An undetermined number of employees at the J.C. Penney store in Westdale Mall reportedly have received layoff notices as part of a reduction of 2,200 positions companywide.
Barry Donovan, manager of the Westdale Mall J.C. Penney store, declined to comment on the job eliminations. Calls to the Plano, Texas, chain’s corporate headquarters were not returned by deadline.
The retailer also operates stores at Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville, Ames, Davenport, Decorah, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown, Mason City, Muscatine, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Waterloo, West Burlington and West Des Moines.
BusinessWeek.com and Reuters reported that the latest job cuts were ordered by J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson to trim costs as his revamp of the department store chain has caused sales to plunge.
The job cuts were concentrated in about 100 stores where sales fell the most, and the eliminations hit back-office positions. Daphne Avila, a J.C. Penney spokeswoman, told Reuters that none of the cuts affected staff who deal with customers.
“We wanted to ensure that these reductions do not compromise the level of customer service provided in stores,” Avila said in an email.
Johnson last week said that 19,000 J.C. Penney employees have lost their jobs in the past year as his remake of the chain has failed to gain traction. The company saw its fourth-quarter loss widen to $552 million, or $2.51 per share, from a loss of $87 million, or 41 cents per share a year ago.
Revenue fell 24.8 percent, to $12.98 billion.
J.C. Penney has 1,100 stores nationwide.