Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Levi’s heart — and 501s — still in San Francisco

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sf-ls-buildingIt was in San Francisco where Bavaria-born Levi Strauss first stitched and sold his now-iconic riveted blue jeans and it is San Francisco where the 156-year-old company will stay.

At least for the next ten years.

The San Francisco-based company said it will remain in the City by the Bay through 2019, ending speculation that the global apparel brand would move its headquarters to an outlying, lower-rent area.

“There is only one place that a historic company like Levi Strauss & Co. should be located. That’s right here in San Francisco where it all started during the Gold Rush,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is running for governor of California.
    
Levi Strauss, which is known for supporting San Francisco non-profit organizations and other community efforts, has been located in San Francisco since 1853, when Mr. Strauss arrived during the Gold Rush.
    
The current address — at 1155 Battery Street near the water — is approximately the tenth location since the company was founded. An earlier building, also on Battery Street, was destroyed during the 1906 earthquake.

A new edition for Banana

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earring1A new accessories store from Gap Inc chain Banana Republic is set to open in San Francisco in May. The boutique, Edition by Banana Republic, is a test for the apparel giant, and an opportunity to explore merchandising and design ideas for the accessories sold in Banana Republic stores.

The boutique in downtown’s Westfield San Francisco Centre will feature limited-edition jewelry, as well as handbags and other accessories, such as sunglasses and personal care items.
    
Most items will be priced below $100, Gap said.
    
Sales of accessories have been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal retail landscape since last year. With their lower price points — and higher profit margins — accessories have managed to maintain their luster with many women, who are jazzing up existing wardrobes while giving a cold shoulder to new apparel purchases.
 
The items available in Edition by Banana Republic will be unique to the store and won’t be available online or in the retailers’ other chains — even Banana Republic.

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