Mall titan Brookfield to cut 20% of workforce in retail arm

NEW YORK (AP) — Brookfield Properties, one of the nation’s largest mall operators, is cutting 20% of its workforce in its retail division, as the pandemic has accelerated online shopping and resulted in a string of store closings.

The Chicago-based mall operator, which operates 170 mall properties, has more than 2,000 employees in its retail division, according to the company.

“2020 has had a profound impact on us all, both personally and professionally,” Jared Chupaila, CEO of Brookfield Properties’ retail group, wrote in a email to its employees. “”Our business has been frustrated, interrupted and constrained. All of our constituents — retailers, lenders, communities, partners and our own employees— have been affected by the events of this year and forced to revisit their relationships with our industry and our company.”

Chupaila noted in the email, furnished by the company, that while other companies were quick to furlough and lay off people at the onset of the pandemic, it made the “conscious decision” to keep all of its team employed while it gained a better understanding of its long-term impact on the company.

Chupaila said that starting Tuesday and continuing Wednesday, affected employees will be contacted directly by leaders from their department and human resource team member.

News of the layoffs was first reported by CNBC.

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