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Homeland Hires Littlefield, Ivie

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Divides Marketing, Media, Database Tasks Between Tulsa, Dallas
DALLAS--Littlefield Advertising & Marketing of Tulsa, Okla., was awarded the marketing and media account of Homeland Stores of Oklahoma City, while Ivie & Associates in Dallas earned database assignments.
Littlefield and Ivie, a marketing research operation, were two of three finalists competing for Homeland Stores' $1 million account. Also pitching was Jordan Associates of Oklahoma City.
Incumbent Ackerman McQueen, Oklahoma City, declined to defend the account that became dormant after the client went through bankruptcy proceedings in 1996.
Among the factors in selecting the Tulsa agency were "the overall environment of Littlefield and the fact they had worked in the database area," said Homeland Stores director of advertising Bill Sammons. "They had the right balance. They had the right feel."
Homeland (formerly Safeway stores in Oklahoma) hired Ivie & Associates to help market and gauge the effectiveness of its two-year-old "Frequent Shopper" card. Plans are for Littlefield to develop a fall branding campaign through print and television, focusing on the shopping rewards program. "We want to get back into electronic [media] immediately," said Sammons.
Strategic planning will become a greater factor in 1999 advertising plans, said Sammons. Competitive Media Reporting figures show Homeland spent $1.1 million on advertising in 1997.
In a statement, Homeland president and chief executive officer David Clark said the company has "an intention to commit greater resources to this [Frequent Shopper] program."
Revenues remain flat at the 69-store, four-state operation, with a small per-store sales gain reported in the first two quarters of 1998. Due to increased remodeling and promotional costs, the retail chain continues to report losses in net income, including $2.4 million in the first quarter and $2.8 million in April-July.
Homeland operates both superstores and smaller groceries in four Southwest markets: Oklahoma City; Tulsa; Amarillo, Texas; and rural areas of Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas.