Sam’s Club Abruptly Closes Dozens of Stores Across the Country
Sam’s Club, the membership-only warehouse stores owned by Walmart, confirmed on Thursday that it is closing locations across the country.
“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,” Sam’s Club’s said on Twitter. “Closing clubs is never easy and we’re committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.”
On Thursday morning, multiple local news outlets reported the abrupt shuttering of local stores including in Texas, Georgia, Washington, New York, Indiana, New Jersey, Alaska, Ohio, and Louisiana.
Walmart confirmed to Business Insider that 63 U.S. stores will be closed in total.
Some employees in Houston told local news station KHOU 11 News that they didn’t know about a closure until they showed up for work that day.
A Sam’s Club spokeswoman Anne Hatfield spoke to WBRZ 2 in Baton Rouge about the closure of the Cortana store, calling the decision “very complex.”
“It’s supply and demand,” Hatfield told the local news station.
The news came as Walmart announced it was raising wages for employees from $9 to $11 per hour, expanded maternity and parental-leave benefits, and offered employees a one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000. The changes will kick in February and are expected to impact 1 million U.S. employees.
“We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. “However, some guiding themes are clear and consistent with how we’ve been investing—lower prices for customers, better wages and training for associates and investments in the future of our company, including in technology.”
Fortune contacted Sam’s Club for more information and will update as needed.