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Wal-Mart Abrupting Closing 63 Sam’s Stores, Laying off Thousands, as Wage Hike is Announced

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Wal-Mart Abrupting Closing 63 Sam’s Stores, Laying off Thousands, as Wage Hike is Announced

Wal-Mart Abrupting Closing 63 Sam’s Stores, Laying off Thousands, as Wage Hike is Announced

The good news is Wal-Mart is raising its hourly wages to $11/hour. It’s also handing out employee bonuses due to tax reform. Now the bad news. Wal-Mart is laying off thousands of workers and closing 63 Sam’s Clubs across teh U.S.

Wal-Mart was quick to make a media splash with the news that it was raising the starting hourly wages to $11/hour, expanding employee benefits and offering worker bonuses of up to $1000 in response to the Trump tax cuts; it was far more covert, however, with the news that on the very same day it was also closing hundreds of Sam’s Club stores nationwide and laying off thousands of workers according to numerous media reports.

Jessica Buckner, an audit team lead at a Sam’s Club location in Anchorage, told local TV station KTVA that all Alaska stores are closing as part of a larger downsizing across the U.S. “From what I heard, there’s over 260 stores that have been closed down,” she said according to CBS News.

The wholesale clubs’ official closure date is Jan. 26, Buckner said.

Shortly after, the company issued a statement, stating that the number of stores for closure is somewhat lower, at 63, if still a sizable number. That compares with a total of five wholesale club stores the company has closed since fiscal 2013, securities filings show.

Ten to 12 of the closed stores could be converted to e-commerce facilities, the spokesperson said. The news is consistent with Sam’s Club’s ongoing plans to optimize its stores to fulfill more online orders and keep pace with internet retailers such as Boxed.

The closures also affect stores in New Jersey, upstate New York, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. In some locations, per social media, people showed up to work only to be told that their location was closing, with nearly no advance notice.

The chain, which competes with Costco , has more than 650 locations employing more than 100,000 people, with an average of 175 employees per store, according to the company. 

No formal announcement was posted Thursday morning by Sam’s Club, but the company acknowledged the closures on Twitter with a general statement.

Wow, a whole lot of @SamsClub locations shut down today while giving 0 notice to workers. That sounds like the management team alright. They are heartless people. I feel terrible for the thousands of people who just lost their jobs.

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 drew criticism from people on Twitter who objected to the lack of notice about the closings.

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.

My problem isn’t with you closing stores. It’s closing stores without telling the employees. How would you, as a social media rep, like to come in to work tomorrow and find out you were fired?

And yes, we will repeat it because it bears repeating: the closures come on the same day that Walmart announced it was raising its minimum wage to $11 per hour.
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.”

All this occurred quite suddenly after Walmart announced earlier on Thursday it was raising the minimum wage for all hourly employees to $11.00 an hour and would expand parental leave and give some employees one-time bonuses of up to $1,000 following the passage of the GOP tax overhaul.

The company said that membership fees at the closed locations will be refunded and that pharmacies at the closing locations will stay open for at least two weeks.

Walmart is the nation’s largest private employer, so there’s no doubt that the layoffs will have an impact on January’s jobs report, which will be released next month.

Walmart’s shares were up 0.5 per cent in afternoon trading, while shares of Costco Wholesale Corp, which competes with Sam’s Club, were up 2.7 per cent.

 

Cue the Rolling Stones…..’You Can’t Always Get What You Want’….

No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need….

 

 

Resources: Daily Mail, Zero Hedge

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