By  on July 11, 2005

NEW YORK — J.C. Penney Co. Inc. has hired Laurie Van Brunt to the post of vice president, director of brand management, according to Ken Hicks, president and chief merchandising officer, on Friday.

Van Brunt is the first hire for the new corporate brand management division being formed at J.C. Penney. The division, a part of the retailer's brand ownership program initiative, has been charged with ensuring consistency across each brand, from product design to marketing and advertising.

Van Brunt will report to Michael Boylson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. She will work with Boylson and the retailer's merchants to develop a brand organization over the retailer's key private brands, such as Arizona, St. John's Bay, Worthington, Stafford and JCP Home. In rounding out the brand organization team, J.C. Penney will be adding individual brand managers, who will each have responsibility for fine-tuning the positioning of a particular private brand.

Van Brunt was most recently senior vice president and chief merchant for Chadwick's, a women's apparel retailer. Prior to that she was executive vice president and general merchandise manager at Limited Brands in its Lane Bryant division, according to Hicks.

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