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JCPenney to lay off about 1,000 employees, shutter 152 stores

2020-07-19

Exactly two months after declaring bankruptcy, JCPenney has begun shedding payroll and other costs as brick-and-mortar retail stores crumble under the weight of the coronavirus shutdown and online shopping.

The department store announced Wednesday that it will be shutting down 152 stores companywide “following a comprehensive evaluation of store performance and strategic fit for the company.”

About 1,000 employees in “corporate, field management and international positions” will also be laid off.

“Each of these associates has made valuable contributions to the legacy of JCPenney, and we are truly grateful for their service,” Jill Soltau, chief executive officer of JCPenney, said in a statement.

“These decisions are always extremely difficult, and I would like to thank these associates for their hard work and dedication. We are committed to supporting them during this period of transition.”

Soltau blamed the “global health and economic crisis” caused by the pandemic for JCPenney’s financial problems, but revenue has dropped more than 40% since 2007, according to NBC News.

JCPenney operates about 850 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico and employs about 90,000 people worldwide.