Big Lots tasks Havas to change consumer views with holiday effort

Big Lots wants Havas PR's help in changing consumers' perceptions about the brand.

COLUMBUS, OH: Big Lots has brought on Havas PR to work on its 2014 holiday project, with a specific focus on changing consumers’ perceptions about the brand.

The retail chain has been in a transitional period over the last year, bringing in new management and amplifying its efforts to increase consumer awareness, explained Big Lots SVP and chief customer and marketing officer Andrew Stein, who joined the company last year.

Big Lots wants Havas to help tell stories this holiday season "around quality brands and fashion at a great value," Stein said.

The retailer began working with Havas Worldwide on media buying and planning earlier this year, and it decided to hire Havas PR for the holiday project about two months ago, he said. Prior to Havas PR, the company managed communications in-house.

Big Lots’ holiday efforts started this month. Havas PR is reaching out to media outlets, handling press releases, and promoting deals to consumers. The firm will also make a strong push around Thanksgiving and Black Friday next week, Stein said.

A core group of three staffers is working day-to-day on the account, with an extended team of eight that provides guidance and support, a Havas representative confirmed.

Social media is not part of Havas PR’s remit because Big Lots handles it internally, said Stein.

The company is evaluating its relationship with Havas on the PR side and has not yet made a plan for 2015. Budget information for the holiday project was not disclosed.

Earlier this week, Big Lots unveiled plans to open its stores at 7am on Thanksgiving, as it has done for more than 20 years. The chain will close its doors at midnight on the holiday, and then reopen on Black Friday at 6am.

The time in this story was updated to correct when Big Lots stores will open on Thanksgiving.

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