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J.C. Penney Lays Off 300 from Headquarters

J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney said Thursday that it would trim staff at its Plano, Texas, headquarters by nearly 9 percent, cutting 300 of its 3,400 corporate positions as part of its ongoing restructuring efforts.

“As J.C. Penney works to achieve its financial growth targets, it is essential that our operations align with the strategic priorities of the company,” Joey Thomas, a spokesperson for the retailer, said in a prepared statement.

He added, “Over the last several months, the company has been evaluating its home office structure to identify opportunities for greater simplification and higher productivity. As the company continues to make progress on its strategic framework and implement new processes and efficiencies, it is imperative that we maintain a thoughtful approach to managing expenses while effectively supporting the needs of the business.”

The announcement came on the heels of newly appointed CEO Marvin Ellison’s declaration at a “Redefining Retail” conference earlier this month that the company is on track to reach $1.2 billion in earnings by 2017.

“We have to find a way to have sustainable growth in a way that we can start to get a return to the shareholders that is less, what I would call, disruptive and more sustainable,” he said.

In addition to the aforementioned job cuts, that plan includes closing around 40 stores this year and decreasing $5 billion in pension obligation by as much as 35 percent.

Last January, the retailer revealed plans to layoff 2,250 employees, while the previous year saw it cut about 2,000 jobs in a bid to boost profitability.

So far, so good: J.C. Penney reported a 4.1 percent increase in same-store sales in the second quarter, while its losses narrowed from $172 million to $138 million.

“Although we have significant work to do as a company to regain our status as a world-class retailer, I am pleased with the resilience and the efforts of our associates. I also remain confident in our ability to achieve the long-term financial targets we have laid out,” Ellison said.