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J.Jill Names Retail Veteran as New CEO

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Claire Spofford, once the SVP and Chief Marketing Officer of J.Jill, will hold the top spot at the women’s apparel retailer beginning Feb. 15, 2021. Jim Scully will remain as Interim CEO to ensure a smooth transition.

Spofford, a 20-year retail veteran, was most recently President of Cornerstone Brands, a portfolio of four home and apparel lifestyle brands owned by the Qurate Retail Group. Prior to that, she was President of Garnet Hill, one of the Cornerstone brands. Spofford was part of the executive team at J.Jill from Dec. 2011 through Sept. 2013.

As it did for many apparel retailers, COVID-19 hit J.Jill hard when it was forced to temporarily close more than 280 stores due to the pandemic. In September, the retailer avoided bankruptcy with an out-of-court settlement with its lenders, which gave J.Jill an additional two years to pay off its term loan debt and provided up to $15 million for ongoing operations.

“After an extensive period of successfully navigating through the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and a strategic restructuring of the business, J.Jill has emerged stronger both operationally and financially to continue to execute on our initiatives and capitalize on the growth opportunities ahead,” said Michael Rahamim, Chairman of the Board of J.Jill in a statement. “As we enter this next phase, we are excited to welcome Claire back to the J.Jill organization. Claire’s extensive experience driving growth and profitability at respected retail companies, coupled with her knowledge of our customer and brand, make her the ideal candidate to lead the business forward.”

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“J.Jill is a unique brand that is not only dedicated to helping women look great and feel good, but also to supporting women in the community,” said Spofford in a statement. “I have a deep admiration and love for the brand and the important role it plays in women’s lives.”

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