Key Store Designer Leaves For New Challenges

April 26, 2012

A key employee in the development of Apple’s original retail store design has left the company, following his former boss to a positon with retailer JC Penney. Benjamin Fay, 40, will become JCP’s executive vice-president for real estate, store design and development, the company announced today in a press release. His departure and those of other long-time Apple retail managers over the past five months hints that they believe the challenges are over for Apple retail, and that their career excitement is located elsewhere. In his new position, Fay will report directly to CEO Ron Johnson, former Sr. VP Retail at Apple who left the company last November for the JCP post. According to JCP Fay will, “guide the development of the all new jcp store of the future intended to create an entirely new interface for retail.” Fay will also be responsible for the implementation of JCP’s new “Shops” concept, store remodels and maintenance. After college and design school, Fay began his career at interior design firm Gensler, which at the time was assisting Apple in creating the original retail store designs. In 2004 he moved to Apple as Sr. director of retail real estate, design and development. During his eight years with Apple Fay made frequent appearances before city planning boards to present new store designs. He is among just a handful of Apple employees who are officially credited with store designs in documents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In JCP’s press release, Johnson praised Fay, saying he 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.” Johnson left Apple last November, six months after the retail chain’s 10th anniversary and just a month after Steve Jobs passed away. Since then several of Johnson former staffers have followed him to JCP to assume management roles as the company re-invents itself.

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