B&Q, the UK’s largest DIY retailer, is on the lookout for a direct
marketing agency to help develop and implement a loyalty scheme.
No-one at the incumbent agency, Bates Communications, was available to
comment on the review, and it is not yet known if B&Q intends to move
all of its below-the-line business out of the agency, or if it is simply
looking for a second shop to handle the loyalty project.
The chain has been talking to a number of heavyweight below-the-line
shops about the task, although it is thought that a shortlist has not
yet been compiled.
The search effectively puts an end to the retailer’s relationship with
the Tesco Clubcard, which has been ebbing away for some time.
When the Clubcard relationship began in 1996, it played a major part in
fuelling B&Q’s sales growth, and the company regarded the tie-up with a
non-competitor as an effective way of consolidating the value of the
B&Q is currently enjoying rapid growth, and dominates the DIY retail
sector with a 20 per cent market share. The Kingfisher-owned company has
major expansion plans and has said it will open 125 new stores by 2003,
increasing its market share to 35 per cent in the process.
A B&Q spokesperson refused to comment on the review, which will not
affect Bates Dorland’s hold on the above-the-line advertising business.
The company is well-known for its policy of using its staff to front its
Media planning and buying, which is with Zenith Media, is also