Hechinger, Fashion Bug’s Retail Advertising In Flux

Two retailers find their ad accounts in different stages of review this week. Hechinger Co., Largo, Md., appears to be putting its estimated $30 million business in play, and Fashion Bug, Bensalem, Pa., has named four finalists in the review for its $10 million account.
Adworks in Washington, D.C., the agency for Hechinger, has been invited to participate in the review. The account includes work for Home Quarters Ware-house, which Hechinger bought in 1995.
Client officials had not returned calls at press time.
Leonard Green, a Los Angeles-based investor, acquired both Hechinger and Builders Square, formerly of Houston, in September. The two brands are expected to maintain their own identities–and agencies–for the time being. Officials at Houston’s Fogarty Klein & Partners, which handles Builders Square, said they had not been told of any review at press time.
BBDO South in Atlanta, W.B. Doner in Baltimore, Earle Palmer Brown in Philadelphia and DeVito/Verdi in New York are all vying for the creative-only account of Fashion Bug. The chain said The Media Edge in New York will continue to handle all media duties.
Fashion Bug officials expect to make a decision by the end of the month. To date, the review has included credentials-only pitches. The company has not decided whether it will require creative pitches before making its decision. It also said it may narrow contenders to two finalists before a winner is chosen.
The apparel chain, which consists of more than 1,200 stores nationwide, said it wants to develop a new campaign that would break in March. Advertising had been handled in-house and through Martin/Williams’ retail division, Fame, since 1994. –with Katy Eckmann and Steve Krajewski