Retail giant Sainsbury’s is understood to be planning an in-house PR
division to cover its two DIY chains Homebase and Texas.
Tim Johns, Sainsbury’s senior manager, corporate issues, is believed to
be moving over to head the new department according to industry sources.
Johns would not confirm the move, saying only that an in-house function
for the DIY duo ‘may have been covered’ in Sainsbury’s recent review of
its group-wide communications function.
Neither Texas, which was acquired by Sainsbury’s in January 1995, nor
Homebase currently have dedicated PR departments, however both use
Homebase is thought to have signed up with the agency earlier this year
while Texas has used it for several years.
The group communications review at Sainsbury’s has also spawned a new
head of press office. Diane Lamb, an ex-consumer PR head, moves into the
spot left vacant in November when Michelle Lewis left to return to New
Zealand. A successor to Lamb, who has been with Sainsbury’s for around
six years, has not yet been announced.
Tim Johns said actions from the completed review, which covered PR,
internal communications and community and sponsorship, would be rolled
out on a ‘domino’ basis.
‘We are looking at one department at a time,’ said Johns. ‘The press
office has come first and the others will now follow. There will be a
number of changes, including bringing some people in from outside and
moving others around internally.’