CarMax starts media agency review

Article by Christian A., on January 20, 2015

CarMax Inc. has commenced a media agency review, people privy with the matter told Advertising Age. The move came months after the company named Cheil's McKinney as its new creative agency and less than a year since Jim Lyski joined as chief marketing. It is of note that Lyski was the former CMO at Scotts Miracle-Gro, another media agency account also in review and under new marketing leadership.

CarMax chief executive Tom Folliard said in August 2014 that Lyski’s extensive marketing experience and strategic understanding of today's consumer could prove to be a tremendous asset to the company, which he said is in the midst of a national expansion plan.

The company is set to issue an RFP in the next few weeks and commence presentations in February. CarMax posted a 4-percent surge in net earnings to $454 million and 13 percent in total revenue to $10.7 billion in the first nine months of its fiscal year.

Moreover, CarMax had 143 stores in 72 markets as of December 19, 2014, and is planning to open 13 more in its next fiscal year. In addition, the company spent a total of $62.2 million on domestic measured media in 2013.

In April 2014, CarMax Inc. had 133 stores and it had plans to open between 28 to 43 more by the end of February 2017. This means that the company now targets to open between 18 to 33 stores by end of February 2017.

In 2013, Automotive News quoted a CarMax spokeswoman as saying that a small-format store is around 7,000 square feet, stocking around 150 used cars and trucks. CarMax stores are usually sized between 15,000 to 45,000 square feet. Each could stock between 250 and 300 vehicles.

In February 2014, CarMax opened a store in February in Sacramento, Calif., that is "more than" 56,000 square feet and could stock around 440 used vehicles.

Based in Richmond, Virginia, CarMax is considered as the largest used-car retailer in the United States. It began as a concept proposed by a consultant who was tapped to assess possible business opportunities beyond the business scope of Circuit City. It was developed under the code name "Project X" by Circuit City executives under Richard Sharp. CarMax was eventually formed in 1993 as a subsidiary of Circuit City.

The first CarMax store was opened in September 1993. In 1996, CarMax had its first new car franchise with Chrysler Corp. In February 1997, Circuit City issued the first CarMax stock. In October 2002, CarMax officially separated from Circuit City, when it was spun off as a stock dividend for Circuit City shareholders.

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