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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Sam's Club closing 63 stores, cut 10,000 jobs

    Sam's Club closing dozens of stores

    Charisse Jones, USA TODAY
    Published 2:14 p.m. ET Jan. 11, 2018 | Updated 4:54 p.m. ET Jan. 11, 2018


    (Photo: Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY)

    Sam's Club, the membership warehouse owned by retail giant Walmart, is shutting down or converting 63 stores, a Walmart official confirmed Thursday.

    Of those locations, about 50 will be going out of business for good. Roughly 10 of those locations are closing their doors as soon as Thursday, while the remainder will be shuttered over the next three to four weeks, the Walmart official said.


    More: Walmart boosts minimum wage to $11, hands out bonuses up to $1,000 for hourly workers


    More: Retail outlook: Will 2018 be Walmart's best year yet?


    Additionally, about 10 to 12 Sam's Club stores are slated to be closed temporarily as the retailer converts them to regional distributional centers to help ramp up its ability to fulfill online purchases. While those stores will reopen in a new role, workers previously employed at those locations are not necessarily guaranteed one of the new positions.

    Walmart piloted delivering groceries right into customers' refrigerators, one of the creative ideas retailers rolled out in 2017. (Photo: SAUL LOEB, AFP/Getty Images)

    In a note to staff, Sam's Club president and CEO John Furner said that a review found stores that were hindering business at other locations, or operating in areas that had not seen the population growth that was expected.

    "We’ve decided to right-size our fleet and better align our locations with our strategy,'' he wrote. "We will be closing some clubs, and we notified them today. We’ll convert some of them into eCommerce fulfillment centers - to better serve the growing number of members shopping with us online and continue scaling the SamsClub.com business.''


    News of the closures began to slowly trickle out Thursday. Notices filed with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development revealed that three Sam's Club stores in Indiana would be shutting down, while news outlets across the U.S. began reporting possible closures in cities from Memphis to Atlanta to Houston.


    Walmart is doing what their competitor Amazon can't do, throw holiday parties. Buzz60

    The company would not provide a list of the specific locations that will be closed or the number of employees that would be impacted, but public filings revealed that at least 2,018 workers will be affected.

    There are 419 employees at the three Indiana locations, according to filings required by the U.S. Department of Labor when there are significant layoffs.


    Public filings also revealed locations in other parts of the U.S. that would be shutting their doors. In Illinois, seven Sam's Clubs employing 1,138 people were slated to close Jan. 26, The notifications said that the termination of hourly workers would be effective as of March 16, and for managers as of April 13.


    In Louisiana, a Sam's Club in Baton Rouge that employs 176 workers was scheduled to close on Thursday, with hourly staff being terminated as of March 16 and managers as of April 13. Ohio has two stores closing in Cincinnati and Loveland, with a total of 285 workers potentially affected.

    Their date to be laid off, according to the public notifications, is March 16.


    Furner said that the company would try "to place as many associates as possible in new roles at nearby locations.''

    The entire retail landscape has been upended by the rise of Amazon and the growing shift by consumers to shopping online. Though warehouse-based retailers like Sam's Club and Costco have a steady revenue stream fueled by members fees, they are also having to adjust to an environment in which customers can buy groceries, electronics and other products from a growing array of e-commerce and brick and mortar sellers.

    While Walmart reported that Sam's Club's sales rose 4.4% in the most recently completed quarter, Furner says that the store closures will free up resources that can be focused on bolstering Sam's Club's website as well as its in-store technology. There are also plans to improve the club's fresh food offerings, overall product selection and its private label Member's Mark.

    Rival Costco has seen significant online sales growth in the wake of improvements to its site, the launch of two new delivery options, and introduction of an option for shoppers to buy items like computers and jewelry online and then pick them up at a store. Last month, Costco reported that its online sales had leaped 43.5% in the most recent quarter.

    The Sam's Club closures were announced the same day that Walmart said it would lift the hourly minimum wage in the U.S. to $11 and give out bonuses of up to $1,000.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/01/11/sams-club-closing-dozens-stores-reports-say/1024986001/

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ)

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    Wal-Mart to close 10% of its 660 Sam’s Club stores; closures will eliminate around 10,000 jobs on.wsj.com/2qWSTir
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