PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – J. C. Penney Company, Inc. is reducing its store footprint and reducing its workforce by 1,000 corporate, field management, and international positions.

“Each of these associates has made valuable contributions to the legacy of JCPenney, and we are truly grateful for their service,” said Jill Soltau, chief executive officer of JCPenney. “These decisions are always extremely difficult, and I would like to thank these associates for their hard work and dedication. We are committed to supporting them during this period of transition.”

Wednesday’s announcement comes at the company continues ongoing productive negotiations with landlords.

Soltau continued, “The global health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced retailers to make difficult decisions. For JCPenney, that includes reducing our footprint and accelerating our store optimization strategy while we implement our Plan for Renewal. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, we will continue to make thoughtful and strategic choices to Offer Compelling Merchandise, Drive Traffic, Deliver an Engaging Experience, Fuel Growth, and Build a Results-Minded Culture to ensure that JCPenney remains at the heart of America’s communities for decades to come.”

A news release said JCPenney is providing a comprehensive benefits package for its departing associates, including severance for eligible associates, healthcare coverage through COBRA for those enrolled in benefits, outplacement support, compensation for unused paid time off, and extended associate discount benefits.