J. C. Penney Company Inc. has slashed 650 jobs across its stores, field operations and corporate headquarters.
The latest round of layoffs — first reported by The Dallas Morning News — comprise about 1.5% of the department store’s workforce, which currently has more than 50,000 employees. Roughly 100 of the impacted jobs were at its Texas-based offices, where 3,500 people are employed.
The cuts, which were made last week, included eliminating open positions, while some employees were offered alternative roles where possible.
In an email to FN, a JCPenney spokesperson said, “After months of operational review by our new owners … JCPenney has adjusted our structure to better meet our strategic priorities. We have streamlined our organization, resulting in the elimination of positions across our corporate, field and stores teams.”
The company added, “While it is never easy to make decisions that directly affect our valued associates, the actions last week … were a necessary step to ensure the long-term success of our company.”
The job cuts come under new ownership for JCPenney after the retailer filed for bankruptcy last May. For years, the company had struggled with plummeting sales, rising digital competition and, more recently, challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of its filing, it had approximately 84,000 associates and 846 stores.
The chain ultimately sold later in the year to mall giants Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management Inc., which acquired “substantially all of JCPenney’s retail and operating assets.” The landlords agreed to take on the retailer’s business to preserve anchor spots and avoid an exodus of other tenants at their shopping centers. JCPenney officially exited Chapter 11 proceedings in December — just ahead of the critical holiday shopping season.
As part of its reorganization, the department store shuttered more than 150 outposts, closed several distribution centers and trimmed its corporate base. It also rejected its lease and abandoned its campus in Plano, Texas, and is still said to be searching for a permanent space in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Today, JCPenney has 672 stores.
FN has updated this story with a statement from JCPenney.