Levi’s Tapped as Next Partner for Target, Will Mark Entry Into Home Business

Ever dream of your pooch snoozing in a Levi’s dog bed or serving dinner and drinks on denim-inspired plates and barware? Well, thanks to a collaboration between Levi’s and Target, it will soon be possible.

On Tuesday, the companies revealed that Levi Strauss & Co. will be the next collaborator in Target Corp.’s popular design partnership program. The program, which marked 20 years in 2019, has included high-profile names ranging from Isaac Mizrahi, Jason Wu and Marc Jacobs to Diane von Furstenberg, Missoni and LoveShackFancy. The program began in 1999 with architect Michael Graves and includes more than 200 collaborations so far.

For Levi’s, the launch at Target on Feb. 28 will mark the brand’s entry into the home business. The San Francisco-based denim company has been working with Target for a decade, when its Denizen value denim brand was added to the assortment. Its Red Tab collection was added to select stores in 2019 and that line’s presence will be expanded to include in-store displays at 500 stores by the fall.

Although there are a couple of apparel pieces included in the limited-edition collection — a trucker jacket and sleepwear — 90 percent of the assortment will be for the home.

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Karyn Hillman, chief product officer of Levi’s, added: “We immediately connected on our mutual passion for purposeful and timeless design, with sustainability and quality at the core of everything we do. We dialed up the best elements of our two iconic brands and discovered fresh new ways to create truly unique products to be enjoyed for years to come.”

The assortment was described as “thoughtfully designed, durable pieces meant to inspire a more sustainable home and life.” It will include more than 100 items in categories ranging from quilts and bedding to pillows, barware, glassware and ceramics for men, women, children and pets.

Much of the assortment was created with a lens toward sustainability and the line boasts more sustainable certifications than any other limited-edition collection, according to Target. The glassware, for example, is made from recycled materials and many of the other pieces have Fair Trade USA, Goodweave and FSC Wood certifications, Target said.

Prices will range from $3 to $150, with most items retailing for less than $25, Sando said. Sizing on the apparel pieces will be broad, ranging from XXS to 3X for women and S to 4X for men. It will be available at most Target stores and online and be available for contactless drive-up and order pickup as well.

Unlike many other retailers who have struggled during the pandemic, Target was considered “essential” and was able to stay open through the lockdowns. As a result, it logged more than $1 billion in profits last quarter, and comparable-store sales rose 17.2 percent for the November-December period, driven by skyrocketing online sales and the company’s ability to fulfill digital orders at its brick-and-mortar locations.

Earlier this week, the retailer said it will reward its employees for helping it achieve these results by offering them approximately $200 million in bonuses. That breaks down to $500 for more than 375,000 hourly workers in stores, distribution centers, the company’s Minneapolis-based headquarters and field-based offices. In addition, about 12,000 store directors, executive team leaders and salaried distribution center leaders will receive a bonus, ranging between $1,000 and $2,000. This is the fifth time Target has awarded bonuses to its staff since April.

Levi’s, too, has navigated its way through the pandemic, returning to profitability in the third quarter when it reported in October that it posted net earnings of $27 million for the three months ended Aug. 23. Levi’s e-commerce growth jumped 52 percent, despite overall sales that fell 27 percent to $1.06 billion from $1.45 billion.

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