Woolworths is making a multi-million pound move into home shopping
with the appointment of the Bates group to drive mail-order
Group subsidiary operations will handle the entire initiative from
direct and relationship marketing via the internet to the design of
catalogues, the first of which will go to about five million homes in a
The assignment will have a billings equivalent of pounds 8 million and
complements Woolworths’ pounds 20 million above-the-line account at
Bates is understood to have pitched against the McCann-Erickson group
and the BBDO ’club’ of specialist marketing companies for the
The appointment follows trials by the Kingfisher-owned chain, which
began in a number of its stores in spring last year.
During the trial, customers were able to choose from more than 2,500
items, check stock availability and pay by credit card at a touch-screen
kiosk. Goods were delivered within seven days.
Woolworths is keen to capitalise on the booming home shopping market in
the UK which is currently worth about pounds 9 billion. It also wants to
extend the potential of its Ladybird children’s clothing brand, its
growing range of household products and its position as one of the
country’s largest retailers of CDs, tapes and videos.
John Stubbings, the Dorlands chief executive, said: ’Our decision to
provide integrated communication via the development of specialist
companies woven strategically rather than just financially into the
group has allowed us to offer clients a level of integration far beyond
simplistic one-stop shopping.’