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J.C. Penney to Cut About 300 Jobs at Pittsburgh Center

J.C. Penney Co., the fourth-largest U.S. department-store company, is eliminating about 300 jobs in Pittsburgh, in addition to cuts at the company’s headquarters office announced yesterday, as Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson remakes the retailer.

The reductions at the customer call center and more than 600 cuts at its headquarters that were announced yesterday will result in pretax charges of as much as $38 million, the Plano, Texas-based company said today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The total of about 1,000 job cuts represents less than 1 percent of the company’s full- and part-time workforce of 159,000.

Johnson, who took over in November after leading Apple Inc.’s retail business, is seeking to revive sales by simplifying pricing into three tiers and reconfiguring stores into a collection of branded shops. The changes at the headquarters are intended to make J.C. Penney run more like a start-up company, he said yesterday in a statement.

The changes are part of a plan announced in January to cut annual costs by about $900 million by the end of 2013, including $200 million in savings from headquarters, the company said yesterday.

Shares fell 1.9 percent to $34.97 yesterday in New York. The shares dropped 5.4 percent in the 12 months through yesterday.

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