J.C. Penney, the popular 118-year-old department store retailer, is planning to lay off 1,000 corporate and management workers as a result of their filing for bankruptcy in May. While the company has been struggling for years, the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic was the final straw that pushed them towards bankruptcy. With these pandemic-related layoffs, J.C. Penney has identified 152 out of their 387 stores that will be closing.
J.C. Penney, whose headquarters are located in the Dallas suburb of Plano, is just one of many corporate headquarters in the DFW area that have filed for bankruptcy as a result of the pandemic. Others include Neiman Marcus and Tuesday Morning, who have also decided to cut their national footprint by means of mass layoffs.
Dallas labor attorney Rogge Dunn of Rogge Dunn Group was interviewed on the unfortunately common topic of these pandemic-related layoffs. Dunn is quoted saying that he expects to see “substantially more layoffs” from retailers with a heavy-brick-and mortar presence in the near future, as COVID-19 is far from being contained in Texas.
In relation to the many large retail stores filing for bankruptcy during this time, Dunn said, “you can’t cut off the root of a tree and not expect it to spread to the very top of the tree.” Further, Dunn asserted that “this doesn’t mean the whole C-suite will get canned, but that’s one reason why you often see the chief executive office and chief operating officer roles combined. It’s a way of reducing operating costs.”
While it seems that Texas is being hit particularly hard with the pandemic-related layoffs due to many corporate headquarters being located in the state, Dunn said this is not of concern because businesses throughout the world are being affected. According to Dunn, DFW is a “very business friendly place” and that the area will continue to prosper.
Dunn is quoted saying, “I could see if the cost cutting continues that we could see more companies move to Dallas to shed corporate income taxes from other states or have a less unionized workforce, but I also think we’re going to see companies innovate to survive.”
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