HomeLife Looks to Settle Down

Furniture retailer HomeLife, on its own after its sale by parent Sears, Roebuck & Co., is looking for an agency to handle an estimated $8-10 million broadcast assignment.
HomeLife, still located in Sears’ Hoffman Estates, Ill., headquarters, has contacted several small to midsized agencies in the Chicago area about the project, according to sources.
Jim Furner, HomeLife’s vice president of marketing, is leading the search, which he confirmed in a published report. He could not be reached for additional comment.
HomeLife’s incumbent agency is Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago, which has been Sears’ shop for hard goods. O&M officials said they were not involved in the HomeLife review. The agency is currently deeply involved in creating a new advertising campaign for Sears.
Last November, Sears sold 81 percent of the 126-store HomeLife chain to Citicorp Venture Capital in New York for $110 million. The retailer retained the remaining 19 percent of the company.
The sale, which Sears executives said at the time was part of a move to concentrate on the company’s core business units, was expected to fuel the expansion of HomeLife.
The deal may also help boost what has been relatively paltry ad spending on the furniture retailer. Sears spent only $25,000 on advertising for HomeLife last year, down from $2.2 million in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
–with Jenn Godd