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
134 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
134 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
134 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
134 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
134 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
134 months ago
How would you like to be the cleaning lady in that store. :eek:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

cook sept 2020 event

Gurman: Apple Preparing Pre-Recorded iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 Event

Sunday August 7, 2022 6:13 am PDT by
Apple has "started to record" its virtual September event, where it's expected to announce the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new "rugged" Apple Watch model, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the event, which is expected to take place in the early part of September, is already under production, implying...
Apple Watch Series 7 Starlight Midnight

Standard Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature Same Design as Series 7

Friday August 5, 2022 7:46 am PDT by
The standard 41mm and 45mm models of the Apple Watch Series 8 will feature the same design as the Apple Watch Series 7, according to Twitter user @ShrimpApplePro, who was first to reveal that iPhone 14 Pro models would feature a new pill-and-hole display. Titanium will not be an option for the standard Apple Watch Series 8 models either, according to @ShrimpApplePro, but Bloomberg's Mark...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Color Options for All iPhone 14 Models: Everything We Know

Monday August 8, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year. Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...
ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone X and the iPhone XS. Battery percent...
iphone 14 pro max camera bump compared lipilipsi 16 9

Bigger iPhone 14 Pro Max Camera Bump Shown Alongside iPhone 13 Pro Max

Monday August 8, 2022 4:33 am PDT by
The camera bump on the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro Max is expected to be the largest rear lens housing Apple has ever installed on its flagship smartphones, and a new photo offers a rare glimpse at just how prominent it is compared to Apple's predecessor device. iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy (left) vs iPhone 13 Pro Max All iPhone 14 models are expected to see upgrades to the Ultra Wide camera on the...
ipad pro magic keyboard white

Rumor Claims Next iPad Pro to Feature New Four-Pin Smart Connector

Sunday August 7, 2022 11:57 am PDT by
A new rumor claims that the next-generation 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro will feature a new four-pin Smart Connector, an update from the current three-pin connector in the iPad Pro. The rumor from Mac Otakara, citing "reliable sources," says that the next iPad Pro, expected to debut possibly as soon as this fall, will feature a new Smart Connector that has four-pins rather than three. The...