Retailer JCPenney has promoted Ken Hicks to the position of president and chief merchandising officer.

Before joining JCPenney in 2002 as president and chief operating officer of stores and merchandise operations, Hicks was president of footwear retailer Payless Shoe Source Inc.

He will continue to oversee JCPenney stores, supply chain, and store environment, design and construction until a new chief operating officer is appointed.

Myron Ullman, JCPenney's chairman and chief executive officer, said Hicks brought experience both from his previous position with the company and from his roles in other organisations.

Hicks said that the team would focus on strategies to improve "the quality, style, and value JCPenney is known for", as well as the convenience of its store, catalogue and internet divisions.

JC Penney Corporation Inc, the wholly-owned operating subsidiary of JCPenney, is one of America's largest department store, catalogue, and e-commerce retailers.