Walmart announced today that it is closing 63 Sam’s Club stores. The move will affect some 11,000 employees in the US, who will be laid off. Employees and customers say the move came suddenly. Some stores stopped business today, without advance warning. The Sam’s Club’s locations that did not close today will reportedly close within the next few weeks.
“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 said on Twitter.
The announcement came on the same day that the company announced it was raising the starting salary for employees of Walmart stores to $11 an hour. The move, the company said, is due to the passage of the GOP’s tax plan last month. “Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.,” the company’s CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. The company also announced that it would increase family leave benefits and award employees a one-time cash bonus of $1,000.
Republicans on Capitol Hill, as well as members of the Trump administration, lauded the first announcement.
Great news! Thanks to the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act, Walmart-America’s largest employer-is raising wages, providing bonuses, and improving benefits for its workers. This law is helping improve people’s lives. https://t.co/MX09yMuCW3
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at the White House Press Briefing today: “I would also like to highlight the announcement this morning from Walmart. We want to thank them. They will be increasing their minimum wages, issuing bonuses and expanding family benefits for over 1 million employees,” Mnuchin said.
There have as of yet not been comments made regarding the store closures announced later in the day.