Locals Blame Amazon for 130 Layoffs After Sam’s Club Closes in Manchester, N.H.

Lafayette - Circa April 2017: Sam's Club Warehouse Auto and Tires. Sam's Club is a chain of membership only stores owned by Walmart IV
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Walmart’s Sam’s Club Closing in Manchester

Walmart-owned Sam’s Club is closing a store in Manchester, New Hampshire by mid-August. The store will permanently close on August 18 and will put 130 employees out of work.

A Manchester-based news source on “Facebook,” Manchester Information, shared the news broken by local news outlet, WMUR Channel 9. Locals reacted to the store closure with both sadness and surprise.

Among those who shared their concerns on the news were relatives of the workers affected by the layoffs.

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The company sent out a statement following the announcement saying, “We continually review our company portfolio to make sure we are best positioned to achieve our long-term strategy. We are grateful to our members and the community who have given us the privilege of serving them.”

Walmart has been closing underperforming Sam’s Club stores as the warehouse chain faces stiff competition from rivals Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) and BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc.

At the same time, the big box retailer has been facing threats from digital retailer, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), which has recently expanded its footprint into physical retail. Amazon’s latest acquisition of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) is proving a nightmare for grocery chains across the country.

Amazon’s aggressive investment in technology and its ability to operate with razor-thin margins has traditional retailers worried. In fact, Amazon is constantly blamed for the retail bloodbath, which has pushed numerous retailers out of business this year.

The Manchester locals who responded to the Sam’s Club closing in the community also pointed their fingers at Amazon.

One commenter went so far as to prophesize the end of Walmart.

Walmart is now aggressively spending to improve its online customer experience. To weaken Amazon’s stronghold over e-commerce, Walmart has been making acquisitions in digital retail as well as speeding up its delivery service. Following Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition, Walmart has also recently launched a quick pick-up service for groceries purchased online.

Needless to say, Walmart does not plan to give in to Amazon’s threats so easily.

 

Sources

Sam’s Club store in Manchester to close, affecting 130 employees,” WMUR Channel 9, August 9, 2017.

Walmart’s e-commerce investments are helping the retail giant catch up with Amazon,” Quartz, February 22, 2017.

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