Walmart reveals Sam's Club closures

Sams Club

Sam's Club is closing stores. AP

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.

Walmart Inc. plans to repurpose some of the Sam's Clubs stores that will close later this month, making them fulfillment centers for e-commerce. At home, she got a call from her manager and had a letter in the mail saying the store had closed and she could seek employment at another Sam's Club or Walmart store.

Sixty-three Sam's Club's locations are closing, including ones in Stanton and Sylmar.

The Union County Freeholder Board also announced Thursday afternoon that its social service and re-employment agencies are "offering assistance to any Union County resident who was laid off by today's Sam's Club Store closings". Sam's Club sales and performance has been steadily declining for the past few years as Walmart's presence in ecommerce has grown.

The company will look at opportunities to transfer Sam's Club employees to Walmart locations in Alaska, Garcia said. "We need to make sure we have the right mix". But numerous thousands of workers who will be affected were unaware when they showed up to locked stores on Thursday.

But like those other companies, devastating cuts are going to be made as well.

"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", says John Furner, president and CEO of Sam's Club.

Sam's Club, which first opened in 1983 in Oklahoma but has since expanded across the country and overseas, is a chain of warehouses operated as clubs offering memberships. Up to 12 are being converted into distribution centers to handle online orders, the company said late Thursday.

Customers packed into the Dover Sam's Club on Friday, relieved the membership wholesaler was still open after so many other locations had been closed.

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