JCPenney to lay off 350 in “final phase” of restructuring

PLANO, Texas—JCPenney eliminated 350 more positions at its headquarters today as it released details of what it said was the “final phase” of the restructuring that began in April.

CEO Ron Johnson said in a statement, “One of the most challenging tasks for any leadership team is to reorganize a company. In April, we began right-sizing our headquarters from a people perspective to align our teams with JCPenney’s new business model. The actions taken today mark the final phase of those efforts. We have simplified processes, removed unnecessary work and reduced layers to help us make better and faster decisions. While difficult, these decisions are in the long-term interests of JCP and our stakeholders.”

JCPenney’s restructuring plans cut 600 workers (about 15 percent of the workforce) at the company’s Plano, Texas headquarters in early April. As we reported in mid-April, those lay-offs hit the retailer’s menswear team (which lost GMM Steve Lawrence in March) pretty hard. But two weeks later, JCPenney announced that it had hired Nickelson Wooster, formerly of Neiman Marcus and Barneys, as its new creative director for menswear.

The plight of the retailer’s menswear division didn’t look as bleak in June when it was announced that John Tighe would the new men’s GMM. Preston Moxcey was named DMM for men’s clothing and accessories.

But also in June, JCPenney president Michael Francis left the company after less than a year. One of CEO Ron Johnson’s first hires, Francis was a major strategist in the retailer’s restructuring and rebranding.

JCPenney, which operates about 1,100 stores nationwide, slid to a first-quarter loss in May.

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