Hudson’s Bay Co. has formed a corporate communications and public relations division and has promoted Andrew Blecher to senior vice president of corporate communications and p.r. to lead the new unit. Corporate external and internal communications and the pr teams at each HBC banner report to Blecher.

The new division is considered another “center of excellence” created by HBC in its centralization efforts. Several have been established already including those for customer relationship management, creative and human resources. The centers serve the HBC banners Saks Fifth Avenue, Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, Gilt, Saks Off 5th and Galeria Kaufhof.

“The creation of a communications center of excellence aligns with our efforts to ensure we are leveraging our talent across all of our banners and have clear and effective communications to support our long-term growth strategies,” said Jerry Storch, HBC’s chief executive officer. “Andrew’s track record with HBC makes him the ideal person to elevate the communications function.”

Blecher began his career at Saks Fifth Avenue 15 years ago; spent four years working at Lividini & Co., where HBC was his lead client, and was hired by HBC in 2014 initially as senior vice president of p.r. and events.