Dixons to hire Talk for brand drive

The Dixons Group is set to appoint Talk PR to handle trade and consumer PR for its Dixons high-street chain.

The move is part of a review of the chain’s brand strategy following the closure of more than 100 of its stores this summer.

Dixons, which does not retain an external PR agency for the outlet, picked Talk after a pitch involving Launch PR, icas PR and Golin/Harris.

‘The Dixons chain is an important UK brand for us and we want to refamiliarise customers with the perceptions of Dixons they had in the past,’ said Dixons Group head of press and PR Hamish Thompson.

Talk will be appointed on a retained basis to cover a number of PR projects that will aim to drive sales and increase footfall in stores. Its contract will be reassessed at the end of the first quarter of 2005.

The agency’s strategy is expected to focus on selling-in positive news stories about the brand to national print and broadcast press, and gadget and PC titles.

The campaign will complement the advertising campaign launched for Dixons by Talk’s parent company M&C Saatchi two weeks ago.

‘The campaign strapline is “the future for less” and the objective of the PR programme is to demonstrate that the Dixons chain is the primary source for the latest technology at affordable prices,’ said Thompson.

Dixons’ store-closure programme has brought the number of stores down from 320 to 214.

The group claims the decision to downsize was due to the rising costs of operating stores on the high street, rather than a drop in sales. It posted a five per cent jump in like-for-like sales in the 18 months to 4 September.

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