Dentsu-owned creative agency mcgarrybowen has resigned its Sears Holdings account, sources confirm.
The resignation comes amid a consolidation review by the struggling Chicago-based department store chain, which spends an estimated $500 million to $600 million annually on ads.
As part of the review, Sears has reached out to the major ad holding companies to put together proposals for an all-encompassing marketing assignment. Dentsu is said to be participating, but mcgarrybowen has also withdrawn from that pitch. It wasn’t immediately clear which agency would replace it.
The agency declined to comment, referring queries to the client. A rep there did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
The company has been struggling for some time to position itself optimally in the digital age. Last year it closed 200 stores and laid off thousands of employees. Bloomberg reported recently that the company’s sales have declined for more than 30 consecutive quarters. The company’s struggles are said to have factored in to mcgarry’s decision to resign the account.
The company is taking steps to bolster its e-commerce and mobile commerce efforts as it continues to adjust the size and number of its brick-and-mortar outlets, which now total 1,700 between its Sears and K-Mart locations.
In a company blog entry Sears CEO Eddie Lampert recently wrote: “Many of our stores operate profitably and serve our members with excellence. We will continue to integrate our stores with our online and mobile capabilities, to improve our service and our relationships. In addition, we are continuing to evaluate and execute on options to adjust the size of our stores by partnering with mall owners and other retailers.”
“For all of the focus on holiday shoppers in stores, most people -- and especially our Shop Your Way members -- are buying gifts on multiple platforms, at all hours, even on their phones while they’re also in line at a store. Adapting for the future has been the major focus of our company and our Sears and Kmart formats, as customers are shopping in ways that were inconceivable not very long ago. We’ve put an enormous amount of work into changing how we do business today.”