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JCPenney Cuts 650 Jobs

JCPenney streamlined its head count last week, cutting a total of 650 jobs.

The cuts include 100 staff at the corporate level, on top of 550 positions across store and field operations, Sources familiar with the cuts said the Plano, Texas-based retailer focused on eliminating open positions. Workers were offered alternative positions when possible.

“After months of operational review by our new owners, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management, 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,” a JCPenney spokeswoman said. “While it is never easy to make decisions that directly affect our valued associates, the actions last week impacted approximately 650 people and were a necessary step to ensure the long-term success of our [c]ompany. JCPenney’s more than 50,000 associates remain dedicated to our customers and the communities we serve.”

The company reportedly also moved IT operations to Bangalore in India. The spokeswoman on Thursday clarified that technology support in India has been in place since 2016. She also said the company continues to “support that function in our U.S. operations and India today.”

When asked if more job cuts could be on the agenda, the spokeswoman said: “We feel confident about the future of JCPenney and believe that these organizational adjustments have poised us for future growth. We have no additional announcements at this time.”

JCPenney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in May last year. The operating business was sold to Simon and Brookfield as part of a reorganization. The retailer secured about $1.5 billion of new financing, including a new asset-based lending facility led by Wells Fargo, after the operating deal closed. Former CEO Jill Soltau departed at the end of last year, and the company is still hunting for a new chief executive.

Meanwhile, the retailer has redesigned its activewear line “From the Inside Out,” launched a private label home offering called Loom + Forge, and partnered with Apparel Impact Institute to improve supply chain sustainability performance, positioning itself to serve the modern consumer.