JCPenney Layoffs to Cut 1,000 Positions

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JCPenney Layoffs to Cut 1,000 Positions

By Lisa Johnston - 07/15/2020

JCPenney will cut 1,000 corporate, field management, and international positions as it continues on its store reorganization plan.

The struggling department store retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May. It’s since identified 152 stores it will close (after putting a handful of closures on hold) and said the labor cuts will align with this reduced store footprint. The company employed around 85,000 associates when it filed in May.

These changes are intended to create a leaner, more financially flexible company in order to emerge from the pandemic in a stronger place. Prior to COVID-19, JCPenney had been undergoing a multi-year transformation strategy that included trimming costs and inventory while elevating customer experiences.

Its revised strategy now includes doubling down on e-commerce in order to reach $2.3 billion in sales by fiscal year 2024.

The company is also said to be in talks with such firms as Sycamore Partners and Simon Property Group about selling parts of its business.

“Each of these associates has made valuable contributions to the legacy of JCPenney, and we are truly grateful for their service,” said Jill Soltau, JCPenney CEO, in a statement. “These decisions are always extremely difficult, and I would like to thank these associates for their hard work and dedication. We are committed to supporting them during this period of transition."

JCPenney is providing a comprehensive benefits package for its departing associates, including severance for eligible associates, healthcare coverage through COBRA for those enrolled in benefits, outplacement support, compensation for unused paid time off, and extended associate discount benefits.

There’s no doubt this may be the strangest back to school season on record. As class supply lists hit parents’ inboxes, many are still debating if they will even send their children into the classroom this fall. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten the normalcy of purchasing paper and pencils, there’s still time for retailers to ramp up their back to school promotions.

Even if COVID-19 was eradicated tomorrow, the long-term supply chain impacts would persist for at least many months still. With that, retailers must adapt existing supply chain systems and processes to minimize pandemic impacts for both the short and long-term.

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