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J.C. Penney Cutting Jobs as CEO Tries to Revamp Chain

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Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- J.C. Penney Co., run by Apple Inc.’s former retail chief, is cutting seasonal employees and some full-time jobs as part of a plan to overhaul the retailer.

Positions involved with re-ticketing merchandise are being eliminated with the majority being seasonal workers, Rebecca Winter, a spokeswoman for the Plano, Texas-based retailer, said today in an e-mail. She declined to say how many would be cut.

Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson, who took over in November, is reviewing products, pricing and promotional strategies to revive sales. Earlier this month, J.C. Penney cut its fourth-quarter profit forecast, citing declining sales and deeper discounts than anticipated during the holiday season. The company is scheduled to host a two-day event starting Jan. 25 in New York to announce Johnson’s plans.

The New York Post reported the job cuts earlier today as part of the chain’s plan to shift from traditional sales and clearance events to everyday low prices, citing people it didn’t name. Johnson is being encouraged to cut jobs by the company’s largest shareholders, William Ackman and Steve Roth, the newspaper said.

J.C. Penney declined 0.3 percent to $34.97 at the close in New York. The shares rose 8.8 percent last year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Hitha Prabhakar in New York at hprabhakar@bloomberg.net; Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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