The launch of Google and Levi's new Commuter Trucker jacket is reportedly off to a relatively slow start in terms of retail sales, with only three jackets reportedly being sold within the first two hours of hitting shelves in one location – Fred Segals, Los Angeles. That may not seem too bad at a first glance, but the jacket has really only been available from September 27th at two other locales as of this writing – Kinfolk in Brooklyn and Concepts in Cambridge. No sales figures have surfaced from the other two retail locations and inventory figures have not been provided for any of the locations, so there's no way of gauging whether or not the report can be used as any kind of indicator as to how well it will sell over time.
The key selling point for the jacket, which is a joint effort between Google and Levi Strauss and features the former's Jacquard-branded capacitive fabric, is that it allows users to interact with smart devices through the clothing itself. However, that technology, in combination with the high standards of quality set by Levi Strauss, has resulted in what could be viewed as a relatively high price tag of around $350. Beyond that, recent news about the limited number of times the jacket can be washed before it stops functioning to its full potential may be contributing to the apparently lukewarm reception.
Bearing that in mind, online sales don't start at the official Levi's website until October 2nd. That will, of course, widen the Commuter Trucker jacket's potential sales audience quite a bit. In addition to that and given the technology-focused nature of the apparel itself, online sales feasibly could perform much better. This could also simply be a case of a new product not being on the market long enough to take off since it is a relatively new concept, serving a purpose that may not be well-understood by the consumer – a circumstance that would be similar to the gradual buildup and eventual stagnation of the smartwatch market. It stands to reason that a true measure of marketability won't really be ascertainable until the apparel has had more time on the market and has officially launched online.