NEW YORK – Levi's CEO Chip Bergh has some tips for jeans owners: Don't freeze jeans. And not seen them in the washing machine.
Bergh turned heads and noses at an event in May 2014 when he announced that he had never washed the 501 Levi jeans he was wearing at that time. He still hasn't washed the now 10-year-old pair of jeans, Bergh admitted at CNN Business & # 39; s Markets Now live show with Alison Kosik on Thursday.
He also does not freeze his jeans.
"It's an old woman's story," he said. "It doesn't work." He also never washed or frozen the jeans he had on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday for the company's IPO celebration – even though he said
Bergh had a lot to celebrate: Levi's stock increased 33% in his debut.
Why Levi goes public
It's not the first time Levi has been released. 1985, when it was privatized, Levi publicly revived to increase investment in China and expand into new categories.
Bergh noted that the company is making its rivals in technology, including the online store and other digital products.
He said Most fashion companies have more choices for women, but Levi is more known for his men's line of jeans, which has expanded his women's product lines for several years, but Levi's plans to use cash as it traveled to the market, developing these products more heavily.
" increase our portfolio, driving performance, "said Bergh.
Levi's also wants to make a more meaningful press into China. He noted that some smaller competitors have come before Levi in China. Although 20% of the clothing industry is in China, this region represents only 3% of Levi's business.
Bergh noted that Levi's jeans had been a symbol of American culture for over a century and young people behind the Iron Curtain became famous for them after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.
"Unlike other parts of the world where this mark had a deep history, went from generation to generation, or it was a forbidden fruit that symbolized all that was good about America … we don't have that story in China, "famous Bergh.
What kind of market Levi enters
The market treated Levi's well Thursday, but it has not been kind to any other IPOs in recent years.
Levi is profitable, unlike many companies that went public in recent years. Granted, many of them have been technology companies, which usually take a while to find their feet.
So will the market continue to support Levis?
Alicia Levine, chief strategist at BNY-Mellon, believes it. She said on "Markets Now" on Thursday that the economy would be weaker in the first quarter than in recent quarters, but it will be stronger during the year. So she expects earnings to fall by about 4% in the quarter, but grow for the rest of 2019.
Levine owes Fed's excessive hawkish rate hike in December and President Donald Trump's growth rate growth. But she was urged that the Fed sign a stupid stance on Wednesday, and she believes China and the United States will soon come to terms.
"We think this is trough, and we will see acceleration throughout the year," said Levine. "Part of the reason why this market stands out is because we need a trade deal. I expect a pop [if there’s a trade deal]. I don't think it's fully priced."
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