JCPenney Cuts 2K Jobs, 33 Stores

Retailer apparently still smarting from disastrous strategy

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jan 15, 2014 6:42 PM CST

(Newser) Struggling JCPenney will cut 2,000 jobs and close 33 stores as it tries to get back on the path to profitability. The news raises concerns that Penney's holiday season sales were weaker than expected and that the chain needs to do even more to recover from a turnaround plan that has had disastrous results. The cuts announced today should save more than $65 million annually. Penney has 116,000 staffers and operates more than 1,100 stores.

Penney is trying to recover from massive losses and plummeting sales drops that occurred under former CEO Ron Johnson, who was ousted in April after being on the job for 17 months. The company then brought back former CEO Mike Ullman. Penney has since reinstated the frequent sales events that Johnson ditched. It's also restored basic merchandise, particularly store brands like St. John's Bay, which were either phased out or eliminated in a bid to attract younger, more affluent shoppers.

FILE - In this April 9, 2013 file photo, a customer leaves a J.C. Penney store in New York. J.C. Penney on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 announced it will cut 2,000 jobs and close 33 stores as it tries to get back on the path to profitability....
FILE - In this April 9, 2013 file photo, a customer leaves a J.C. Penney store in New York. J.C. Penney on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 announced it will cut 2,000 jobs and close 33 stores as it tries to...   (Mark Lennihan)
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