J.C. Penney has made adjustments to its store base, its real estate portfolio and its speed to market of late to help restore profitability, and now the retailer will change around its executive structure to help streamline product development and sourcing.
After Ken Mangone, EVP of product development, design and sourcing leaves his post after 39 years on April 1, Val Harris will step in—but in a slightly new way, the retailer said Monday.
Harris, formerly Penney’s vice president of product development, design and trend for Women’s will now become the senior vice president of product development and design, overseeing the company’s more than 200 textile, technical and fashion designers in New York City and Plano, Texas as they develop seasonal collections for private brands.
Reporting to executive vice president and chief merchant John Tighe, Harris will be responsible for ensuring “seamless connectivity” between the company’s merchandising, product development and design teams.
“Val is a trusted and highly-respected member of the J.C. Penney team who, in her over 30 years at the company, has driven the product development and trend directions of many of our class-leading private and exclusive brands,” CEO Marvin R. Ellison, said. “We are confident Val’s experience will allow us to continue delivering unmatched style, quality, and value – a high standard maintained by Ken Mangone in his many years of honorable service to the company.”
Penney’s senior vice president of supply chain Mike Robbins will now have responsibility over the company’s sourcing organization.
Robbins will oversee Penney’s network of international buying offices, quality control functions, social compliance teams and other global operations, working to manage goings on with the roughly 400 suppliers in 32 countries the company sources from.
Penney’s is continuing on its turnaround trajectory. So far this year, the retailer said it would close seven stores by April and that it’s pursuing a potential sale of its headquarters to bring in some cash to pay down debts. For the third quarter ended Oct. 31, 2015, Penney’s reported a 5 percent increase in net sales to $2.9 billion.