$75 Mil. Burlington Media in Play

NEW YORK Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse has hired consultancy Ark Advisors to manage a review of media duties on its ad account, Burlington confirmed today.

The incumbent, Interpublic Group’s Initiative in New York, has accepted an invitation to defend, and the review will be completed early in the second quarter of 2008, according to the client. Ark’s New York office is handling the assignment.

“We have had a long and successful relationship with Initiative,” said Garry Graham, evp, marketing at the Burlington, N.J.-based client. “However, we feel it is time to explore the range of resources that are available to use in this fast-changing retail marketplace.”

The retailer spent nearly $75 million in a major measured media in 2006 and almost $40 million in the first 10 months of 2007, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Besides coats, Burlington sells apparel, shoes and accessories at some 395 stores in 44 states.

For years, Sheer Advertising in South Orange, N.J., handled creative duties for the client, but that shop closed toward the end of 2007. As such, creative duties are now in-house.

Burlington is still considering whether to review its creative business as well, but “at this time, the company has not made a decision,” Burlington said, in a statement.

Bain Capital Partners acquired Burlington in 2006, taking the company private in a deal valued at $2.1 billion.

Last month, Burlington reported net sales of $946.6 million for its fiscal second quarter, which ended Dec. 1. That figure was down nearly 4 percent from the like period the year before. Burlington attributed the decline in a statement to “unusually warm weather during most of the quarter and weak consumer demand.”