Penney to Close VA Call Center

As its call center volume continues to dwindle, J.C. Penney is shuttering another facility. The general merchant will close its call center in Midlothian, VA, on March 26, according to company spokesperson Tim Lyons.

The Chesterfield County call center in employs 252 associates, who largely fill part-time positions, Lyons says. “Our call center network primarily handles incoming phone orders and customer service for our catalog business,” he says. “It’s closing due to a continuing decline in call volume as customers continue to migrate to shopping online.”

J.C. Penney announced in November it will stop publishing its semiannual “big book” catalog. Instead, it plans to focus on specialty catalogs, and invest more in its Web store and digital services and social media.

Online orders already generate more sales volume than the paper catalogs, Lyons says. J.C. Penney’s online sales were about $1.5 billion in 2008.

The retailer shut down a catalog call center in Carmichael, CA, a year ago. It had closed a contact center in Scranton, PA, in 2008. Lyons says J.C. Penney has four other call centers–in Columbus, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; Grand Rapids, MI; Albuquerque, NM.