United Supermarkets is down to three finalists in the review for its estimated $500,000 advertising account.
Battling for the grocery store chain's business will be Hadeler, Sullivan & Law of Dallas and Fellers and T3, both Austin.
United Supermarkets director of marketing Renee Underwood said site visits were made to all three agencies last week. A final decision is expected to be made in mid-October.
The review involves creative services only. Media is handled internally by the client.
United Supermarkets, based in Lubbock, Texas, operates a 40-store grocery chain in West Texas.
Industry sources said that United Supermarkets is looking to freshen its retail image with new brand advertising to supplement its ongoing sales promotions. The store traditionally has advertised using flyers and local newspapers to promote weekly specials.
United's traditional stores average 35,000 square feet and offer deli, gourmet and automotive items, as well as traditional supermarket fare. A new upscale store format, called Market Street, is nearly twice the size of the traditional locations and holds a number of specialty shops.
"You can literally push six or seven carts side-by-side down the aisles," said one impressed source.
The privately held company ranks No. 454 on Forbes' Private 500 list. In 1998, United Supermarkets had estimated sales of $520 million, a 15 percent increase over the previous year's total.