Blacks calls in Kazoo after summer tent sales dip

Camping and outdoor gear retailer Blacks Leisure has brought in Kazoo, ending Lee Publicity's seven-year hold on the account.

The agency's brief covers the Millets, Blacks and Freespirit shops, with an initial focus on the first two.

As well as a lack of demand for camping equipment, Blacks and Millets have also struggled to compete with supermarkets offering cheap, disposable tents. Blacks has had a rocky past few months. For the 25 weeks to mid-August, group sales dropped by 0.4 per cent, and a second profit warning issued in as many months admitted that half-year profits would be closer to break-even than the £6.9m initially forecast.

The company has blamed the lure of this summer's football World Cup and lack of a Glastonbury festival for hitting tent sales, and one of Kazoo's first tasks will be to establish Millets as a Christmas-gift outlet.

Kazoo has put a six-strong team on the account, headed by managing director Adele Pegden and account director Lydia Davey.

Davey said activity would position Millets as a supplier of ‘proper' outdoor equipment and clothing, and Blacks as the ‘outdoors experts' as part of the ‘Great Outdoors' campaign.

The group has been working hard to diversify, and recently announced a tie-in with bicycle store chain Evans Cycles in a bid to generate sales and brand awareness among outdoor types.

Kazoo reports to marketing managers Laura Roach (for Blacks), Emily Ford (Millets) and Adam Smith (Freespirit).

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