JC Penney to close Wisconsin facility, eliminating 670 jobs - CNBC

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J.C. Penney is shuttering one of its distribution centers in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, eliminating 670 jobs, a spokesman confirmed with CNBC.

The Milwaukee Business Journal first reported on the news Tuesday morning.

This summer, the company will begin winding down operations there, as part of the retailer’s ongoing effort “to align our supply chain network and customer care operations with the future needs” of Penney, the spokesman said.

As it stands today, Penney’s supply chain network is “oversized” in the area when compared with the department store chain’s overall footprint, he explained. Operations from the Wauwatosa location will be moved to other facilities in Lenexa, Kansas, and Columbus, Ohio.

“It’s never easy taking actions that directly impact our valued associates, however, we feel this is a necessary business decision,” the spokesman added. Penney will give eligible associates separation benefits, including outplacement support and career training classes.

A slew of retailers, including Penney, have announced rounds of store closures — totaling hundreds of locations and costing thousands of jobs — already this year. The closing of a distribution center, though, has been a rare occurrence, as many businesses are still figuring out ways to grow their supply chains and fulfill “last-mile” orders.

U.S. department stores including Macy’s and Sears Holdings are finding they no longer require such large-format stores. Most of them are whittling back their square footage.