By nearly all accounts, the retail business is struggling.
One rare exception, however, is TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Sierra Trading Post and HomeGoods. TJX saw its sales top estimates in the last quarter of 2016, and in February, its leaders announced plans to launch a new line of stores to tackle the home-decor industry.
As part of its overall expansion, the company has started re-examining its marketing business. Earlier this year, it chose WPP’s Mindshare as its new media agency of record on all American brands, and now it has issued an RFP for the HomeGoods creative account as well.
“HomeGoods has made the decision to place its creative agency relationship into review,” said a spokesperson today. “The home-decor landscape has changed significantly in recent years, and we are seeking an agency that will consistently consider fresh perspectives that continue to position our HomeGoods business for future growth. We are extremely grateful to our recent creative agency, who has been a terrific partner for many years.”
That agency is KBS, which won the business in a 2009 review managed by Pile and Company in Boston but declined to participate in the current review.
According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, TJX spent roughly $77 million on measured media promoting the HomeGoods chain in both 2015 and 2016. That total is significantly higher than the brand’s budget at the time of the KBS win, when it was estimated at $15 million.
“We’ve enjoyed a great partnership with HomeGoods as their lead creative and strategic agency for over 8 years,” said KBS global CEO Guy Hayward. “By every measure the work has gone from strength to strength, and the business and brand growth has been exceptional, defying all retail trends. We sincerely hope HomeGoods finds a partner who will help them continue their impressive trajectory.”
It’s not clear which agencies have been invited to the review or which consultancy is managing the process. The company representative did clarify that this account will not concern its unnamed new chain, which will compliment the HomeGoods business as TJX attempts to capture an ever-larger share of the discount-decor sector.