Walmart giveth and Walmart taketh away. On Thursday, Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT)–which will be changing the company name to “Walmart” effective February 1–announced it was raising the starting hourly wages for its U.S. employees to $11.00, expanding employee benefits, and offering workers bonuses of up to $1,000. However, it then unexpectedly announced it was permanently closing 63 Sam’s Club Stores. The Sam’s Club layoffs were so sudden that, in many cases, employees showed up to work to find the store closed and that they were unemployed. While it has not been said how many lost their jobs due to Walmart closing stores, a Walmart spokesperson said that around 9,450 people are employed across the 63 stores. Nine stores have already closed while others will shutter in the coming weeks. Illinois store closings made for the hardest hit area with seven Sam’s Club store closings. A Sam’s Club store closings list can be found further below.
Early Thursday morning, news about Sam’s Club store closings broke on the official Twitter page:
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
Initially, it was reported that 53 locations would close and 10 would be converted to fulfillment centers. Later in the day, Walmart, the layoffs having caused confusion, provided further details to now-former Sam’s Club employees and the public, saying it would shutter 63 Sam’s Clubs across the country and convert 12 into e-commerce fulfillment centers. The first to be converted into an e-commerce fulfillment center will be located in Memphis, Tennessee. Liquidation sales at some of the closing Sam’s Club began on Friday, January 12.
Below is the Sam’s Club’s store closings list for the U.S. and Puerto Rico:
- 8801 Old Seward Hwy, Anchorage, AK 99515
- 1074 N Muldoon Rd, Anchorage, AK 99504
- 48 College Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99701
- 3900 Grants Mill Rd, Irondale, AL 35210
- 2425 E Florence Blvd, Casa Grande, AZ 85194
- 5757 E State Route 69, Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
- 1375 S Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ 85286
- 15255 N Northsight Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
- 3360 El Camino Ave, Sacramento, CA 95821
- 17835 Gale Ave, City of Industry, CA 91748
- 12540 Beach Blvd, Stanton, CA 90680
- 12920 Foothill Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342
- 69 Pavilions Dr, Manchester, CT 06042
- 2 Boston Post Rd, Orange, CT 06477
- 355 FL-436, Fern Park, FL 32730
- 7233 N Seacrest Blvd, Lantana, FL 33462
- 5135 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33611
- 2994 Turner Hill Rd, Lithonia, GA 30038
- 501 N Randall Rd, Batavia, IL 60510
- 21430 S Cicero Ave, Matteson, IL 60443
- 6600 44th Ave, Moline, IL 61265
- 808 S Illinois Rte 59, Naperville, IL 60540
- 900 S Barrington Rd, Streamwood, IL 60107
- 1055 McHenry Rd, Wheeling, IL 60090
- 460 S Weber Rd, Romeoville, IL 60446
- 3015 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46268
- 10859 E Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46229
- 4024 Elkhart Rd #1, Goshen, IN 46526
- 9598 Cortana Pl, Baton Rouge, LA 70815
- 9750 Reisterstown Rd, Owings Mills, MD 21117
- 1 Tobias Boland Way, Worcester, MA 01607
- 340 E. Edgewood Boulevard, Lansing, MI 48911
- 32625 Northwestern Hwy, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
- 3745 Louisiana Ave S, St Louis Park, MN 55426
- 2800 27th Ave S, Moorhead, MN 56560
- 11 Batchelder Rd, Seabrook, NH 03874
- 81 International Dr S, Budd Lake, NJ 07828
- 1900 E Linden Ave, Linden, NJ 07036
- 301 Nassau Park Boulevard, Princeton, NJ 08540
- 2649 Erie Blvd E, Syracuse, NY 13224
- 720 Fairmount Ave, Jamestown, NY 14701
- 700 Elmridge Center Dr, Rochester, NY 14626
- 1600 Marketplace Dr, Rochester, NY 14623
- 5085 Dawn Dr, Lumberton, NC 28360
- 1101 Shiloh Glenn Dr, Morrisville, NC 27560
- 4825 Marburg Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45209
- 9570 Fields Ertel Rd, Loveland, OH 45140
- 1145 Carr 2, Bo Florida Afuera, Barceloneta, 00617, Puerto Rico
- Carr 830, Bayamón, Puerto Rico, 00957
- Carr 3 Km 82 Bo Junquitos, Humacao, 00741, Puerto Rico
- 615 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209
- 1805 Getwell Rd, Memphis, TN 38111
- 1615 S Loop W, Houston, TX 77054
- 13331 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077
- 22296 Market Place Dr, New Caney, TX 77357
- 12919 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX 78216
- 741 E Little Creek Rd, Norfolk, VA 23518
- 4571 S Laburnum Ave, Richmond, VA 23231
- 901 S Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057
- 1101 Outlet Collection Way, Auburn, WA 98001
- 13550 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133
- 7050 Watts Rd, Madison, WI 53719
- 1540 S 108th St, West Allis, WI 53214
Why is Sam’s Club Closing Stores?
Why is Sam’s Club closing in the first place? The fact that Walmart is converting 12 Sam’s Club’s into e-commerce fulfillment centers should be a big hint: Walmart is taking further steps to compete with Amazon.com, Inc. (NYSE:AMZN).
And the closures show just how far Walmart is willing to go to compete with the online giant. Sam’s Club’s same-store sales increased 2.8% in the third quarter, twice as fast as the 1.4% pace a year ago.
Still, Walmart is closing 10% of its Sam’s Club footprint and turning a large number into e-commerce fulfillment centers. In the words of Sam’s Club CEO John Furner, this is to, “better serve the growing number of members shopping with us online and continue scaling the SamsClub.com business.”
Sam’s Club Store Closings in 2017
Again, Sam’s Club has been posting solid sales growth, but that doesn’t mean Walmart is afraid to cut into those near-term sales for long-term benefits. In fact, Walmart closed a number of Sam’s Club locations in 2017.
There was two such Sam’s Club closings in June 2017. That month, Walmart announced it was closing its Sam’s Club location in Woodridge, Illinois. The store closed permanently on June 30. Then, a couple days later, Walmart said it was shuttering its Sam’s Club location in Exton, Pennsylvania. As was the case with the Woodridge location, news of the closure came as a total surprise, with employees being told that it too would permanently close on June 30.
Another Sam’s Club closing in August 2017 saw the Manchester, New Hampshire location shut down. The company gave employees two weeks notice before the store closed on August 18.
Walmart has a history of unexpectedly closing Sam’s Club locations. In 2009, Walmart abruptly closed all of its Sam’s Club locations in Canada, affecting 1,200 employees.
The threat of Amazon is not going to go away with the closure of 63 Sam’s Club locations. With these closures, Walmart has shown it’s not afraid to make deep cuts to become leaner. This should cause Walmart and Sam’s Club employees to reflect on their job security in 2018. Because as we’ve seen, even strong revenue growth is no guarantee your job’s safe.
“63 facilities impacted, up to 12 to convert to eCommerce facilities,” Wal-Mart Stores Inc, January 11, 2018.
“Twitter post,” Sam’s Club Twitter account, January 11, 2018, 1:25 p.m.
“Walmart is abruptly closing 63 Sam’s Club stores and laying off thousands of workers,” Business Insider, January 12, 2018.
“Sam’s Club’s CEO revealed mass stores closures in this companywide email to employees,” Business Insider, January 11, 2018.
“Woodridge Sam’s Club closing at end of month,” Daily Herald, June 21, 2017.
“Sam’s Club pulls plug on Exton location,” The Mercury Business, June 23, 2017.
“Sam’s Club closing Manchester store,” New Hampshire Union Leader, August 9, 2017.