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
123 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
123 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
123 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
123 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
123 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
123 months ago
How would you like to be the cleaning lady in that store. :eek:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
Top Stories 74 Thumbnail

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Nears Launch, Larger Apple Watch?, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini Rumors

Saturday August 28, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
August is rapidly drawing to close, which means Apple's annual iPhone launch event is right around the corner. iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 rumors are continuing to circulate, and we're also hearing about Mac updates likely coming a bit later. Apple is also finishing up work on its upcoming software updates like iOS 15, with some late-addition features starting to go live in beta while ...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...