The company already has a 15-strong team in place and is working with retailers and brands including Holland & Barrett, M&S and Britvic as part of its partnership with SP Group, the point-of-sale (POS) print business also owned by St Ives.
The standalone creative business offers integrated services much earlier in the planning process, including, shopper marketing, retail design, permanent display and brand activation.
Former Ogilvy Group and Marketing Store chief Neil Jenkinson is heading up the business as managing director. Most recently marketing director at SP Group, he will continue to report to Nick Cole, managing director of SP.
Jenkinson said: “There has always been a design studio within SP and it became obvious that what clients needed was the ability to turn that design capability into an integrated offering. The Shop allows us to engage with marketing teams much earlier in their retail planning process, giving us the chance to broaden business with existing and new clients.”
He added: “The world has changed. Gaining cut-through is harder and ROI more important than ever for clients. Too often retailers and brand owners are handed top-level creative concepts by their agency only to find out they don’t work in-store. With our experience of retail, grounded in marketing expertise, The Shop can bring ideas to life to help stores and manufacturers make the sale.”
The Shop has also appointed former Belcher design director Chris Belcher as creative director. He added: “The business already has some top clients and I’m aiming to help the team produce cutting-edge work to win more. The key thing is that The Shop understands the motivations of customers while they’re in-store and knows how to adapt existing advertising ideas to persuade people to buy while they are in shopper mode.”
St Ives has been expanding its services since June 2010, when it bought data specialist Occam for £12m. Further acquisitions – including those for Response One, Incite, Forward Thinking and digital agency Amaze – followed, the most recent being the £10.7m deal for search agency Branded3 Search.
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