Retail and marketing data firm Great Universal Stores has moved its
financial PR from Brunswick to Finsbury, without a pitch.
Brunswick has been working on the GUS financial account since last
November, but has been gradually replaced by Finsbury over the past two
David Tyler, financial director of GUS ,said: ’We liked Finsbury’s
approach and with the arrival of a new management team we made the
choice to change.’
Finsbury’s chief task is to increase understanding of GUS’ business
among retail analysts and journalists. While GUS faces intense scrutiny
as a retail conglomerate it feels that its information services and
financial services businesses are less well understood. It is also not
widely known that the company owns up-market brand Burberrys. Mail order
now accounts for less than one-third of turnover.
Since Lord David Wolfson’s appointment as chief executive in September
1996, GUS has sought tochange the shape of its business. Earlier this
year it bought Experian, a US firm which deals in marketing lists and
credit referencing. It also divested itself of property concerns to
British Land in a pounds 900 million deal. GUS has a market
capitalisation of pounds 6.6 billion.
Its current share price is 654p, having reached a high of 706p earlier
However, doubts have been raised about GUS’ future competitiveness
because of declining performance from its catalogues. GUS holds 30 per
cent of the UK mail order sector but profits on its home shopping side
slid from pounds 145.9 million in 1995 to pounds 124.4 million during
The account win marks the end of a good summer for Finsbury, having
already won Pilkington and Laporte from Brunswick.