The retail sector slashed 30,000 jobs in March, said the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. That brings the total number of jobs lost in retail in March and February to nearly 61,000 as the sector grapples with right-sizing their costs amid the shift to digital shopping.
Retail leads all sectors this year with 38,464 announced cuts, 4,084 of which occurred in March, points out outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. First quarter retail job cuts are 19% higher than the 31,832 cuts announced in the same period last year.
"Retail is typically an industry in flux, but we've seen long established companies close stores and cut workers. The industry, though, is creating openings just as quickly as they are cutting," says the firm's CEO John Challenger.
Here are some of the top retailers currently executing layoff plans, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
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In February, J.C. Penney said it would close as many as 140 stores and let go 5,500 people.
In January, The Limited officially went bust. The company began to close all 250 of its stores across the United States while also slashing 4,000 jobs.
Bankrupt fashion apparel purveyor American Apparel began to close all its stores in January, leading to more than 3,400 layoffs.
Bankrupt teen apparel retailer Wet Seal has closed up shop this year, in the process letting about 3,000 workers go.
While not in dire straits like others in retail, Lowe's (LOW) has done a bit of belt tightening this year, too. Lowe's said in January that 2,400 full-time workers would be laid off.
The company announced plans to close three of its distribution centers and 88 stores as part of an out-of-court restructuring process. About 1,500 workers have been displaced as a result of these actions, notes Challenger, Gray & Christmas.