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STAGE STORES NAMES CMO: Steven Lawrence has joined Stage Stores, Inc. as chief merchandising officer, reporting to Michael Glazer, president and ceo. Lawrence was previously with J.C. Penney Co. Inc. for 11 years, most recently as co-chief merchant, executive vice-president and GMM of men’s, kids and home. He was ousted from that role in February when Elizabeth Sweney was promoted to head merchant. At Stage Stores, Lawrence will oversee all merchandising, planning and allocation for the company’s Southern division based in Houston and its Northern division based in South Hill, Va. The company operates 827 stores in 40 states under the Bealls, Goody's, Palais Royal, Peebles, Stage and Steele's names.