J.C. Penney Hires Key Apple Executive from Retail Store Design Team

Since taking the helm of department store chain J.C. Penney last November, former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson has rebuilt much of his new company's executive team, in many cases bringing in associates he had worked with at Apple or in his earlier stint at Target. Until now, Johnson appears to have avoided tapping Apple's staff directly, bringing in Apple veterans who had already left the company for other jobs.

But as announced in a J.C. Penney press release today, Johnson has expanded his executive team again, this time hiring Ben Fay, a key member of Apple's retail store design team to help lead the next-generation of department store designs.

"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," said Johnson. "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 jcpenney store of the future."

According to his LinkedIn profile, Fay spent eight years as a senior director at Apple, overseeing retail store and corporate office design. Prior to arriving at Apple itself, he spent four years at architecture firm Gensler, where he focused on Apple's retail projects. With that résumé, Fay clearly played a key role in the development of the Apple retail store concept alongside Johnson and other members of the team.

apple store amsterdam staircase
Interior of Apple's Amsterdam retail store

Fay's move to J.C. Penney comes just as former Dixons Retail CEO John Browett begins work at Apple as Johnson's replacement. Browett was named Apple's senior vice president of retail in January, but did not officially start with the company until last week.

Browett brings an international flavor to Apple's retail effort, with international stores having been an increasing focus for Apple in recent years, a trend that is expected to continue as Apple works to expand its global reach. The company has also been placing emphasis on larger, iconic stores to help promote the company's brand while providing more space to serve the growing number of Apple customers.

Top Rated Comments

Dr McKay Avatar
117 months ago
I really don't like that store look, it's too bright, white everywhere. It's just so.....bland.

I really like the Apple Stores where they have a Brick Wall, Wooden floors, at least some colour differentiation. Those types of stores have character.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GSPice Avatar
117 months ago
be prepared from beauty to the beast, browlett DIXONS STYLE, their stores were shocking, i dont hold much hope for him, but know that apple is bigger than one browlett!!!

blow45, he looks like a bag of shi@@

Didn't know they had open-air urinals at Dixons
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blow45 Avatar
117 months ago
I wonder how they keep that much glass clean. Maybe it's part of someone's job description to clean it after the store closes every day? To reach the upper parts on the outside, you'd have to use a cleaner on a pole and it can't be a straight one like they use for cleaning windows; it would have to be curved. I'd just like to see an article about how they keep it clean.

In the same way we keep every glass clean, and someone works his ass off, no big mystery really...
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SteveJobsUK Avatar
117 months ago
I wonder how they keep that much glass clean. Maybe it's part of someone's job description to clean it after the store closes every day? To reach the upper parts on the outside, you'd have to use a cleaner on a pole and it can't be a straight one like they use for cleaning windows; it would have to be curved. I'd just like to see an article about how they keep it clean.

You know what, it'd be a great idea to have someone who's paid just to clean. What a revolutionary idea.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LaWally Avatar
117 months ago
Apple Stores are continuously successful because they're not stores. They're experiences. Where you then just happen to be able to buy stuff.
But how many stores are like the one shown? There are three Apple Stores in Orlando and they are all just another store in a mall. Sure they have a distinctive glass front which differentiates them from other retailers, but otherwise there is nothing of an "experience".

As for me, when I go to an Apple store I am looking to get in, get what I need, and get out. An "experience", no thanks.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ca$hflow Avatar
117 months ago
How would you like to be the cleaning lady in that store. :eek:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
apple music for artists new icon

Apple's Revamped Apple Music for Artists Icon Leads to Speculation About iOS 15 Design Plans

Tuesday April 6, 2021 1:03 pm PDT by
Apple yesterday updated its Apple Music for Artists app with some minor bug fixes and improvements, but also one other notable change -- a new icon. New icon on the right The Apple Music for Artists app now features a simpler, streamlined icon with a pinkish red music logo rather than the multicolored logo that was used before. The icon also has an embossed look that makes it stand out from...
apple find my network

Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices. According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week. ...
new m1 chip

M1 Mac RAM and SSD Upgrades Found to Be Possible After Purchase

Tuesday April 6, 2021 5:34 am PDT by
Technicians in China have reportedly succeeded in upgrading the memory and storage of the M1 chip, suggesting that Apple's integrated custom silicon for the Mac may be more flexible than previously thought. Reports of maintenance technicians being able to expand the memory and storage of M1 Macs began circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend, but now international reports have...
Intel MBP Is Thin and Lighjt

Intel Ad for 'World's Best Processor' Features a MacBook Pro

Wednesday April 7, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Intel has been on a relentless marketing drive against Mac computers in recent weeks, positioning them as inferior to Windows laptops powered by Intel processors. In a slight slip-up, however, Intel has accidentally used a MacBook instead of a Windows laptop in one of its newest ads to promote one of its new 11th-generation chips as "the world's best processor." The ad appeared on Reddit and ...
tmobile 5g modem

T-Mobile Launches Unlimited 5G Home Internet for $60/Month

Wednesday April 7, 2021 2:18 pm PDT by
T-Mobile today hosted an Un-carrier event where the company announced the launch of a a new 5G home internet plan, which is priced at $60 per month and offers unlimited data. The service is available to more than 30 million Americans across much of the United States, including 10 million households in rural areas not typically able to access reliable broadband. Connectivity will be either 4G ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
14

Apple Seeds Seventh Betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the seventh betas of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta updates coming one week after Apple released the sixth iOS and iPadOS 14.5 betas. iOS and iPadOS 14.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS 14.5 is the...
ipad pro and macbook pro

iPad and MacBook Production Reportedly Delayed Due to Global Chip Shortage

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple is facing a global shortage of certain components for some of its MacBook and iPad models, causing the Cupertino tech giant and its suppliers to postpone production of the products, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. According to the report, MacBook production is being hindered due to the shortage of chips mounted onto the circuit board before final assembly, which is a key...