JCPenney names new EVP, cuts 360 jobs

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JCPenney names new EVP, cuts 360 jobs

By Gina Acosta - 03/02/2018
"By merging these critical retail functions under the oversight of four proven leaders, we can better align our operations to ensure every aspect of the business is focused on the customer experience," said CEO Marvin R. Ellison.

JCPenney has named a new chief customer officer and reorganized its staff after announcing a 2.6% increase in same store sales for the holiday quarter.

The company said same store sales rose 2.6% during the three months ended Feb. 3.

The retailer also said it has named Joe McFarland as executive vice president and chief customer officer, a newly-expanded role that includes responsibility for merchandising, as well as leading all JCPenney store operations. 

Jodie Johnson has been promoted to head of merchandising for women's, beauty and family footwear; and James Starke has been promoted to head of merchandising for men's, children's, home and jewelry, both reporting to McFarland. Additionally, Therace Risch, will assume the combined titles of Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer to reflect her added responsibility for omnichannel retail. As a result of this appointment, Mike Amend will be leaving the company.

"Joe, Therace, Jodie and James are remarkable executive leaders who have demonstrated their ability to spearhead critical tasks and drive results and efficiencies along the way. Joe is a dedicated advocate for our associates, and knows first-hand how successful we can be when associates are empowered to deliver the best shopping experience possible. Jodie and James are credited for leading the turnaround of our merchandising strategy, and will continue to advance this effort by delivering the best assortment of style and value offered by any retailer. Appointing both Jodie and James to lead our merchant teams will ensure that we push merchandising decisions closer to the division heads and buyers for increased speed and efficiency. Furthermore, Therace understands the power of technology, and how it can significantly influence and enhance the way consumers shop and ultimately, be the point of differentiation on where they choose to buy," said Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer for JCPenney. "By merging these critical retail functions under the oversight of four proven leaders, we can better align our operations to ensure every aspect of the business is focused on the customer experience."

As part of ongoing efforts to turn around the company, manage expenses and simplify operations, the retailer says it cut approximately 360 jobs in its latest round of layoffs. The company says the annual cost savings generated from the home office and store reorganization are estimated at approximately $20-$25 million.

"As the company continues to make progress on its strategic framework and implement new processes and organizational efficiencies, it is imperative that we maintain a thoughtful approach to managing expenses, while effectively supporting the needs of the business," added Ellison. "I would like to thank Mike Amend for his service with the Company and wish him well in his future endeavors. Through his hard work, JCPenney has advanced its omnichannel capabilities, laying the groundwork for further innovation and growth."

For the fourth quarter, JCPenney's net profit fell to $254 million from $192 million, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, J.C. Penney earned 57 cents per share. Net sales rose 1.8 percent to $4.03 billion.

The retailer forecast full-year earnings of between 5 and 25 cents per share and flat comps.

The company says its priorities for 2018 include intensifying its market share efforts in appliances, mattresses and furniture, while continuing to take steps to modernize the apparel assortment and omnichannel operations.  

JCPenney operates 875 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico.

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