DePaul will be responsible for improving in-store and omnichannel operations as part of the company’s focus on transforming the customer experience to grow traffic, engagement and customer retention

DePaul will be responsible for improving in-store and omnichannel operations as part of the company’s focus on transforming the customer experience to grow traffic, engagement and customer retention

US retail giant JC Penney has announced more leadership changes, bringing James DePaul on board as executive vice president of stores while Mike Robbins, executive vice president of stores and supply chain, leaves the company.

DePaul, who joins from Shopko Stores where he served as chief operations officer, is tasked with improving in-store and omnichannel operations at JC Penney as part of the company's focus on transforming the customer experience to grow traffic, engagement and customer retention. In his new role, DePaul will oversee the company's stores, store operations, store environment and design, and asset protection teams, and will report directly to CEO Jill Soltau.

At Shopko he had responsibility for stores, pharmacy, optical, supply chain, e-commerce operations, non-merchandise procurement, store operations, store development, loss prevention and merchandise support. While there, he made key improvements to customer service scores, reduced operating expenses, and improved shrink and overall productivity.

DePaul's appointment follows the addition of Shawn Gensch as executive vice president, chief customer officer, in May and Bill Wafford as chief financial officer in March. Prior to those appointments, former Gap Inc and Target Corp executive Michelle Wlazlo was named executive vice president, chief merchant, in February. 

JC Penney earlier this year confirmed it would shutter 18 full-line stores this summer ahead of an ongoing turnaround that includes plans to ditch products like major appliances and focusing more on higher margin products such as apparel.

Last week, it responded to reports the company has hired advisers to explore debt restructuring options, noting it has a "strong liquidity position" and is not preparing for a restructuring or bankruptcy.

Expert analysis

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