Samuels has started a comprehensive review of all New Powerhouse's third-party agency arrangements, understood to be worth more than £6m. "We will require lots of service providers, including a marketing agency that can respond to all our requirements, such as brand and product marketing," he said.
Equinox Communications currently handles New Powerhouse's media planning and buying, having been appointed only last month, while creative agency Results is responsible for the chain's advertising.
A pitch list has not been drawn up yet, as the company is focusing on generating trade from Christmas sales, but Samuels said he hoped to have a better idea by early-spring. He also plans to restructure the marketing department and recruit for several new roles in the new year.
As commercial director, Samuels will be responsible for all product and brand marketing as well as buying, marketing communications and inventory planning.
His appointment follows the relaunch of the chain, brought out of receivership by New Zealand company Pacific Retail Group in September. Pacific took control of 140 Powerhouse stores, with 80 left to be closed by the administrator in the autumn. It is now re-establishing the company as a leading electrical retailer. Powerhouse was originally created after a management buyout of the retail arms of Southern, Eastern and Midland Electricity.
Samuels said Powerhouse was not necessarily seeking to go head-to-head with Currys and Dixons. "We are heavily biased toward white goods so we want to take customers away from some of the big department stores," he added.
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