Plano, Texas — J. C. Penney Company, Inc. will extend the temporary closure of its stores and business offices due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The company will continue to follow guidance from local, state and federal officials as it anticipates gradually reopening stores and offices in markets when it is safe to do so.
As a result of its store closures, JCPenney plans to temporarily furlough the majority of store hourly associates, beginning April 2. During this time, the company will also require a smaller corporate workforce. Beginning April 5, a significant portion of associates in the company’s home office, Salt Lake City and Soho design offices will be furloughed, along with its store salaried associates. Many of the company’s associates in supply chain and logistics centers were previously furloughed on March 20, and those furloughs will continue.
“These are difficult days all across the country and the globe. At JCPenney, we are making tough, prudent decisions to protect both the safety of our associates and the future of our company,” says Jill Soltau, chief executive officer of JCPenney. “We remain optimistic about JCPenney’s ability to weather this pandemic.”
All furloughed associates who are currently enrolled in the JCPenney benefits program will continue to receive full health benefits and the company plans to cover 100% of employee-paid premiums for the duration of the furlough. Many impacted associates are also eligible to receive state unemployment benefits, which were recently increased with the passage of the federal stimulus bill.
The company’s e-commerce distribution centers and customer care will remain open, fulfilling online orders and answering customer inquiries. The centers will continue to operate by following enhanced social distancing, best practices for sanitization and other safety measures. Its international operations continue, while complying with government mandates.
J. C. Penney Company, Inc., one of the nation’s largest apparel and home retailers, has approximately 850 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico. For more information, qvisit www.jcp.com.
SOURCE: J. C. Penney Company, Inc.