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600 J.C. Penney Workers Laid Off, 13 Percent Of Plano Staff

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NEW YORK (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Plano-based J.C. Penney Co. says it has laid off 600 associates, or 13 percent of the staff at its headquarters today. The move comes as the department store chain looks to streamline its operations amid a major reinvention of the business.

The department store chain also will eliminate 300 additional associates at the Customer Call Center when it closes the center July 1.

The moves come as its new CEO, former Apple Inc. executive Ron Johnson, is transforming every aspect of its business, from pricing to the brands it carries.

J.C. Penney Co. had set out to reinvent the brand by changing to ” fair and square pricing” in stores and launching a new company logo and store look.

The company had hinted that cuts would come when it told investors in January that it planned to reduce layers of management at its headquarters. Before the layoffs, the company had 4,400 employees at its headquarters.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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