Starcom sets up own retail modelling arm

Starcom is setting up a dedicated retail division to service its clients in the sector. The move comes just weeks after the agency lost the &£70m Barclays planning and buying business to Walker Media.

Called Starcom Retail, the division will be headed by the agency’s business directors Luca Margarito and Jamie Pearson. Its retail client list includes House of Fraser, Premier Travel Inn, Harvey’s and Activision. However, Pizza Hut – one of its biggest retail clients, worth &£13m – will not be part of the new division but will continue to sit within the main agency.

The core proposition of Starcom Retail will be a bespoke retail modelling service, which will promise to use the full repertoire of client data – footfall, sales, customer segmentation, profitability and in-store activity.

“Most agencies position retail clients into a group of mixed clients representing different sectors. They end up being serviced with the same processes as any other client,” says Margarito.

“It’s a flawed approach for a number of reasons. The demands of a retail client are fundamentally different and retail is one of the most data-rich sectors, so it makes sense to use the information to offer more guidance on effective planning and buying. Also, if we know how to get customers to the store and what happens to them once they get inside, the opportunity to further capitalise on this information is compelling.”

Starcom Retail will have dedicated retail experts in specialised departments including direct, digital, investment, analytics and customer insight.

The 16-strong team, based at Starcom MediaVest’s offices, will include 15 existing retail clients.

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