Wal-Mart Abruptly Closes 63 Sam’s Club Stores On Same Day As Broad Wage Hike


Wal-Mart ( WMT )-owned Sam’s Club is closing some 63 locations across the country, some immediately on Thursday, on the very day that Wal-Mart announced wage hikes and employee bonuses.

[ibd-display-video id=3077200 width=50 float=left autostart=true] News outlets in Houston , Michigan , North Carolina , Virginia  and other areas reported sudden closures, with Sam’s Club employees in Morrisville, North Carolina, telling the local ABC affiliate station that they showed up to a closed store, and were told the location would permanently shutter in two weeks. Wal-Mart is closing 63 Sam’s Clubs locations, laying off thousands of employees. Some 10-12 locations will be converted for e-commerce operations.

#BREAKING Sam’s Club closing stores across the U.S., including Morrisville location https://t.co/UCrS5sKSKn pic.twitter.com/kPFKkLdW6Z

– ABC11 EyewitnessNews (@ABC11_WTVD) January 11, 2018

Closing a series of clubs will “better align our locations with our strategy,” said Sam’s Club through its corporate Twitter account.

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

The company is now in the process is replying to a series of upset and surprised customers on the social media platform, particularly those who recently paid for memberships to locations that are now closed.

“I got a membership last month and now you’re closing? Am I able to refund the other 11 months?” tweeted one. Sam’s Club is so far asking those reaching out to contact the company via private message on Twitter to resolve individual cases.

Wal-Mart shares advanced 35 cents to 100.02 in the stock market today . Wal-Mart is trying to retake a 100.23 buy point from a flat base. But its relative strength line, which tracks a stock’s performance vs. the S&P 500 index, has been lagging in recent weeks as the major averages continue to climb.

Costco Wholesale ( COST ), a Sam’s Club rival, advanced 2.1%. Costco Wholesale has consistently delivered faster growth than Sam’s Club.

Target ( TGT ), which recently announced solid holiday sales and raised its profit guidance, rose 4.6% to a 52-week high.

Sam’s Club is one of many retailers shuttering locations now that the key holiday season has ended. Sears Holdings ( SHLD ) will close more than 100 additional Sears and Kmart locations this spring, following another weak holiday season for the long-ailing retail operator. Macy’s ( M ) closed three California locations, affecting 436 workers. Those are the first of 11 stores slated to close early this year as Macy’s nears the end of an ongoing effort to close 100 sites.

IBD’S TAKE: Wal-Mart is ranked No. 2 by IBD in the Retail-Major Discount Chains industry group, based on earnings, sales, margin and stock performance trends. Visit IBD Stock Checkup  to see how other retailers stack up.

Sam’s Club confirmed that stores listed on its website will remain open.

that is correct.

– Sam’s Club (@SamsClub) January 11, 2018

The Sam’s Club news follows Wal-Mart’s announcement Thursday morning that it’s hiking its minimum hourly wage to $11 an hour and promising bonuses of up to $1,000 in the wake of recently approved changes to U.S. tax law.

Wal-Mart said affected Sam’s Club workers will be eligible for the bonuses.


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