Case Study

International Fashion Brand

International Fashion Brand Ensures Power Resiliency at Showcase Distribution Center


With a very distinctive style and image, this fashion company is a global leader in the design and distribution of premium lifestyle products in five categories: apparel, accessories, home, fragrances, and hospitality. After outages during the holiday season at its principal distribution facility disrupted its usual 24/7 operations and deliveries worldwide, the business needed to find a solution to ensure activity would carry on normally should the center lose power. The fashion brand turned to Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions (DESS), which delivered a complete, custom operational backup generation system.


The Challenge

After experiencing outages during the critical Christmas shipping time, the fashion brand needed its North Carolina distribution center to be more energy resilient to help avoid disruptions created by power outages, natural events or other causes. Adding to the need for resiliency, the company was working to consolidate its overall distribution footprint and adding e-commerce to the facility, which meant relocating product lines from other facilities to the North Carolina distribution center. Reducing the number of facilities and adding e-commerce and product lines would increase the importance of consistent and reliable power at this facility.

Capital was also a concern for the distributor. The business prioritized using its own capital to increase automation and improve processes within its operations. In addition, they also wanted DESS to take on the responsibility and risk of managing the backup power system.


The Solution

With prior project experience, DESS brought a comprehensive understanding of the unique regional, political and geographic environment that retail, distribution and e-commerce operate within. They leveraged their knowledge and relationships to deliver a complete, operational backup generation system including a Tier II diesel engine-driven generator, step-up transformer, switchgear and all associated material. The system provided the energy support the distribution center requires should primary power be lost.

In order to address its risk and capital needs, the fashion retailer took advantage of the DESS Design, Build, Own, Operate and Maintain (DBOOM) system. After working with the brand to identify their needs and recommend a custom solution, DESS handled all aspects of the project buildout from design and permitting to commissioning and testing. Once the build was completed, DESS managed all operations, maintenance and monitoring of the generation system. The entire project was completed without a large upfront capital investment from the fashion brand.

generator for fashion brand


The Results

  • Backup generation system to avoid downtime during weather-related outages
  • 24/7 monitoring of alerts gave business peace of mind
  • Elimination of risks associated with owning and maintaining the backup solution
  • Capital spent on improving operations instead of backup system


More reliability. Less risk. No upfront capital.

With the DESS backup generation system in place at the fashion brand’s distribution center, company leadership can now breathe easier knowing that losing power will not prevent fulfilling orders, especially during holiday shopping seasons. The organization can confidently support operations 24/7 and ensure missed orders both domestically and internationally will never be held up because of the loss of energy at the facility.

Even though the brand distribution center management is not responsible for maintaining or managing their backup generation system, they’re actively involved in keeping tabs on the system. The company worked closely with DESS to create a communications system, so the brand’s team is always in the know about maintenance, testing, fuel and equipment status. This open communication has built a great deal of trust between the organizations.

Mostly importantly, the retail brand was able to accomplish its energy resiliency goals without an upfront capital investment. Instead of a major investment in energy infrastructure, the company built resilient operation with a predictable, monthly payment. As a result, the brand has been able to invest greater capital into digitization and automation technologies, which in turn have improved operations and bolstered the bottom line.


Who We Are

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions has been improving the quality, resiliency and efficiency of energy strategy for large commercial and industrial customers for over 25 years. Our expertise, contracting flexibility and variable risk sharing allow our clients to improve their mechanical and electrical infrastructure while delivering better business outcomes.

Get Started

We look forward to speaking with you about your backup power, energy resiliency and electrical infrastructure needs.