhattan, putting its leading retail strategies together under one roof. The store features the new Levi’s Authorized Vintage line, which includes used product that in many cases has been restored and updated by the likes of Vetements, Off-White’s Virgil Abloh, Diane von Furstenberg, X Karla’s Karla Welch and Ovadia & Sons.
The SoHo store prominently features a Tailor Shop, which will customize looks on the spot, and sports a new take on fitting rooms in an effort to upgrade the experience.
Levi’s SoHo revamp and the Times Square upgrade will both incorporate insights from an extensive research project by the company.
The study, for instance, showed that just over half of the shoppers who come into the brand’s doors were looking to buy. This prompted the company to ramp up its focus on the fitting rooms to help seal the deal and also to start to incorporate RFID tagging in SoHo to ensure shoppers can find their size.
Levi’s has been enjoying something of a revival under chief executive officer Chip Bergh and is clearly looking to keep the momentum up by focusing on retail that’s under its own control and can present a more nuanced iteration of the brand.