‘Losing their jobs:’ JCPenney closing distribution, customer care center, 670 impacted

JCPenney distribution center in Wauwatosa

WAUWATOSA -- JCPenney is closing its distribution and customer care center in Wauwatosa beginning this summer. Approximately 670 employees will be impacted by the closure.

"Our hearts are going out to the people who are involved, the employees who are finding out they're losing their jobs," said Wauwatosa Mayor Kathy Ehley.

The distribution center portion closes July 1, and the customer care portion closes Sept. 1.

Mayor Ehley said she hopes unemployment for the workers will only be temporary.

JCPenney

Kathy Ehley

"For us, there's other areas where employees can be absorbed in because we're part of a metropolitan area," said Mayor Ehley.

Mayor Ehley said she's not panicking about the closure, which she only heard about Tuesday morning, Feb. 13 from media reports.

"We are a community that does a lot of proactive planning for those 'what ifs' because we know how communities evolve," said Ehley.

Ehley said proactive planning was done in the early 2000s, when Roundy's abandoned the nearby area on Burleigh, now called the the Mayfair Collection.

Another vision plan includes the JCPenney building.

JCPenney

JCPenney

"We did see, anticipated, that eventually something may happen with this JCPenney building," Ehley said.

JCPenney also has a plan. 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.

JCP officials say the company’s supply chain network is oversized relative to its national store footprint. They say operations are being transferred to facilities in Lenexa, Kan., and Columbus, Ohio. Customer care activities in Wisconsin are also moving to the Lenexa center.