Ron Johnson is completely overhauling JCPenney, but what do the folks on the ground, grinding away at their not-so-glamorous retail jobs think about the changes?
The latest string of firings occurred on Monday, when JCPenney cut a lot of middle management jobs.
We spoke with a current JCPenney sales associate, and she paints a vivid picture of what things are like on the front lines at her store.
Here’s what she said (emphasis ours):
It has become an awful place to work, short-staffed to the point that we struggle to properly service what customers we do have, and the recovery of the store at the end of the day is a nightmare with so few people.
Pushing credit applications onto people is the most important thing we sell. Merchandise is clearly secondary. They barely even mention our sales, but we always know how much credit we’ve sold–and it is never enough.
Top credit sellers are “rewarded” with scheduled work hours and the lower sellers threatened with cuts.
Managers are running registers to allow fewer hours billed to the sales staff since the managers have to be in the store anyway.
We are being robbed blind by people supposedly returning merchandise they have obviously simply picked up while walking through the store, and with the new return policy, we have no choice but to process the return, handing out preloaded gift cards to thieves.
We try to be enthusiastic about the “exciting” new strategy to our customers, but it is very difficult as an associate to be enthusiastic about the changes we see, which seem to be anything but “fair and square” when it comes to the loyal employees.
Unfortunately, with the economy as it is, people have no choice but to put up with it all and stick with it as long as possible.
… We long-term employees are heartbroken at what we see around us. Ron Johnson may have a grand plan, and it may work, but we feel like he is destroying “us” in the process of implementation.
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