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Helzberg Builds Data Warehouse

BY CSA STAFF

In an effort to improve customer relationships, Helzberg Diamonds, North Kansas City, Mo., has added an enterprise data-warehouse platform that supports business-intelligence applications.

Helzberg Diamonds, which operates more than 260 jewelry stores across the United States, was reliant on an IBM infrastructure and data warehouse. However, the repository “was struggling to process and analyze data in an acceptable timeframe, especially during our peak seasons,” said Greg Backhus, Helzberg’s director of data warehousing and business intelligence.

Following an extensive evaluation, Helzberg selected the Netezza Performance Server (NPS) family, which includes a data warehouse and analytical appliances. The NPS system is designed specifically for high-performance and terascale analytics. It integrates a relational database, server and storage in a single compact unit.

When Helzberg launches the system later this year, it plans to utilize it for real-time, point-of-sale reporting that will aid in its customer-relationship-management initiatives.

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C-SUITE

Jerry Storch to leave Hudson’s Bay Co.

BY Marianne Wilson

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.

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STORE SPACES

What’s Jeff Bezos doing on top of a wind turbine?

BY Marianne Wilson

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.”

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