OPERATIONS

Top real estate and store development exec leaves J.C. Penney

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Another Ron Johnson-appointee and former Apple executive has left J.C. Penney. Ben Fay, who was brought as EVP real estate, store design and development, has left the company, according to the Dallas Morning News. Returning to Penney in an advisory capacity is the chain’s former senior VP of property development, Tom Clerkin, who took early retirement from the company last year, the report said.

Fay, who served as senior director of retail real estate, design and development at Apple, joined Penney in spring 2012. At the time, then-CEO Johnson stated: "Ben is an incredibly creative professional with extraordinary leadership skills. Having worked with him over the last 12 years, I am delighted to see Ben step into this new role at jcp. 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."

In the weeks since Johnson left Penney, several of his key appointees — also former Apple execs — have left, including Dan Walker, chief talent officer, and Michael Kramer, COO.

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OPERATIONS

Walmart provides scheduling visibility to associates

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Wednesday that it is implementing a pilot program that brings increased transparency to its workforce scheduling and allows associates to choose more hours for themselves.

Walmart said it is piloting the program in Denver and Fort Smith, Ark., to provide associates with transparent and consistent information on available shifts throughout the store and give them the opportunity to request to work any of those shifts.

The pilot, which delivers on a scheduling transparency commitment announced in January by U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon, will allow associates to pick up additional shifts to earn extra pay, as well as transition to full-time duty and learn about different areas of the store to boost career advancement.

As part of the program, Walmart is testing web technology that allows associates to use their computers or smartphones to view and request to work available shifts in their store.

The pilot program, which began Feb. 1, is scheduled to expand to more stores in July and roll out to the company’s more than 4,000 stores by the end of October.

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Survey: 20% of smartphone users respond to savings notification

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Whiting, Ind. — Survey results released Wednesday by CouponCabin.com found that one in five smartphone owners have visited a store after receiving notification that specials, coupons or deals were available nearby.

The survey – conducted by Harris Interactive – also found that 70% of smartphone owners would be at least somewhat influenced to make an unplanned purchase at a store after receiving this type of alert.

Smartphone owners see saving money as a top priority, as 47% said they would like to receive geo-targeted coupons on their device for precisely that reason.

Nearly seven-in-10 (67%) said they would be at least somewhat interested in a mobile app that allows them to receive notifications for geo-targeted coupons.

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