Wickes calls media pitch as it prepares new store concept

- DIY retailer Wickes is reviewing its media planning and buying account as it prepares to roll out a new store concept based around a more consumer-friendly approach.

- DIY retailer Wickes is reviewing its media planning and buying account as it prepares to roll out a new store concept based around a more consumer-friendly approach.

Wickes has lined up four media companies to pitch for the business, which agencies claim could be worth £8 million over the next twelve months.

The incumbent, Western International Media, will line up against Walker Media, Mediapolis and MediaVest to pitch for the business, with presentations due later this month.

The media rethink comes a year after the retail chain reviewed its creative account. Wickes moved its creative business from incumbent Lowe Howard-Spink to DMB&B last December.

Wickes at first decided to retain Lowes' media operation, Western, on the media business, but is now understood to be keen to look at alternative media strategies to run hand-in-hand with a new creative drive, which is due out in the next few months.

The company had previously pursued a tactical press advertising strategy, but is now focussing on building the Wickes brand as a specialist store for the more serious DIY practitioner and trade customer, as well as for the casual DIY-er.

The change in direction followed a period of instability at the company, during which Wickes was subject to an inquiry by the Serious Fraud Office after the disclosure of trading irregularities in 1996.

Since then, the new management have turned around the company's financial performance, implemented a new marketing strategy and tested a new store concept which is now being rolled out nationally.

The media review is the latest plank in the rejuvination process and a decision is expected before the end of the year. The media review is being overseen by auditors Barsby Rowe.



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