February 24, 2014, 11:12 AM

J.C. Penney hires a Saks exec to take over cross-channel retailing

Michael Rodgers will be responsible for integrating e-commerce and physical stores. The chain credits him with helping to lead Saks’ new e-commerce fulfillment center project.

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J.C. Penney Co. Inc. has hired Michael Rodgers as the department store chain’s senior vice president of omnichannel strategy and execution. J.C. Penney is No. 34 in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide.

Rodgers comes from Saks Fifth Avenue, where he most recently was executive vice president, chief information and operations officer. He took that job in 2007, according to this LinkedIn profile. Saks hired him in 1993 as executive vice president, service operations, and chief information officer.

During his most recent position at Saks, Rodgers “enabled a state-of-the-art fulfillment center based on advanced robotics to support omnichannel strategy for the rapidly growing Saks Direct business,” says a spokesman for J.C. Penney. Saks Direct is No. 37 in the Top 500 Guide. According to the guide, Saks in 2012 opened an e-commerce fulfillment center in Tennessee that features a mobile, robotic fulfillment system operated by Kiva Systems. Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Top 500, owns Kiva.

The Toronto-based Hudson’s Bay Co. acquired Saks for $2.9 billion last year. With the acquisition came Saks Direct, the e-commerce unit of Saks Inc., which generated an estimated $899.0 million in web sales in 2012, up 20.1% from $748.6 million in 2011, according to the Top 500 Guide

J.C. Penney, meanwhile, recently reported that it ended 2013 with a big increase in fourth quarter e-commerce sales—helping the chain finish 2013 with its first growth in annual web sales in years. Total web sales increased 7.4% in 2013 to $1.095 billion from $1.020 billion in 2012, according to an Internet Retailer estimate.

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