More Than 60 Sam’s Club Stores Are Abruptly Being Shut Down

Yikes! This is a huge bummer for all the employees who showed up for work and learned they were out of a job.

Sam's Club
Flickr | JeepersMedia

Many Sam’s Club employees today found out that they no longer had jobs in the worst way possible: The doors to their workplace were simply locked with a note posted stating the closure.

But, according to Walmart—which owns Sam’s Club—these employees will be paid for the next 60 days. In addition, they will be eligible to apply for transfers to other Sam’s Club or Walmart stores.

walmart photo
Getty Images | Daniel Aguilar

News organizations across the country began visiting their local Sam’s Club stores and chatting with out-of-work employees, like this reporter in Houston.

Walmart confirmed to Business Insider that they were in the process of shutting down 63 Sam’s Club locations throughout the U.S. However, 10 of the defunct Sam’s Clubs will be reopened as e-commerce distribution centers.

Based on Business Insider’s calculations, that means approximately 11,000 people could be out of work with no notice.

Sam's Clubs To Cut 10 Percent Of Workforce
Getty Images | Scott Olson
Getty Images | Scott Olson

Company Gets Flack For Abrupt Closures

Rest assured, people were not happy with the abrupt decision to shut down stores. The company sent out an email Thursday afternoon and acknowledged the closures on Twitter in response to a tweet.

One Twitter user, YourMCAdmin, wrote, “They (Sam’s Clubs) are heartless people. I feel terrible for the thousands of people who just lost their jobs.”

In response, Sam’s Club wrote:

“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.”

Twitter user YourMCAdmin appropriately captured the sentiment of the workers who now don’t have jobs in his next response.

“My problem isn’t with you closing stores,” he wrote in his tweet. “It’s closing stores without telling the employees. How would you, as a social media rep, like to come in to work tomorrow and find out you were fired?”

Closures Come On The Heels Of Walmart Wage Raise

Interestingly enough, the closures came on the same day that Walmart decided to raise its starting hourly wages to $11. In addition, it announced that they are expanding employee benefits and offering bonuses up to $1,000. According to USA Today, Walmart employees who’ve worked at the company for 20 years will get the full $1,000 bonus and “most will get up to a few hundred dollars.”

Which Clubs Are Affected?

The company has yet to disclose a full list of stores that are closing. However, reports have been coming in from around the country stating that closures have occurred in the following states as well as in Puerto Rico: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Business Insider has been keeping a running list of closures based on media reports, if you’re curious.

 

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