Target has expanded its nearly decade-long partnership with Levi's by offering the denim brand's Red Tab products for men and women online and in more than 50 stores nationwide.
Since 2011, Target has sold Levi's Denizen line, a lower-priced offering developed for the Asian market the previous year. Red Tab products have been available in select stores "near college campuses and highly-trafficked urban locations" and online since Sunday, according to a Target corporate blog post.
Levi's began using the red tab in 1936 as a sign of authenticity and has assiduously defended it as a trademark ever since, according to the Levi's website. Target's Red Tab assortment includes jeans, tops and jackets, according to the blog post.
Target is capitalizing on Levi's endurance as well as its current popularity by offering the denim brand's signature Red Tab line. The discounter in a corporate blog post said that Levi's is one of the most searched denim brands on its website.
Levi's, which went public this year, saw second quarter net sales rise 5% year over year to $1.3 billion, with revenue up in all major regions. Operating income was down 19% as planned advertising and promotion costs offset windfalls from increased sales. Net income fell 63% year over year to $28.5 million, mostly due to expenses related to its IPO.
The move also demonstrates Target's ability to attract customers who are interested in spending a bit more for higher quality, a sign of confidence in a retail environment that continues to see consumers focused on value. The retailer is expanding its number of small-format stores, with plans to open 30 or so each year for the next few years, focusing on cities and college campuses.
In May, Target reported first-quarter sales rose 5.1% year over year to $17.4 billion as comparable sales grew 4.8% and digital comps grew 42%, accounting for 2.1% growth in overall comps. Target's same-day fulfillment services drove "well over half" of that digital sales growth, according to the company. Operating income for the quarter rose 9% to $1.1 billion, and net income was $795 million, an increase of 10.8%. The mass merchant said savings in technology and cost controls helped it reduce expenses by offsetting wage increases.
"This partnership is a great example of how Target continues to offer a curated assortment of highly relevant and premier national brands like Levi's®, while also differentiating ourselves by offering only-at-Target brands that we create just for our guests," Target Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer Mark Tritton said in a statement.