AdWeek—Faced With New Challenges, Retailers Seek Out Agencies

If only it were just the tepid economy that was driving retailers to review their advertising accounts. Then, when the economy turned, so would the fortunes ofJCPenney, Kmart, Staples and others.

Sadly for struggling retailers, though, something more fundamental is at play. The nature of shopping has changed, thanks primarily to the Internet and mobile phones. Today, consumers know more about brands and prices before they enter a brick-and-mortar store, that is if they enter at all. 

So, while a new brand positioning can help a retailer, it’s no substitute for a core rethink of how it runs its stores, according to brand and business consultants. “Everything at retail is a marketing opportunity,” explained Daniel Wadia, managing director at Redscout, a brand consultancy in New York. “Retailers really need to think about the beginning-to-end experience.”

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