(Reuters) — Department store operator J.C. Penney Co Inc faced "an expense challenge" in April and in response cut payroll, froze overtime for its employees and took other cost-cutting measures, the New York Post reported, citing an internal memo.
The company's shares were down 8 per cent at $8.23 in pre-market trading, set to open at their lowest level in more than 2 months.
"We have an expense challenge for the month of April and are asking all stores to do their fair share by closely monitoring all expenses," the memo said, the newspaper reported late on Thursday.
Both full- and part-time employees had their hours reduced, with those working 25 hours a week typically getting their shifts cut to 10 or 15 hours, the report said.
The temporary cost-cutting also included restrictions on the use of corporate credit cards, and markdowns were banned, the report said.
J.C. Penney was not immediately available for comment.
The company has been working to turn around its business under Chief Executive Marvin Ellison, who came on board in August last year.
It said in February it expects to report its first annual profit in five years in 2016. The company is scheduled to report first-quarter results on May 13.