CAREER TUESDAY: Private Brand Product Development Director: JCPenney

Product Development Director – Soft Home: JCPenney

Location: Texas

Manages the execution of the enterprise-wide private brand strategy for both the direct and indirect business by coordinating and leading the process for all key stakeholders.

Strategic Business Plan

  1. Drives the strategic direction in collaboration with the Design Director, Sourcing Manager, Buyer and Brand Director.
  2. Collaborates with the Buyer to ensure the conceptual plan supports the agreed upon strategy and Private Brand integrity.
  3. Reviews competitive landscape to identify market share opportunities, drive category dominance and item dominance.
  4. Leads competitive analysis to facilitate the development of product.
  5. Identifies new business opportunities for Private Brand.
  6. Monitors, analyzes and reports business performance. Recommends appropriate action for use in future development.

Process/Business/Development Management

  1. Supports the Private Brand process and exclusive brands, if applicable, by being a management leader in facilitation and problem solving.
  2. Ensures all product approvals are complete within established timeline.
  3. Leads the development process through Cycle Time Reduction (CTR) calendar management.
  4. Directs CTR milestone meetings.
  5. Manages the Indirect process for private brands.

People Management

  1. Facilitates key meetings of cross-functional team to drive strategies, resolutions and decision making in creation/development of the Private Brand business.
  2. Ensures effective communication and alignment of multiple teams.
  3. Manages and develops Associates utilizing Company developed training tools.

Demonstrated leader; critical thinker, qualitative and analytical abilities; interpersonal skills, time management, prioritization, organization, strong presentation and communication skills.


  1. Executing the Private Brand merchandising strategy.
  2. Driving innovation across the design, product and sourcing teams.
  3. Ensuring the nature, quality and timeliness of assigned brands are consumer focused.
  4. Ensuring brand strategies are followed through with effective preparation and presentation at key meetings.
  5. Driving process by leading cross-functional teams to resolution.

Conceptual development for all Private Brand merchandise.
Private Brand product development impacts caused by competitive analysis.


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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.