J.C. Penney Staffs Up For eCommerce

Looking to strengthen its position in the online realm, J.C. Penney has hired executives from a couple of heavy hitters in retail.

Home Depot’s former vice president of online, mobile and omnichannel, Michael Amend, joined J.C. Penney on Tuesday (Aug. 4) as executive vice president of omnichannel, with Target’s SVP of global supply chain, Mike Robbins, set to begin in a similar role with J.C. Penney on Aug. 10, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The two new hires, The WSJ adds, come on the heels of Marvin Ellison’s — formerly of both Home Depot and Target — succession of Myron “Mike” Ullman III as J.C. Penney’s chief executive on Aug. 1 (although Ullman remains with the company as its executive chairman).

With J.C. Penney bringing on board executives such as Amend and Robbins, The WSJ surmises that — given the two men’s particular experience with their respective former companies, as well as the companies themselves — the retail chain is looking to omnichannel as an area central to boosting its numbers.

J.C. Penney is continuing its efforts to respond to years of declining sales prior to 2014 (when the company saw a 3 percent increase in sales, just two years after a 25 percent drop).

Although sales for J.C. Penney — which, The WSJ adds, does not delineate in-store from online in its reporting — did see a 2 percent rise in the three-month period ending May 2 over the same time frame in the year prior, the most recently reported total falls $1 billion short of those made four years earlier.

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