Bi-way to shift its focus

Bolstered by the acquisition of 30 new stores from the failed Bargain Harold's chain, discount retailer Bi-way Stores is preparing for a shift in its marketing focus.Larry Latowsky, senior vice-president of marketing for Bi-way, says the store chain's marketing mix will...

Bolstered by the acquisition of 30 new stores from the failed Bargain Harold’s chain, discount retailer Bi-way Stores is preparing for a shift in its marketing focus.

Larry Latowsky, senior vice-president of marketing for Bi-way, says the store chain’s marketing mix will change to include more broadcast advertising.

Latowsky says Bi-way has relied mostly on flyer advertising and some radio in the past. With the demise of Bargain Harold’s, Bi-way has pretty much taken over the low-end discount market, although it is beginning to hear the footsteps of the growing Price Club Canada chain of warehouse clubs that is picking up significant market share as the economy continues to slow-crawl to recovery.

Toronto-based Bi-way is part of the Dylex group, which includes the Fairweather, Tip Top Tailors and Braemar fashion chains.

Bi-way will be opening 25 of the 30 Bargain Harold stores it bought this week, bringing its network to 293 locations across Canada, in every province but Quebec, mainly in rural areas and smaller centres.

Along with a new marketing approach, Bi-way has hired a new ad agency, Toronto-based D’Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles. The account moves from the retail arm of Grey Advertising.

Although Grey also recently lost Toronto retailer Sporting Life, the agency has rebounded with the Olive Garden account, a chain of 22 Italian restaurants run by General Mills Restaurants.

Olive Garden operates stores in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.