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One of America’s Biggest Mall Owners Is Reportedly Laying Off 20% of Its Workforce

Brookfield Property Partners has reportedly resorted to mass job cuts.

The mall owner — a subsidiary of alternative asset management firm Brookfield Asset Management — is laying off 20% of its workforce, according to an email that was obtained by CNBC. The terminations are said to affect corporate employees as well as leasing agents.

According to the report, Jared Chupaila, CEO of Brookfield Properties’ retail group, penned a memo to workers that read, “While many companies were quick to implement furloughs and layoffs at the onset of the pandemic, we made the conscious decision to keep all our team employed while we gained a better understanding of its longer-term impact on our company.” However, the company has now opted to trim its staff to “align with the future scale of our portfolio.”

FN has reached out to Brookfield for confirmation and comment.

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Brookfield Properties currently has more than 170 shopping centers across 42 states, representing upwards of 150 million square feet of retail real estate. It’s not the only mall owner that announced it was letting go of employees: Two weeks ago, Triple Five Group-owned Mall of America confirmed that 211 workers across various departments will permanently lose their jobs at the end of the month. An additional 178 people will remain on furlough, which could extend beyond Sept. 30.

Separately, America’s biggest mall owner, Simon Property Group, furloughed 30% of its full-time and part-time workforce at the end of March, when the coronavirus pandemic was taking hold in the United States. At the time, its shopping centers — along with those of many companies across the country — were forced to temporarily shutter to help prevent the spread of the outbreak.

What’s more, this month alone, two major nationwide chains revealed they were also terminating a significant number of workers: In mid-September, department store Kohl’s told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it cut about 15% of its corporate jobs in an effort to preserve liquidity and align its cost base in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Sportswear giant Under Armour, on the other hand, also informed the SEC of its plans to trim about 600 roles primarily in its “global corporate workforce.”

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