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New head of IT at Harrods tasked with quadrupling online sales

Daniel Thomas
Department store Harrods has appointed a new IT director to replace John Granville, who recently left the company by mutual agreement after just 18 months in the post.

Massimo Franzese, his replacement and former head of IT at footwear retailer Bally Shoes, will be charged with improving the Knightsbridge store's stock management infrastructure and the technology behind harrods.com.

Harrods has set ambitious targets for its online operation, aiming to quadruple sales by the end of 2004, Computer Weekly revealed last year.

Rob Bowyer, internet systems manager at Harrods, said the company hopes the site, which is based on Microsoft's .net infrastructure, will eventually offer as many of the store's 700,000 products as possible.

l In a separate development, Peter Federico, retail division IT director at health and beauty retailer Boots, has left the company and will not be replaced.

The move, part of the £710m outsourcing deal Boots agreed with IBM Global Services last year, will see Federico's responsibility for store systems merged into the retailer's supply chain management department, which is headed by Bob Fraser.

Boots expects to save £130m over the 10-year duration of the IBM contract, which will cover all IT infrastructure and the retailer's popular loyalty card programme.

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