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Venture Stores will deliver a new identity to consumers in an ad campaign starting this month.

The struggling 105-store regional chain will spend an estimated $6 million to $8 million this year.

Venture began a $42 million renovation program in December to reposition itself as a family/value department store, abandoning its 25-year-old discount image.


The Midwestern and Southern retailer is trying to stay afloat among increasing competition from giant retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores and Dayton Hudson Corp.'s Target Stores.

For February, Venture's sales fell 16.1% from the same period the year before. Comparable store sales declined by 18.3% during the month.

"Our goal is to bridge the gap between the discount and department-store segments," said Cliff Campeau, senior VP-marketing. "What we want is a larger share of the customer's shopping time."

Venture's merchandise will be evenly split between soft and hard lines.


To make the stores easier to shop in, Venture has created 12 "destination" in-store shops; the merchandising strategy is built around family apparel, home and leisure.

The new advertising, the first for Venture from W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich., began with four 15-second teaser TV spots that broke March 3.

Following the teasers, four 30-second spots starting this week will carry the theme line, "See what's new for you."

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