Levi Strauss to Open New Distribution Center in Northern Kentucky, Creating 300 Job Opportunities

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear noted the continued growth of Kentucky’s distribution and logistics sector, as he announced Levi Strauss & Co. will establish a new e-commerce distribution center in Erlanger, creating approximately 300 jobs with a $48 million-plus investment.

“Kentucky’s ideal geographic location continues to be a major advantage as our state’s logistics sector shows consistent growth,” Gov. Beshear said. “This commitment by Levi Strauss & Co. is the latest evidence that Kentucky is the perfect location for companies looking to get their products to customers as quickly as possible. I want to thank the company’s leadership for its continued support of our workforce and look forward to seeing this new facility operational next year.”

Levi Strauss & Co. leaders plan to lease and upgrade an existing 575,700-square-foot facility at 660 Erlanger Road, to boost the company’s rapidly growing e-commerce business and better serve its customers throughout the Eastern U.S. Company leadership anticipates the project will create 300 new full-time positions with an average hourly compensation of $27.13, including benefits. Work on the project is expected to begin in February and be completed for operations in early 2023.

This project builds on the company’s current presence in the state, which includes two distribution-related facilities in Hebron, where it employs approximately 300 people in total.

“We are excited to expand both our commercial relationship with Kentucky and our distribution network for American consumers,” said Stephen Berube, senior vice president of Global Logistics and Distribution at Levi Strauss & Co. “We’ve seen in our existing facilities that the commonwealth has been a terrific partner to date, and we know that its top-tier workforce can help us execute on our plans going forward.”

Founded in 1853, San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest brand name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi’s, Dockers, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co., Denizen and Beyond Yoga brands. Its products are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide through a combination of chain retailers, department stores, online sites and a global footprint of approximately 3,000 brand-dedicated stores and shop-in-shops. Levi Strauss & Co.’s reported 2020 net revenues were $4.5 billion.

The company’s planned investment adds to a thriving logistics and distribution sector in the commonwealth. In 2021, companies within the sector announced more than 1,000 full-time, Kentucky-resident jobs across more than 30 facility expansion and new-location projects with $181.7 million in private-sector investment in the commonwealth.

Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann is grateful for the company’s decision to add an additional location in Northern Kentucky.

“The Levi’s brand is recognized around the world, and we welcome the company’s new e-commerce facility to Kenton County,” Judge/Executive Knochelmann said. “Levi Strauss & Co. is creating a significant number of new jobs that will add to Northern Kentucky’s economy.”

Erlanger Mayor Jessica Fette noted the new facility will serve the company’s customers throughout the East Coast and Midwest.

“We’re excited to welcome a sophisticated retailer like Levi Strauss & Co. to Erlanger,” Mayor Fette said. “This new supply chain operation will play a key role in delivering Levi’s products to consumers – reinforcing our ideal location and transportation assets.”

Lee Crume, president and CEO of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, said Levi Strauss & Co. is part of a strong retail supply chain management and logistics sector in the region.

“Levi Strauss & Co. was recognized in the top 20 of the world’s most reputable companies on the 2021 Global RepTrak 100 list and has strong corporate social responsibility and sustainability programs,” Crume said. “We’re glad to add a third Levi Strauss & Co. operation and expand their involvement in Northern Kentucky.”

Levi Strauss & Co.’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor noted that this was among five economic development projects announced Thursday that alone represent $160.9 million in new investments that will create 1,003 new jobs for Kentuckians.

In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.

In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford, CEO Jim Farley and Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth, celebrating a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.

Kentucky also saw an all-time, record-setting budget surplus in fiscal year 2021 and enters 2022 with an estimated $1.9 billion more than budgeted.

In addition, Kentucky recently placed seventh overall in Site Selection magazine’s annual Business Climate Rankings. The commonwealth ranked third nationally in the 2020 projects per capita ranking and fifth in the 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.

The Governor’s recent budget proposal calls for $250 million in one-time funds to develop a Site Identification and Development Program that will help the commonwealth continue its economic development momentum by modernizing infrastructure so we’re able to attract the next Ford- or Toyota-size project. The fund will help communities grow small economic development sites into larger sites and help them prepare sites to be not just shovel-ready, but build-ready.

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today approved Levi Strauss & Co. for up to $900,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

In addition, Levi Strauss & Co. can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.

For more information on Levi Strauss & Co., visit LeviStrauss.com.

A detailed community profile for Kenton County can be viewed here.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.

Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.govkycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts FacebookTwitter and YouTube.