CHICAGO – Eight months of chipping away at Wickes Furniture Co. paid off for Eire Partners here last week when the furniture retailer named the agency as its first agency of record to handle the creative portion of its $5-million account.
Wickes, which has handled its creative in-house, began talking to Eire in February when the retailer named James Furner its new director of advertising. The 16-year Wickes veteran, who worked in the company’s in-house department, said it was time to make sure the correct message was getting out.
‘Our business has been turning around, the economy seems to be getting better, and it was time for us to make sure our creative message is right,’ Furner said. ‘(Eire) simply put together a presentation for us that we liked.’
Wickes is hoping to appeal to a larger audience base, especially now that a number of furniture retailers closed up during the recession.
‘The agency went to California to do some research and found that unlike other retail industries, only 3% of the population is out looking for furniture at a given time,’ Furner said. ‘It’s important that our electronics, circulars and ROPs all have the same message. We want it to have a little personality.’
Currently, Wickes is running typical price-item spots that feature furniture items on special. The company has been using the tagline, ‘Wickes. Surprisingly Wickes,’ but is not expected to stick to that line when the new campaign rolls out.
Western International Media will continue to handle all media planning and buying for the company, which spends close to $20 million across the board, most of it in the form of circulars and ROPs.
Eire is in the process of developing new TV, radio and newspaper creative, which is expected to start running in selected Wickes markets in early 1994.
Wickes operates 24 furniture showrooms in Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Dallas.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)
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