Walmart Shutters Dozens Of Sam's Club Stores Around The Country
The same day Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillan announced a raise in starting pay for employees to $11/hour, the retail giant's wholesale business, Sam’s Club, closed dozens of stores around the country.
Some employees found out they lost their jobs when they showed up to work and found locked doors, according to Business Insider.
“Transforming our business means managing our real estate portfolio and Walmart needs a strong fleet of Sam’s Clubs that are fit for the future,” Sam’s CEO John Furner said in a statement. “We know this is difficult news for our associates and we are working to place as many of them as possible at nearby locations. Our focus today has been on those associates and their communities, and communicating with them.”
Some of the 63 affected stores will stay open for a few weeks until closing permanently.
McMillan touted President Donald Trump’s lower business tax incentives in his pay raise announcement.
“We plan to continue investing in you, in our customers through lower prices, and in our future — especially in technology to help improve your jobs and the experience for our customers,” McMillan said in his letter about the pay raise.
The company announced its closings via Twitter.
After a thorough review of our existing portfolio, we’ve decided to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy. Closing clubs is never easy and we’re committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.— Sam's Club (@SamsClub) January 11, 2018
Up to 12 of the stores will be converted into distribution centers, according to a statement from the company.
Sam’s Club employs more than 100,000 associates, with an average of 175 associates per location, according to its website. With 63 locations closed, that would mean more than 11,000 employees affected, about 10% of the company’s workforce.
Pharmacies will stay open for at least another two weeks, the company stated on Twitter. Tweets from the company said they would help with membership reimbursement fees, telling customers to send them direct messages for refund options.
Sam’s Club did not respond immediately to requests for comment, and a manager at an open location in Matthews, North Carolina, said she was unable to comment. An employee at that same location said he had not heard of any store closings.