Newly laid off Sam’s Club employees have turned to BJ’s Wholesale, Inc. for work after Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), the retailer’s parent, announced it was closing more than 60 locations across the country on Thursday.
BJ’s Wholesale Club said in a statement that it has received “numerous inquiries from Sam’s Club employees” since the news of the shutdowns were announced, adding that it is accepting resumes.
“BJ’s Wholesale Club is hiring, and anyone interested in joining our team can go to bjs.com/careers or visit their local club,” the company said to FOX Business.
BJ’s, one of Sam’s Club biggest rival, said it has also seen “an immediate increase in Sam’s Club members” since Wal-Mart announced the closing 63 locations spanning from New York to Puerto Rico.
The news of the abrupt shutdowns, which were reported in several states, came on the same day that Wal-Mart announced its plans to boost its starting hourly wage to $11 hour and to hand out $1,000 bonuses to over a million employees, which it said was a result of President Trump’s tax reform bill.
“We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders,” Walmart’s president and CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement early Thursday morning.
Hours later, Sam’s Club CEO John Furner, wrote a company-wide email that explained to employees why the abrupt shutdowns were needed.
"Transforming our business means managing our real estate portfolio — we need a strong fleet of clubs that are fit for the future. After a thorough review, it became clear we had built clubs in some locations that impacted other clubs, and where population had not grown as anticipated. We've decided to right-size our fleet and better align our locations with our strategy. ... We will work to place as many associates as possible in new roles at nearby locations, and we'll provide them with support, resources, and severance pay to those eligible,” Furner wrote.
Sam’s Club currently has 597 store locations in 46 states, compared to BJ’s, which operates 215 clubs and 133 BJ’s Gas locations in 16 states across the country.