NEWS: Sears hands Richards chain to M&C Saatchi

M&C Saatchi has broken on to the Sears roster with an appointment to handle the relaunch of the Richards chain of women’s fashion stores.

M&C Saatchi has broken on to the Sears roster with an appointment to

handle the relaunch of the Richards chain of women’s fashion stores.



The assignment is the first stage of a wide-ranging examination of

marketing arrangements for all the Sears brands - including Selfridges,

Adams childrenswear and Freemans catalogues - being carried out by Simon

Gulliford, the group marketing director.



Budgets are undisclosed for the Richards relaunch, but the agency is

being briefed to find a clear positioning for the mid-market chain to

make it a more effective player against its main competitor, Marks and

Spencer.



Media buying remains with CIA Medianetwork, which also handles the other

Sears brands.



M&C Saatchi was appointed after Sears considered strategic proposals

from a number of other agencies for the development of the Richards

brand.



Moray MacLennan, the M&C Saatchi joint chief executive, said: ‘Richards

has a clear vision of its future and we’ll be working with it to

communicate that to customers.’



The appointment comes in the same week that Dixons consolidated all its

advertising into M&C Saatchi. The company has abandoned the idea of

splitting its business up and has pulled its PC World and the Link

accounts - worth a total of pounds 10.5 million - out of DMB&B.



The company blamed ‘disagreements on working practices’ for the decision

to end its 14-month relationship with DMB&B.



However, the Media Centre, the DMB&B group’s media buying arm, will

continue placing all pounds 70 million-plus worth of media for the

Dixons group. Dixons was one of the first former Charlotte Street

clients to throw in its lot with Maurice Saatchi’s breakaway agency in

April last year.