Experience lands Ilva launch job

Ilva, the Danish furniture retailer planning to take on Ikea, is understood to have appointed marketing communications planning agency Experience.

It is thought that the agency pitched against Rise Communications.

Isobel has already been appointed to handle advertising for the chain, which is launching in the UK later this year (MW May 5).

Ilva is run by former Habitat and B&Q chief executive Martin Toogood. Dubbed the “Ikea for adults”, Ilva’s product range is slightly more expensive than Ikea’s.

The chain is expected to open its first UK store at the Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock, on a site that was previously earmarked for the ill-fated Marks & Spencer Lifestore. A site in Gateshead – a former M&S Lifestore – is scheduled to open early next year and a third is planned for Manchester next Easter.

Toogood bought Ilva in 1993 and has secured backing from private equity firm Advent International and various banks for the UK roll-out. He plans to open up to 20 Ilva stores in the UK within the next decade and secure a stock-market flotation within the next three years.

Ilva is the latest brand to be picked up by Experience, which was set up in February last year by former Mediaedge:CIA managing director James Whitmore, former Zenith Optimedia managing director Greg Turzynski, and David Reid, a former Mediaedge:CIA strategist. It has worked with The Independent and the online poker site Poker Stars.

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