RANDOM NOTES: Verizon Wireless is in the midst of a major design upgrade involving 280 stores nationwide. The company is rolling out a more colorful and hands-on design that integrates a number of innovations and operational enhancements to streamline the sales process and up the store experience. The design, by JGA, Southfield, Mich., includes a dedicated “demo” zone where shoppers can try more than 55 working models of handsets and other devices.… British designer Alexander McQueen has entered Los Angeles with a splash, opening a flagship that features a 9-ft.-tall, anatomically correct sculpture of a naked man emerging through the roof. The stainless-steel sculpture is suspended vertically from a circular skylight. The head, outstretched arms and torso are visible above the rooftop, while the lower part is visible from the selling floor. As for the rest of the store, the overall look is sleek and futuristic, with lots of curves.… Lacoste has added a second floor to its Fifth Avenue flagship in Manhattan. Devoted to women’s and children’s apparel and accessories, the new space is airy, warm and feminine, with white fixtures and color-changing LED lighting around the perimeter. James D’Auria Associates designed the space.… Japanese sensation ABathing Ape (known as Bape) has opened its second U.S. store, on Los Angeles’ Melrose Avenue. The 2,400-sq.-ft. shop features a circular, glass-enclosed area featuring a stainless-steel conveyor belt on which shoes revolve.… Regis Corp. is doing a major overhaul of its 630-store Trade Secret chain and adding major cosmetic brands along with skin-care and bath-and-body products to the merchandise mix. The company plans to retire the Trade Secret banner and rebrand all the locations as PureBeauty during the next several years. The new format, which debuted at Mall of America, has an upscale look and includes a treatment room.… Canada’s Shoppers Drug Mart has a new concept in the works that will debut in July, in Ontario. The still-unnamed format will focus on skin-care and treatment products and include a full-service pharmacy.
COMPANY/PERSONNEL UPDATES: Marco Retail Group, Northville, Mich., has merged with GHA shopping-scapes, Montreal, to create GHA Design Studios. The new company will have offices in Northville, Toronto and Montreal.… Former Pavlik Design Team partner Placido “Ponch” Herrera and his wife Patty Dominguez have founded the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based design firm P2 Interiors. … Retail design specialist Jane Ayers has been named principal at NBBJ in New York City.
UPCOMING EVENTS: Chain Store Age’s Green 4 Retail conference, June 18-19, at the Hilton O’Hare, Chicago, will focus on sustainability as it applies to store design, construction and facilities management (www.greenforretail.com).
Jerry Storch to leave Hudson’s Bay Co.
The owner of Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay is on the hunt for a new chief executive.
HBC on Friday announced that Gerald L. (Jerry) Storch is stepping down as CEO, effective November 1, 2017, to return to his advisory firm, Storch Advisors. The department store retailer said it has retained an executive search firm to recruit a CEO “to further enhance HBC’s strategies and take the company to its next phase of development and growth.”
Storch, one of the industry’s most well-known executives, has served as CEO of HBC since January 2015. Prior to that, he served as chairman and CEO of Toys “R” Us. He also served as vice chairman of Target.
Richard Baker, governor and executive chairman of HBC, will serve as interim CEO. Baker, who had previously served as CEO of HBC, will be supported by the executive leadership team.
In August, Reuters reported that Hudson’s Bay was planning to review its options following pressure from an activist shareholder. In September, sources told CNBC that Baker is trying to raise equity to potentially take the company private.
“The board and I are grateful for Jerry’s contributions over the past three years, including enhancing our all-channel strategies, recruiting key talent, leading our cost-cutting efforts, and working to address the challenges for our banners in the fast-evolving retail environment,” said Baker.
In a statement Storch said, “HBC has a long, successful history, with talented people, assets, geographic reach and digital infrastructure. I have great confidence in the company and the executive leadership team’s ability to take the right actions to position HBC for leadership in the retail industry as it evolves into the future. I’m looking forward to returning to my advisory firm to work with a range of companies during this transformational time for the retail industry.”
HBC operates more than 480 stores around the world. Its leading banners across North America and Europe include Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gilt, Saks Off 5th, Galeria Kaufhof, the largest department store group in Germany, and Belgium’s only department store group Galeria INNO.
What’s Jeff Bezos doing on top of a wind turbine?
Amazon’s largest wind farm yet — Amazon Wind Farm Texas — is now up and running.
The new installation, which was officially christened by Jeff Bezos, who smashed a bottle of champagne on top on one of its massive turbines, will add more than 1,000,000 MWh of clean energy to the grid each year. It includes more than 100 turbines – each over 300 ft. tall with a rotor diameter more than twice the wingspan of a Boeing 787. Amazon Wind Farm Texas is built, owned, and operated by Lincoln Clean Energy (LCE), an I Squared Capital portfolio company and a leading developer of wind and solar projects across the U.S.
Amazon has launched 18 wind and solar projects across the U.S., with over 35 more to come. Together, these projects will generate enough clean energy to power over 330,000 homes annually.
“Investing in renewable energy is a win-win-win-win – it’s right for our customers, our communities, our business, and our planet,” said Kara Hurst, Amazon’s worldwide director of sustainability. “We now have 18 wind and solar projects across the U.S. with more than 35 projects to come. These are important steps toward reaching our long-term goal to power our global infrastructure using 100% renewable energy. We’d like to thank the leaders at LCE, the Scurry County community, and our partners across the country who are helping us continue to bring new renewable energy online.”