The iconic jeans brand unveiled its new 16.902-sq.-foot two-level (plus a mezzanine area between the main ground floor and the basement selling areas) flagship in New York’s Times Square on Thursday night with a packed private opening event that included on-site customization and live performances from New York music acts.
The new location is nearly double the size of Levi’s previous Times Square store, which was 8,800 sq. feet, and emphasizes one-of-kind in-store experiences with an expansive Tailor Shop, customization options from local artists such as Futura and 13th Witness and merchandise that is unique to the location, including Mickey Mouse x Levi’s “I Love NY” offerings. It also carries the largest assortment of Levi’s products available anywhere including the offshoot brands Levi’s Premium, Levi’s Made & Crafted, Levi’s Vintage Clothing, Levi’s Authorized Vintage, Levi’s Collaborations, Accessories, Footwear and Kids.
Asked why the brand would make such a large brick-and-mortar investment in an age when shopping is increasingly done online, Jen Sey, chief marketing officer of global brands at Levi Strauss & Co., explained to us: “We’re seeing tremendous growth in our retail stores. We’ve had 11 consecutive quarters of growth. I think people are still seeking experiences and that for us is what makes this store unique and different is to actually create and experience that you can’t get online. For us an important way to do that is through our Tailor Shop and customization experiences so it’s the largest Tailor Shop in the world. It’s 500 sq. feet with ten sewing machines, ten master tailors and two direct to garment printers.”
She continued: “Everybody wants Levi’s because it’s really authentic but they want to make it their own so we make it easier for them. You can actually sit with one of our master tailors and design something really special and unique.”
And since Times Square is known as a tourist destination Sey said that the new retail destination is actually meant to drum up Levi’s business elsewhere too. “This is a global flagship for us. Fifty million people come to Times Square every year so if they can come to this store and bring this sense of Levi’s back home with them to their neighborhood Levi’s store that’s great. It just builds their sense of what the brand stands for.”
The new flagship is one of six stores Levi’s operates in New York City (five in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn).