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Levi Strauss Plans $5 Million Online Effort

Jeansmaker Levi Strauss & Co. is launching its first major online selling effort.

"Our single-minded goal is to make it easier to shop and buy our products," Jay Thomas, director of digital marketing, Levi's brand, told Advertising Age.

The move sets up a potential conflict between electronic stores and brick-and- mortar retail sites. At the same time, many retailers are setting up their own online efforts, AdAge said. In fact, Levi Strauss asked some of its prime customers not to include its products on their retail Web sites, said Kent Anderson, Macys.com president.

Levi Strauss said its two upgraded Web sites, www.levi.com and www.dockers.com, will showcase more items than many department stores regularly stock, particularly fashion items such as cargo khaki pants and its more expensive Silver Tab line. The sites also will offer consumers all sizes made in each line, solving another long- standing problem the company has experienced at retail.

The sites will be backed by an estimated $5 million in online, newspaper and radio advertising, primarily in top college markets, AdAge said. CKS Partners is its online agency. TBWA/Chiat/Day, in San Francisco, handles U.S. advertising for Levi's. Foote, Cone & Belding in San Francisco, handles Dockers' advertising.

Levi Strauss plans to use the online sites to showcase its full line of clothing beyond jeans, such as shoes, belts, women's tops, skirts and even snowboarding jackets--"products you didn't know we made," a spokesman said.