JCPenney has named Bill Wafford EVP and CFO, effective April 8. Wafford brings 25 years of retail experience, including financial leadership roles at Walgreens, The Vitamin Shoppe and Target. He will report directly to CEO Jill Soltau.
Wafford was most recently EVP and CFO at The Vitamin Shoppe, where he played a significant role in reducing debt, decreasing inventory and improving operations income in 2018. He also has served as a partner at KPMG and spent five years at Walgreens, eventually reaching the position of VP of International Finance. His time at Target was spent managing financial planning and analysis for the retailer’s women's and men's apparel divisions.
Wafford is the second new executive at JCPenney in the past six months, following the appointment of Soltau in October 2018. The retailer has been struggling with the pressures faced by the department store industry in general, with 27 store closures planned for 2019 following a net loss of $255 million during fiscal 2018.
The retailer also has taken steps to update its stores by discontinuing home appliance sales and moving furniture sales online. The change was designed to reduce store space previously dedicated to appliance and furniture showrooms as a way to maximize efficiency and reduce inventory. The change will also let JCPenney focus on apparel and soft home furnishings, categories that offer higher margins for the retailer.