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JCPenney squares off strategy with new appointment

PLANO, Texas — JCPenney is looking to make its department store a destination for more than just shopping, and has named a new executive to help lead the charge. Assuming the role of EVP, The Square is Laurie Beja Miller, who will oversee the company's new center core strategy that will serve as a gathering place with ongoing attractions and services, JCPenney announced. Miller will join JCPenney on April 1, and report to CEO Ron Johnson. 

Johnson said, "In the golden age of department stores, America's families came for more than just to shop. They were able to have fun experiences and were offered a range of useful services. We are going to revive that excitement and convenience at JCpenney, and Laurie is the ideal person to lead the charge. She brings an exceptional track record of creating differentiated shopping environments, unique insight into customer behavior, and a passion about retail that will all be invaluable as we execute our concept for JCPenney's stores."

Miller has served as SVP and general manager Americas at Bare Escentuals, since 2010. Prior to that, she spent three years at Nike as general manager, VP Nike Retail U.S. She was previously VP product development and merchandising at Hallmark Cards, a role she took after serving as VP special projects at Apple, SVP and general merchandise manager at Pottery Barn, and EVP at Disney Stores, focused on product development. She also spent more than a decade (1984 to 1995) at Spiegel, where she was general manager of electronic media. Miller began her career working in department stores, first at Milwaukee Boston Company and subsequently at Marshall Fields. She received a B.S. from Iowa State University in Textiles and Clothing/Business Administration.

Regarding her new appointment, Miller said, "The chance to join JCpenney as it undertakes this total transformation is the most exciting opportunity at this point in my career. The vision that the company has for JCpenney will make it unlike any other store that exists in retail today and create enormous excitement for customers. I am so glad to be a part of jcpenney at this extraordinary time and look forward to making The Square an exceptional centerpiece for the new JCpenney shopping experience."

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