J.C. Penney Co. Inc. will close its Milwaukee distribution and customer care center, affecting about 670 jobs.
“As part of an effort to align our supply chain network and customer care operations with the future needs of the company, J.C. Penney will be closing its Milwaukee distribution and customer care center beginning this summer,” the company said in a statement. “The company’s supply chain network is oversized relative to its national store footprint, and can be optimized by transferring operations to facilities in Lenexa, Kan., and Columbus, Ohio. We also plan to transfer customer care activities in Milwaukee to our Lenexa center. The distribution center portion of the Milwaukee facility will cease operations on July 1, 2018, and the customer care center will close on Sept. 1, 2018.
“It’s never easy taking actions that directly impact our valued associates, however, we feel this is a necessary business decision. Approximately 670 associates are impacted by the closure of our Milwaukee facility. Eligible associates will receive separation benefits, including outplacement support and an on-site career training class. The class will assist associates in writing resumes, filling out applications, answering interview questions and more.”
Last year was a big one for store closings by Penney’s and other retailers including Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch and Bon-Ton, which earlier this month declared bankruptcy, but Penney’s and Macy’s have recently shown pickup in their businesses.
In 2017, Penney’s disclosed 130 store closings. Among the more prominent is the 60-year-old store in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J. That store is scheduled to close in March.
In addition, Penney’s is seeking to get out of its lease in the Manhattan Mall on Sixth Avenue and 32nd Street. While revenues are high at the store, they are believed to be not enough to warrant the costs of operating at that location.