Burlington Coat Review to Also Include Creative

Duties Had Been In-house After Longtime Agency Shuttered Doors

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Retail chain Burlington Coat Factory has expanded the scope of its agency review to also include creative duties.

The marketer last month announced it was placing the media portion of its $70 million advertising account into review, citing a need to explore the range of resources available in a fast-changing retail marketplace.

Burlington's longtime media agency incumbent, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative, is participating in that review.

Scheer Advertising Group
Burlington has been handling creative duties in-house, after its longtime agency of record, South Orange, N.J.-based Scheer Advertising Group, recently shuttered its doors.

"We have decided that it makes most sense for us to seek the full suite of resources," Garry Graham, Burlington's exec VP-marketing, said in a statement.

Search consultancy Ark Advisors is overseeing the process for the Burlington, N.J.-based retailer; a decision is expected second quarter of this year.

Burlington, known for selling designer coats, clothing and housewares at discount prices, operates has nearly 400 stores in 44 states. In April 2006, it was acquired by private investment firm Bain Capital Partners for an estimated $2.1 billion.

For the three-month period ended Dec. 1, Burlington saw an 8% decrease in same-store sales, which it attributed to "unseasonably warm weather in September and October and weakened consumer demand." Burlington in the same period doubled net income to $23.2 million compared with $11.7 million during the year-prior period, due to improved markup on new purchases and lowered expenses.
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