JCPenney, faced with unexpected light sales in mid-April, slashed payroll, froze overtime and took other drastic cost-cutting steps in an attempt to protect its bottom line, The Post has learned. As the end of its first fiscal quarter approached, the mid-priced department store told store managers to take the emergency measures because the chain faced “an expense challenge,” according to an internal memo obtained by The Post.

“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. Employees were stunned when their hours were slashed on such short notice, one source said.The cut in employee hours saved Penney around 800 hours over two weeks — or approximately $8,000 per store. READ MORE