July 30, 2019 / 9:36 PM / 20 days ago

J.C. Penney hires former Shopko executive to aid turnaround

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers enter and leave the J.C. Penney department store in North Riverside, Illinois, U.S., November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/File Photo

(Reuters) - J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N) has hired a former Shopko Stores senior executive, the retailer said on Tuesday, as it hopes to resurrect itself despite stiff competition from online and discount retailers.

James DePaul, formerly chief administration officer and senior vice president of stores and operations at general merchandise chain Shopko, will be tasked with improving the in-store and online shopping experience, the retailer said in a statement.

DePaul will report to Chief Executive Officer Jill Soltau, who spent eight years at Shopko in the roles of president, EVP and chief merchandising officer from 2007-2015.

Since filing for bankruptcy in January, Shopko has shuttered hundreds of its stores.

J.C. Penney, based in Plano, Texas, has hired advisers to explore debt restructuring options that would buy more time for the money-losing U.S. retailer to forge a turnaround, Reuters reported earlier this month.

The retailer, which employs 95,000 people and operates more than 860 stores, has seen its stock plunge more than 60% over the past year despite rising U.S. consumer spending.

Reporting by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler

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