Thursday, May 28, 2020

J.C. Penney offers top execs million-dollar bonuses with most stores closed due to virus, while nearing bankruptcy

J.C. Penney is giving millions of dollars in pay bonuses to top executives as the failing department store chain reportedly is on the edge of bankruptcy.

What’s happening: CEO Jill Soltau received $4.5 million while chief financial officer Bill Wafford, chief merchant officer Michelle Wlazlo and chief human resources officer Brynn Evanson each got $1 million, the company disclosed in a May 10 regulatory¬†filing. The payments are to ensure J.C. Penney can “retain and continue to motivate its named executive officers and other employees through the volatile and uncertain environment affecting the retail industry,” according to the company.

The close to 120-year-old company is one of many retailers that was forced to temporarily close its stores as the Wuhan virus spread across the U.S. That has reportedly put J.C. Penney a step closer to bankruptcy, with the company missing two debt payments in April and May.

“At JCPenney, we are making tough, prudent decisions to protect the future of our company and navigate an uncertain environment, including taking necessary steps to retain our talented management team,” said a company in a statement.

Under the plan, the executives will have to repay 80% of their bonuses if they resign before January 31, 2021. They will have to repay the other 20% if specified milestone-based performance goals are not achieved.

Earlier this week, 16 JCPenney stores out of nearly 850 nationwide reopened. Another 25 openings were announced Wednesday. And it has another 13 stores allowing curbside pickup, although those locations are not allowing shoppers to go inside the stores.

Munch More

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a more than $3 trillion coronavirus aid package Tuesday, providing nearly $1 trillion in aid for states, cities, and local governments, aid to essential workers, and a new round of cash payments to individuals.

The proposal details are:

  1. Fresh round of $1,200 direct cash aid to individuals, increased to up to $6,000 per household.
  2. $175 billion housing assistance fund to help pay rents and mortgages.
  3. $75 billion more for virus testing.
  4. It would continue, through January, the $600-per-week boost to unemployment benefits.
  5. It adds a 15% increase for food stamps and new help for paying employer-backed health coverage.
  6. $3.6 billion to help local officials prepare for the challenges of holding elections during the pandemic.
  7. $10 billion more for the PPP

A restaurant that opened for full service on Mother’s Day in defiance of state rules banning in-person dining was ordered closed by state health officials on Monday. Despite an order to close, Monday was another busy day for C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock as they stayed open.

What happened: A video posted by Colorado Community Media showed people sitting at tables and waiting close together in a line at the counter while others lined up outside for a chance to get inside the eatery in Castle Rock about 30 miles south of Denver.


“F— Elon Musk,” was Democrat Assemblywoman’s Lorena Gonzalez’s response on Twitter at the news that entrepreneur Elon Musk planned to pull much of his company Tesla out of California.

What happened: Earlier Saturday, Musk wrote on Twitter that he planned to move Tesla‚Äôs headquarters and ‚Äúfuture programs‚ÄĚ to Texas and Nevada ‚Äď adding that the company‚Äôs current facility in Fremont, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay area would remain open for some activity ‚Äúdependent on how Tesla is treated in the future.‚ÄĚ

Musk noted for his nearly 34 million Twitter followers that Tesla was ‚Äúthe last carmaker left in CA.‚ÄĚ He referred to Tesla‚Äôs dispute with Alameda County, where Fremont is located, as ‚Äúthe final straw.‚ÄĚ




U.S. employers cut an unprecedented 20.5 million workers in April, propelling the jobless rate to its highest since the Great Depression as the coronavirus-forced lockdown reversed a decade of labor-market gains in a single month.

What we know: U.S. employers cut 20.5 million jobs in April, a record-shattering number that pushed unemployment to 14.7 percent, the highest level since the Great Depression, evidence of the unprecedented economic catastrophe triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.


This week: 3.2 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, the US Department of Labor said on Thursday

In the last 7 weeks: Now 34 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits.