Walmart Closing 63 Sam's Clubs, Turning 12 into Ecommerce Fulfillment Centers

Mae Love
January 13, 2018

How many jobs will be lost?

First, on 11 January, the company announced that it would increase the starting salary of employees from $9 to $11 an hour, give bonuses to some staff, and expand its maternity and paternity benefits programs. On average, about 150 employees work at Sam's Clubs location, she added.

A spokesperson for the retail store says some of the closed stores could be converted into E-Commerce facilities to fulfill more online orders and keep pace with internet retailers. Workers previously employed at those sites are not guaranteed one of the new positions.

Nearly right away after Walmart's announcement, however, critics pointed out that the tax law may not be the real-or only-reason for the worker raises.

Customers line up to get into Sam's Club in Sylmar as the store offers discounts ahead of its closing. "We've made a decision to right-size our fleet and better align our locations with our strategy". "We need to put our investment into supporting our online growth and closing these Clubs will allow us to do that".

"We are looking to convert up to 12 of our Clubs into fulfillment centers".

News of the closures began to slowly trickle out Thursday.

"The hourly workers at Sam's Club are getting treated like orphans and tossed into the street the same day that Walmart workers are dancing on the proverbial table", he said.

The closure in Farmington Hills will impact 158 employees; the closure in Lansing will affect 172 employees.

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Typically, companies warn investors and shoppers - and employees - that they will be closing stores far in advance. That store will close January 26th, but no word on what exact dates the other stores will close.

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Public filings also revealed locations in other parts of the US that would be shutting their doors. The official Sam's Club Twitter account replied to some questions with a brief statement.

In some cases, neither customers nor employees were notified in advance of the stores closing.

Up to 10 closing Sam's Club stores that once attracted shoppers with their no-frills warehouse settings where shoppers could walk among hi-los and skids of merchandise soon will shift their goal to supporting online sales. Their date to be laid off, according to the public notifications, is March 16.

"Many times it is cheaper to close a money-losing store than try to turn it around", he said.

MCEVERS: And just to be clear, when we talk about these distribution centers, I mean, these are places that employ far fewer people than an actual store. "We know this is hard news for our associates and we are working to place as many of them as possible at nearby locations. That shows you where our members are shopping", Hatfield said.

The Sam's Club shrinkage includes two Florida stores but, for now, South Florida customers and employees of the warehouse chain run by Walmart will see business as usual. "I buy products on Amazon literally all the time".

Walmart and Sam's Club did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company operates two Sam's Clubs in Wyoming - one in Casper and another in Cheyenne.

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