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TEST:Teen Clothier Sends Out Feelers

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Gadzooks is preparing to launch a review, sources said.

The Carrollton, Texas-based specialty retailer of casual clothes and accessories for teenagers declined to comment.

Sources said Gadzooks has be-gun calling regional agencies to request creative samples. The assignment is expected to involve rebranding the merchant, which positions itself as a fun, high-energy store that caters to 14- to 18-year-old consumers seeking brand-name merchandise.

Gadzooks, which handles advertising in-house, spent $1.3 million on ads in its fiscal-year 2001, per company documents. The reports also indicate an increase in advertising and "visual marketing costs" in the first six months of 2002 versus the same period last year, though the specific amount was not provided.

Media expenditures for the first half of this year were $700,000, ac-cording to CMR.

Gadzooks operates more than 435 mall-based stores in metro and midsize markets in 41 states. Last year the company opened four Orchid stores that sell innerwear and sleepwear aimed at 14- to 22-year-old females.

Gadzooks recently reported that October sales increased 3.2 percent to $19.2 million from $18.6 million in the same month last year.