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Gadzooks Kicks Out Guys

From: ASAP

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Gadzooks, Inc. (Nasdaq: GADZ) -- On the heels of its announcement that it would go "all-girl," Gadzooks, Inc., a specialty retailer of clothing and accessories, will launch a teaser campaign beginning April 15, 2003. Designed by The Richards Group, the nation's largest independent branding agency, the campaign will generate consumer and community buzz as the company begins the liquidation of its guy's merchandise and marks the first communication with consumers about the new store concept exclusively for girls. Through storewide sales, Gadzooks plans to phase out its guy's merchandise to make room for its new focus on the girls' assortment, which will be introduced in summer, 2003, when the company re-launches. Gadzooks' decision to re-launch its brand with all-girl merchandise comes in response to industry trends and an opportunity to fill a niche in the market for girls' fashion. "Anti-Equality," an in-store marketing campaign in Gadzooks' 429 mall stores, is a dramatic departure from the company's previous marketing efforts and states that girls don't have to be equal to guys. In-store signage, employee buttons and other branded materials command attention with bold graphics and statements referring to the departure of guys. "Our new store concept targets confident, energetic 16-22 year-old girls whose lives are filled with a lot of commotion," said Jerry Szczepanski, Gadzooks' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We knew that to get their attention, we had to break through that commotion in a fresh and powerful way. 'Anti-Equality,' as well as our upcoming brand campaign, is bold enough to be the perfect complement to our reinvented stores and merchandise assortment." The "Anti-Equality" campaign coincides with an intense recruiting and retraining period to indoctrinate Gadzooks associates to the new focus exclusively on all-girl merchandise and the new company attitude. As part of this effort, associates within the company will distribute a mass quantity of CD-ROMs as recruitment tools to key people that fit the target demographic across the nation. "'Anti-Equality' is a bold, dramatic campaign that will set the tone for the new Gadzooks philosophy," said John Beitter, Principal at The Richards Group. "Extensive research and focus groups have clearly shown that this is the right approach to reach this consumer." About Gadzooks Dallas-based Gadzooks is a high-energy specialty retailer of casual clothing and accessories offering apparel, accessories and footwear. The Company recently announced plans to convert to an all-female assortment early in the second half of fiscal 2003. Gadzooks currently operates 429 Gadzooks stores and four Orchid stores, for a total of 433 stores in 41 states. Gadzooks owns and operates www.gadzooks.com , an interactive site to visit on the web.

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