NEWS: DFS trawls for agency to lead Southern drive

DFS Furniture is understood to be talking to agencies about plans to expand beyond its Northern base and into the South of England.

DFS Furniture is understood to be talking to agencies about plans to

expand beyond its Northern base and into the South of England.



DFS, the Doncaster-based furniture chain that has been extremely

successful in the North and Midlands, is keen to establish a similar

presence in the South.



It is talking to a raft of agencies, including the Leith Agency and one

unnamed media independent, together with the incumbents, Grey

Advertising and MediaCom.



In the North and Midlands, the client uses Grey for all creative work

and MediaCom for strategic media advice. Buying is handled in-house.



DFS spends about pounds 10 million through the local press and TV. Its

spend in the South will depend on the number of stores it opens and the

pace of development.



The furniture giant specialises in huge out-of-town showrooms, where it

stocks a wide range of furniture, from budget items to more upmarket

ranges. It is expected to take the same approach in the South, where it

will go head-to-head against Courts, Suite Centres and Essex Furniture.



Grey was first appointed to the account five years ago without a pitch.

Before that, DFS worked with a number of small local agencies and used

in-house talent.



Grey declined to comment on DFS’s search. But Andy Troullides, the

managing director of MediaCom, said: ‘We have given them strategic media

advice.’



He refused to comment on the expansion plans.



DFS is owned by its chairman, Graham Kirkham, who founded the company in

1969. He is understood to have been eager to expand the company further

since a successful flotation in 1993.



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