OPERATIONS

J.C. Penney adds another Apple exec to its team

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Plano, Texas — On Thursday, J.C. Penney and CEO Ron Johnson announced a new lineup of executive players to join the department store retailer’s team, one of them from the ranks of Apple.

Benjamin Fay, senior director of retail real estate, design and development for Apple, has been named executive VP real estate, store design and development for J.C. Penney.

In his new role, Fay is charged with creating a new interface for retail through a Penney’s store of the future, as well as implementing the Shops strategy and the remodel and maintenance of all existing stores.

Fay will report directly to Johnson.

“Having worked with him over the last 12 years, I am delighted to see Ben step into this new role at JCP," said Johnson. "His design influence has made the Apple stores highly regarded retail destinations around the world, and I am excited to have Ben place his own mark on JCP as we re-imagine the J.C. Penney store of the future."

John Singleton has been appointed executive VP chief supply chain officer. Singleton previously worked for Abercrombie & Fitch, where he was responsible for distribution, transportation, trade policy and brand protection functions. Prior to that, he served as senior VP logistics and trade at Ann Taylor Stores.

Kristin Hays has been promoted to senior VP communications. Hays joined J.C. Penney in 2002 as a litigation attorney and held a variety of leadership positions within legal, corporate communications and investor relations, most recently as VP investor relations.

As well, Laura Sandall has been appointed VP events marketing and publicity and Michelynn Woodard as VP philanthropy.

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NRF: FTC should move cautiously on mobile payments

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation on Thursday urged the Federal Trade Commission to move cautiously in establishing regulations for mobile payments, and said any rules that are adopted should parallel those for the underlying form of payment and not be specific to the technology.

“Mobile technology and processes are just beginning to emerge and we won’t know which practices the public will like or what methods will provide new benefits until the technology begins to coalesce,” NRF senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan said. “The government should not impose regulations that would forestall yet-to-be-imagined advances and innovation in order to avoid potential ‘harm’ based largely on speculation.”

According to Duncan, some of the best innovations on the Internet today might have been suspect a generation ago but today “are benefits few consumers would want to live without.”

“Mobile might help retailers get to know their customers more like they knew their customers generations ago, and offer more personalized service,” he said, adding that federal officials need to address a number of issues including a definition of what constitutes a mobile payment.

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Survey: 32% of retailers use social networks to research job candidates

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chicago — Survey results released Thursday by WorkInRetail.com found that about one-third (32%) of retail hiring managers use social networking sites to research job candidates.

The new survey from WorkInRetail.com – CareerBuilder’s job site for retail professionals, found that of the retail employers who do not research candidates on social media, 16% said their company prohibits the practice. Nine percent report they do not currently use social media to screen, but plan to start.

With regard to what they are looking for, retailers said they are using social media to evaluate candidates’ character and personality outside the confines of the traditional interview process. When asked why they use social networks to conduct background research, hiring managers stated the following:

  • To see if the candidate presents himself/herself professionally: 57%
  • See if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture: 39%
  • Learn more about the candidate’s qualifications: 36%
  • To see if the candidate is well-rounded: 29%
  • Looking for reasons not to hire the candidate: 11%

“Retailers, for the most part, are able to get a sense of a job candidate’s personality through in-person interviews,” said Bill Meidell, director of WorkInRetail.com. “However, a significant number of employers are using social media to get an unfiltered look at their personality.”

Twenty-nine percent of retail hiring managers who currently research candidates via social media said they have found information that has caused them not to hire a candidate. That content ranges from evidence of inappropriate behavior to information that contradicted their listed qualifications.

Employers are primarily using Facebook (64%) and LinkedIn (34%) to research candidates; 11% use Twitter.

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