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Levi's CEO Defends Quarter, Says Retailers 'Need Us'

Levi's CEO Defends Quarter, Says Retailers 'Need Us'

Shares of Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE: LEVI) sold off following its July 9 second-quarter report, and CEO Charles Bergh defended the results and made his pitch for the business on CNBC's "Mad Money" segment Tuesday.

What Happened

Levi's stock traded lower following its second-quarter earnings release, which Bergh told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer was in fact a "great quarter."

The company showed 8% growth on a global basis, while all three regions and all four brands showed growth. The U.S. wholesale business did show a 2% decline, but this metric doesn't tell the whole story, Bergh said. 

The U.S. wholesale business was negatively impact by store closures, weakness at Sears Holdings Corp (OTC: SHLDQ) and less revenue from off-price channels, the CEO said. 

Excluding these factors, the wholesale business would have risen by 2%, or by a mid-single digit on a two-year stacked basis, he said. 

Why It's Important

The retail world is separated into winners and losers, and the Levi's brand is one of the former, Bergh said. 

The company is in a strong position to ask its retail partners for more floor space and wallet share, he said, adding that retailers "need strong brands," and Levi's is a brand retailers count on to drive traffic for them.

What's Next

Cramer asked his guest for three reasons why Levi's is well-positioned ahead of the winter holiday season.

A new fall and winter season lineup was introduced in stores this week, Bergh said.

Second, Levi's is collaborating with both the iconic Hello Kitty brand and the hit TV series "Stranger Things."

Third, Levi's introduced a new technology with which consumers can customize jeans online and have the final product shipped to them in less than one week, he said. 

Levi's shares were down 0.21% at $18.78 at the time of publication Wednesday. 

Related Links:

Levi Strauss Shares Fall After Q2 Earnings Miss

BofA: 'Sluggish' Outlook From Levi's Is The Takeaway From Q2 Report


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