SF Cody, the giftware operation launched by Leonard Lewis, founder
of the River Island fashion chain, has appointed M&C Saatchi and the
agency’s Walker Media associate to handle its first ad initiative.
A reported budget of pounds 10 million will support an online and
offline campaign for the company, which sells through retail outlets and
via its new website.
The concept aims to fill a gap in the pounds 25 billion market for
indulgent gifts which Lewis claims is fragmented.
The first SF Cody store opened in Manchester in September last year with
others appearing in Bluewater, Brighton, Croydon, Dublin and on the
island of Malta.
Its website, launched in October, offers up to 400 gifts and services as
well as gift-wrapping, anniversary reminders, 24-hour delivery and the
advice of a ’gift consultant’ to guide buyers by asking questions about
The reclusive Lewis, one of Britain’s richest men, took over the Chelsea
Girl chain from his father 11 years ago. Realising that its offering was
dated, he relaunched it as River Island, which now has sales of more
than pounds 300 million.
He devised the SF Cody concept five years ago while recovering from a
polo accident which left him paralysed from the waist down. It targets
upmarket customers aged between 25 and 45, about 70 per cent of whom are
Lewis said: ’We see a tremendous opportunity to move into the premium
position within the gift market. Our advertising campaign will play an
important part in our strategy.’
Nick Hurrell, the M&C Saatchi joint chief executive, said: ’SF Cody is
full of brilliant solutions to the universal problems of gifting. I
believe that its ’clicks and mortar’ model will be a huge success.’
SF Cody, named after the turn-of-the-century US show- man, Samuel
Franklin Cody, aims to recreate the period in the early 1900s when
wealthy shoppers could buy from stores selling the finest goods from
around the world and shopping was - according to Lewis - like ’going to