Levi Strauss Bets on One-Size-Fits-All

Jeans maker goes global with single fit for its 501 jeans
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2008 12:24 PM CDT
The famed red tab is shown on the corner of the Levi's store on Union Square in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 10, 2007.    (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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(Newser) – Levi Strauss is revamping its signature button-fly 501 jeans with a one-size-fits-all philosophy and launching its first global marketing campaign, the Wall Street Journal reports. No longer will jeans in, say, Hong Kong, fit differently than those in New York. The company, which says the jeans are sold in 110 countries, hopes to jump-start flagging sales with its new "Live Unbuttoned" ad campaign.

The San Francisco company says straight-leg jeans are becoming a worldwide trend and wants to position the 501 as the jeans of choice. It says the fabric will mold to different body shapes, making slightly different fits unnecessary. Analysts point out that it's much cheaper to produce only one type. "You can be more efficient and stretch your money," said one. Just in time: Levi's sales have been in gradual decline since 1996.