Woolworths hires Bates to front major home shopping initiative

Woolworths is making a multi-million pound move into home shopping with the appointment of the Bates group to drive mail-order activity.

Woolworths is making a multi-million pound move into home shopping

with the appointment of the Bates group to drive mail-order

activity.



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

month’s time.



The assignment will have a billings equivalent of pounds 8 million and

complements Woolworths’ pounds 20 million above-the-line account at

Bates Dorland.



Bates is understood to have pitched against the McCann-Erickson group

and the BBDO ’club’ of specialist marketing companies for the

business.



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.’



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