JCPenney cutting 300 workers at headquarters
NY Post: The pink slip massacre at JCPenney has come a week late — but it may be even bloodier than feared. CEO Ron Johnson this week is cutting loose at least 300 workers at the retailer’s headquarters — a display of carnage that some employees had been dreading for weeks, calling it a “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” sources told The Post.
The cuts amount to at least 10 percent of the 3,000 workers at Penney’s HQ in Plano, Tex. The Post reported exclusively on Feb. 6 of the cuts.
“We had a person crying as if she had just received word that someone had died,” a source close to the retailer said yesterday. “They get straight to the point in letting you know you no longer work for JCP.” A Penney spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.
About 75 workers in Penney’s legal, human-resources and information-technology departments had been given walking papers, according to insiders. A team of about 20 fashion-trend watchers lost their jobs yesterday — as well as designers in men’s and kids’ clothing, sources said.
The ax was expected to swing again — and some feared the cuts could drag on for a few weeks, sources added. “A large group was sent an e-mail and went into a room this morning,” a source said yesterday, relating the grisly scene. “They said almost everyone [being hired] is very young, and it is clear they only want young people.”
The cuts will leave HQ with less than half the workers it had when Johnson took the reins in late 2011. Johnson is cutting jobs despite vague responses in recent weeks when asked whether layoffs were looming. That, in turn, is feeding growing cynicism among the rank and file, insiders said.
“The remaining employees can’t help but wonder if the timing has anything to do with the Martha Stewart trial,” one Plano worker told The Post, referring to the courtroom battle that began this week over Stewart’s licensing tie-up with Penney, which Macy’s charges violates its licensing deal with Stewart.
“Maybe upper management is hoping that the press will be looking in that direction and won’t notice what is happening back in Plano,” the employee said. In New York, testimony began in the much-watched trial. Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren is expected to take the stand Monday.
I doubt the layoffs have anything to do with a trial. JCPenney has been tanking for some time. In early February they announced they were closing 300 to 350 stores and that and that their one-year stock performance was -53.6%.
In February 2012, Johnson initiated a new (but undeclared) pro-homosexual policy. They’ve been going downhill ever since. Elections, agendas, and advertising campaigns have consequences.