Ailing retailer Homebase has orchestrated a shake-up of its media planning and buying business, swapping out Initiative for Havas Media as it looks to reset in the UK following a turbulent three years.
The home improvement retailer was rescued last August after agreeing to a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which saw the closure of 42 out of 241 branches at the loss of 1,500 jobs.
It came following what has been widely dubbed as “one of the worst acquisitions in UK corporate history” when Australian giant Wesfarmers bought the chain in 2016 and rebranded it to ‘Bunnings’.
It failed, and Hilco then bought the group for just £1 in May 2018.
Despite the instability, Homebase’s chief executive Damian McGloughlin vowed that it had a plan “to turn the business around and return to profitability” which would see it go “back to its roots”.
With the appointment of Havas Media to oversee its media planning and buying business, the brand – which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year – is readying a “new approach” to increase its market share and improve brand health.
Havas will start work from the 1 April through a newly built a team sitting within the agency.
The media shop will also work alongside a yet-to-be-named advertising agency. A Homebase spokesperson said that it is in the midst of a tender process. The last agency on the creative account was Leo Burnett.
Grainne Arnold, retail marketing manager at Homebase said: “We were really impressed by Havas Media’s strategic and data capability. The passion shown through the process makes them our ideal partners as we turn around and grow our business.”
Matt Adams, chief executive at Havas Group Media UK and Ireland, added: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Homebase on their growth plans. Working together, we will help them win on the high street, as well as advancing their e-commerce presence and strengthening their brand.”