The exterior of Levi's® Century City, featuring a Levi's® logo sign on the top of the front door, opening to products inside.

Levi’s® Century City Store Manager’s Secret to Success

Levi Strauss & Co.
June 2, 2024

At the early age of 16, Angel Mendoza, store manager for Levi’s® Century City, found himself searching for a career and thinking about his long-term plan. His first job as a soccer coach taught him the importance of patience and, more importantly, his passion for engaging and interacting with people — so it was only natural that he found himself in retail.

Raised by a progressive-thinking mother, Angel built his confidence early on and was encouraged to be curious and question the norm. He has always been a free spirit, frequently experimenting with self-expression — today, he can be seen in bold statement glasses, tattoos that tell a story and clothes that have meaning. When thinking about his career, Angel knew he wanted to work for a place where he could be himself; a place where his self-expression would not hold him back from growth. For him, that place was Levi’s®.

Angel has spent the last seven of his impressive 25 years in retail at various Levi’s® stores, helping consumers find their perfect fit and training his team on the power of connection and the need to be “consumer obsessed.” Angel has been at the Levi’s® store in Century City, California, for the last three years, where he is currently the store manager alongside four leaders, four tailors and nine stylists. Becoming ingrained in the community over the years has given Angel the insight that we pride ourselves on fostering in our managers – a particular attunement to the many styles and preferences of the people that walk through the Century City doors.

Angel is a leader at heart and knows what makes a store successful. In fact, last year Levi’s® Century City store saw an increase in store traffic and an increase in store revenue versus the previous year. To succeed to this extent as a manager takes a particular type of personality – one that is laser-focused on the details without sacrificing efficiency. One that doesn’t accept good enough when it comes to their consumers. That combination of agility and commitment to quality results is rare, and not everyone is cut out for it. All of our successful managers have their own keys to making it work. For Angel, the secret to this growth is empathy.

“You have to learn to be empathetic to the consumer’s needs, be empathetic to each other, understand that we all come from different places — we all have integrity,” said Angel. “That’s how you win over a shopper’s trust, which opens the door for them to listen to your advice.”

Angel’s years of retail experience have instilled in him the nuances of selling apparel. “Electronics are electronics. Toys are toys. But when it comes to apparel, it’s about lifestyle, it’s about personality,” he said. For Angel, the real satisfaction comes from the ability to not only understand what a consumer is looking for but match them with the item that will fit and elevate their personal style. After all, shoppers visit Levi’s® stores for the clothes and the expertise and guidance of managers like him.

“Having them step in, try on a fit, share their likes and dislikes, visualize what it’s going to look like with a different type of shoe or with a different type of top, how to style it for a first day of school or a first date — that’s what makes the shopping experience,” Angel said.

After seven years in the business, Angel knows when he’s created a fan and the power of face-to-face fittings. “When a consumer steps out of the fitting room, I’m looking at body language, posture and  if there’s a smile. These all indicate the type of confidence a great-fitting jean can provide,” Angel recalled. “It’s our job at the store to be attentive to these little details — spotting those nuances can confirm when you’ve made a lifelong Levi’s® fan.”

From first-time shoppers to seasoned denim veterans, associates at the Century City store are equipped to outfit anybody for any occasion. According to Angel, it’s part of what makes Levi’s® special.

“You have people who look like me who wear our brand and have always worn it. And you have a cowboy from down South who would never even think in his wildest dreams of putting on nail polish who also lives in our brand,” said Angel. “Everybody loves Levi’s®.”