Walmart is shutting down 63 of its Sam’s Club stores across the US, with plans to convert a handful of them into e-commerce fulfillment centers and permanently close the remainder.
Some stores have already shut their doors, while others are set to close in the coming weeks. Many employees were unaware of the closures until they showed up for work on Thursday.
On Twitter, Sam’s Club released the following statement:
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
In a companywide email sent to employees on Thursday, Sam’s Club chief executive John Furner said that the new e-commerce fulfillment centers will “better serve the growing number of members” shopping online. He also said that the company 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.”
The move comes the same day that parent company Walmart announced it is increasing the starting wage for hourly associates to $11.