J.C. Penney said on Wednesday that it will cut its workforce by about 1,000 positions and close 152 store locations, as part of an organizational restructuring.
The cuts will impact corporate, field management, and international positions.
The move is intended to allow the department store chain to emerge, from both Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the Covid-19 pandemic, as a stronger retailer.
Employees will have access to benefits, including severance for eligible associates, healthcare coverage through COBRA for those enrolled in benefits, outplacement support, compensation for unused paid time off, and extended associate discount benefits.
“The global health and economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has forced retailers to make difficult decisions,” said Jill Soltau, chief executive officer, in a news statement.
“As the retail landscape continues to evolve, we will continue to make thoughtful and strategic choices to Offer Compelling Merchandise, Drive Traffic, Deliver an Engaging Experience, Fuel Growth, and Build a Results-Minded Culture to ensure that J.C. Penney remains at the heart of America’s communities for decades to come.”
The Texas-based retailer filed for bankruptcy protection in May after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to temporarily shutter stores across the United States. At that time, the retailer had roughly 860 stores and about 90,000 full-time and part-time employees.
J.C. Penney is one of many retailers to fall victim to the Covid-19 lockdowns, joining retailers like Neiman Marcus, Brooks Brothers, Lucky Brand, and more.
Last month, private equity firm Sycamore Partners was in preliminary talks to acquire J.C. Penney out of bankruptcy.
The retailer was also in touch with some of its landlords, including Brookfield Asset Management Inc and Simon Property Group, about possible transactions.