After Today's Good News for Walmart Employees, Sam's Club Employees Are Hit With Sudden Unemployment

This morning I wrote about the good news for Walmart employees: The company was extending bonuses to all their employees, as well as upping the starting wages from $9 an hour to $11 an hour.

This was in response to the savings the company would be enjoying, due to the GOP tax bill that was recently signed.

Hours after that news, the other shoe fell.

Across the country, 63 Sam’s Club locations will be closing their doors. Many employees or those customers who hold the Sam’s Club membership cards didn’t find out until they showed up to those locations to find notes announcing the closings on the door.

What a way to find out you don’t have a job.

These aren’t completely new. Security filings show select stores have been closing since 2013.

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

So they’re paring back, in order to do more online business.

Reports of the Sam’s Club closings began to emerge in local media outlets throughout Texas, New York, New Jersey Alaska and Arizona, amid complaints from disgruntled employees and confused customers. In some cases, employees weren’t notified in advance, some of the publications said.

Walmart has done better than Sam’s club, overall, and there’s stiff competition from Costco. For those who think the news of bonuses this morning, followed by the Sam’s Club closings this afternoon were just some kind of rope-a-dope, that’s just not the case.

This is a business model they’ve been working on for some time, now.

At an October meeting with investors, Sam’s Club CEO John Furner said the retailer needed to improve its “competitive position” as same-store sales growth started to slow into the first half of fiscal 2018.

Those efforts would include better targeting households that make between $75,000 to $125,000, Furner said. He didn’t speak to whether Sam’s Club would be closing or opening more stores as part of achieving those goals.

With Amazon, eBay, and other online sites doing booming business, it just makes sense.

Pharmacies are staying open in the closed locations, at least for the next 2 weeks, while they transition those accounts to new stores.

To show that commitment to the new online model, Walmart recently acquired, in order to expand that digital business.

It’s unfortunate, but those employees effected by the closings will get an opportunity to apply for new jobs with the digital business.

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