On the same breath that Wal-Mart (WMT) announced that it is raising its hourly wages to $11 and giving employees bonuses due to tax reform, the world’s largest retailer also revealed it’s closing 63 Sam’s Club locations across the U.S., which will ultimately lay off thousands of workers.
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The news of the exact locations was first reported by Business Insider, but later followed by a tweet from Sam’s Club’s official account.
“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,” the company tweeted.
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
A spokesperson for Wal-Mart did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for additional comment on the store closures.
However, many customers and workers took to social media to complain about how the company handled the situation with many of them saying they weren’t given any notice of the shutdown and many stores were abruptly closed on Thursday morning.
Several local media outlets in Texas, New York, Virginia and Arizona confirmed that stores closed on Thursday.
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My local Sam's club is permanently closing this month. There isn't on for 50 miles. Good thing I've got w a week til my membership renewal. I won't renew now. It's a sad loss for Western NY— Julie Kersten (@Leonna8773) January 11, 2018
Wow. Walmart brags about raising wages and giving out bonuses because of tax cuts and, then, thousands of #SamsClub workers are abruptly fired from their jobs without any warning! This display of trickle-down economics at work is nothing but smoke and mirrors #Walmart #Samsclub— Laurie C. H. (@LovelyRita1969) January 11, 2018
A Wal-Mart official told Business Insider that 10 of the affected stores will be turned into e-commerce distribution centers, and employees of those will have the opportunity to reapply for positions at their locations.
A Sam’s Club spokesperson added that its pharmacies will continue to stay open for at least two weeks, and they plan to work with each state’s Board of Pharmacy to “help guide this transition."