TJX’s Homegoods Selects A&G

Allen & Gerritsen has picked up creative chores for TJX Cos.’ Homegoods chain of housewares stores following a review of regional agencies.

Cronin & Co., Glastonbury, Conn., and Partners & Simons,Boston, were finalists, a client representative said. Homegoods has budgeted its advertising for 2001 in the $4-5 million range, the representative added. That budget will likely grow as the chain continues to expand into new markets, sources said.

Pro Media, Natick, Mass., has for the past few years handled Homegoods’ media chores, which were not included in the review.

The win represents a continuing effort on the part of Watertown, Mass.-based A&G—best known for its business-to-business marketing prowess but of late diversifying its client base—to broaden its client portfolio, said agency president Andrew Graff.

Work for the client—mainly broadcast-based but with some print, direct and in-store components—will break in April, Graff said.

Homegoods operates 80 stores, mainly in the eastern U.S., but has aggressive national expansion plans and intends to have more than 500 locations in the next 10 years, the representative said. About 30 new Homegoods stores have opened in the past year. The chain specializes in rugs, bed and bath accessories, lamps and related items.

A&G ended 2000 with about 90 employees and capitalized billings in the $90 million range.

Homegoods’ creative assignment had been with Holland Mark Advertising in Boston. In the fall, Holland Mark and TJX agreed to part ways, and the Framingham, Mass.-based company launched reviews for the ad assignments of several of its retail chains.

The largest of those holdings, T.J. Maxx stores, split its $20-25 million account between Interpublic Group agencies Long Haymes Carr, Winston-Salem, N.C. (creative and media planning) and Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston (me-dia buying). A.J. Wright stores tapped The Link Agency, Providence, R.I., to craft ads.