Walmart boosts starting pay, closing dozens of Sam's Clubs

Sheri Evans
January 13, 2018

Sam's Club will shutter 63 of its stores, with customers and some employees saying no warning was given by the company.

"After a thorough review of our existing portfolio, we've chose to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy", the chain said in a tweet Thursday. Speaking to CNN, Walmart spokesperson Greg Hitt estimated that 9,450 people were employed at those 63 locations. Walmart on Thursday promised full-time hourly USA employees 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave.

That was the message on January 11 from Sam's Club CEO John Furner, too. "We need to make sure we have the right mix". The conversion of stores to e-commerce sites also illustrates how companies are trying to leverage their store locations to better compete against Amazon as shopping moves online.

"The cost of operating the clubs in Alaska is very high", Garcia said. The three stores employ roughly 450 workers, and the news comes just a week after Sears said it would.

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Sam's Club said through Twitter that the pharmacies located in the Sam's Club locations that are closing would remain open for a minimum of two weeks, while it works with transferring prescriptions and contacting clients. Sam's Club sales and performance has been steadily declining for the past few years as Walmart's presence in ecommerce has grown.

"They (gave) us the news so we can go mark everything down", she said. Come to BJ's, is the message from the competitor store.

Several other states where CNNMoney has confirmed stores will be closing did not have such notices posted as of Thursday afternoon. "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".

Workers and customers learned about the store closures on the same day Walmart drew praise from the White House for raising pay and giving out worker bonuses because of the new lower corporate tax rate.

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