J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) announced job cuts on Thursday, March 1. The retailer then confirmed a day later that approximately 130 J C Penney layoffs had taken place at its headquarters in Plano, Texas.
The company said via e-mail that it conducts a review of its stores and supply chain operations every year, as well as continuously evaluates the productivity of its home office structure to ensure its efficient alignment with the business. As a result of this annual assessment, certain positions have been eliminated.
J C Penney Layoffs in 2017
In February 2017, J C Penney announced it would close 130 to 140 stores. At the same time, it offered early retirement packages to 6,000 eligible employees. In March 2017, the company had layoffs at its Plano headquarters due to the store closures. These J C Penney layoffs in Texas were in addition to the voluntary early retirement program, though the company did not disclose the total number of job cuts.
“It is part of our normal course of business for leaders to ensure their respective teams are optimally staffed, therefore any position eliminations will vary with each department,” said J C Penney spokeswoman Daphne Avila. She added that as Penney planned to operate at fewer locations, it was necessary to, “right-size our corporate staff relative to the company’s store portfolio.”
The corporate job cuts made yesterday were announced after the company said last week that it was shuttering eight stores and a distribution center in Wisconsin.
More J C Penney Layoffs in 2018
J C Penney will close its huge Wauwatosa distribution center, which will impact 670 jobs. These job cuts are just another addition to the list of J C Penney layoffs in 2018.
A company spokesman confirmed by e-mail that this summer, the retailer will start with the closure of the two-million square foot, half-mile-long warehouse and customer service operation. This closure comes as the department store chain struggles with increased competition from online and discount retailers. As a result, J C Penney decided to reduce its supply chain network, which it feels, “is oversized relative to its national store footprint.”
J C Penney will transfer the Wauwatosa work to its facilities in Lenexa, Kansas and Columbus, Ohio. The closure of the distribution center and customer care center are scheduled for July 1 and September 1, respectively. Eligible employees will receive separation benefits, outplacement support, and career training.
Last year, from January to October, J C Penney closed nearly 140 stores, leaving it with 874 locations. For the nine months that ended October 28, 2017, the company reported a loss of $370.0 million. Since 2011, J C Penney has reported consecutive losses, except for 2016, when it earned $1.0 million. The company’s total loss over the past six years exceeds $3.3 billion.
Besides this, J C Penney will close eight additional stores across the U.S. this year. It will be part of the company’s ongoing plan to right-size its store fleet as more sales move toward the online sector.
These eight stores would result in about 480 job cuts, in addition to the J C Penney layoffs at its headquarters. The company reported that the operations at those locations would be completely shut by May this year.
These are the eight stores scheduled to be closed:
- Calexico Store in Calexico, CA
- Cascade Mall in Burlington, WA
- Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ
- Hampton Village Plaza in St. Louis, MO
- Knox Village Square in Mt. Vernon, OH
- Sandburg Mall in Galesburg, IL
- Viking Plaza in Alexandria, MN
- Washington Park Mall in Bartlesville, OK
“J.C. Penney slashes roughly 360 jobs, misses investors expectations,” USA Today, March 2, 2018.
“J.C. Penney lays off employees at its Plano headquarters,” Dallas News, March 2, 2018.
“J.C. Penney cuts some corporate jobs as staff ponders early retirement offer,” Dallas News, March 6, 2017.
“J.C. Penney to close Wauwatosa distribution center, cut 670 jobs,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 13, 2018.
“JC Penney to close 8 stores in 2018. Here’s where they are,” CNBC, February 15, 2018.